Wednesday 15 November 2023

Slam round 2

Group stages are in the books, now we move on to the last sixteen, and a decent step up in length of game to a first to ten, before an even bigger jump in the quarters. Games take place over two days, odds are out for everything, so let's look through what we've got:

Price v Anderson - Where have we heard this one before? Price won his group looking absurdly good in the process, especially in the second and third games, while Ando dropped a game to Humphries but did his job against van Duijvenbode and Lennon. This is a tricky one for me - I can't split the two for all intents and purposes, maybe giving Ando a 2-3 percent edge, but Price has just looked so good that I think that it's truly a spot where we need to consider immediate form rather than longer data - to an extent. 0.1u Anderson 13/8, that's such a big price that we've got to take it - but we'll temper the bet size. Gary's played fine, we can't just not bet it, but we will factor Gerwyn's play this week in.

Wade/Dobey - James probably hasn't hit top gear in this one yet, but didn't really need to do so to finish off an out of sorts Smith and claim the group on leg difference, while Dobey has got better from game to game, ending with a winner takes all victory over Jonny Clayton. Chris looks to be playing better throughout the sample we are looking at, and is projecting up towards 65% - I'll do the same as I did in the previous game and limit the bet sizing on account of Wade looking really good in terms of results, but there's enough price here to take, 0.1u Dobey 8/11

Rock/Ratajski - Josh hasn't set the averages on fire, but is getting the wins and only dropped four legs to date in sweeping his group. Krzysztof locked up second in the Wade group with a big win over Nathan Girvan, although the numbers have slipped a bit from the roughly 100 he did in both the first two games against the bigger names of the group. This looks an absolute knife edge game here, I can't call one player over another, that's how good Ratajski has been playing (and maybe indicating where Josh has dropped to from this time last year), so I think we have enough edge as we had in the previous one to bet. Will again go small as Rock finally getting wins may spark a bit of an overperformance compared to longer form levels, but 0.1u Ratajski 11/8 regardless.

Humphries/Searle - Luke swept his group with three straight ton plus averages as he looks to add a second major title, while Searle hit a real nice nine to lock up second in a winner takes all against Rafferty where Nathan had just hit a big out himself to ask questions as to whether Ryan could hold. And that was some hold. Luke looks solidly better as you'd expect, I've got it somewhere slightly over a two in three shot, but slightly under 70%. As such, the line is maybe slightly off and Searle at 5/2 is technically not a losing bet as I see it, but without any real edge to recommend a play.

Noppert/Bunting - Danny won his group although he has been a bit underwhelming, only the game with Gilding really impressing, while Stephen got second with a solid win over Peter Wright, and the numbers continue to impress, maybe playing the best he has done in quite some time, perhaps possibly since his BDO days. These two match up fairly tightly, but I've got Bunting at around a 55/45 edge, maybe crank it up a couple of points given the mediocre play of Noppert this week. Market has a best price of 4/5, so it's where we expect it and we can't contemplate any play.

van Gerwen/Heta - Michael cleaned up the group with three wins, but looks at less than top gear, really should have lost versus Cross and needed a comeback against Kleermaker as well. Damon needed to come from behind against Greaves, but did so, triggered by a big out that was somewhat game changing. Market has van Gerwen as the natural favourite, implying a win percentage in the low 70% range - I think we can at least contemplate a play on Heta, who I think is maybe slightly more than a 35% shot in this one, but I'm not sure he's showing enough right now with the two last leg deciders and a mediocre showing in a loss to Aspinall to think he's that close right here right now. Might throw something at a handicap and definitely would not contemplate taking MvG, but I can put off betting Damon here.

Aspinall/Cross - Nathan dropped the last game against Pietreczko in what I've seen described as a weird game without anyone really saying why, other than some match report saying he was just playing quickly in a nothing game. Cross was too good for Sherrock as expected, and despite being the player who came second in the group, I've got him as a marginal favourite, just closer to 55% than 50%. Market is also shading Rob at odds on, so no play here.

Buntz/Gilding - Stowe couldn't get a third straight win, but was able to keep things tight enough against Chisnall to claim the group win, while Andrew was in a bit of a complicated spot but a comfortable 5-1 win against Muramatsu was enough to claim second spot and face the American debutant. Projections give this as an emphatic win for Gilding, but we can't ignore the numbers he put up against Wright and the win he got against Bunting, who are of a comparable level of opponent. We're clearly not going to bet Buntz at shorter than 2/1, question is whether we take Gilding at 1/2 on Hills. I think this is really close - the projection says 80/20, but maybe Stowe is outperforming and it's more 75/25. Not unreasonable to think that, but after the explosive display against Wright, he's gone back to back 88 averages. It's also a bit of a longer game than he's probably played before, but the CDC has first to 7 and 8 in quite a few events, so it's not by that much. I'm going to say no to a bet, but this could end up looking ridiculous.

So three small plays tonight, but nothing tomorrow.

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