Friday 29 December 2023

Day 12 thoughts, day 13 bets

Only outstanding bet got over the line for a tiny profit, let's whack through the Friday evening then look at what should be a great Saturday session (for which I'll probably miss the majority as for some reason I'm watching us get dicked away to Man City):

Heta/van Peer - Solid bit of crisis management by Damon here. Would be very easy to think "zomg down two sets" rather than down one break, but he levelled things up, got through some more missed doubles, and then finished the game in style. Solid tournament from Berry, he was clearly never going to win a thing here as I'd drawn him in a sweepstake, but plenty to draw on and every reason to think he's in the ballpark of being able to retain a card 24 months from now.

Clayton/Ratajski - Looked to be moderately tight on paper. Ratajski just had a couple of rough legs with the darts in the first set, and that was enough. Jonny wasn't convincing, but Krzysztof couldn't really do enough to get the break back.

Williams/van Barneveld - Disappointing from Jim this one. Blew chances to win the first set, got the second, then went to pieces for two sets - Barney looked good in the third, but the fourth should have been won. Showed some signs of life in set five but the damage was already done, Barney's going to need to play better on Saturday.

Krcmar/Anderson - Let's give credit where it's due to Boris - looked very good throughout the match, especially in the first set with that key huge out, seems to be mainly a case of Ando picking his game up after that first one and really limiting what Krcmar was able to do. Don't think Boris will be too displeased with this one in retrospect, and it's shown somewhat of what he's able to do on the floor on TV, which has been missing for a while prior to this tournament.

van Gerwen/Bunting - Stephen wasn't on his full magnificent form in this one, which was probably required ante post, and was definitely required as things played out - van Gerwen played excellent stuff, not missing much of anything and not really giving Bunting too much of a chance. Shame really, I thought this one was going to be fantastic, but these things are sent to try us.

Smith/Dobey - Don't say we didn't warn you. We've known Smith has not been anywhere near as good in 2023 as he was in 2022, and we knew whoever he would face in this round was going to give him a stern test. Chris did, and the result showed - 4-0 did surprise me, but the result overall? Not in the slightest.

We'll see the rest of the last sixteen out tomorrow, so do we see any value:

Williams/Heta - Both players got forced to seven sets in the previous game so have been tested, Williams in a game he probably wasn't expected to win, while Heta was the opposite. Can't really see any value in this one to be honest - any sort of sample is never giving Damon less than a two in three chance, but it's rarely giving him more than 70% ever - so with him being priced at 1/2 and players appearing to not favour our (really slight) temptation in the market based on what they've done in this tournament, we shut up. Quickly.

Gurney/Chisnall - Market has this 60/40 in favour of Chizzy, which I thought might have been more one sided based on how they've played this year, but maybe the market's recognised that Daryl's good. Year long, it looks just about right, maybe slightly underestimating Dave a tad, but if we come back down to more form based samples, it drifts into Daryl's favour - not in the slightest amount to favour a bet, there's only a couple of places which are random that are offering 6/4, but I don't think that's close enough for anything other than a micro play. We won't recommend it.

Cross/Clayton - Actually one of only two last sixteen games which is being played as the seedings suggest, and we get the 8/9 game. This is a weird one to call - Rob's the 1/2 favourite, which on year long stats looks incredibly lol, but as we've talked about in the past, Jonny's best games were extremely front loaded. Post-UK Open gives him less than 40%, May onwards gives him barely one in two, which is where the line lies. Factor in he looked like complete arse today, with just four of thirteen won legs being in fifteen darts, there's no reason to think that things are changing. Another one we're not going to touch, expect Rob to get through this one comfortably but at the line we're not interested.

Dolan/Anderson - Gary was solid tonight, given a bit of a wake up call by Boris in the first set, and he then woke up. Dolan yesterday we know about, and he was fine, but I question Dolan's ability to be able to go two of those sorts of games back to back more than I question Ando's ability to do the same. 0.25u Anderson 2/9, I would go stronger but I'm just playing slightly cautiously given I'm not sure how Ando will react at this stage of his career to back to back days with games of a decent length. It is probably going to look like excessive caution in hindsight, but I'd rather just limit the potential large liability when I have small doubts going at these sorts of odds.

van Barneveld/Littler - Barney was merely OK today, that's it, not going to repeat any Littler hype either. Market has real trouble separating them over long samples, but it does cut down to more of a 60/40 edge (then growing stronger) in favour of Littler as we get to more form based stuff, so I'm thinking that the play, if anything, is on Barney - Luke's had some weird social media bullshit be a bit of a distraction, I'm sure he'll be fine but it is a bit of uncharted territory so I'm not sure how he'd react. I don't think there's anywhere near the confidence to take Raymond at 15/8 though.

Humphries/Cullen - This feels like the most stable of the games, and the one that feels the most acca safe. I'm not seeing Luke at anything lower than 75% in any sample, and it does grow more towards, and surpassing, 80%, as we get more form based to better recognise how well he's playing right now. He's had a rest day after that real test he was given, and he should be fine - 4/11 on at least 365 doesn't seem like an awful play, I don't think I can get any sort of realistic situation where I think it's safe enough to recommend a play, but Joe's chances are solidly lower than what the market is offering.

So just the one play, other stuff you might consider, but if you take it, it's not on me if you lose. Back before the quarters.

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