Michael van Gerwen now sits atop the Darts Premier League following a 7-4 win over Simon Whitlock in a week where Rob Cross, Barney & Mensur Suljovic also won in Leeds. Elsewhere, we saw a draw for Gary Anderson but woe for Peter Wright — he suffered a near whitewash to The Big Gentle.
MVG was out of form, missing 16 doubles and averaging only marginally higher than 100. But like the champion he is, won his match even if he required Whitlock to let him off the hook. In fact, The Wizard had been the better of the two for much of the contest, edging 2-0 ahead before the reigning Premier League champion came from behind to win after the Aussie missed two darts to break at 4-4.
In total, a kamikaze Whitlock missed seven double shots before misfiring one final shot at double 20 which prevent the game into a deserved final leg. This allowed Mighty Mike to bank the points to sit comfortably — and ominously — at the top of the table.
Other action from last week
Another Dutchman, the evergreen Raymond van Barneveld was forced to come from behind in his match, this time against Gerwyn Price. Ending 7-5, RVB led early in the match, but a Price recovery soon saw Barney drop two sets back at 5-3. Barney then dug out a 121 finish on double 14 in the very next leg and was soon level thanks to an 80 finish. The former world number one then took out 101 on double top before throwing 89 for the match including a strike on bull.
Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright comfortably checked out for 132 to take the opening leg of his game against Mensur ‘The Big Gentle’ Suljovic before a dramatic collapse saw the Scotsman lose all the remaining legs leading to a humiliating and catastrophic defeat.
The Austrian averaged 103.0 and missed just five darts at double to produce the performance of the night, rallying off seven legs in succession to utterly destroy Wright 7-1, who now sits just one place out of the drop zone.
Although a much closer tie, Gary Anderson narrowly avoided a similar fate in his match against Daryl Gurney. Superchin looked to be sailing towards an upset when he rattled off four legs in succession. From somewhere, Anderson produced a 12-dart leg before losing focus again and allowing Gurney to restore his two-leg lead and guarantee at least a share of the points. A share was all he got in the end as Gurney missed two darts on the final leg that left the door ajar for Anderson to nick a sneaky double 17 and steal a 6-6 draw.
There were no such troubles for World champion Rob Cross, however; he beat Michael Smith 7-5 and now moves into the league’s top four. Victory for Voltage was achieved despite trailing 4-2 and 5-3. The Hastings-born newbie scored four legs in a row in a match where maximums were regularly exchanged — Cross landing five and Smith four. In the end, it was a 121 finish which turned the game Cross’ way.
Darts Premier League betting tips
Matchday Seven takes place this Thursday at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham with coverage available on Sky Sports Action HD and Sky Sports Main Event HD from 1900 GMT.
Fresh off the back of his latest nightmare, Peter Wright meets Michael Smith in this week’s opener. Snakebite suffered an annihilation at the hands or Mensur Suljovic a week ago but can at least draw some comfort from reaching a final on Saturday, even though he lost 6-0 to Gary Anderson. One thing that makes Peter an interesting bet — or a frustrating one — is that he can be very hard to read. Performing brilliantly one minute and horribly the next, his game flip flops more than most. This the main reason that despite a run of horrible results, I’m still going to pick him to win against Bully Boy here. Smith also lost a week back in a match to Rob Cross but had been going strong until then. Will that defeat mean a collapse as he hits a crucial run of fixtures? Possibly, yes, which makes Betway’s line on Wright to win and hit 5 or more 180s a decent price at 7/1.
Another player who was going well until recently was Simon Whitlock, who really should have beaten Michael van Gerwen in his last match. Couple this performance with a run of defeats suggests that he might be better off avoided in this week’s acca, especially as his opponent — Daryl Gurney — has by-far the better one-on-one record of the two. Gurney will feel like he dropped points last week against Gary Anderson, getting a draw when he really should have won. Normally, his record reads that a draw is followed by a loss, but I think things might be different this time around as The Wizard and Superchin begin moving in the other direction position wise. Gurney win.
Next out is Mensur Suljovic and Rob Cross, with the latter having won three on the bounce and the former now on a run of two wins himself. As already noted, Mensur thrashed Peter Wright 7-1 last week and he’s 12/5 to win this match too. He’s playing brilliantly right now and is at last getting the wins he deserves while also posting some great averages. Voltage though is also moving in the right direction, and while this is the toughest game of the night to call, I’m backing Cross to make it four wins in four. Try Cross to win and hit the most 180s with Suljovic to throw the highest average, worth 7/2 at Betway.
Match four of the night pairs Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen, with Price having been unable to score a victory against the world number one in any of their last twelve encounters. MVG has nicely positioned himself on top of the pile now and will now be looking to solidify the top spot. This is a nice match for him to do just that. Try Mighty Mike to win and hit 5 or more 180s at 5/2 for more value.
Finally, Raymond van Barneveld will take on Gary Anderson. RVB is one point ahead in the table right now following Anderson’s late and really rather fortunate point last week. I think The Flying Scotsman will come good again this Thursday. Barney has been inconsistent of late, coming from behind to win more than once, but a slow start in this one could leave him with too much to do. For both value and fun, look out for Raymond van Barneveld to win OR draw, Gary Anderson to hit the most 180s and BOTH players to hit a 100+ checkout, worth 12/1 at Betway.
Also, a five-fold on our picks (Wright, Gurney, Cross, MVG and Anderson) works out at just over 12/1, while players are encouraged to try Betway’s boosted treble of Anderson, Gurney and Wright all to win now 6/1.
- (11/5) Michael Smith v Peter Wright (10/11)
- (2/1) Simon Whitlock v Daryl Gurney (1/1)
- (12/5) Mensur Suljovic v Rob Cross (5/6)
- (12/1) Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen (1/7)
- (15/4) Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson (8/15)
Oh, and RIP Jim Bowen, host of the greatest TV game show of all time, Bullseye.