PDC World Championship Darts 2020 Betting Preview Part Two

PDC World Championships

We are now less than a week away from the start of the 2020 PDC World Championships when the Alexandra Palace major returns next Friday. It will be the 27th edition of the event and once again Michael van Gerwen will be aiming to defend the title he won at the beginning of the year when he beat Michael Smith 7-3 in last year’s final.

Smith returns this year, looking to go one better, while 2018 winner Rob Cross and two-time champion Gary Anderson will also be in attendance. Keep a special look out too for Gerwyn Price, who has enjoyed a rise to darting prominence over the past 12 months.

Last week we looked at the prospective fortunes of the PDC’s ranked players 10 through 6 which included the likes of Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, Daryl ‘Superchin’ Gurney and James ‘The Machine’ Wade. However, in the line-up we also have the likes of Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis who has won here in North London twice as well as Glenn ‘Duzza’ Durrant the three times winner of the BDO equivalent event before switching tours. Jackpot is 80/1 with Betway while Duzza is 33/1.

For those considering a punt on Nathan ‘The Asp’ Aspinall, you’ll find his price to be 40/1 in the same sportsbook, while money laid on Mensur ‘The Gentle’ Suljovic is 50/1. This week though, with the opening day in sight, we’re concentrating on the world’s top five darters and how they will fare at the upcoming PDC World Championship Darts 2020.

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson PDC 2020

PDC World Ranking: 5
Age: 48
Home Town: Musselburgh, Scotland
Nickname: The Flying Scotsman
Walk on Music: Won’t Get Fooled Again (The Who) followed by Jump Around (House of Pain)
Titles: World Matchplay Winner (2018), Premier League of Darts (2011, 2015), UK Open (2018), Players Championship Finals (2014) Champions League of Darts (2018)
Best World Championship Performance: Winner (2015, 2016)

A double PDC world champion, Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson has been one of the stellar names of the PDC tour for many years but it has been some time since he last claimed a major trophy. His last title win came back in September 2018 at the Players Championship when he beat Daryl Gurney in the final. One of the main reasons for his troubles is the persistent bad back issues which has affected his form over the past few seasons and saw him withdraw from both this season’s Darts Masters and The Premier League. Even so, he remains one of the top talents that the game has ever seen and is obviously a threat in any event. Over the years, he’s bagged six majors not including team events such as the World Cup of Darts.

Can the Flying Scotsman recapture former glories? He certainly faces a battle to keep up with the likes of Van Gerwen and Cross but will always be competitive and will receive a lot of backing from darts fans. He should make light work out of Brendan Dolan or Nitin Kumar in the second round after which time will tell. While I would never rule him out, former glories look a long time past now and other talents have stepped into the void he left behind making a win seem unlikely.

Betway Price: 22/1

Michael Smith

Michael Smith PDC 2020

PDC World Ranking: 4
Age: 29
Home Town: Liverpool, England
Nickname: Bully Boy
Walk on Music: Shut Up and Dance (Walk the Moon)
Titles: World Series of Darts (2018)
Best World Championship Performance: Runner Up (2019)

Bully Boy Michael Smith was the unfortunate runner up here last time out, a familiar tale for the player who has regularly been the bridesmaid – he was runner up in the World Matchplay and last season’s Premier League – and never the bride. Smith is blessed with remarkable skill and his throwing motion is as smooth as you like but always seems to fall at the last, a record which I am convinced he will break sooner rather than later. Almost twelve months on from his World Championship bid ending at the final hurdle, could this finally be his moment and one in which he shakes of his perennial runner-up tag?

Smith’s recent form is solid enough to suggest so but he does have a track record for making things difficult for himself in his opening Ally Pally encounter. Save for last year, in each of the past four years, Bully Boy has required a deciding set to win his first showdown by a score of 3-2 which is strange given his class over his opponents. Either Luke Woodhouse or Paul Lim will provide his first tester and, from there, what happens next is anyone’s guess but if he can avoid early round jitters he should make the later stages – at the very least.

Betway Price: 20/1

Gerwyn Price

Gerwyn Price PDC 2020

PDC World Ranking: 3
Age: 34
Home Town: Cardiff, Wales
Nickname: The Iceman
Walk on Music: Ice Ice Baby (Vanilla Ice)
Titles: Grand Slam of Darts (2018, 2019)
Best World Championship Performance: Last 16 (2018)

Six years ago, Gerwyn Price was a professional rugby player for Neath, throwing a few arrows in his spare evenings. This week, however, he will step out at Alexandra Palace in London as the two-time Grand Slam champion and new rising power of professional darts. Yes, the former Rugby player has shot up to third in the PDC Order of Merit following a storming end of the year run. Not only did he score a repeat of his success in the Players Championship Finals to win the event for a second year running, but he also beat Michael van Gerwen at the 19th time of asking when they met in the Grand Slam semi-finals last month.

Couple that up with some stellar performances and other televised final appearances and he looks every inch the world number two right now, with odds to match. The Iceman has only the two major titles to his name so far in his career, but it looks like he will be adding to those soon if he maintains his current form next year — and there would be no better place to start than the Ally Pally. At present, he is the second favourite to lift his maiden World Championship, which could prove oddly popular with supporters seeing as he was the boo boy for much of the year. Not for much longer it would seem.

Betway Price: 9/2

Rob Cross

Rob Cross PDC 2020

PDC World Ranking: 2
Age: 29
Home Town: Pembury, England
Nickname: Voltage
Walk on Music: Hot Hot Hot (Arrow)
PDC Titles: World Matchplay (2019), European Championships (2019)
Best World Championship Performance: Winner (2018)

One of the few players going into the tournament as a former winner, 2018 world champion Rob Cross has been the runner-up at the Premier League Darts, European Championship and UK Open, but thanks to winning the biggest two events on the tour – he also took down this year’s World Matchplay – he avoids the same criticisms that have plagued Michael Smith over the past few seasons. Voltage is a guy that does tend to save his best form the top events, and after lighting up the World Matchplay, he comes into the Worlds in pretty decent shape.

Rob Cross, the winner on his debut two years ago, is set to face either Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts or Dutch youngster Geert Nentjes, a draw that could have been kinder but shouldn’t cause him too many troubles. As for Voltage, all the signs point to someone who is in top shape, both physically and mentally and the world number two is definitely one to watch out for.

Betway Price: 14/1

Michael van Gerwen

MVG PDC 2020

PDC World Ranking: 1
Age: 30
Home Town: Boxtel, Netherlands
Nickname: Mighty Mike
Walk on Music: Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Pink Floyd) followed by Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes)
PDC Titles: World Matchplay (2015, 2016), World Grand Prix of Darts (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019), Grand Slam of Darts (2015, 2016, 2017), Darts Premier League (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), European Championship Darts (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), UK Open (2015, 2016), Players Championship Finals (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019), Darts Masters (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), Champions League (2019)
Best World Championship Performance: Winner (2014, 2017, 2019)

The current champion and undisputed world number one goes into another tournament knowing that he is the man to beat. He hasn’t always had the crowd on his side here – he had a pint of beer thrown in his face during his first walk out last year – but that doesn’t seem to affect him. Yes, he was annoyed but it couldn’t stop him marching on to another final, which was followed by another dominant year. There were even times when his form looked shy of his best, yet being the winner he is, he won anyway, which is ominous for his would-be challengers.

The most likely of these, given current form, is world number three Gerwyn Price, who has finally found a way to beat the Dutchman. It is going to take a monument us effort to topple Mighty Mike here though as he looks to edge closer to Phil Taylor’s 16 trophy Ally Pally haul. The Dutchman’s supremacy is not only summed up by his three wins, but also the astonishing stats he has racked up, all by the age of 30. With 35 majors to his name and hitting five nine-darters in the past three years alone, MVG will once again be the man to beat at The Darts World Championship.

Betway Price: 5/4

FRIDAY DECEMBER 13

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • 4 x Matches

SATURDAY DECEMBER 14

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • 8 x Matches

SUNDAY DECEMBER 15

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • 8 x Matches

MONDAY DECEMBER 16

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • 8 x Matches

TUESDAY DECEMBER 17

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • 8 x Matches

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 18

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • 8 x Matches

THURSDAY DECEMBER 19

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • 84 x Matches

FRIDAY DECEMBER 20

Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • 8 x Matches

SATURDAY DECEMBER 21

Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • 8 x Matches

SUNDAY DECEMBER 22

Third Round (Best of 7 sets)

  • 6 x Matches

MONDAY DECEMBER 23

Third Round (Best of 7 sets)

  • 8 x Matches

FRIDAY DECEMBER 27

Third Round (Best of 7 sets)

  • 8 x Matches

SATURDAY DECEMBER 28

Fourth Round (Best of 7 sets)

  • 6 x Matches

SUNDAY DECEMBER 29

Quarter-Finals (Best of 9 sets)

  • 4 x Quarter-Finals

MONDAY DECEMBER 30

Semi-Finals (Best of 11 sets)

  • Semi-Final 1
  • Semi-Final 2

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 1

Final (Best of 13 sets)

  • Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

QUICK GLANCE AT THE 2020 PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DARTS

Venue: Alexandra Palace, London
Dates: Friday 13.12.2019 to Wednesday 01.01.2020
Format: Best of 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 sets
Current Champion: Michael van Gerwen
Where To Watch: Sky Sports
When To Watch: (1230, 1900 GMT)