The 2018 Premier League Darts season is coming to an end. Four players will compete at London’s O2 Arena on Finals Night this Thursday and picking a winner is proving to be quite difficult.
Michael Van Gerwen, looking for a third Premier League title in a row, is as short as 1/2 in 888sport’s darts betting odds but there is little to choose between the top four.
Just four points separated the semi-finalists during the regular season and darts fans have learned to expect the unexpected on Finals Night.
Without further ado, here is our take on Thursday’s action – including a look at our current list of special bets for the Premier League Darts showpiece.
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN vs ROB CROSS
Van Gerwen is a 1/6 shot to defeat Cross here – the world number one is almost too short in my opinion.
Yes, Van Gerwen has been supreme this year but Cross had the beating of him at the World Championships and you never know. A slow start for ‘Mighty Mike’ could be costly and his double-hitting can be dodgy.
In terms of power scoring, Van Gerwen is the best in the business though. Daryl Gurney was the only player to record more 180s than the Dutchman during the regular season and the 22/25 for over 5.5 Van Gerwen maximums is worth considering.
By the same token, 9/10 for the world number one to hit more 180s than his opponent is also a decent bet.
Cross fans will be tempted by the 4/1 available for the world champion to prevail. He failed to inspire confidence during the early stages of the 2018 Premier League campaign but his form has picked up in recent weeks.
Over 15.5 legs is tempting at 7/10; Cross is more than capable of taking this one all the way to a decider.
TIP: Van Gerwen to hit six or more 180s @ 22/25
MICHAEL SMITH vs GARY ANDERSON
Smith was simply sublime for most of the regular season but he may come unstuck against Anderson on Thursday night.
The ‘Flying Scotsman’ is one of darts’ most consistent players and the 6/5 on offer for Anderson to win and hit more 180s than his opponent could be the best bet of the evening.
‘Bully Boy’ is no slouch though and he is more than capable of holding his own. As of May 15th, 888sport punters can back over 10.5 180s at EVS and both players have the talent to surpass that tally with relative ease.
When Smith gets going, he is very difficult to stop and a high scoring encounter looks likely.
On paper, this isn’t the standout contest but it may surprise us all. Some will fancy Anderson to run riot but he is short at 7/20. Instead, opting for an exciting affair with lots of 180s may be the best way to go.
Watch this space; over 16.5 legs at 4/5 is well worth a small wager ahead of what could be a memorable playoff clash.
TIP: Anderson to win and hit more 180s @ 6/5
Fancy a high-scoring night? Punters can get 9/10 on over 32.5 combined 180s in both semi-finals and the final; a price worth taking considering just how talented these four players are.
All four men combined for 208 maximums during the regular season and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see that power scoring continue on Thursday night.
At the time of writing, a nine-dart finish is available at 11/2. We are yet to see the darting equivalent of snooker’s 147 in the 2018 competition but all four players will be looking to rewrite the history books here.
Van Gerwen has hit five nine-dart finishes during his career and the world number one will be eyeing up another perfect leg on the big stage.
Last but not least, the 170 checkout is also on offer at a very reasonable 3/1. With so much at stake, players will be looking to leave a finish of any kind – we could see a few chances on 170.
If nothing else, a small wager on this is well worth it.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*