Rag2gar previews the Quarter Final matches in the PDC World Championships and he takes another look at the Outright winner market now that the tournament has developed.
With only eight players remaining in the 2015 PDC World Darts Championship, I am nothing short of delighted that both my selections of Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson are still very much in contention as we approach the quarter final stage. The preview that was originally posted on Betswot can be accessed HERE.
What's further encouraging is that they have been given the absolute pick of the quarter final ties en route to the semi finals. What's less encouraging however is the potential semi finals they face.
It's rare that the best four at the start of any knockout competition all end up in the semi finals but if the four favourites win their four quarter finals (and I think they will) we will literally have the best four players in the world right now contesting the semi finals and finals of this year's World Championships.
A quick glance at the pre-tournament betting for any PDC event over the past two years will tell you who the best two players in the world are right now. Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor. What isn't as easy to decipher is who the next best two are.
For me I think it comes down to who is hot lately between Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis. They're both exceptionally streaky players, but at this moment in time it's Anderson who's on form. However, if you were to ask me who has been the player of 2014 I would have to say Stephen Bunting. For two reasons. Firstly, he was a genuinely convincing winner of the Lakeside less than 12 months ago when he dominated the tournament from start to finish. Secondly, Bunting has competed sterlingly well in a really short space of time whilst in the PDC against a far tougher class of opponent than that which he was used to beating when he was winning trophies in the BDO. His obliteration of 8-time major winner and PDC stalwart James Wade in the second round only days ago perhaps best emphasised this.
So what we're looking at (potentially) in the semi finals, is the four best players in the world right now fighting it out to see who becomes this year's World Champion. Exciting stuff.
Until then, let's have a look at the four quarter finals themselves.
Bunting v Barneveld
Bunting has been a revelation this past 12 months. His demolition of James Wade in the 2nd round is still very fresh in my memory and I think he'll dispose of another PDC stalwart in Raymond Van Barneveld in the quarter finals.
Van Barneveld seemed to have the luck of his life in defeating Adrian Lewis in the previous round and I think it's sure to run out against 'The Bullet' on January 2nd.
Anderson v Wright
A watching brief is strongly advised here for those who have backed Anderson in the outright markets. That accompanied ideally by a large whiskey. The most unpredictable player in darts should have the beating of Wright but you can just never be sure with Gary Anderson. I think he'll get the win but there's sure to be heart attacks along the way for his followers. Deep breaths are further advised.
Taylor v Van Der Voort
Phil Taylor had quite a fight in his last 16 match but the man he beat Kim Huybrechts is one of the absolute best players there is in darts at the moment. He's well able to score. Dogged. And just a very decent all round player. His next opponent Vincent Van Der Voort will not pose half as big a threat as Huybrechts did and Taylor will win comfortably to book a potential semi final against either Stephen Bunting or Raymond Van Barneveld. I actually think Taylor could win this one 5-0.
MVG v Thornton
I don't like how Michael Van Gerwen's been throwing for quite some time now. He's been winning but he doesn't look as electric as he did last year. He will probably win again against Thornton but I think once he faces a real quality opponent like Taylor, like Anderson, then I think his reign as World Champion will be finished. I like Thornton on the handicaps here. He's gritty enough to take a few sets and make a game of this one. Plus he's playing a slightly below his best MVG.
The only stand-out in the adjustments being made in the outright market as the World Championship progresses is the distinct lack of contraction in Gary Anderson's price. He seems to be going really unnoticed in this tournament.
I'm slightly baffled at how his outright price has barely shortened considering he's into the last eight, has a nice quarter final draw and has been playing the best darts of the tournament so far.
If he can keep his foot to the floor akin to the manner in which he destroyed Jelle Klassen in the last three sets of their second round tie I think he can go all the way this year.
If you haven't had a chance to bet on the outright market yet I think Gary Anderson is still a very nice bet at the current odds available.