Roy The Boy previews the Unibet Champions League of Darts which starts this week and he has bets on Michael Smith to beat Gary Anderson and James Wade to win his group.
The BBC have got their game
ITV have got Matt Chapman and the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) have got the BBC, that’s the hot news of the week. Chapman will continue his roll at At The Races and the PDC will continue giving the majority of their major events to SKY Sports.
However, if the BBC were to agree to broadcast the darting major’s: The World Champs, Grand Prix, World Matchplay, etc I think the PDC would drop SKY like a stone through water possibly leaving them with the Premier League which is, let’s face it, monotonous.
To accommodate the BBC, the PDC have created a brand new event, the Unibet Champions League of Darts. It will start on September 24th. Live from Cardiff it will feature 16 hours of live coverage split between BBC1 and BBC2.
To promote the PDC special editions of A Question of Sport and Blue Peter will air in the week leading up to the tournament and Radio 5 Live will be broadcasting from Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.
The eight-player event will see players split into two groups of four kicking off with a round-robin phase. The top two players from each group will then progress to knockout semi-finals and the final, with a £100,000 first prize on offer for the eventual winner.
Michael van Gerwen heads the current order of merit with £1.3 million in winnings incidentally, he also heads the betting for this event at a top-priced 5/6 (Ladbrokes).
It’s a competition restricted to the top eight from the PDC’s Order of Merit following July’s World Matchplay and that means eight of the ten players who contested the 16 week long Premier League at the start of the year and six of the eight players who have been busy over the summer months playing in the select field ‘Darts Masters’ events in Dubai, Auckland, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney and Perth.
The winners of these competitions respectively have been: Gary Anderson, Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen (MVG), Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor and MVG.
Since that tour concluded MVG has contested and won two tour events over the past two weekends in Germany. MVG beat Peter Wright 6-2 last weekend and an in-form Mensur Suljovic the previous week where the field included other Champions League of Darts contenders, James Wade and Michael Smith.
Suffice to say there is plenty of form on offer and MVG’s justifies his mantle as odds-on favourite. The player who does not deserve his place towards the top of the market is Gary Anderson.
The Scotsman was woeful in the last two ‘Darts Masters’ events, losing to Dave Chisnall in the second round of the Perth Masters and demolished 10-2 by Phil Taylor in the second round of the Sydney Masters. Amazingly he was in the second round following a woeful, albeit winning, 79.6 3-dart average in the opening round.
On recent form, which is the best indicator in this game, Anderson is no 11/2 shot for this competition and is also opposable against Michael Smith in his opening match against Michael Smith on Saturday.
Anderson can also be opposed in his group (Group B). It also consists of Smith, Lewis and James Wade. There is little between Wade and Lewis these days and the firms go 4/5 and 5/4 about the duo when the meet at 1.20pm on Saturday.
Yet Lewis is 5/2 to win this group and Wade can be backed at 9/2. By no means a confident selection, Wade at 9/2 is a clear value call.
Michael Smith to beat Gary Anderson (Saturday 12:15pm) at 3/1 with Betfred and Coral
Group B winner: James Wade at 9/2 with Bet365 and Betfred