2018 European Championship Darts Tips, Odds and Predictions
The time is here for our 2018 European Championship Darts tips and odds. It was a road that started in Leverkusen back in March; so it’s perhaps fitting that the finale of the 2018 PDC European Tour will take place in Germany too.
The European Championship has moved from its temporary Belgian home to the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund. Here, Michael van Gerwen is looking to capture a fifth consecutive title in this competition.
The Dutchman’s quest will be aided by the absence of Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld, amongst others. The 32-man field has been derived from the best players on the Order of Merit, and the Flying Scotsman and Barney simply haven’t played enough events to accumulate the necessary ranking points.
All eyes will be on MVG then. However, any notion that he will have things all his own way on German soil can be dispelled right now. Mensur Suljovic is in fine form and Peter Wright is eyeing revenge after defeat in the final of the World Grand Prix.
Tournament History & Format
The European Championship has been a staple of the PDC calendar since 2008, when Phil Taylor trounced his old mucker Adrian Lewis 11-5 to trouser a winner’s cheque of £50,000.
The Power, a four-time winner of the event, may no longer be on the circuit. However, there’s another name that features on the trophy on a quartet of occasions. Van Gerwen has lifted it for the past four years in a row; this means that in ten renewals there have only been four names inscribed on it: Taylor, Simon Whitlock (2012), Lewis (2013) and Van Gerwen.
The format is straightforward enough. The players’ rankings on the Order of Merit have been converted to seedings. Therefore, the number one (Van Gerwen) takes on number 32 (Paul Nicholson); the second seed (Suljovic) tackles the 31st (Cristo Reyes) and so on.
It’s a straightforward knockout event; it’s played over a best-of-11 legs in the first round; 19 in the second round and quarter finals, and then 21 for the semis and final.
As mentioned, there are some notable absentees from the field, and the way in which the seedings have been worked out has left some rather bizarre formulations.
So, Peter Wright finds himself down as the ninth seed, with the likes of Joe Cullen, Ian White and Max Hopp all above him in the rankings.
Even with the unusual seedings, the big boys have largely avoided each other in the first round. The pick of the ties is arguably Lewis’ dust-up with Dave Chisnall.
The Betting Favourites
With eight European Tour titles in 2018, most of which have come on German soil, Michael van Gerwen unsurprisingly takes favouritism with the bookies. He has a best price of 8/11 with tournament sponsors Unibet.
The reigning world champion, Rob Cross, is a general 12/1 shot with Coral amongst others. Then, there’s a huge disparity in the price of Michael Smith: as short as 16/1 in some quarters, punters can get 20/1 on Bully Boy with Betfred.
What do Steve Beaton, Wes Newton, Wayne Jones and Terry Jenkins all have in common?
They are all former finalists at the European Championship, and with none of those individuals particularly well fancied it just goes to show that punters perhaps shouldn’t be too hasty in writing off the outsiders!
There was something rather ominous about Michael van Gerwen at the European Darts Trophy. He lifted the cup, dropped just 13 legs in five matches and averaged at least 100 in each and 106+ in three of those.
Without Anderson and Van Barneveld in the field, are you really going to bet against the Dutchman?
It’s a shame, as it puts paid to another of our fancies – Michael Smith – who has been drawn in the same half as MVG. Bully Boy produced a couple of 102+ averages at the European Darts Trophy, and he is bubbling up into form at the right time of year.
But there’s another way to get the man from St Helens on board, and it’s a fine price too. Smith to win Quarter 2 is 9/4; that’s a section of the draw that features an out-of-sorts Rob Cross, the dangerous but beatable Joe Cullen and the mercurial Ian White, who remains outstanding in floor events. Unfortunately, he just can’t replicate that on stage in front of a crowd.
For our outright pick we have to look towards the bottom half of the draw….away from MVG. And once again we turn to Dave Chisnall.
Chizzy was something of a let-down for this column at the European Darts Trophy last time out, going down tamely to Smith in the last eight. However, let’s not overlook the fact he averaged a stonking 112 in the third round there.
Hot on the heels of a decent run at the World Grand Prix, where he averaged 97 over four sets in the double-in format against MVG, the man in yellow deserves another chance.
Fans of shorter price fancies should tuck into this last pick with relish. Mervyn King averaged just 73 in the first round of the World Grand Prix, and was then stuffed 0-6 by Martin Schindler in the European Darts Trophy.
You suspect the old bad back is troubling the King once more, and so Steve West will be highly confident of doing the job.
Best Bets for the European Darts Trophy 2018:
- Dave Chisnall Each Way (40/1, Betsson)
- Michael Smith to Win Quarter 2 (9/4, Unibet)
- Steve West to Beat Mervyn King (8/11, William Hill)