We are fourteen weeks into the 2019 Premier League Darts tungsten fest, and yet we are barely any closer to identifying who will take to the O2 Arena for the play-offs in a fortnight’s time. Here are our top Premier League Darts 2019 week fourteen betting tips.
Okay, so we know that it won’t be Peter Wright or Michael Smith in the final four as they are now mathematically out of the running.
And we do know that it’s likely that Michael van Gerwen and Rob Cross will finish first and second in the table….in which order, well, that remains to be seen.
Otherwise, just two points separates James Wade in third place with Gerwyn Price in sixth; which mans the finale of the league phase of this tournament is set up beautifully.
And so it’s off to Sheffield for Week 14, where we’ll surely go a whole lot closer to knowing the identities of the final four.
James Wades Through Choppy Waters
It was a feisty old affair, but James Wade saw off the threat of Gerwyn Price in Manchester last time out.
Something was amiss early on in their encounter, and while the TV cameras didn’t reveal exactly why Price was furious with Wade for an undisclosed reason. Continuously shaking his head and stepping away from the oche when throwing, there was no handshake at the end of an ill-tempered clash which ended 8-4 to the Machine.
Wade made no apologies afterwards and protested his innocence, and besides he has no reason to be down: victory here will all but secure his spot at the O2 for the finals.
One of the curiosities of this Premier League has been the form of his opponent this week, Michael Smith.
Bully Boy has a higher tournament average than four of the seven players above him in the league table, and yet it’s still perfectly possible that he will finish bottom of the pile.
They say that winning is a habit, but losing can be rather habitual too. Smith has carved himself an unusual niche as a ‘good loser’, but he remains a danger nonetheless.
Cross Plots a Path to the Summit
It would be a real signal of intent from Rob Cross if he could top the Premier League table ahead of Michael van Gerwen, who has had an almost monopoly-like stranglehold on this event in recent years.
Voltage is currently one point clear of MVG, and he will know that wins in his remaining matches will keep him clear at the summit.
There’s been no fluke to Cross’s ascension – he averages exactly 100 from 14 matches played, and he is clearly at home on these big stages.
He faces the unusual challenge presented by Mensur Suljovic this week, a player who continues to gather points despite recording lowly averages almost as a given.
Forget the Gentle’s nickname, he is a darting predator: stalking his prey and grinding them down before going in for the big kill.
Only Peter Wright has a lower tournament average, so how else can we explain Suljovic’s 17-point haul?
He strung together five straight wins over Cross too in all competitions, but Voltage halted that run with victory in the German Darts Masters. Perhaps the spell has been broken?
Snakebite Still Searching for Answers
The third match of the night sees Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price battle it out as the quest for the top four intensifies.
Both will be watching the Cross vs Suljovic match with interest, as defeat for the Gentle will leave both men capable of leapfrogging the Austrian into the play-off places.
On paper this is a match that is too close to call, and the bookies’ odds are confirmation of such. Gurney is a wafer-thin favourite at 7/5 with Betfred, while Price is a smidgen behind at 6/4 with Bet365.
Perhaps the head-to-head records can split them. Price leads their battles 8-2, and that perhaps confirms the narrative that Gurney struggles against opponents who are aggressive in their approach to the game.
No Sympathy for Snakey
One of those annoying ‘millennial’ terms that seems to have crept into contemporary parlance is ‘frenemy’, i.e. the idea that two people can simultaneously be friends and enemies.
It’s enough to make doyennes of the English language shudder, but it’s actually a handy way to describe the relationship between Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright both on and off the oche.
They have been locking horns for the best part of a decade on darts’ frontlines, with MVG triumphing in 55 of their 72 meetings.
The pair could not stand each other when they first locked horns, with Wright’s ‘Snakebite’ persona really grinding the Dutchman’s gears.
But there’s a bit more respect between them these days; although Van Gerwen will have no qualms about kicking a snake when he’s down.
The Scot is playing pretty mediocre darts by anyone’s standards let alone his own, and MVG, with that top-of-the-table subtext going on, will not be in sympathetic mood here.
James Wade will need to be on his guard against Michael Smith in the opening match of the night; Bully Boy is playing better than the league table suggests.
There is lots of mileage in the Over 13.5 Legs line here, which is available at a tasty 6/5 with Ladbrokes.
Mensur Suljovic continues to scrap for results, and he is a dangerous opponent for anyone; not least Rob Cross at odds-on status with the bookies.
Their 6-6 head-to-head record suggests Voltage isn’t all that comfortable playing against the Austrian’s idiosyncratic style, and we expect a low-quality affair to unfold as a result. Under 6.5 Maximums could be the play at even money with Ladbrokes.
And finally, it could be a testing night for Peter Wright, who is playing nowhere well enough to even challenge against Michael van Gerwen.
Will Snakebite find another gear? More likely is that MVG, in his desperation to finish top, will dish out an almighty thrashing, so backing the Dutchman with a -3.5 Leg Handicap at 22/25 with Unibet looks wise.