van Gerwen remains the darts betting favourite despite scare in round one
There has already been plenty of drama at the Alexandra Palace as the PDC World Championship heads into the second round.
Ten seeds have already been knocked out of the tournament while the favourite suffered a huge scare to qualify for round two. Keep reading for our preview of the second round of the 2016 PDC World Championship.
Top four safely into round two as seeds fall at the Ally Pally
We tipped Darren Webster to see of seeded John Henderson in round one and after an excellent 3-1 win the Englishman now faces a much tougher task in round two. Webster plays tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen who was given an almighty shock by qualifier Rene Eidams in round one.
The German came from 2-0 down to level the match at 2-2 and the number one seed was relieved to come through the match. He said: “I slipped away for one or two legs and then he was playing well. He didn’t play bad after that; he had a couple of good finishes. I never should be in that position, never ever. How did I get in that position from 2-0 up? It’s a good lesson for me for the next round.
“Always when you’re the massive favourite you concentrate in the beginning but then it slips and there’s a little bit less concentration. I didn’t play a lot worse after that but I had two legs with very poor moments and that gave him confidence and I never should do that,” he added.
Gary Anderson had a much easier time of it in his 3-0 win over Andy Boulton. The reigning champion averaged just under 100 in his victory and is 1/7 to beat Daryl Gurney who put out 31st seed Jamie Lewis. Fellow Scotsman Peter Wright was also impressive in a 3-0 win over Keegan Brown and he is 3/25 to beat Ronny Huybrechts.
Phil Taylor also cruised into round two in his pursuit of a 17th world title. The Power beat qualifier Keita Ono, dropping just one leg despite trialling a new set of darts.
“It’s all about surviving the first round,” said Taylor. “I’ve only had these new darts for one day and I’ve been practising brilliantly with them but it was a different atmosphere when I got up there.”
Taylor will now face Kevin Painter in a repeat of their classic 2004 final after ‘The Artist’ recorded a 3-0 victory over Kim Viljanen, who had earlier come from a set down to defeat Sven Groen in the preliminary round. The third seed is 1/9 to win.
Darts betting outsiders represent good value as seeds fall
There were always likely to be some upsets in the ‘best of five’ set opening matches and a number of seeds have already exited this year’s tournament.
We tipped Joe Murnan to see off Andy Hamilton in round one and the 32 year-old rewarded backers with a 3-2 win. Murnan faces another unseeded player in round two in the shape of Alan Norris, who recorded the biggest upset of the tournament so far with his 3-0 win over 6th seed Robert Thornton. Murnan is 11/5 to cause another upset.
It could also pay to follow Ricky Evans. Evans only secured his World Championship place with a win in the PDPA Qualifier to secure a World Championship place but shocked world number ten Simon Whitlock with a sensational comeback win in the match of the tournament so far.
Whitlock led by two sets and two legs but when the Australian missed two match darts, Evans launched an incredible fightback. The former PDC World Youth Championship finalist won six straight legs to level the match at two sets apiece, and after the pair shared four legs in the decider to force a tie-break, the 25-year-old held his nerve with a roof-raising 130 checkout.
Evans is 6/5 to eliminate 23rd seed Jamie Caven.
There looks to be a terrific encounter between 16th seen Raymond van Barneveld and 17th seed Stephen Bunting and the Englishman is good value at 7/5. World number 25 Steve Beaton has an excellent chance of putting out 8th seed Michael Smith at 15/4 while Christian Kist was in excellent form in round one and could surprise Dave Chisnall at 15/4.
The 2016 PDC World Championship second round kicks off at 6.15pm on Saturday 26th December as Ricky Evans takes on Jamie Caven. See all the odds here https://www.betbright.com/darts
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.