The crowd at the Westpoint Arena certainly got their money’s worth last Thursday night. A raucous audience in Exeter saw the maximum number of legs that could possibly have been played in one evening of Premier League darts as each of the five matches went to the very final leg.
Peter Wright continues to lead the way but it was the poor form of former champion Phil Taylor that once again made the headlines. Can The Power turn it around in Nottingham this week? Keep reading for our preview of Thursday night’s matches.
Draws bust plenty of betting coupons
For the first time since 2012, Thursday’s Premier League ties saw three of the matches end in a draw. With many punters generally selecting one of the two players to win the match in accumulator bets, draws can often be an annoying coupon buster.
So, should we be paying more attention to the prospect of a draw? Statistics show we possibly should. Over the last three years (excluding play-offs) the figures are:
• 2014 – 5 drawn matches (20 per cent)
• 2013 – 10 drawn matches (14 per cent)
• 2012 – 13 drawn matches (23 per cent)
And, it is rare that a week goes by without at least one match ending in a tie. It has only happened twice this season so far and there was a draw in 8 out of 14 weeks in 2013.
So, we should probably be looking to include a draw on our coupon each week. But, deciding which match may end up as a tie is not quite so easy. Not many thought Robert Thornton would be able to match Premier League leader Peter Wright last week while Dave Chisnall consistently outscored Raymond van Barneveld in Exeter but still only managed a 6-6 tie.
Wright leads the way after draw in Exeter
For the third week in a row it is Peter Wright that opens this week’s event, to be held at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham. Snakebite remains unbeaten this season so far and plays Simon Whitlock who finally registered his first points of the season last week with a 7-5 triumph over Robert Thornton.
Whitlock hit a 150 on his way to a narrow win last week but we fancy Wright to continue his good form at 10/11.
Taylor still struggling with four defeats from five
We tipped Gary Anderson at a tasty 3/1 to see off the struggling Phil Taylor last week and we were again rewarded for our bravery. Taylor missed two darts at double 14 in the deciding leg with Anderson taking out 97 on double ten to move into the top four with a third win of the season.
It has been a huge struggle for The Power this season and opposing the former champion has been the way to profit in 2014. His opponent in Nottingham is Dave Chisnall who is also struggling having not won a Premier League match since the opening night. While all the value is in Chisnall at 12/5, Taylor could sneak this one at 7/10.
Michael van Gerwen admitted last week that he ‘didn’t turn up’ and threw away a 6-3 lead to draw with Adrian Lewis. The world champion is 3/10 and should be backed to beat Wes Newton who is returning after missing last week’s event with a bout of tonsillitis.
Raymond van Barneveld has been in good form this season and is 9/10 to beat Robert Thornton. Thornton did average a full 15 points more than Barney in Exeter last week and could register his second win of the campaign at 19/10.
The final match is a tough one to call. Gary Anderson has won two in a row and plays Adrian Lewis whose form has been mixed so far. The pair have almost identical records after five weeks and the draw could be the sensible call at 4/1.
Wright v Whitlock is the first match up at the Capital FM Arena on Thursday night. Let’s hope it’s another great night of darts betting live from the Capital FM Arena tomorrow night!