World Grand Prix Darts Betting Preview
The fantastic location of the Citywest Hotel in Dublin will play host to the 2018 World Grand Prix, one of the Professional Darts Corporation’s biggest tournaments on the calendar. Considered as a “major” in darts, this will certainly be a hotly contested tournament, as 32 of the best players on the PDC tour are involved. The action is scheduled to get underway on Sunday 30th September and will run through until the Final on Saturday 6th October, with all of the action live on Sky Sports.
Outright World Grand Prix Darts Tips
Peter Wright will have been devastated to lose the Champions League of Darts final last week. In the end, it seemed as if playing three matches in one day was too big of an ask, looking tired in the Final. He won’t have that issue in the World Grand Prix though, with a maximum of one match per day with a rest in between.
There are a few reasons why Bet UK have tipped ‘Snakebite’ to win the trophy with odds of 15/2* as part of our darts betting tips. His doubling is fantastic, and he puts in plenty of practice for this aspect of his game. With the double in, double out format Wright will have a slight advantage that he won’t usually have in a normal tournament. The Number 2 seed has also received a favourable draw, avoiding both Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson until at least the Final.
Starting against Steve West in Round One, Wright should progress through the first couple of rounds with little trouble and after that, his talent and many hours on the practice board should bring him through. Fellow Scotsman Gary Anderson at 13/2* is worth a look as well, as the Flying Scotsman has been in stunning form throughout 2018.
World Grand Prix Darts Betting Tips and Predictions
Friday 5th October - Semi-Finals
PETER WRIGHT vs MENSUR SULJOVIC
What a contest this one should be. Peter Wright, Bet UK’s pre-tournament outright tip, faces Mensur Suljovic for a place in the 2018 World Grand Prix darts final. ‘Snakebite’ had to fight for his place in the last four, as James Wilson battled from two sets down to level at 2-2 in the quarters. Peter Wright showed his class though, as well as holding his nerve at the crucial time to go on and win the contest. Wright hit ten 180s in that game too, so his scoring was certainly there. He goes into this contest as the slight 5/6* favourite when darts betting, in a match that may well go the distance in this best of 7 sets format. Suljovic beat Gerwyn Price in what also turned out to be a 3-2 thriller, showing that the Austrian can be wobbled if he is really tested.
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN vs DARYL GURNEY
Daryl Gurney shockingly destroyed Gary Anderson with a fantastic performance in the quarter-final. As has seemingly become the norm with matches involving Gurney, this was a bad-tempered affair, with Anderson visibly not happy at the end of the match. In terms of this semi-final, as Michael van Gerwen is such a heavy favourite to win at odds of 4/23*, the Handicap market may be worth a look. As this match is best of 7 sets, Daryl Gurney will need to win two sets in the match for the +2.5 Handicap tip to win. Considering his incredible performance against Gary Anderson, the defending World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney is capable of taking the game to MVG. He will be even more determined considering some of the things the World Number 1 had to say about him recently, including the fact that MVG does not think Gurney is good enough for the top 8.
Thursday 4th October - Quarter-Finals
MENSUR SULJOVIC vs GERWYN PRICE
Mensur Suljovic has undoubtedly been one of the most impressive performers in the 2018 World Grand Prix so far, disposing of two very capable players with ease. First, it was former two-time World Grand Prix champion James Wade that bore the brunt of the Austrian’s darting assault, and then the World Number 10 Ian ‘Diamond’ White stood little to no chance as Suljovic powered through. In that last 16 contest, ‘The Gentle’ only dropped one leg winning the other 9 convincingly. Mensur’s 64% checkout rate in that match is frightening too, proving that he is hitting the doubles that will be needed to win the tournament. Big checkouts are a feature of Suljovic’s game too, with the highest checkout of 129 against White. Under pressure, he is likely to stay cool, and if big checkout opportunities come his way then the Austrian is well placed to take them.
PETER WRIGHT vs JAMES WILSON
As Bet UK’s outright tip to win the tournament, Peter Wright is looking very impressive so far. He destroyed Steve West in round one, and followed that up with a demolition of Jermaine Wattimena in the last 16. The Scotsman was in control of the contest from start to finish, scoring 100+ on 31 occasions in the match. It is his consistency that could bring him through the tournament, with the draw being very kind to the World Number 2 so far. Mensur Suljovic could await in the semi-final, which would be a mouth-watering tie on current form. James Wilson has had an incredible run in this tournament, with shock wins against Simon Whitlock and Adrian Lewis. Up against a man of Peter Wright’s quality though, we believe he may come unstuck. When looking at the First Set Exact Score market on the Bet UK online sportsbook, Peter Wright to win 3-1 at odds of 11/4* looks like good value. Peter will want to get off to a fast start and taking the game to his opponent early in the first set will be part of his plan.
DARYL GURNEY vs GARY ANDERSON
Gary Anderson is on fire at the moment and looks to be almost unstoppable. After his convincing win at the Champions League of Darts in Brighton the weekend before last, The ‘Flying Scotsman’ is on cloud nine. He will not be worried about facing Daryl Gurney at all, and may already have one eye on the potentially huge semi-final clash with Michael van Gerwen. Many pundits believed that Jeffrey de Zwaan may cause Anderson some problems in the last 16, but the former two-time back to back World Darts Champion won 3-0 in sets, winning 9 legs to de Zwaan’s 1. Daryl Gurney is, of course, the defending World Grand Prix Champion, and he has benefitted a little bit by his opponents missing a lot of chances. At one point in the match, it seemed as if the World Number 46 Ron Meulenkamp had completely turned the tide and may knock the Northern Irishman out but Gurney held on to win. That match was slightly marred by Gurney’s on-stage antics, celebrating crucial shots in the general direction of his opponent. If he attempts anything similar against Gary Anderson it is only likely to inspire the Scotsman, so more 180s could be flying in.
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN vs DAVE CHISNALL
This could well be the best tie of what seems like a stacked quarter-final line-up. Dave Chisnall had struggled for around a year before this tournament and had even lost all three of his matches at the Champions League of Darts the week before. Since the World Grand Prix started though, Chizzy has been one of the standout players. He goes into this quarter-final as a big 19/4* outsider though, as Michael van Gerwen sits at 1/8*. MVG won his last 16 match with Darren Webster with ease, hitting five 180s. He was never troubled in that one, but Chisnall is likely to give him a much sterner test. The place to look from a darts betting perspective may be the Exact Set Score market, and we believe that Michael van Gerwen to win 3-1 at odds of 11/5* may be worth a look. After not winning some big recent tournaments, van Gerwen will feel like he needs this one. It’s tough to stop the ‘Green Machine’ when he is this determined.
UPDATED: Darts Results
Thursday October 4
Mensur Suljovic 3-2 Gerwyn Price Peter Wright 3-2 James Wilson Daryl Gurney 3-0 Gary Anderson Michael van Gerwen 3-1 Dave Chisnall
Wednesday 3rd October - Last 16
MENSUR SULJOVIC vs IAN WHITE
When Mensur Suljovic was drawn against James Wade in round one there was every chance that it could be a huge test. Wade has won numerous major titles over the years but was swept aside convincingly by ‘The Gentle’. A neat 112 checkout was the highlight of a match that ended up as very routine rather than the thriller we were hoping for. Ian White saw off youngster Josh Payne in what was a decent performance, hitting six 180s in the contest. It may be best avoiding the Exact Set Score market for this one as we’re not sure which Ian White will show up. He certainly has the ability to challenge a player of Mensur Suljovic’s quality, but then again a routine win for the Austrian would not be a huge shock either. This is the main reason why we have gone for the safety of Suljovic to win the match at odds of 4/9*.
STEVE BEATON vs GERWYN PRICE
The ‘Bronzed Adonis’ Steve Beaton produced the shock of the first round by knocking out the reigning PDC World Darts Champion Rob Cross. It was a 2-0 whitewash too, with Cross looking nowhere near his best. Beaton has plenty of experience though and knew that he still needed to take his chances. Only dropping one leg against the World Champ is no mean feat, while his three-dart average was almost ten points above cross too. Gerwyn Price is usually a fiery character and he came through some on-stage shenanigans to beat Danny Noppert 2-0. It is clear that the Welshman is not back to his best yet though after struggling in the Premier League earlier this year, he is also still recovering from a ruptured Achilles and is receiving ongoing treatment. Price is the darts betting favourite, but we fancy Beaton to pull out the victory here.
PETER WRIGHT vs JERMAINE WATTIMENA
Our outright tip to win the World Grand Prix 2018 Peter Wright was extremely convincing in his 2-0 first round victory over Steve West on Monday evening. ‘Snakebite’ averaged 98.02, one of the highest three-dart averages across the entire first round, and did not even allow his opponent a chance at a double so he was never even at risk of losing a leg. This is almost unheard of in the modern game and shows just how dominant Wright was in the contest. The Scotsman’s 60% on checkouts was impressive too, with the practice he puts in on doubles being one of the main reasons we have backed him for this particular double in, double out tournament. Jermaine Wattimena is a dangerous opponent having beaten Mervyn King 2-0, but the world number 2 Peter Wright is just a level above at the moment. His side of the draw has opened up nicely already too after Rob Cross’ early elimination. A 3-1 Exact Set Score for Wright in this one is 8/5* with Bet UK’s online betting sportsbook.
JAMES WILSON vs ADRIAN LEWIS
Both Adrian Lewis and James Wilson went into their round one contests as slight underdogs but produced fantastic performances to see off their talented opponents. Adrian Lewis vs Michael Smith was always expected to be the contest of the first round and it certainly delivered. The match was played with a great level of sportsmanship from both players, and it was the former two-time World Darts Champion Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis that that had his hand raised after the 2-1 win. Lewis hit seven 180s in the match and this was a performance that showed he really means business after losing form for the last year or so. The ‘Lethal Biscuit’ James Wilson knocked out last year’s beaten finalist Simon Whitlock in a shock, but Adrian Lewis has the pedigree and crucially now, the confidence, to beat Wilson and reach the semi-final.
UPDATED: Darts Results
Wednesday October 3
Mensur Suljovic 3-0 Ian White
Steve Beaton 1-3 Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright 3-0 Jermaine Wattimena
James Wilson 3-2 Adrian Lewis
Tuesday 2nd October - Last 16
DAVE CHISNALL vs RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
Darts is a sport that is all about momentum and after his first-round victory over Max Hopp, Dave Chisnall has plenty of it. Chizzy was majestic in his tournament opener, dispatching the German youngster with ease. With an impressive double start average of 92.03 and having hit four 180s in two sets of play, this is the Dave Chisnall that we’ve been waiting to see for the last year or so. Raymond van Barneveld is, of course, a fantastic player and a legend of the game, but he wobbled a little bit in his 2-1 win over ‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans. It was a majestic 164 checkout from Barney that completely turned that game in his favour. This is a tough game to call, hence the close odds, but we’re going for Dave Chisnall to edge it in what could be a thriller.
GARY ANDERSON vs JEFFREY DE ZWAAN
Both Gary Anderson and Jeffrey de Zwaan looked fantastic in their first-round outings. The Champions League of Darts winner Anderson followed on from that monumentous victory in Brighton last week to sweep aside Jonny Clayton with ease, only losing 1 leg in the entire match. Dutch prodigy Jeffrey de Zwaan kicked off the entire World Grand Prix tournament with a convincing 2-0 defeat of Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts. JdZ’s eye-watering three-dart average of 97.87 lead to his performance being called the best overall display in round one, and it’s hard to argue with that. Even so, Gary Anderson may well be the best player on the planet in his current form and it will take an unbelievable performance to topple him. The Bet UK tip is for Anderson to claim a 3-1 victory.
DARYL GURNEY vs RON MEULENKAMP
Daryl Gurney safely avoided what could have been a huge banana skin in his first-round contest against John Henderson. ‘Superchin’ won 2-0 in the end and capitalised on his opponent missing at crucial times, meaning the Northern Irishman didn’t really have to get out of 2nd gear. Ron Meulenkamp defeated a completely out of sorts Joe Cullen in a shock result, but he is not expected to go any further in the tournament. In round one, Gurney hit 66% (6/9) of his checkout opportunities while Meulenkamp was down at just 30% (6/20). That difference in the quality of finishing could well be what sees the defending World Grand Prix champion through. Against a player of Gurney’s quality, Meulenkamp will not get away with missing doubles.
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN vs DARREN WEBSTER
It has been widely discussed that 2018 has certainly not been the year of Michael van Gerwen. Big tournament wins have still occurred, such as his Premier League victory, but the year has been marred by some major failures. His level has clearly dropped slightly, so much so that there is now a genuine debate as to whether or not he is still the best player in the world at this moment in time. After overcoming Irishman Steve Lennon, who MVG mistakenly called ‘John Lennon’ in his post-match interview, van Gerwen looks in good shape to set up a potentially epic semi-final with Gary Anderson. We expect him to drop at least one set in this one though, hence our tip for Darren Webster +2.5 on the Handicap. The ‘Demolition Man’ destroyed Stephen Bunting in round one with a huge 98.02 average without even losing a leg. If he takes that form into this game, Webster will have a solid chance of claiming at least a set but his eyes will be firmly on getting the win outright and reaching the quarter-final.
UPDATED: Darts Results
Tuesday October 2
Dave Chisnall 3-0 Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson 3-0 Jeffrey De Zwaan
Daryl Gurney 3-2 Ron Meulenkamp
Michael van Gerwen 3-0 Darren Webster
Monday 1st October - Round One
JERMAINE WATTIMENA vs MERVYN KING
Starting off Monday’s session is a match that is really tough to call. Mervyn King goes in at a slight favourite of 4/5* at the time of writing, and it is his experience on the big stage that could be the difference in this one. Jermaine Wattimena is a confident man, but King has been around the block many times and knows how to pull out a victory when he needs to.
JOSH PAYNE vs IAN WHITE
Similar to Mervyn King, Ian White is a veteran that knows how to close out a victory. His opponent Josh Payne has done well in the ProTour events but lacks that big stage experience. White will be looking to go quite far in the tournament and to do so, he’ll have to get off to a really strong start.
GERWYN PRICE vs DANNY NOPPERT
Gerwyn Price is the favourite to claim a victory here, but he will admit that he’s not had the best year of his career so far. A disappointing debut Premier League campaign seemed to set him back quite a bit though he is now starting to recover. Danny Noppert is yet another in a long list of Dutch darts players making their mark, and the Bet UK tip is for him to claim at least a set in this contest.
PETER WRIGHT vs STEVE WEST
Peter Wright will have his eyes set firmly on going all the way in this tournament, and a fast start for him will be crucial for his momentum. Steve West is a very talented player too and is actually more of a 180 hitter than Wright himself. West knows that to have any chance against Snakebite he needs to come out of the traps quickly.
ROB CROSS vs STEVE BEATON
Things have not gone entirely to plan for Rob Cross since he sensationally won the PDC World Darts Championship in the first week of January. His whole 2018 seems to have been after the Lord Mayor’s Show, but he is still the same player as he was back then and the talent is there. Taking out big finishes will still be in his locker.
MENSUR SULJOVIC vs JAMES WADE
Mensur Mania has been running wild over the last couple of years, as the popular Austrian has won his fair share of big matches. The Gentle was unlucky to run into an unstoppable Gary Anderson in the Champions League of Darts Semi-final last week but he will fancy his chances of going far in Dublin. James Wade remains dangerous but has not quite recaptured his old form yet.
SIMON WHITLOCK vs JAMES WILSON
Simon Whitlock had a fantastic run at the World Grand Prix last year and will be looking for a repeat. His 2018 form has been decent too, carrying on the career resurgence after a few years in the wilderness. His opponent the Lethal Biscuit, one of the top nicknames in darts, is in the tournament as the second highest of the ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers and could well take a set off the Aussie. Whitlock should have enough to win though.
MICHAEL SMITH vs ADRIAN LEWIS
Michael Smith has had a pretty good 2018, reaching the Final of the Premier League after a gruelling campaign, as well as winning the 21.co.uk Shanghai Darts Masters with an 8-2 win over Rob Cross in the final. Adrian Lewis fell away but is returning to some sort of form, but not enough to see off Smith according to our darts tips.
UPDATED: Darts Results
Monday October 1
Jermaine Wattimena 2-0 Mervyn King
Josh Payne 0-2 Ian White
Danny Noppert 0-2 Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright 2-0 Steve West
Rob Cross 0-2 Steve Beaton
Mensur Suljovic 2-0 James Wade
Simon Whitlock 1-2 James Wilson
Michael Smith 1-2 Adrian Lewis
Sunday 30th September - Round One
JEFFREY DE ZWAAN vs KIM HUYBRECHTS
The young Dutchman Jeffrey de Zwaan is still only 22 years old but he has had a whirlwind of a year throughout 2018. As expected with his age, consistency was a major problem throughout 2017 but it seems as if this may be a thing of the past on the big stage. As well as performing well in various Players Championship tournaments early in the year, de Zwaan has defeated Michael van Gerwen in two TV tournaments, with his big scoring and 180s a feature of those victories.
RON MEULENKAMP vs JOE CULLEN
‘The Rockstar’ Joe Cullen has been a dangerous player on the PDC Tour in the last few years and seems to be a level above Ron Meulenkamp at this moment in time. Cullen will go into this first round tie full of confidence, as he will be expected to sweep aside the Dutchman that qualified as 16th on the ProTour Order of Merit.
DARREN WEBSTER vs STEPHEN BUNTING
Stephen Bunting has been out of the limelight for a while now, as he has really struggled to find any sort of form in TV events despite doing well on the Pro Tour. Darren Webster, on the other hand, is now an extremely consistent player that always seems to deliver. In Webster’s last TV event, the World Matchplay, he saw off World Champion Rob Cross 11-9. The World Number 14 could go far.
RICKY EVANS vs RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD
‘Rapid’ Ricky Evans is known on the tour for his speed, the nickname being a bit of a giveaway. He has been described by pundit Wayne Mardle as the quickest player he’s ever seen, and it’s hard to argue. Of course, this means that the crowd love watching him, while the legendary Raymond van Barneveld is popular everywhere he goes. A loud audience should get the players up for this one, meaning a fast start is probable.
DAVE CHISNALL vs MAX HOPP
Even when Dave Chisnall plays poorly, the huge power scoring is usually still there. Chizzy has struggled slightly in 2018, but he still knows how to pepper the 60. It’s his finishing that lets him down a lot of the time, so the Most 180s markets could be the place to look for this one.4/5 for Chisnall on the Bet UK sportsbook looks like good value.
DARYL GURNEY vs JOHN HENDERSON
Big Hendo absolutely loves this tournament, having beaten Michael van Gerwen in a shock result in round one last year. Though he eventually fell to Daryl Gurney himself in the Semi-final, the Scotsman had a fantastic run. It is very unlikely that he’ll go down without a fight here, so +1.5 on the handicap at 4/7* would see a win if he claims at least one set in the match.
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN vs STEVE LENNON
MVG is likely to be on the warpath. The Dutchman absolutely hates losing and therefore will not be happy with being beaten twice in the Champions League of Darts last week. Steve Lennon will have the crowd behind him, but that will probably just spur the World Number 1 on. Odds of 5/7* for van Gerwen to hit the most 180s in this one seems pretty generous considering his significant pedigree.
GARY ANDERSON vs JONNY CLAYTON
As well as being a power scorer, Gary Anderson can also snap up big checkouts when he needs to. The incredible 140 checkout against MVG in the Champions League of Darts last week was the ultimate test of his nerve. When put under any sort of pressure, the Flying Scotsman can take out the big numbers.
UPDATED: Darts Results
Sunday September 30
Jeffrey de Zwaan 2-0 Kim Huybrechts
Ron Meulenkamp 2-1 Joe Cullen
Darren Webster 2-0 Stephen Bunting
Ricky Evans 1-2 Raymond van Barneveld
Dave Chisnall 2-0 Max Hopp
Daryl Gurney 2-0 John Henderson
Michael van Gerwen 2-0 Steve Lennon
Gary Anderson 2-0 Jonny Clayton
World Grand Prix Darts Tip - Win Treble
Darren Webster To Win 20/27* - vs Stephen Bunting
Mervyn King To Win 4/5* - vs Jermaine Wattimena
Michael Smith To Win 4/5* - vs Adrian Lewis
World Grand Prix Darts Tournament Preview
The format of the tournament remains the same as previous years. There are 32 players in total, the top 16 in the PDC Order of Merit (the top 8 of which are seeded for the event) and the top 16 non-qualified players from the ProTour Order of Merit. What makes the World Grand Prix so interesting and unique is the double in rule. Players will not be able to start officially scoring in a leg unless they have hit a double to start. In the past, this rule has been a bit of a leveller for players that are great doublers but lack that big scoring power.
The tournament also takes a set format rather than just straight legs. Round One is the best of 3 sets, Round Two and the Quarter-finals the best of 5 sets, the Semi-finals the best of 7 sets and the Final as the best of 9 sets. Whoever outlasts the competition to win the 6th October final will be taking home a cheque for a cool £100,000, with the runner-up receiving £45,000.
Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney is the defending champion, having defeated Aussie Simon Whitlock 5-4 in a tense and ill-tempered 2017 final. Neither player was expected to reach the final last year, but there were plenty of shocks along the way that defied the darts odds. The seemingly unstoppable World Number 1 Michael van Gerwen was unceremoniously dumped out in round one by Scotland’s John Henderson, a man that will face current champ Gurney in round one this year.
MVG himself will have the partisan crowd against him as he takes on the Republic of Ireland’s own Steve Lennon in Dublin on Night One. Mighty Mike will be looking to bounce back from last weekends disappointment in the Champions League of Darts as he crashed out at the semi-final stage. Champions League winner Gary Anderson will head to Dublin full of confidence for his first round tie with Wales’ Jonny Clayton, while the man Anderson overcame in last week’s final Peter Wright will take on Steve West.
Another intriguing Round One contest includes the all English matchup between former two time World Champion Adrian Lewis and the upcoming Michael Smith. Mensur Suljovic vs James Wade also stands out as a phenomenal looking first round fixture.
From a darts betting perspective, this will be a very interesting tournament with plenty of potential for fireworks.
*All odds from Bet UK’s online sportsbook correct at the time of writing.
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