Day three of the PDC World Championships is upon us and the first two nights of action have just flown by. While the action hasn't been top class at times, there has been a lot of excitement and one or two upsets, which also adds to the drama.
I'm writing this in my hotel room in London after witnessing a heartbreaking night of darts. We are 0-4 for the first two days, -5 units and our luck has been rotten. While Steve Farmer didn't show up on day one and Beaton and Hylton failed to fire on all cylinders, we got unbelievably unlucky on day two. Tony Eccles missing around 20 darts at doubles was so frustrating and the fact he lost 3-0, taking each set all the way, just proves how important doubling is in darts. And before that, a match that most expected to finish 3-0 or 3-1 goes all the way and we miss out on the 180 bet by one maximum scored right near the end of the match. Yes, frustrating, but it's a marathon, not a sprint, to coin a terrible cliche!
Here are all the free bets on offer during the PDC World Championships
So, let's shake the disappointment of last night off and get on with our tips for day three of the PDC World Championships.
Andy Hamilton vs Dennis Smith.
This is an interesting match to start the night's action, with both men capable of some heavy scoring at times. Both men have been absent from our TV screens for a while, but Hamilton is still playing to a decent level, while Smith seems to have fallen away a bit. This is reflected in the priced, with Hamilton a 2/7 favourite to win. However, honours are even between the two, although they've never met in a televised tournament.
The form of both men has been indifferent as of late, but Hamilton seems to have what it takes to get the job done. I don't think this match will be a classic, but it should be entertaining. The thing is, both men aren't the most prolific 180 scorers, but huge on the 140s. The line for 180s is 5.5 and I think there's a good chance it might just scrape uder this, as the match also has the potential to be a quick finish.
Recommend: 1 unit.
Matt Padgett vs Morihiro Hashimoto (Prelim match).
Matt Padgett is a warm order to beat the Japanese qualifier and quite right, too. Padgett is a decent player on his day, while Hashimoto is an unknown quantity. However, 2/5 is no price for a best of 7 match, so we'll just sit this match out.
Recommend: No bet.
Mark Dudbridge vs Alex Roy.
The commentators should have a field day with this match, with both men tipped as future world champions and both failing to live up to expectations. It's been a quiet time for both players, with both of them being off our screens for quite some time.
Roy leads the head-to-head 2-0, with the last televised win coming in the World matchplay back in 2006. However, roy has struggled on the floor until the recent qualifying tournament, with some poor finishes, mostly ending up going out in the last 64. Dudbridge's form has been slightly better, although not much. So this looks like it could be a close affair and the bookies think so, too.
Just going on recent form, it might be worthwhile siding with Alex roy simply because he showed some good form in winning his place here, coming through an extremely strong field. At 5/4, it's a decent price, although not worthy of a huge bet.
Recommend: 1 unit.
Simon Whitlock vs Steve Evans.
Last year's runner-up, Simon Whitlock, faces a somewhat unknown quantitty in Steve Evans. There will be a lot expected of Whitlock here, especially after his terrible appearance at the Grand Slam of Darts. He looked back to somewhere near his best in the PDC World Cup and I can't see Evans posing too much of a threat to him. The Welshman will need to put in the performance of his life and the pressure might just take its toll. At around 1/20, we'll just sit back and watch one of the greats in action.
Recommend: No bet.
Gary Anderson vs Padgett/Hashimoto.
As always with these matches, there are no prices up yet. Gary Anderson will be looking to stamp his authority on the PDC by making it deep into this tournament and he knows at least a semi-final is within his grasp. This first match should pose no problems, Anderson will be a fantastically short price, whoever his opponent is, so again, just watch the match and enjoy it, because when Anderson is on form, he's a joy to watch.
So, two more bets tonight to hopefully get us back on track. The end of the night is quite quiet for us, but we should have two stellar performances to watch with two of the PDC's cream in action.
Enjoy the darts and, as ever, happy betting!