Well, an interesting day yesterday, with Stompe bringing the A-game, not Merv. Dudbridge and Tabern brought a great match that showed that both of them seem to have no bottle, with Tabern proving to have even less bottle than Flash. Taylor did what was needed, as did Thornton and McDine looked reasonably impressive. So, let's get the next rond of matches out of the way and I think we'll get a few crackers today.
Colin Lloyd Vs Denis Ovens:
R1 - Lloyd bt Magnus Caris 3-1
R1- Ovens bt Jan van der Rassel 3-1
Well, probably not going to be a classic to start the day off. Thanksfully, it's on first, so things can only get better. Ovens looked awful in the first round and he's lucky that Van der Rassel isn't in the same league as a lot of PDC players. Lloyd looked pretty handy against Caris, who was probably the most impressive of the qualifiers from the prelims. Lloyd looks a formality, but do we want to take a 2/5 shot on for a player who has blown hot and cold over the last couple of years? Short answer: no. However, the 180s line seems a bit high for a match we can see being over quite quickly if Lloyd plays the same against Ovens as he's capable of. There could be around 20 legs in this, so the line of 7.5 is a bit high for a pair that scored 2 180s between them in their first round matches.
Under 7.5 180s in Lloyd Vs Ovens match: 10/11 @ Blue Square.
Recommend: 1.5 units @ 10/11
John Part Vs Kirk Shepherd
R1 - Part bt Toon Greebe 3-0
R1 - Shepherd bt Scott Burnett 3-0
A rematch of the 2008 final. Part was awesome in his match, which was a potential banana skin, Shepherd did what he needed to do. If Part plays the darts he did against Greebe, he'll win 4-0. The prices and the lines seem about right for this match. We don't think there will be too many legs in this match and althoug there is the potential for a glut of 180s and a decent checkout, a short match might scupper those plans and we don't think the prices are worth the risk.
Recommend: No bet.
Kevin Painter Vs Vincent van der Voort:
R1 - Painter bt Mensur Suljovic 3-1
Van der Voort bt Dylan Duo 3-0
This could be the sleeper of the round. Both men are capable of playing good darts on their day and show no signs of bottling it in front of the camera. VDV had a very easy match against the shocking Dylan Duo. Painter was another one who might have slipped up against Mensur Suljovic, but took to the task well and beat his opponent who's taken some big scalps in his time. The head-to-head is 3-3 with 1 draw, although they've never played each other in front of the TV cameras before. This is a seriously tight match and the prices reflect this. But both men are big game players capable of big scoring and big checkouts and we like the look of the big checkout, considering Painter can hammer in some 150+ outs when the mood takes him.
Highest checkout over 125.5 in the Painter Vs Van der Voort match: 10/11 @ Stan James.
Recommend: 1 unit @ 10/11.
Mark Webster Vs Peter Manley.
R1 - Webster beat Mark Walsh 3-2
R1 - Manley bt Andy Jenkins 3-2
A very interesting match between a young former World Champion who is on the rise against a man who is trying to climb his way back up the rankings after a wayward year or two. Webster picked up a big win against the in-form Mark Walsh, while Manley came from behind against a man similar to him, Andy Jenkins. Manley has the experience on the PDC stage, whilst there is no doubting Webster's ability and his desire to make a name for himself in the PDC after moving from the BDO in a widely publicised move. Head to head, it's 1-1, although Webster won the last encounter 9-4 at the UK Open. Webster is a ridiculously short 1/2 (various), but he's a deserved favourite. I can see him winning this, but not getting it all his own way. This is probably a match we want to be watching rather than betting on, so we're happy to sit this out and savour a World Champion playing a Worl Championship finalist.
Recommend: No bet.
Raymond van Barneveld Vs Brendan Dolan.
R1 - Van Barneveld bt Warren Parry 3-0
R1 - Dolan bt Tony Eccles 3-1
I don't think there's much to write about here. This is, on paper, a complete mis-match. Barney wasn't troubled in his first round match and didn't drop a leg on his way to a comfortable victory. His average wasn't anywhere near what it could be and it didn't have to be. Brendan Dolan had a great win against Tony Eccles and will probably be more than happy just to get past Eccles - anything more is simply a bonus. I can't see there being many legs, so the 180s market isn't going to be a worthwhile play and with Barney not seemingly firing on all cylinders yet, the highest checkout market isn't worth a play. The handicap market is worth a look, but with Barney being so inconsistent, Dolan might get the 2 sets he needs and at the short prices, it's not worth the punt. The market, much like those featuring Phil Taylor, are prohibitive and it leave us with a watching brief.
Recommend: No bet.
Ronnie Baxter Vs Gary Anderson.
R1 - Baxter bt Haruki Muramatsu 3-0
R1 - Anderson bt Jamie Caven 3-2
Game of the day? Yes. Game of the round? Possibly. Both men are seasoned campaigners and both posted nice averages in the first round, with Anderson being pushed all the way against Caven. Baxter didn't have it all his own way against the Japanese qualifier, but he still looked impressive taking him out, albeit without any maximums. Anderson looks a little short at 2/5, but we think he'll take this match. Now, while Anderson is capable is firing in 180s, Baxter is more of a 140 machine. The fact he didn't hit on maximum in his first round match is a bit of a worry. Add to the fact that Anderson only hit 5 over 5 set and 21 legs means that it might not be the 180-fest the bookies think.
Under 11.5 180s in Baxer Vs Anderson match: 4/5 @ Stan James.
Recommend: 2 units @ 4/5
Summary: There are some cracking matches for us today. Anderson has a chance to prove he's worth of being thought of as an upper echelon PDC player if he can score a big win of Ronnie Baxter. Manley and Webster has the potential to be a classic encounter and VDV and Kevin Painter will certainly put on a show.
So, enjoy the darts and happy betting!
Bets made: 11
Profit: +7.975 units.