The first round of the PDC World Championship is now complete and things are starting to get serious at Alexandra Palace, where we have 32 of the world’s best players competing for the ultimate prize in the sport of darts.
Phil Taylor v Jerry Hendriks
Phil Taylor cruised through his first round match against Mickey Mansell and has had time to head north and recharge his batteries for a second round tie against the unseeded Jerry Hendriks.
Hendriks was a surprise 3-0 winner against Wayne Jones in the first round although The Power is no bigger than 1/16 to claim victory in this match and he should get to four sets before his opponent can cause any damage.
Taylor can be backed at even money to win 4-0 in sets while you can get 9/4 about a 4-1 victory although there wasn’t a great deal between the averages of the two players in the first round.
Adrian Lewis v Denis Ovens
Jackpot was slow out of the blocks in his first round match against Gino Vos before upping his game to claim a 3-1 victory and the reigning champion will now face a veteran of the sport who looks ripe for the taking.
Denis Ovens went as far as the quarter finals in 2005 although the 55-year-old is the 31st seed and looks likely to be outclassed by a player who will want to show Michael van Gerwen he has competition on his hands should the pair meet in the last eight.
Lewis looks a virtual certainty at odds of 1/10 and the 4-0 whitewash looks an attractive bet at 13/8 considering that the two-time champion is likely to raise his game, while Ovens scrambled through his first round match against Max Hopp.
Raymond van Barneveld v Brendan Dolan
Dolan is the 20th seed in the competition and looked reasonably good during his first round whitewash of Mark Jones, although the man from northern Ireland looks to have his work cut out against the form horse of the first round.
Raymond van Barneveld appears to have come out of the darts wilderness and played some outstanding arrows en route to a thrashing of Michael Smith, with the Dutchman averaging 108 and he is hard to oppose in this match.
Barney is a best price 1/6 to claim victory and Ladbrokes go 5/2 about him winning by a 4-0 scoreline, although Dolan is a pretty decent competitor who could well grab a set or two before being defeated.
If you fancy the underdog to succeed, he’s a 5/1 chance to win and he might be worth siding with on the handicap as Barney will have to break Dolan a couple of times to claim a whitewash.