This tournament is possibly the toughest event there is on the circuit, harder even than the World Championship, due to the nature of qualification. There are no quotas that need to be filled from different geographical areas or anything else. Only the best in the two-year rankings along with the most in-form at the moment get to participate, resulting in 32 of the very best players arriving in Blackpool.
As always we would have liked to have taken the field versus MVG this week but his dreadful recent performances have seen the odds on that go from 11/10 to 2/1 on. Having 31 of the best players on side at odds against would have been perfect but sadly that is not an option. As an alternative we’re going for someone at a decent price on the other half of the draw to van Gerwen. The players who beat him often go out in the next round so in choosing the other side we give ourselves a better chance of a finalist.
Even then there is still danger but van Gerwen aside the top half also has a multitude of World Champions and finalists and Mensur Suljovic who made the Matchplay final last year. In the other half Peter Wright is the man of the moment but he doesn’t win the one in ten tournaments we’d need him to justify backing him. He may not change darts this time but sometimes he just can’t help himself when he knows best of all that he should stick to one set for a while. Unfortunately we have to leave him out on this occasion.
We also have Rob Cross who is perfectly capable on the face of it but somehow doesn’t convince. All the aspects of his game that are needed are there, as demonstrated by him winning the World Championship, but he’d need to be a great deal better than 7/1 for us to back him this week. We like Daryl Gurney and Gerwen price a lot, with the latter winning an event at 100/1 last year but again the odds now are poor and choosing one or the other when they’re potentially on a collision course does not appeal.
Long story short then we’re going to back Joe Cullen each way at 150/1 with William Hill, who are offering half the odds on players reaching the final when others are offering only a third. He’s on the ‘correct’ side of the draw and although it contains the aforementioned Gurney and Price he dealt with them both comfortably last year on the way to the quarter-final. That quarter-final match, versus eventual winner Gary Anderson, was one that Cullen had match darts for to win 16-14. He likes this tournament and the longer format and is capable of going even further this year.
How we placed our bet
Event: World Matchplay Darts
Betting Market: Outright
Selection: Joe Cullen
Bookie: William Hill
Stake: 0.25pt Each-way
Published on: Jul 20, 2019 @ 03:53