Welcome to OpenOdds’ weekly Darts round-up! Join us for a look back at what’s happened, and a look forward to what’s in the pipeline, in the world of competitive darts. We’ll also take a look at the smartest bets you can make in the upcoming weeks, with the recently-crowned PDC and BDO champions getting back into the swing of things for a 2019/20 calendar – which promises to be intriguing for what happens both at, and away from, the oche.
Van Barneveld Out Of Form, But In The Premier League
Controversy has reigned over the selection of competitors for the PDC’s Premier League Darts season, which gets underway on the 7th of February. The ten names announced include a Wild Card in the form of Dutch master Raymond van Barneveld, back for his fourteenth and possibly last tilt at the title.
“Barney” is outside the Top Ten ranking places – eighteen places outside it in 28th, in fact. Some are arguing that by selecting the Notorious RvB, more in-form players are being denied a shot. Others are pointing out that, with the Dutchman set to retire at the end of the season, there’s room for a bit of sentimentality. Nonetheless, with the event kicking off in three weeks’ time, it would be an opportune time for Barney – listed at 50/1 (51.00) with Betway to win the event – to find some form; he’s missed the semi-finals in each of the last three years.
Durrant Completes Three-Peat: What Next?
In early 2018, when Glen Durrant picked up his second consecutive BDO World Championship, he became the first player since Eric Bristow in 1986 to retain the title. Fast-forward twelve months, and Durrant has capped the achievement by becoming the first player to win it three times in a row since … Eric Bristow in 1986. One word of warning for the reigning champion, though; in 1987, Bristow lost in the final to John Lowe. While the bookmakers are likely to make Durrant favourite for 2020, history will be weighing heavily on him.
On the other hand, there’s always a chance that history won’t have much bearing on Durrant’s future, given he may not end up mounting a defence of his title. With the BDO changing their rules to allow members to participate in qualifying for the stronger PDC federation – and return to the BDO’s relative safety if unsuccessful – both Durrant and current rankings leader Michael McGeeney have confirmed that they will be participating in the upcoming PDC Q-School.
Whitlock Looks To Overcome Premier League Snub
As we’ve already covered, Raymond van Barneveld’s Wild Card entry to the Premier League came at the expense of some better-ranked players, including Simon “The Wizard” Whitlock. The Australian, ranked ninth, will seek to show the PDC the error of their ways with a decent run in the Masters, which takes place in Milton Keynes at the end of this month. Masters participation is restricted to those players who rank in the top 16, so there’s no danger of being usurped by Barney’s farewell tour here.
Whitlock begins his attempt at the title with an evenly-matched contest against Mensur “The Gentle” Suljovic – as our Odds Comparison tool shows, the Austrian is narrow Evens (2.00) favourite for the tie with Betsafe, but his opponent is decent value with BetClic at 2/1 (3.00). From a position in the middle of the field, either of these players could mount a shot at the title currently held, like everything else, by Michael van Gerwen.
Fun fact: van Gerwen’s opponent in last year’s final was his compatriot van Barneveld, so there is definitely space for someone else to have a run this year. Why not Whitlock? It’s not like he has the Premier League to distract him, and with an odds boost he might well be a worthwhile punt as an outsider to upset van Gerwen.
Dobromyslova Confirms Q-School Entry
Having reached the semi-final of the BDO competition this year, Anastasia “From Russia With Love” Dobromyslova has announced her intention to try for a return to the PDC, which she left in 2011. In the coming weeks, the two-time BDO Ladies’ Champion will be looking to secure one of the coveted tour cards on offer at the PDC’s tour school. The Russian, who recently competed in the men’s PDC championship as one of two invited women’s champions, is now looking for a permanent move back to the higher end of the professional darts world.
As of this moment, with applications closing for the Q-School, current BDO champion Lisa Winstanley has not chosen to make the leap. Dobromyslova will be joined in the women’s section of the event by Deta Hedman and Corinne Sharrock among others.
That’s all for this week’s Darts round-up, but do make sure to come back to Open Odds next week for more up-to-date information including the latest from the PDC Q-School.