World Darts 2018: The Power Enters the Battle

Friday’s schedule for this season’s PDC World Darts Championship is quite a subdued one with just four matches taking place but the highlight is the entry of the most successful player in the history of the game.

It’s Phil The Power Taylor’s last tournament as a professional and as a 9/1 shot to win the tournament, he isn’t expected to go the distance but he’ll have the big London crowd behind him on Friday night. Taylor faces Chris Dobey in the last match of the night but before that we have three additional games as the tournament gets underway.

Matches

Friday starts with a qualifier between Seigo Asada and Gordon Mathers with the winner going straight through to face Rob Cross in the first round. Asada is a multiple winner of his domestic Japan Open but after crossing from the BDO last year, he was knocked out at this same qualifying stage.

Asada is available at 13/10 with Ladbrokes and Winner Sports for the win but Mathers looks the better option at a top price of 7/10 with MarathonBet.

Whoever succeeds is given little chance against Cross, another former BDO exponent who has enjoyed more success when switching codes. We may not know his exact opponent in the first round but he’s a skinny best price of 1/33 with BetFred to progress to round two.

The second confirmed game of the evening is between Stephen Bunting and Dimitri Van Den Bergh with Bunting the favourite for that tie at best odds of 8/11 with Betway and Boylesports. Bunting looked like a serious threat when crossing from the BDO a few years back but he’s lost his way a little and if there is to be an upset on Friday, it could well come in this match.

Van den Bergh is the reigning World Youth Champion and the Belgian looks good value at his top price of 13/10 with Bet365 and BetBright.

The Big One

Phil Taylor

All of these games are mere curtain raisers for the main event as Phil Taylor steps to the oche to take on Chris Dobey. In all honesty, Friday’s schedule may not be the most inspiring but the Power will get a huge reception as he begins his final World Championship campaign.

There isn’t too much in the way of value in the betting markets with Taylor at a best of 1/6 with MarathonBet for the win while Dobey is out at 23/4 with SportingBet. Upsets can happen in the first round but they are becoming increasingly rare particularly when giants of the game are involved so we’ll assume Taylor wins and look at alternatives from among the side bets.

At this stage of the competition, only three legs are required to win games and in the correct score betting, a 3-0 whitewash in favour of Taylor is available at a best price of 11/8 with Boylesports. That’s an option that many will take but Dobey made some progress in the last twelve months and has to possess some quality in order to get to this stage.

Therefore, a correct score of 3-1 in favour of Phil Taylor is our first confirmed tip of the day and that can be taken at 9/4 with BetBright and SkyBet.

There are other options but few of the markets hold any real value for this game. However, Taylor to score the most 180s seems the most likely bet of the entire night so it’s a little surprising to see that option quoted at a best odds against price of 5/4 with Boylesports.

We would recommend jumping on that too as we feel that Taylor will certainly dominate in terms of maximums.

It’s finally here and we are set for some great action for the remainder of December and on New Year’s Day when the final takes place. For now, let’s hope we get off to a winning start with these three tips.

Best Bets:

  • Phil Taylor to beat Chris Dobey by a correct score of 3-1 at 9/4 with BetBright
  • Phil Taylor to record the most 180s in that match at 5/4 with Boylesports
  • Dimitri Van Den Bergh to beat Stephen Bunting at 13/10 with Bet365
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