Bullseye! Premier League Darts is back with a few chnages.
Premier League Darts has a new format for the 2013 season, with PDC World Championship runner-up Michael van Gerwen just one of three players making his tournament debut following its expansion from eight to 10 participants.
Wes Newton, Robert Thornton and van Gerwen are the new Premier League Darts faces, joining old hands Gary Anderson, Andy Hamilton, Adrian Lewis, Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade and Simon Whitlock for the ninth edition of a weekly competition that is wildly popular throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The 2013 Premier League Darts format will see the 10 players face each other over nine round-robin rounds, after which the two lowest ranked men will be relegated. Then the top eight players will compete against each other in the final five rounds for the four play-off places, with the title being handed out at The 02 in London on Thursday 16 May.
Taylor is the undisputed king of Premier League Darts. The Power has won six of the eight Premier League Darts titles and strung together a 44-match unbeaten run before Wade defeated him 8-6 in the first match of the 2008 season.
Wade and Gary Anderson are the only non-Taylor champions of Premier League Darts, with the Machine beating Mervyn King 13-8 in the 2009 decider and the Flying Scotsman defeating Lewis 10-4 in the 2011 final. Basically, if the Power reaches the final, he takes out the top prize.
Taylor Favourite As Usual
Ireland- and United Kingdom-facing bookmakers have gone to town on 2013 Premier League Darts, capitalising on the sport’s surge in popularity in recent years. Major Darts competitions attract capacity crowds and one would struggle to find spectators who have a better time at a live event.
As Taylor has been for every Professional Darts Corporation- organised tournament in which he has competed, he is the championship favourite before a dart is thrown. Bookmakers are offering odds of around 13-8 that the Power tops the 2013 Premier League Darts ladder going into the play-offs and odds of around 9-4 that he wins the title decider.
The arrival on the scene of van Gerwen has provided Taylor with the motivation to keep practising for several hours a day even though he is 52 years old and, unless one has a very good reason, he is the default betting option.
Power To Top League Ladder
It is not a question of whether to back Taylor; it is a matter of how is the best way to go about it. There is a feeling among some darts fans that the Power is vulnerable in matches played over short distances. Proponents of this theory say that most of Taylor’s major championship losses have taken place in the early rounds and that is true. But what they ignore are the Power’s numbers in the Premier League Darts round-robin games that are short and sweet.
Taylor has played 106 Premier League Darts round-robin matches for 86 victories, 14 draws, six defeats and a positive leg difference of 410. Six losses in eight competitive seasons is not the record of a man with a weakness in best-of-14-leg games. It is a myth that the Power is vulnerable in short matches. A complete myth.
Therefore, the most appropriate form of 2013 Premier League Darts betting action for one to take appears like a bet on Taylor qualifying for the play-offs as the top seed. Odds of around 13-8 about the Power doing something that he has done eight times out of eight seems generous in the circumstances as he bid to put van Gerwen and others in their place.
Anderson To Hit Most 180s
Taylor is the greatest player in the history of darts but the Power is not the most prolific hitter of 180s so one should not view one bookmaker’s offer of 14-1 odds that he scores the most maximums in the 2013 Premier League Darts as a rick. It represents okay value but nothing more than that. Taylor is often seen as better because of his high profile wins. See the video below!
Bookmakers have plumped for van Gerwen as the 2013 Premier League Darts tournament 180s favourite at odds of around 7-4 and that is fair enough. However, there may be a better value bet hidden elsewhere in this exotic market.
Anderson, trading as short as 3-1 odds but available in one place at 11-2, is the Premier League Darts competitor of interest. The Flying Scotsman holds the tournament record for maximums in a match – 11 versus Australia’s Simon Whitlock in 2011 – and he hit more 180s per leg/set than anyone else in the recent 2013 World Darts Championship.
Premier League Darts officials have only granted Anderson one of the places in the 10-man field because he won the competition two years ago, otherwise he would be watching the games unfold on television. The Flying Scotsman is ranked outside the world top 10 and bookmakers, quite rightly, do not consider him a serious title contender.
But Anderson’s smooth throwing action is the envy of many darts players and he is famous for his heavy scoring. One would rather back the Flying Scotsman at 11-2 than, say, Taylor at 14-1 or van Gerwen at 7-4 in this market.
Nine-dart Finish Statistics
Many Premier League Darts punters will want to have a bet on the 2013 tournament featuring at least one nine-dart finish and bookmakers are pretty much offering the same odds about the yes and no options. For the record, there have been six perfect legs in the previous eight Premier League Darts competitions – van Barneveld in 2006, van Barneveld on 2010, Taylor in 2010 (twice in the same match), Taylor in 2012 and Whitlock in 2012 – while there were two nine-darters in the 2013 World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace.
Watching this video from 2010 of Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor is a sure-fire way to get pumped about Darts.