The PDC World Darts Championship is well underway with Alexandra Palace already seeing its fair share of thrills and spills.
We’ve had plucky qualifiers, an accidental 180, some near misses and seen some high-rated throwers sent home early.
But the big guns still remain and if the early action is anything to go by there could be some value in opposing outright favourite Michael van Gerwen.
The Mighty Dutchman almost suffered the same fate as Simon Whitlock and Robert Thornton, with the pair bowing out unexpectedly early on in the tournament.
Thornton became the highest seed to crash out of the tournament so far after being outplayed by Alan ‘Chuck’ Norris.
The Scottish sixth seed fell to a crushing 3-0 defeat , with Norris throwing a solid 96.88 average.
And with Aussie Whitlock being pushed out by Ricky Evans the big dogs of the tournament were handed a wake-up call.
Van Gerwen arrived at Ally Pally as the overwhelming favourite but was made to work hard for his progression to the second round after Germany’s Rene Eidams pushed him all the way in a 3-2 victory.
MVG is still the even-money favourite to take the crown but after that performance there will be plenty of money placed on his nearest rivals.
Phil Taylor is next in the betting at 4/1 and that price could prove better value after The Power signalled his intent when cruising to a 3-0 win over Japan’s Keita Ono to breeze into the second round.
Reigning champion Gary Anderson can be backed at 6/1 and could represent a shrewd pick with his own 3-0 win over Northern Ireland’s Brendan Dolan showing the Flying Scotsman also has his eye in early.
Elsewhere, James Wade put in a Machine-like performance to get past John Michael without dropping a set and the three-time semi-finalist can be backed at 16/1 to go all the way this time round.
So, with the early action out of the way MVG remains the heavy favourite but another performance likes his last and the Dutchman could be heading for an early exit of his own.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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