The Grand Slam of Darts enters the knockout phase with some excellent prices available on three on-song dartists ahead of their last-16 clashes.
Arron Monk has started to realise his vast potential at the Wolverhampton Civic Centre and he heads up our 21/1 treble of ‘underdogs’ who are all expected to progress.
Arron Monk to beat Dean Winstanley @ 5/2
After dropping just three legs in his last two matches – including a 5-1 win over Simon Whitlock – no one can deny that Winstanley fully warrants his spot in the last-16, but he doesn’t have the required style to flatten the Monk.
After thrashing James Wade and Jan Dekker by an aggregate of 10-2, only Mervyn King could prevent Monk topping his group. His gritty approach and experience allowed King to prevail in that contest, but Winstanley is a different player to him and Monk’s youthful exuberance will see him through to the quarters here.
Doncaster-born Winstanley sits 26th in the unified world rankings, three places below Monk and, prior to his win over Whitlock, he has failed to beat a player in the top-25 since he overcame Gary Anderson way back in this year’s World Matchplay – 29 games ago.
Kevin Painter to beat Mervyn King @ 7/4
These two veterans of the game have clashed 27 times in their long careers and so well-matched are their abilities that there is nothing to separate them across these tussles.
Having claimed 13 victories apiece, King has only claimed favouritism through winning all three of his group matches, but this will count for little when they collide in a knockout game over a longer format.
The Artist recently recorded a hat-trick of wins over the King so he’ll be brimming with confidence coming into this clash and his price is definitely longer than it should be.
Robert Thornton to beat Scott Waites @ 6/5
Waites regularly unleashes his A-game on the Grand Slam, as Phil Taylor is still coming to terms with. His 5-2 win over the Power has ensured that the 2010 champ starts the match with the Thorn as a favourite, but punters should be looking to take advantage of the better player’s price here.
With wins over some the PDC’s elite in recent weeks – namely Adrian Lewis and Michael van Gerwen – the UK Open winner has proved he has the ability required to mix it with the big boys, while he doesn’t have the attitude to allow complacency to set in against an inferior opponent.
BDO star Waites is sure to make a game of it but Thornton is better placed to win the race to 10 legs here, despite what his price would have you believe.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date