The Grand Slam of Darts got underway in spectacular fashion with the result of the curtain-raising night seeing youngster Arron Monk triumph over James Wade, drubbing the rusty Machine 5-1.
The Monk takes on Mervyn King next – another who enjoyed opening night success – and a win will ensure his progress to the knock-out phase. However, it is the King who we expect to prevail and his 2/5 price represents one of the shortest in our 16/1 fivefold.
Mervyn King to beat Arron Monk @ 2/5
As ruthless as he was against the Machine, Monk will be coming up against an altogether different opponent in King. He lacks the ability Wade possesses, and doesn’t score at the same unrelenting tempo, yet his dogged approach will stem the youngster’s rhythm and put him on the spot.
When Wade loses his cool he really loses it, which enabled Monk to score the win, without detracting too much from his performance, but there is no chance of that happening to cool customer King.
Monk will come under much more pressure here and his biggest challenge will be to consistently hit the doubles with King breathing down his neck. This is why it makes sense to swerve the underdog as he bids to pull off successive shocks.
Wes Newton to beat Martin Phillips @ 2/5
BDO player Phillips comes into this game on a great run of form having recently won the Turkish Open and has tasted defeat just once in his last nine matches.
None of the players he beat were of the calibre of Newton, however, whose price should be a lot shorter than what it currently stands at.
The PDC world number five has an impressive win percentage of 71.03 this year and will be looking to use this game as the propeller that sees him advance from the group stage for the first time in two appearances at the Grand Slam.
Wayne Jones to beat Christian Kist @ 11/10
Dutchman Kist may be the reigning BDO World champion, but home advantage often serves Jones well in this tournament.
A Wolverhampton native, the Wanderer always has the crowd on his side and has fared better in this competition than any other premiere event on the PDC calendar.
He reached the 2010 semi-finals here and was edged out in the last-16 last time around in a 10-8 loss to Terry Jenkins. He’s never failed to advance from the group-stage making his price seem very generous indeed.
Terry Jenkins to beat Wesley Harms @ 8/15
Recent winner of the English, French and Swiss Open, Dutch star Harms is no mug, but the Bull is another with a strong record in this competition and it’s difficult to look past him starting with a win.
The beaten 2008 finalist reached the quarter final of this event last year and the semis in 2010; such a good record is sure to see him brimming with confidence when he faces young Sparky.
John Part to beat Gary Anderson @ 13/8
Darth Maple brings the longest price to the table here, but this could prove inconsequential based on the fact that you never know which Anderson is going to turn up.
If rapid-firing, maximum-scoring, all-conquering Flying Scotsman walks on to the oche then you can forget about the Canadian coming out on top here.
Yet, if his inferior alter-ego is unfurled – the one that can’t hit doubles for love, nor money and regularly suffers lapses in concentration – Part recording his third victory in eight tussles with his next adversary is a bet well worth backing.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date