Taylor’s handicap price pick of World Matchplay semi final bets

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After coming through an epic all-Stoke encounter with Andy Hamilton, Adrian Lewis will have a crack at Michael van Gerwen for a place in the final of the darts’ World Matchplay and, at a long price, he could be worth a punt for the victory.

Despite having two World Championships stored in his trophy cabinet and being the incumbent European champ to boot, Jackpot can be backed at a dizzying 5/2 to fell Mighty Mike in the last four and is in the form to do it.

A fantastic rally saw him overturn a 13-10 deficit into a 19-17 sudden-death victory over the Hammer in the quarters, which also saw him take out a match-saving 161.

Having failed to hit the really big numbers in the early stages, this timely return to clearing hefty checkouts could lend favour to his 5/4 to take out the larger digits when he squares off with van Gerwen.

The 3/10-rated Dutchman can produce spectacular finishes at the drop of a hat, so backing against him in this market could easily prove costly. However, his highest checkout of the tournament to date weighs in at 120, making Lewis a worthy adversary in this respect, if you don’t fancy his weighty underdog price.

The second semi final pits insatiable Phil Taylor against resilient James Wade.

Like Lewis, the Machine required extra legs to see off Simon Whitlock in another epic encounter from the 2013 World Matchplay and, while this will give him confidence, a win against all-conquering Taylor seems highly improbable.

Their head-to-head record speaks for itself – Wade has taken a meagre five victories from the 45 encounters the pair have had.

The Power – available at 2/9 with Ladbrokes – has only ever been bettered twice by his foe in-waiting in front of the television cameras and has won each of the four tussles they’ve had in this competition, all of which being in the final.

Of these four ties, only one would have stopped backers of Taylor on a 5.5-leg handicap copping a windfall so don’t miss out on in it this time around at 10/11.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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