Smooth opening round progress expected for Van Barneveld
Raymond Van Barneveld ended a three-year wait for a televised darts title recently and he will be keen to build on the confidence he gained when taking on Steve Hine in the opening round of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.
Van Barneveld teamed up with Co Stompe to ensure the Netherlands emerged victorious at the Cash Converters World Cup of Darts and now he goes in search of a sixth World Championship.
He is priced at 10/1 in the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship betting to win the tournament and ‘Muffin Man’ Hine represents the first obstacle in achieving this feat.
Van Barneveld is the heavy 1/16 favourite to beat Hine, while it is 4/7 that he reaches the second round by taking the match 3-0 in sets.
However, Hine is no stranger to an underdog success and has previously eliminated Dutch opposition in the tournament at Alexandra Palace.
The world number 42 made it past the first round last year for the first time in three attempts when beating Roland Scholten, before getting knocked out by Phil Taylor.
Hine is 7/1 to beat Van Barneveld, with the winner set to face either Barrie Bates or Kevin McDine in the second round.
Revenge is on the agenda of Bates as he was dumped out of the tournament 4-0 by McDine in the second round 12 months ago.
Both players are 5/6 in the darts betting to continue into the competition, but Bates does not come into the event in great form having lost all seven of his singles games when representing Wales at the World Cup of Darts.
Bates may be expected to progress given that he is the seed, although the shrewd money may be on McDine sealing a 3-2 success, which can be backed at 10/3.
There are a number of betting possibilities available on the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.