Phil Taylor has held the dominant hand at the World Matchplay for much of the 22nd century, but he is not in action on the opening day in Blackpool, although four other matches take place from his half of the draw.
Terry Jenkins (-2.5 games) to beat Andy Smith @ 11/10
The fact that Smith has only reached the quarter finals of three tournaments in 2013 and has lost six of his last eight meetings with Jenkins makes him hard to fancy.
Jenkins may be worth backing simply to win at 1/2, but four of his last five successes over Smith have been by a minimum of three legs and so the odds-against available on a victory with a 2.5-leg handicap may be worth taking for greater profits.
Mensur Suljovic (+4.5 legs) to beat Raymond van Barneveld @ 5/6
After virtually a month off, Van Barneveld was not overly impressive when losing in the last-16 of the European Championships and if he is a little rusty here, Suljovic has the ability to take advantage.
Expecting the Austrian to upset the 1/7 favourite may be asking a bit much, but he can be expected to push Van Barneveld and win at least five legs.
John Part (+3.5 legs) to beat James Wade @ 5/6
Wade clearly likes it in Blackpool and has a game that is suited by the matchplay format, having lost in the final to Phil Taylor in each of the last two years.
He has also only lost two of his 16 career meetings with Part and won all of the last six, which includes the four to have taken place since 2009.
However, the last four have been settled in a decider, so Part with the handicap looks a decent call.
Jelle Klaasen to beat Simon Whitlock @ 13/8
Both arrive at Blackpool in good form from the European Championships, with Klaasen losing to Michael van Gerwen in the quarter finals and Whitlock reaching the final, before coming up short against Adrian Lewis.
Whitlock won 16-8 when this pair previously met at this event in the quarter-final stage of 2010, but lost in the first round here 12 months ago.
Klaasen is scoring well enough to cause a repeat.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.