The Lakeside roars into action for the opening night of the BDO World Championship and below is a preview of three matches from Frimley Green with the treble paying out at just over 7/2.
Scott Waites to beat Alan Norris @ 1/4
Reigning champion Scott Waites begins his defence against Alan Norris and it’s difficult to see anything but a comfortable success for the favourite.
Waites finished the year strongly by successfully defending his Czech Open crown for a third victory in the event and also showed once more that he can cut it on the PDC circuit after finishing the best of the BDO bunch in reaching the semi-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts that he captured three years ago.
Conversely, ‘Chuck’ Norris has endured an awful season, collecting no more than £180 in any competition since this event last year.
If the 26-year-old required further encouragement he needn’t look any further than his personal record against Norris which he leads 4-2. Two of those victories were comprehensive 4-0 and 4-1 wins and the Lakeside crowd can expect more of the same.
Jeffrey de Graaf to beat Martin Atkins @ 8/11
Those who have watched the BDO World Championship over the years may be surprised to see 23-year-old Jeffrey de Graaf priced as favourite for his match against Lakeside veteran Martin Atkins but an inspection of their current form explains everything.
Dutchman De Graaf makes only his second appearance in Frimley Green but he has enjoyed his best season to date with a valuable win in the Swedish Open the highlight.
Atkins managed to reach the semi-final of that event but showed little more last year.
The trajectories of the two players are heading in different directions and Atkins looks there for the taking.
Harley Kemp to beat Michael Meaney @ 11/10
Australian Harley Kemp takes on Michael Meaney in one of the opening night’s last-40 preliminary matches and strong preference is for the 30-year-old to make the trip from Down Under worthwhile and secure the win and entry into the main draw.
Both players are largely unknown to domestic audiences, however, 30-year-old Kemp is no stranger to success in his own country with a series of impressive domestic results.
A victory in the Australian Masters at the end of October will ensure he arrives in Surrey in good heart, but crucially he has been consistent all season, reaching five quarter-finals and two semis.
Kemp has comfortably won over twice as much prize money as Irishman Meaney who has had a decidedly ordinary season.
A final appearance in the low-key INDO Irish Masters is the most he can show for his efforts and it looks like a rare case of the bookmakers getting it wrong in pricing up Meaney as favourite.
Kemp should be odds-on instead and can be expected to show that.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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