Saturday sees the return of the World Matchplay, and fans from around the country will be flocking to the Winter Gardens, Blackpool in their numbers for a cracking week of arrows.
While the players are busy preparing for the second biggest event on the circuit, our traders have been pricing up some incredible offers for punters to get their teeth into.
Our headline treble for day one concerns Robert ‘The Thorn’ Thornton, reigning World Matchplay champion Michael Van Gerwen and Dave ‘Chizzy’ Chisnall, and you can get them all to win their opening ties at an unbelievable 11/8.
First to the oche from our treble is last year’s World Grand Prix winner Robert Thornton. Though the 48-year old has never gone further than the first round of this tournament, it’s fair to say he’s never really had the luck of the draw.
This year, however, he faces PDC pro-tour qualifier and world number 52 Josh Payne.
This is 22-year old Payne’s first appearance at a major ranking tournament and though he possesses the potential to go a long way in the sport, his tender age and inexperience should allow Thornton to finally break his World Matchplay first-round duck.
You can back Thornton at a tempting 4/9 in this tie. However, given his record in Blackpool, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see The Thorn pushed all the way in this one, and a sensible man might do well in backing over 16.5 legs at 4/5.
Next up on Saturday is Mighty Mike, who begins his title defence against Leicester-born Jamie Caven.
Though his hometown may still be celebrating their football team’s recent success, it’s hard to see how Caven can win this one.
His opponent has already picked up trophies from the UK Open, the Masters and the Premier League since the turn of the year, while winning 11 of his last 12 meetings with Caven, and is a clear 1/20 to make that 12 in 13.
Meanwhile, perhaps the value in this game is with Van Gerwen to get the job done early – and we’re 4/5 for the match to be finished in under 14.5 legs.
Our final clash of the evening is between Chisnall and Dutchman Benito van de Pas.
Chizzy has made it to the quarter-finals for three consecutive years in Blackpool, while his opponent only has one appearance at this event to his name, losing in the first round last year to compatriot MVG.
While the head-to-heads favour the 23-year old from the Netherlands, Chisnall’s powerful scoring combined with his experience at the World Matchplay should be enough to carry him through, and is 8/15 to see off Big Ben on the night.
Even money on Chizzy to hit over 6.5 180’s in the match also looks appealing.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.