Mervyn King and Simon Whitlock are among the big names in action in Wednesday’s afternoon session at Alexandra Palace, and neither are likely to come unstuck…
Mervyn King to beat Michael van Gerwen @ 1/2
Given Raymond van Barneveld’s shock first-round exit and none of his compatriots booking a place in the third round to date, it hasn’t been a vintage tournament thus far for the Dutch participants, and that looks set to continue here.
King has won eight of his last nine meetings with van Gerwen, with his opponent averaging around two sets an encounter, so in addition to going with the favourite at 1/2, consider backing him to win 4-2 at 10/3.
Simon Whitlock to beat Steve Beaton @ 2/9
This is likely to be a tighter showdown than fifth seed Whitlock’s odds of 2/9 suggest, as though he has won all bar the latest of their last seven clashes, the win margin has been greater than three on just one of those occasions.
The majority of those were best-of-11 rather than best-of-seven, so there’s enough reason to fancy Beaton +2.5 sets in the handicap market at 8/11, with the 4-3 scoreline of their last best-of-seven tie 9/2 to be repeated.
Scott Rand to beat Colin Lloyd @ 4/6
The odds indicate that this is the most competitive of the three Wednesday afternoon matches and it’s easy to see why, given that their last three collisions have been decided by the tightest of margins.
Rand boasts the head-to-head edge and has to be fancied again having been the more convincing of the pair in the first round, however the aggregate score is 16-16, so this could go the distance, with it 4/1 that Rand triumphs 4-3.
Odds of greater than 2/1 are offered on all three favourites winning in a treble