The Ladbrokes World Darts Championship begins this Thursday at Alexandra Palace and there are some brilliant opening matches to get us under way.
Defending champion Adrian Lewis begins his defence, while the likes of Jamie Caven and Mark Webster also take to the oche hoping to progress on the road to the final of the biggest darts tournament in the world…
Jamie Caven to beat Roland Scholten @ 4/7
Caven made it through his first round game at the World Darts Championship in last year’s event and made it to the last eight of the Players Championship Finals earlier this year.
He has played Scholten five times in his career and has beaten him on each occasion, making it extremely hard to look beyond the Englishman in this opening encounter.
Scott Mackenzie to beat Paul Barham @ 1/1
Paul Barham may be heading into this game as the 8/11 favourite but this is the youngster’s first major tournament and he could find it tough going under the glare of the Ally Pally lights.
However, having crashed out in the opening round last year, Hong Kong player MacKenzie represents a decent chance for Barham to progress and he shouldn’t be discounted.
Richie Burnett to beat Mark Webster @ 3/1
Upsets are generally hard to come by in the opening stages of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship but, if there is going to be one in this opening round, then this looks like being the match to pay attention to.
After years in the wilderness Burnett is finally finding some consistency and looks tempting at 3/1.
If you fancy playing things a little safer though, then Webster can be backed at 1/4 to claim an opening victory.
Adrian Lewis to beat Nigel Heydon @ 1/9
Defending champion and World No.2 Adrian Lewis is the huge favourite heading into this match and it’s incredibly hard to see beyond a win for the Stoke man.
If you like your odds a little longer than the 1/9 offered for the straight victory, then backing Lewis to win 3-0 at 1/1 is well worth considering.