Van Gerwen Still Leading Pack After Lewis Demolition

December 28, 2018

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Is there any better way to spend the festive period than to sit glued to the sofa watching some world class darts? The PDC World Championship is well underway and we’re now just a few matches away from the semi-final. Two past champions have already booked their place in the quarters, but being favourite means nothing in the world of darts.

Let’s take a closer look at who is topping the odds in the PDC World Championship betting after yesterday’s action.

The Favourite – Michael Van Gerwen

Predictably, the man leading the odds at the minute is none other than the world number one himself, Michael van Gerwen. The Dutch maestro has been in good form in the competition and put himself in a great position early on in the fourth round against Adrian Lewis. Van Gerwen’s dominance was on show instantly as he pressed into a two-set lead against his the former tw-time World Champ and looked to be set for the victory.

Complacency is hard to combat sometimes though and despite being two legs to nil up in the third, Van Gerwen conceded Lewis fought back superbly to take the set. Van Gerwen missed five doubles during the set and with his lead halved, you wondered whether there was an upset on the cards.

The fourth set did nothing to dispel this, with Van Gerwen finding himself level at 2-2 at one point, but the Dutchman isn’t the world number one for nothing, finishing off the set with a much-needed eleven dart leg to restore his two-set lead. And he carried that form into the fifth too winning a tight 3-2 set was enough to seal his place in the quarterfinals.

In the end, it was an easy win for the world number one and he recorded the highest average of the tournament to that point. However, he will be concerned that he allowed Lewis back into the game on a number of occasions. The world number one is still considered the best in the world, but there have been some poor results for him over the past year. He must guard against over-confidence if he wants to take home another title for the new year, especially since the one man who has repeatedly got the better of him is still in the competition.

A Close Challenger in Gary Anderson

The Scotsman has developed a healthy rivalry with Van Gerwen, with the world number one even saying that Anderson is the only man who could beat him in the World Championship. He certainly showed the skill and determination needed for a world champion in his last match, a thrilling encounter against Chris Dobey that nearly sent him packing.

It was very nearly a case of the student becoming the master as Dobey stormed to a two-set lead, but he missed the bullseye to extend it to 3-1. This allowed Anderson back into the game and the Scot took full advantage in the next leg to draw level. Dobey wasn’t finished though and came from two legs behind in the fifth set to claim the lead again. But Anderson wasn’t about to go down without a fight and took the next set to send us into a decider.

The Scot just about edged it, hitting a three at double six to finish off the victory in style. It was probably the match of the tournament so far, with both men playing out of their skin. The proof was in the stats, with Dobey hitting 15 180’s to Andersons 13 and averaging a tidy 100.83. Were it not for a fatal mistake in the final leg which prevented the checkout, we might be talking about a shock upset instead.

Anderson has been apparently been playing with a back injury which might affect his form and allow some of the other names into the hat. However, he is easily one of the most talented competitors in the entire tournament and perhaps the biggest danger to Van Gerwen’s title hopes. He’s already shown the desire to push through even the toughest of challenges, so don’t count the Scot out just yet.

The Year of the Underdog?

An outsider for the title is Michael Smith, who has had a decent tournament so far. The world number ten came from behind to triumph against John Henderson in a hard fought 4-2 victory. Smith came into the match hoping to reach a second quarter-final appearance at the World Darts Championships. The match proved to be much harder than he first thought though.

It was a great first set, with both men averaging in the mid-hundreds. Henderson was the better of the two in the first set, though there were a number of occasions that saw both men go close. At 2-1 down, Smith might have begun to feel the pressure, but if he did, it didn’t show. He consistently maintained an average in the hundreds and a double ten saw him take it.

The third set was the pick of the bunch though, with Smith racing to a 2-0 lead right off the bat. He then missed the dart that would’ve sealed the set, which Henderson capitalised on in emphatic fashion. Double nine was enough to level, but it was an astounding 161 finish that earnt the headlines with the bull to help him to a 2-1 lead.

Smith rallied over the next three legs though and, with an average of 118, Smith levelled in the fourth set. He confirmed the victory shortly after that, but it was an astounding effort from Henderson. It may only be the second quarter-final for Smith in this competition, but his effort and technique will not go unnoticed amongst both punters and pundits alike. It was another reminder that, despite the calibre of the two favourites, there are plenty of names in the odds that could make a name for themselves in the PDC World Championships.

That’s it for the big ties in yesterday’s fixtures, but the action continues tonight with plenty of great matchups including last year’s winner Rob Cross facing another upstart Luke Humphries. The big names might be through to the next round, but there is still plenty of room for someone else to come in and steal the crown.

Here’s where you can find all the bookmakers offering the best PDC World Championship betting odds

Author: Cyrus

Cyrus has been writing about sports and many other topics for major publications over the past five years. Now working in digital marketing, he spends his days arguing over football and dreaming of his beloved Manchester City winning the champions league.

Twitter @CBulsara

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