Premier League Darts TipsSimon Hopper - 18:02, 24th February 2015
The 2015 edition of the Premier League promises to be the best ever, with a record-breaking £700,000 prize money on offer and the world’s 10 best players visiting 16 venues across three months in a true feast of world-class tungsten action. Easyodds.com editor Simon Hopper enjoyed a sensational PDC World Darts Championship as he tipped Gary Anderson to win at 7/1 so don’t miss his 5/2 and 28/1 outright selections for the Premier League!
Simon’s 2015 Premier League Darts Selections:
Michael van Gerwen To Win @ 5/2 – BET NOW
Raymond van Barneveld Each-Way @ 28/1 – BET NOW
(*Each-way terms are 1/3 odds for the first 2 places)
The Premier League winners’ rostrum has had a distinctly Dutch feel over the last couple of years – I think the 2013 and 2014 winners represent the best value again this time around.
Michael van Gerwen: The world #1 had a mediocre 2014 by his standards which culminated in a deserved 6-3 semi-final defeat to Gary Anderson at the World Championship. However, a 16-match league format suits MVG far more than a knockout competition as quite simply he’s still the best darts player in the world so over a longer period of time he is more likely to come out on top. This is shown by the fact he has made the final on both of his Premier League starts, topping the regular league on both occasions. He also looked back to his best at the recent Unibet Masters, when he defeated Raymond van Barneveld 11-6 in the final with a staggering 112.49 average and also defeated Adrian Lewis, Dave Chisnall (in a classic) and Wes Newton en route. He may be favourite but in my opinion there’s an argument for van Gerwen to be shorter than the current 5/2 on offer so I’m happy to have the Dutchman as my main selection.
Raymond van Barneveld: Barney blows hot and cold nowadays but at a stonking 28/1 he must be worth an each-way saver. RVB obviously won last year’s Premier League, beating Phil Taylor (8-5) and van Gerwen (10-6) on play-off night, while he’s made at least the semi-finals on seven of his nine starts in this tournament. I also thought his performances in the Masters were encouraging and he did well to make the final considering he had to see off the likes of World Champion Gary Anderson, Terry Jenkins and Simon Whitlock en route. I also like the fact that he doesn’t have to play Phil Taylor or MVG until week seven which should give him plenty of time to get into the play-off positions. If he makes finals night again then Barney will be a tough nut to crack for anyone as he’s a big game player so while he lacks the consistency of the other main protagonists, I just can’t ignore that 28/1 as a saver.
Simon’s Verdict On The Other Contenders:
Phil Taylor (Best Odds 11/4): Of course the Power will always be a threat but he’s only won one of the last four Premier League renewals and he was poor in the Masters, losing 10-7 to Terry Jenkins in 1st round with an average of just 93.74. He also struggled in last year’s tournament and was lucky to even make finals night after losing his first three matches. All in all I couldn’t touch Taylor at 11/4.
Gary Anderson (9/2): The reigning World Champion thoroughly deserved his title at Ally Pally last month and as a former Premier League champion as well he warrants plenty of respect. However, his sensational form over the last few months has been fully taken into account by the bookmakers and he doesn’t look worth touching at 9/2 considering over a long format he’s probably still a touch inferior to the likes of van Gerwen and Taylor.
Adrian Lewis (9/1): Jackpot rarely goes well here (just one finals night appearance in his last five starts) and that’s because a long league format doesn’t suit a player who is so inconsistent. If he makes the semi-finals then he will be a real threat but that’s far from guaranteed.
Stephen Bunting (14/1): The Bullet has done fantastically well to get to the Premier League in such a short space of time since his BDO switch and while some eyebrows were raised at his wildcard entry, in my opinion his competitive odds of 14/1 highlight why he’s here. However, this is a different level of darts to anything he will ever have encountered (including the PDC World Championship) and whether he can go toe to toe with the world’s best for 16 consecutive weeks remains too much of an unknown to get involved.
James Wade (16/1): A fantastic match player who has made the Premier League semi-finals on his last two starts, Wade will always give the world’s best a game and is rarely disgraced. However, I don’t think the Machine is scoring well enough to give him a realistic shot at adding to his 2009 crown.
Peter Wright (33/1): Was unlucky not to make finals night on his Premier League debut last year and looks a touch overpriced at 33/1. Snakebite is a consistent player but he was underwhelming in the Masters last week and probably isn’t quite playing well enough to trouble the big boys.
Kim Huybrechts (50/1): Another mildly controversial wildcard selection considering he’s only made one major final in his career and is an inconsistent player. At his best Huybrechts can beat anyone and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him turn over a couple of big boys in the league stage, however I think this extended format will find him out eventually.
Dave Chisnall (50/1): Chizzy had a disastrous end to last year’s Premier League but his Masters quarter-final performance against van Gerwen (averaging 108.09 in a 10-9 defeat) should give him plenty of encouragement coming into this tournament. However, there’s nothing in the long-term form book to suggest he can trouble the better players in the line-up over an extended format.
*Simon is editor of Easyodds.com as well as being the site’s chief darts tipster. He advised Gary Anderson at 7/1 to win the PDC World Darts Championship last month. You can follow Simon on Twitter to keep up to date with his latest articles.