Darts is back after the post-World Championship lull and the best players on the planet have descended on Milton Keynes.
The 2019 Darts Masters kicks off the new year in style, with 16 players in action over the next few days.
Michael van Gerwen is of course the favourite to win the Darts Masters for what would be a fifth consecutive year.
But Rob Cross, Peter Wright and a host of the PDC’s top talent are all out there to stop him!
The tournament takes place between February 1-3 and here are some darts betting tips to consider…
The Darts Masters first round will take place on Friday and Saturday this week. Eight matches across two days gives darts betting fans the chance to make big profits on combination bets.
There are some heavy favourites in first-round matches and combining odds across matches is the best way to increase those odds.
Gary Anderson, for example, is 4/27 with SportNation to beat Darren Webster (15/4) on Friday.
Anderson reached the semi-finals of the World Championship last month before being dumped out by Van Gerwen. A strong, consistent player, Anderson is a great shout to win this match against Webster, over whom he has a W6 L4 record. But his odds aren’t strong enough on their own.
Combine Anderson’s odds with Van Gerwen’s 1/25 to beat Jonny Clayton, Rob Cross’ 1/3 price to beat Joe Cullen and Michael Smith’s 20/67 to edge Ian White, and a £10 returns over £20.
Not bad for supposed dead certs, right?
The two events in darts that get fans in the arenas and on their sofas gripped are nine dart finishes, and 170 checkouts.
The nine-darter is a joy to behold when a player lands that final arrow. Some of the best players on the Tour may never land a nine-darter.
Some, like Michael van Gerwen, have managed five televised in their career. But it’s rare. Only two were televised in 2018 — Gary Anderson and Dimitri Van Den Bergh with the honours.
Paul Lim was the first man to land a nine-darter in a World Darts Championship with this effort back in 1990.— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) January 25, 2019
Happy birthday to the Singapore Slinger! pic.twitter.com/ub8a19l2oL
Can it happen this time? Well, the format certainly helps. This is a best-of-19 legs tournament, with 21 legs played in the semi-finals and final. Not sets, not disruptions. Just pure darts. That’s why a price of 7/4 for a nine-darter with Betway is worth considering.
As for the 170 checkout, that hasn’t been achieved at the Masters since 2017, when Raymond van Barneveld landed the score. The Masters has been running since 2013 and Van Barneveld is the only player to land that 170.
Amazingly, a 170 checkout is priced at 1/5 with Betway. That’s a tiny price for something evidently so rare in this tournament. So back against the 170 at 3/1. That’s a great price!
This is an intriguing book thrown up by the 2019 Darts Masters sponsors, BetVictor. Will there be a new name on the Masters trophy? Van Gerwen has won the last four instalments of this tournament, with James Wade winning in 2014 and Phil Taylor in 2013.
Now, Taylor has since retired and Wade is seeded 10th for the Masters, having largely disappointed last season bar his triumph at the European Championship. Effectively, this is a ‘will MVG not win?’ bet.
And the answer could be yes. Van Gerwen should have no problem in his first round against Jonny Clayton, and is expected to beat either Simon Whitlock or Mensur Suljovic next. But a projected semi-final clash with Daryl Gurney or Gary Anderson may rock the Dutchman.
He has lost two of his last five matches with Anderson, and Gurney beat him the last time they met at the Players Championship final.
Will there be a first-time winner at the Darts Masters in 2019? A price of 6/5 with BetVictor says there may well be!
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