Darts is a sport where margins matter. The slightest waver makes the difference between scoring 60 or one, and spotting the small shifts in momentum and mental fortitude that predict a 180, or a collapse, are what make in-play betting on darts so exciting and potentially lucrative. But as well as getting caught up in the atmosphere of live darts, there are some key statistics punters should consider researching to help make in-play betting more predictable and, more importantly, profitable.
Win and checkout percentages are the top statistics to consider for gamers focused on the main markets. The match winner market is usually skewed in favour of the player that's notched up the most tournament wins, prize money and gravitas over the course of the season. Top players like Phil "The Power" Taylor, Michael van Gerwen, Adrian Lewis and Simon Whitlock usually pop up as the favourites in any given match or tournament, but isolating players who've notched up a string of wins in a season, or take their chances when checkout options arise, is a good way to pick an underdog who might come through in a pressure-cooker match. And betting in-play gives gamblers the chance to assess whether these stats were right.
Three-dart averages and total 180s, on the other hand, give an insight into the consistent level a player has, open up more in-play markets to consider, and make betting on big names viable again. For example, bookies like Betfair Sports offer odds on 180s scored in a match, highest checkouts and the score of the first three darts in a leg. When you know the numbers, these make for quick, easy bets, and as the game progresses and a player hits (or misses) his stride, these markets can become regular winners.
Knowing the stats also helps you to spot momentum shifts in advance, and with more certainty. If a player drops below their usual three-dart average, as Phil Taylor did during his last defeat against Michael Smith in the 2014 PDC World Championship, James Wade did against Adrian Lewis, and Wes Newton did against Peter Wright (the list goes on and on), then there's fertile betting ground.
And whether you're seeing a change in the stats or sensing a shift in the psychology, there are more immediate markets to test than the match winner market. Betting on individual leg and set markets enables the casual punter to wager on immediate changes without risking a highly-rated opponent battling back to win the match overall. Although for those who really think ahead and can predict such a comeback, betting on the match result in-play offers even greater value.
For the mathematically minded, there are several more markets to consider. Some bookies offer odds on which double will be hit to win a leg or set, and when a checkout strategy (intended or otherwise) becomes clear this market is well worth dipping into, particularly for those who can quickly calculate the checkouts.
To see the full range of darts in-play markets available and try these strategies out for yourself, visit Betfair Sports now.