The BDO World Darts Championship at Lakeside, taking place from 2nd-10th January, is among the most anticipated sporting events on the British calendar – and this year, the action has been nothing short of surprising. From 180s and bounce-outs to lively crowds and larger-than-life personalities, the BDO World Darts Championship 2016 is shaping up to be a barnstormer. Despite perennial performers such as Martin 'Wolfie' Adams entering the fray with the odds on their side, the darts don't always fly in the way we'd expect.
Adams stepped up to the oche (that's the throw line) in Round One as the number two seed, looking like he might conceivably dislodge the reigning champion, Scott Mitchell. However, a poor start in his opening match against Canada's Jeff Smith (currently 4/1 to win the Championship with Paddy Power) saw 'Wolfie' on the wrong side of a 3-0 whitewash.
As news of Adams' shock exit reverberated around Lakeside, Mitchell almost followed suit, after he found himself down in his opening match against qualifier Craig Caldwell. Fortunately, unlike Adams, Mitchell was able to rally and eventually steal the match at 3-2 and progress to the second round.
Jeffrey de Graaf was another man to continue the trend of early favourites missing the mark. Thanks to a rich run of form on the international circuit, de Graaf entered the BDO World Championship 2016 as the number three seed. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to overcome his compatriot, Richard Veenstra. Making his debut at Lakeside, Veenstra edged out de Graaf to successfully book a place in Round Two.
With the assumed favourites either out or struggling, the betting markets for the BDO World Championship have been turned upside down. Where the likes of Adams, Mitchell and de Graaf once reigned, Glen Durrant, Scott Waites and Jeff Smith now lead the way.
Durrant entered the championship as the number one seed, and the bookies appear to agree, as the Englishman is priced as the 6/4 favourite at William Hill Sports. Sitting just behind Durrant in the pre-Round Two betting, with 5/1 odds at the same bookmaker, is Scott Waites.
Defending champion Mitchell follows on from Waites, retaining some of his betting lustre despite a shaky start against Caldwell. Ladbrokes Sports appear moderately optimistic about the current champ's chances, with current odds of 6/1.
Given the upsets we've already seen at Lakeside this year, and the unpredictability of darts betting, it's likely the odds won't stay like this for long. In fact, as the field continues to thin this week, the betting lines at the bookmakers will be in a constant state of flux – so the only way you can stay on top of the action is to check out the stats on a daily basis.
Of course, if you're looking for something a little more stable, the top bookies are also offering a range of bonus markets for the BDO World Championship 2016. If you head over to Coral Sports, you'll find odds for an array of outcomes, including 'total 180s' in a match, 'correct score' markets, handicap betting for each round and in-play betting. Similarly, if you browse through William Hill Sports' BDO betting lobby, you'll find enhanced odds offers and daily bet bundles that will give improved prices for many of the day's favourites.
The BDO World Championship 2016 has already surpassed expectations in terms of drama, which has made this year's betting markets even more interesting. The current favourites may be cruising at the top, but there's every chance things will change as the week progresses. Make sure you stay on top of the action and check out all the latest odds at our recommended betting sites listed below.