PDC World Darts Championships 2021 Odds, Tips & Analysis
- Rob Cross outright to win each-way at 8/1 with BetRegal
- Dave Chisnall outright to win each-way at 25/1 with BetHard
PDC Darts traditionally has its busiest period in October and November with televised majors: The World Grand Prix, Champions League of Darts and the European Championship all fired off over successive weekends. The 2019 World Series of Darts Finals is next on the roster and while it was not classified as a ‘major’, it is televised and valuable.
In November the thirteenth edition of the Grand Slam of Darts will be played out in Wolverhampton over eight days and the Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals (November 22nd -24th) is the penultimate event of the year. Technically it is the last as, while the PDC World Championship starts on December 13, it does not crown its winner until 2020. OK, that’s January 1st 2020 - but it is still ‘next year’!
The Favourite’s Claim
The big question is - can Michael van Gerwen justify his strong favouritism (5/4 with the leading darts betting sites) and retain his crown by winning the ‘Worlds’ for a fourth time? His record in the competition reads:
|Year||Round Of Elimination|
|2016||Third round elimination|
So, strikingly, the Dutchman has never won this competition in back-to-back years. His most shocking World Championship elimination was in 2016 when he enjoyed a sublime season (during 2015) when winning eight of the year’s nine televised majors and finishing runner-up in the other.
Every year since MVG has won a hatful of televised majors prior to his assault on the World Championship: Five during 2016 (prior to his 2017 World Championship victory), three in 2017 and four last year (prior to his third World Championship win).
Ultimately MVG’s form never waivers significantly, just like the legendary Phil Taylor. But that previous champion won this event 14 times and came second on five occasions from 25 appearances in the competition. MVG has played ‘the biggie’ 12 times now, winning three times and being a beaten finalist once.
If MVG does fail to claim the title this time around, who will beat him? And will the person that eliminates him do so in the final or during the early rounds before, possibly, capitulating themselves.
In 2018 it was Rob Cross that claimed his scalp in the semi-final and he went on to take the title (beating Phil Taylor in the final). Raymond van Barneveld dispatched MVG in the third round in 2016 but he departed the competition in the semi-final stages. It was Gary Anderson who mastered MVG in 2015 at the semi-final stage and he became champion a game later.
Before trying to identify who may take MVG’s crown it is worth considering the tournament format which will, for the second successive year, feature 96 players. The system sees the 32 highest ranked players on the PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit and 32 global qualifiers meet in the opening round. Those that progress will then meet the 32 players taken from the PDC Order of Merit who will have been parachuted directly into the ‘final 64’ phase.
Ranked No.1, MVG is at the very top of the draw, the player sat No. 2 on the Order of Merit will head the bottom bracket of the draw. In the forthcoming championship, for the second consecutive year, that will be Rob Cross. The player sat third in the Order of Merit also starts in the bottom half of the draw, No’s 4 and 5 will be housed at the top alongside MVG.
Prize money won during the previous two seasons is used to calculate player’s position on the PDC Order of Merit and at the time of writing there is less than £25,000 between Michael Smith in third and Gerwyn Price in fifth. For them the coming weeks are vital in terms of their ranking and subsequent draw allocation.
Last year the top-12 in the Order of Merit occupied the top 12 places in the pre-tournament betting. The 2020 World Championship is marginally different. Three-time BDO World Champion Glen Durrant may be 25/1 with Ladbrokes, but that makes him the seventh favourite despite being No. 29 on the Order of Merit. OK, so that’s simply a consequence of him being on the PDC tour for less than a year.
The 49-year-old has reached the semi-final of the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix this year, but does he have the scope to land ‘the big one’? It has to be considered doubtful.
Many players have the back-class but they are not a flicker of their former selves. Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis has troubles both on and away from the oche and his flame is currently burning dimly. James Wade is a still a top-10 ranked player which is curtesy of 2018 results, in 2019 he has been underwhelming. Gary Anderson is another dual winner but he’s had a dire campaign and back surgery at the start of the year has clearly taken its toll.
Simon Whitlock is also regressive and he’s not progressed past the second round of this competition for five years.
But there are still plenty of live wires to consider, most notably Rob Cross who won the World Championship in 2018 and has taken two televised majors this season (the World Matchplay and European Championship).
Michael Smith was the beaten finalist in last season’s World Championship and his form definitely dipped early in the year. But there have been signs of a recovery in recent times and you should not overlook, with two finals and three semi-finals in televised majors, he is having his best season to date.
Others who appear to be coming to the boil at the right time include Gerwyn Price, the Welsh bruiser who has been a semi-finalist and finalist in the last two majors, and Dave Chisnall is of the same ilk, making the final of the recent World Grand Prix.
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Lesser Known Contenders
But the ‘new brigade’ must also be considered. 28-year-old Nathan Aspinall went all the way to the semis of last year’s World Championship and showed that was no fluke by winning the UK Open in March.
Krzysztof Ratajski (66/1 with BetVictor), who will be amongst the top-32 in the rankings so enters the fray at the second round stage, has been in blinding form taking two Players Championships since the summer and victory in the Gibraltar Darts Open. He has claimed some major scalps with some awesome averages.
Chris Dobey went into many notebooks when making the semi-final of the World Grand Prix. 24-year-old Australian Corey Cadby was a finalist in the 2018 UK Open and at the time many judges were calling him the next ‘big thing’.
The week-long bwin Grand Slam of Darts in mid-November will play a big part in the World Championship seedings of some leading players and contribute greatly to most players confidence. But both Rob Cross and MVG have their places set in the draw and are the two to concentrate on.
At the prices – Michael van Gerwen is 5/4 with William Hill and Rob Cross is 8/1 with Bet Regal – the 2018 World Champion is outstanding value. Each-way terms are 1/2 the odds for an appearance in the final and at the odds Rob Cross is the one to be behind. For more of a fun bet Dave Chisnall could give you a spin at 25/1 with BetHard. He’s been a World Championship quarter-finalist in two of the last three years.
Other markets will soon be open on markets such as ‘winner of each quarter’ (once the draw is made), ‘nine dart finishes’, ‘170 finishes’ etc. There were six 170 checkouts last year, Gary Anderson recorded a nine-dart finish in 2016 and so did Adrian Lewis in 2015 but there has not been one since.
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