ARTICLE AD BOX
What began arsenic a section of 96 of nan world’s champion darts players has slow been whittled down to a section of 32 players astatine nan PDC World Championship. As nan location agelong of nan tourney is group to statesman connected Wednesday, location are judge to beryllium galore much unthinkable moments, astonishing upsets and astonishing darts performances.
In nan erstwhile information of nan World Championship, we saw galore upsets and defeats that very fewer group could person predicted. Of nan existent apical 32 players, according to nan PDC Order of Merit, 11 of these individuals suffered conclusion successful Round 2 of nan World Championships. These defeats see nan likes of: No. 4 Peter “Snakebite” Wright, No. 6 Nathan “The Asp” Aspinall, No. 7 Danny “The Freeze” Noppert and 8 different competitors classed successful nan world apical 32.
Despite galore of these large names suffering an early defeat, galore awesome title holders and young up-and-comers still remain. And pinch each triumph successful this arena comes a ample salary raise, arsenic advancing into nan 3rd information netted each subordinate a payout of $80,000.
Looking astatine nan post-Christmas schedule, Round 3 originates pinch 3 days of very breathtaking matches. Before examining nan circumstantial matchups, see a fewer statistic that person developed done nan first mates rounds:
Luke Littler (12)
Chris Dobey, Matt Campbell, Florian Hempel (10)
Scott Williams (9)
Overall Tournament Averages
Stephen Bunting – 107.28
Chris Dobey – 103.09
Daryl Gurney – 100.79
Michael Smith – 100.09
Raymond van Barneveld – 99.81
Gary Anderson – 98.29
Top Tournament Checkout Percentages
Michael van Gerwen – 60%
Scott Williams, Ricky Evans – 56%
Raymond van Barneveld – 55%
Joe Cullen, Berry van Peer, Gabriel Clemens – 53%
As nan tourney progresses into nan later stages, nan rounds turn larger, pinch players being required to triumph much and much sets astatine each shape of nan event. Players who consistently find high-scoring averages and checkout percentages will inevitably fare amended than those who struggle successful 1 aliases some of those areas.
Three Trends to follow
Michael van Gerwen checkout percent of 60 percent. MVG is already nan odds-on favourite to triumph this tournament. He is truthful difficult to conclusion if he tin proceed to deed doubles astatine this rate, aliases moreover immoderate complaint greater than 45 percent. All it takes is 1 bad lucifer for personification to beryllium eliminated, but 60 percent checkout from nan favourite is terrifying.
Luke Humphries being absent from each statistical class astatine this time. Going into nan World Championship, van Gerwen and Humphries were neck-and-neck arsenic nan 2 favorites to triumph this year’s title. The 28-year-old Humphries has had an unthinkable 2023 campaign, taking down televised PDC titles astatine nan World Grand Prix, nan Grand Slam of Darts and nan Players Championship Finals. At this shape successful nan world championship, Humphries is averaging 93.58, pinch 37.5 percent connected checkouts. Expect these numbers to summation successful Humphries’ adjacent lucifer aliases two. Otherwise, we whitethorn not spot Cool Hand Luke advancing overmuch further.
Raymond van Barneveld is turning backmost nan clock, averaging astir 100 and uncovering a 55 percent checkout percentage. Both stats are very bully numbers for anyone connected nan PDC tour, but it is simply astonishing for nan oldest remaining competitor successful nan field. RVB is simply a erstwhile world champion, truthful he knows what it takes to triumph this tournament. But we person not seen him successful shape successful this bully successful possibly a decade. With opponents getting progressively difficult on nan way, we will spot if Barney tin proceed to nutrient these precocious averages. If he tin do so, I would expect to spot him successful nan late, precocious stages of this tournament.
Round 3 Schedule
Friday, December 29
Damon Heta vs. Berry van Peer
Jonny Clayton vs. Krzysztof Ratajski
Jim Williams vs. Raymond van Barneveld
Boris Krcmar vs. Gary Anderson
Daily Expert Picks
In this section, I scheme to make a regular prediction, opening pinch nan Round 3 matches, each time until we scope nan finals connected Jan. 3.
All odds from BetMGM. Lines do not update live. Always shop astir for champion odds.
Dec. 30 – Dave Chisnall (-155) vs. Daryl Gurney
I for illustration Dave “Chizzy” Chisnall to unafraid different victory, aft successfully getting done The German Giant, Gabriel Clemens, backmost connected Dec. 27. Daryl “Superchin” Gurney and Gabriel Clemens person a batch of similarities successful some their play styles and occurrence successful large events, truthful I’m anticipating a akin consequence for Chisnall successful this one.
Chisnall, nan existent world No. 11, holds an 8-4 head-to-head grounds against nan existent world No. 27 Daryl Gurney. Chisnall besides has not mislaid to Gurney since 2021, uncovering a mates 6-5 victories successful 2022, and a 6-1 triumph this year. So he matches up good pinch Gurney, and nan 2 are surely familiar.
Like I mentioned a mates days ago, Chisnall is presently successful terrific form. Just past month, Chizzy snagged nan Players Championship 30 triumph connected November 2, and besides reached nan finals of Players Championship 29 connected November 1. He has only dropped 2 sets successful nan world championships frankincense far, averaging conscionable nether 94, but much impressively, uncovering doubles astatine a complaint of 41 percent.
Gurney is simply a very coagulated player, and has performed good successful his first 2 matches, taking retired “The Bronzed Adonis” Steve Beaton 3-1, and “Rapid” Ricky Evans 4-2. Aside from nan 2 beardown matches to commencement nan world championships, Gurney has not really been a immense facet connected nan PDC Tour. He reached 1 semifinal this twelvemonth successful Players Championship 23 but has not had a tourney triumph since 2019.
Quite for illustration this matchup for Chisnall, and consenting to eat a small juice astatine (-155) to fastener successful Chisnall to beforehand to nan quarterfinals.
Jonny Clayton (-115) v. Krzysztof Ratajski
Result: Clayton won 4-2
With galore of darts’ apical stories involving 16-year-old phenoms and 28-year olds taking complete nan sport, we find an intriguing matchup involving 2 older players, a mates staples of nan PDC Tour who person been very progressive for nan past 5 aliases six years. I for illustration Jonny “The Ferret” Clayton to get done Krzysztof “The Polish Eagle” Ratajski successful this matchup.
Both players would apt show you they are a small disappointed successful their 2023 campaigns, though they snagged a mates titles, contempt having immoderate inconsistent play passim nan year. For Ratajski, he secured triumph astatine nan German Darts Open. For Clayton, he secured triumph backmost successful May astatine Players Championship 23.
There is nary mobility that Clayton, nan existent world No. 9, has much acquisition and has recovered much occurrence regarding televised events. Clayton presently holds 7 televised PDC titles. He has won nan darts Premier League, and besides secured a runner-up decorativeness this twelvemonth astatine nan World Matchplay, 1 of darts astir weighted titles. Ratajski, nan existent world #24, has ne'er won a televised PDC title, and successful fact, his only televised title is simply a 2017 World Darts Federation victory.
Jonny besides presently holds a 6-4 head-to-head grounds against Ratajski. Worth noting that Ratajski’s past 2 victories against Clayton came successful past limb deciders. There is nary mobility that Clayton is tin of competing pinch and beating nan champion successful nan world; he has shown it many times passim nan past fewer years.Expecting to spot a vintage capacity from nan Ferret successful this one, seeing Clayton get done Ratajski to group up an epic matchup successful nan last 8 against world No. 8 Rob “Voltage” Cross.
Michael van Gerwen (-161) v. Stephen Bunting
Not trying to overthink this one; I’m locking successful world No. 2 and odds-on favourite “Mighty” Michael van Gerwen to conclusion existent world No. 18 Stephen “Bullet” Bunting.
It is nary concealed that Bunting has been exceptionally awesome astatine nan 2024 World Championships. Bunting defeated world No. 35 “Relentless” Ryan Joyce 3-0, averaging complete 107 successful nan match, and followed it up pinch a 4-0 conclusion of world No. 59 Florian Hempel. The Bullet has been a awesome communicative of nan tourney frankincense far, successful portion I believe, because he is playing astatine a higher level than we are utilized to seeing retired of him.
Less of a story, but ever unit erstwhile it comes to awesome darts tournaments, Michael van Gerwen has besides not dropped a set, defeating world No. 41 Keane Barry and world No. 79 Richard Veenstra. In nan astir caller lucifer against Veenstra, MVG averaged 101.4, and deed 12/19 doubles (63.16%)—terrifying numbers for anyone remaining successful nan tournament.
Not overmuch other for study here. If I spot Michael van Gerwen disposable astatine (-161) odds, aliases really anyplace nether (-200), successful nan last 16 of nan World Championships astatine this constituent successful his career, I see it a must bet.
Dec. 28 – Joe Cullen (+100) vs. Ryan Searle
Result: Cullen won 4-2
A small amazed to spot No. 14 Joe “Rockstar” Cullen posted arsenic a flimsy underdog to No. 19 Ryan “Heavy Metal” Searle, but I americium happy to fastener successful Cullen to get nan triumph astatine positive odds.
Expecting a conflict successful this one, arsenic some of these players person been successful very bully shape pinch coagulated 2023 campaigns. But I americium leaning towards Cullen for 2 reasons. In 5 PDC circuit matches, Cullen holds a 3-2 bid head-to-head grounds against Searle. In Searle’s 2 victories complete Cullen, though, Searle has squeaked retired a brace of 6-5 wins. In Cullen’s 3 victories, Rockstar has won 6-5, 6-4, and 6-2 complete Searle. I do not spot Searle moving distant pinch this match; either Cullen finds a reasonably soft way to victory, aliases nan 2 are engulfed successful a nail-bitingly adjacent lucifer that could spell either way.
The different logic is Cullen’s experience, particularly recently, successful televised darts matches. Cullen has 1 awesome title, taking down nan 2022 PDC Darts Masters. Searle has zero awesome title victories. Searle’s champion decorativeness astatine a awesome is nan past 16, a decorativeness he achieved astatine nan 2022 PDC Darts Masters that was won by Cullen.
Cullen besides vanished arsenic runner-up successful nan 2022 Premier League of Darts, missing 1 lucifer dart that would person won nan full Premier League that year. He yet mislaid to Michael van Gerwen successful an unthinkable finals match. Searle has ne'er been invited to nan Premier League, and really lacks overmuch acquisition erstwhile it comes to nan unit of televised darts performances.
The bottommost statement is that I expect a tight lucifer here, pinch 2 absolute dogs going to conflict to beforehand to nan last 16 of nan world championship. I deliberation Cullen has nan separator successful this one, and I emotion locking him successful astatine (+100).
Dec. 27 – Dave Chisnall (-165) vs. Gabriel Clemens
Result: Chisnall won 4-1
I americium taking No. 11, Dave “Chizzy” Chisnall to get done No. 22 Gabriel “The German Giant” Clemens.
Clemens amazed galore astatine this tourney past year, advancing to nan semifinals, losing to eventual world champion Michael “Bullyboy” Smith. It was a very awesome decorativeness for nan German player, but contempt past year’s result, I person not been impressed pinch Clemens’ shape this season. In his career, Clemens is nan proprietor of zero televised titles, zero non-televised titles and zero nine-dart finishes. The German Giant does look to find ways to triumph a match, aliases two, aliases three, astatine galore PDC tournaments, but he ever falls short of nan eventual victory.
Chisnall, connected nan different hand, is nan proprietor of 22 non-televised PDC titles and 1 televised nine-dart finish. Chisnall has besides been successful very beardown shape precocious successful nan 2023 season, booking a ranking triumph conscionable past period astatine nan Players Championship Finals. Just arsenic Clemens reached nan World Champion semifinal past year, Chisnall accomplished nan aforesaid feat backmost successful 2021.
Both Chisnall and Clemens are terrific PDC circuit players, but I springiness nan separator to Chisnall erstwhile it comes to acquisition connected nan large shape and scoring average. So agelong arsenic Chisnall tin find his doubles, averaging conscionable nether 32 percent done 2 tourney rounds, I expect Chisnall to beforehand done Clemens into Round 4.
(Photo of Michael van Gerwen: Tom Dulat / Getty Images)