Skip to content
GO TO bet365 Sports
Michael Smith
  1. Darts

Czech Open preview: In-form Smith can dethrone defending champ

The European Tour heads to Prague for a weekend of darts at the Czech Open, won by Luke Humphries in 2022, with the action running from Friday to Sunday.

Last year’s champion, Humphries, will return to defend the crown he won 12 months ago and Cool Hand arrives in good form, having made the final of the Belgian Open last week. 

That was the third European Tour final that the Newbury arrowsmith has made this year, and alongside Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith and Johnny Clayton, Humphries will be one of the favourites to star at hall six of the PVA EXPO in Prague. 

It’s the eighth stop of this year’s PDC European Tour and, so far, the seven tournament victories have been shared by only five players. 

It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in the Czech Republic.

Green Machine struggling for reliability

Van Gerwen remains capable of some top-level performances, as he showed when averaging 103.10 and beating the in-form Gerwen Price 6-2 on Night 14 of the Premier League in Manchester last week. 

Mighty Mike lifted the Belgian Open title last weekend, getting the better of Humphries in the final, and, while those were strong efforts, there have also been some mediocre pieces of form too. 

The Dutchman averaged only 89.12 when losing to Dave Chisnall in front of a home crowd in the Dutch Darts Championship at the end of last month and was defeated by the struggling Peter Wright a couple of weeks ago in the Premier League. 

The past achievements and reputation of Van Gerwen will always see him towards the head of the betting, but on balance he doesn’t appear to be operating anywhere near his best and certainly not on a consistent basis.

World champion returning to his brilliant best

The promotional commitments and demands looked to be weighing heavily on reigning world champion Michael Smith in the early part of the year, but Bully Boy appears to have found his best form of late and the St Helens man looks set for a big run in Prague. 

Smith has won the last two nights of Premier League action, and while that invitation event is played over a short-format and isn’t the most solid of form guides, the numbers Bully Boy has been producing have been fantastic. 

The 32-year-old hit a 104.86 three-dart average when beating Price in the final of the Leeds event, before making it back-to-back league wins with numbers of 110.05 in victory over Clayton in Manchester. 

Bully Boy has been doing it on the European Tour too. He took down the German Darts Grand Prix in April and another strong effort looks likely in the Czech Open.

Other European winners in the field

This is the eighth stop on this year’s European Tour and many of this season’s winners will be back to try and land another continental crown. 

Price has collected the European Darts Open and International Darts Open titles on the ET this season, but the Iceman has opted out of the trip to Prague. 

However, Dutch Darts Championship and Baltic Sea Darts Open winner Chisnall will be looking to add to his brace of victories. 

Austrian Darts Open king Clayton is also in the field and this year’s European Tour winners are completed by Van Gerwen and Smith.

Maximum men looking to make their mark

The old saying is trebles for show, doubles for dough, but if you’re scoring is strong enough to keep giving opportunities at doubles, there should be plenty of chances to win matches and take down a major crown. 

Dirk van Duijvenbode is the PDC 180 king on a per-leg basis, with the Dutchman hitting a maximum at 0.39 per leg in 2023. 

Ross Smith is next best, with Chisnall, Gary Anderson and Michael Smith rounding out the top five. 

Van Duijvenbode has often threatened to land a big prize, making the final of the World Grand Prix and World Series of Darts finals in his career, and if the Titan continues hitting the big scores, the rewards will surely follow. 

The Dutchman is in action in Prague this weekend and he could be a player to support at bigger odds.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.