Michael van Gerwen has surged clear at the top of the Premier League after two winning weeks but Racing Post darts tipster Steve Davies is quite happy to oppose him completing a hat-trick in Liverpool.
Mighty Mike is 9/4 at the M&S Arena and will have his backers after a couple of triumphant Thursdays followed by a run to the final of the UK Open in Minehead on Sunday night where he was pipped 11-10 by shock winner Andrew Gilding.
The Green Machine will be feeling sore after that near-miss and Liverpool better beware – but he still looks short enough on a night when local hero Nathan Aspinall could be really decent value at 9/1.
|What||Premier League Week 6|
|Where||M&S Arena, Liverpool|
|When||19:00, Thursday 9th March|
|How to watch||Sky Sports|
|Odds||M van Gerwen 9/4, M Smith 7/2, G Price 4/1, P Wright 7/1, N Aspinall 9/1, D van den Bergh 10/1, J Clayton 11/1, C Dobey 20/1|
Michael van Gerwen has eased clear of the field following successes in Dublin and Exeter and he's going to be a hard man to reel in now.
The six-time Premier League winner has topped the table eight times in ten attempts and is 4/9 to be atop the pile once more as they head into the playoffs. He's 11/8 to go on and lift the trophy.
Whatever happens in Liverpool he will still be at the head of affairs and he's 9/4 to make it three in a row by seeing off Jonny Clayton, the winner of Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright and then whoever emerges from the bottom half.
There's hardly much point in saying MvG isn't value given the run he's on but I'd rather tie my cash up in Nathan Aspinall at 9/1.
The Asp is enjoying his return with just one first-round loss in five weeks and he heads for Liverpool having enjoyed a good run to the last eight of the UK Open despite the draw gods hitting him with a hellish schedule. He drew a barrage of danger men – Alan Soutar, Dirk van Duijvenbode and Joe Cullen – and beat the lot before succumbing to Mighty Mike.
He takes on Chris Dobey in round one in Liverpool, and should he win that either Michael Smith or Dimitri van den Bergh in the semis. And if it is Smith he has beaten him twice in the campaign already.
Perhaps the big story of the Premier League so far is the no-show of Peter Wright, who has played five, lost five, and will still be in the bottom two even if he wins in Liverpool.
And in all honesty, that looks unlikely.
He takes on Gerwyn Price in his opener and is 11/10 for the task, which is probably short enough. Price is 8/11 and looks the bet.
Snakebite did beat Price in the final of the Nordic Masters in January but since then has really struggled and even in Minehead over the weekend was struggling with his averages before succumbing to Richie Burnett.
Wright is averaging a shade under 96 in the Premier League so far, averaged 94 and change at Butlin's and is averaging a tad over 96 on the floor. All of which suggests the 8/11 he fires in under 97.5 against The Iceman looks obvious.
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Jonny Clayton has recovered from a poor start – he was pointless after two rounds but a pair of semis got him on the board and he reached the final in Exeter where he lost to Van Gerwen.
The two meet again in Liverpool and the Ferret has to think he will play better than he did in last week's final in which he lost 6-3.
The Welshman is 1/1 to cover a 1.5-leg spread and he is more than capable of doing that.
Nathan Aspinall is taken to land the odds-on against Chris Dobey but a riskier proposition might be the 6/4 he pings more 180s than Hollywood.
Aspinall is averaging a max every 2.8 legs so far, Dobey one every 3.4 legs. That superiority is mirrored on the floor where The Asp is averaging a 180 every 3.2 legs, Dobey one every 3.3.
Both are merciless around the treble-20 bed when they are flying but Aspinall has the confidence with Dobey reeling from four straight first-round defeats after his shock opening-night success.
The other quarter-final pits Michael Smith against Dimitri van den Bergh. These two met three weeks ago in the final in Glasgow where Bully Boy wrapped up a 6-4 win on the back of a mesmerising 109 average.
Van den Bergh himself averaged 97.6 and they can reproduce those figures again. Both are worth backing to exceed their averages spread of 98.5 for Smith and 96.5 for Van den Bergh, at 1/1 and 5/6 respectively.