Just three matches now in the jostling for position to get into the top four of the 2012 Premier League darts. Betting on the event was turned on its head last week, when Adrian Lewis took down Phil Taylor, who hadn’t lost all season until that point. So that shook the game up a little bit and has now made the race for the finishing places even more exciting. We head to the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Thursday, April 26th for the next instalment of the darts betting excitement. Despite his defeat last week, Taylor looks set to still win the league, while the defending Champion Gary Anderson is failing at the foot of the table. Things are very tight in the race to book a spot, as we preview this week’s action.
Standings: Taylor 19pts, Whitlock 14pts, Wade 11pts, Lewis 11pts, Barneveld 10pts, Painter 8pts, Hamilton 8pts, Anderson 7pts
James Wade v Kevin Painter
James Wade missed a bit of an opportunity last week to really solidify his chances of finishing in the top four. He is in third place on eleven points, but a loss wins for Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld this week will quickly see him pushed out. Wade could only manage a draw against Andy Hamilton who was bottom of the table going into last week’s round of matches. So, it was still a precious point in the end, but Wade, who has been in strong form over the second half of the Premier League season, needs to drive this match home against The Artist. Painter though rattled off a big win over Gary Anderson last week to snap his five match losing streak. He should be buoyed by that and a win over Wade would pull him within one point of his opponent. Big match, would turn to Wade for the cool temperament, and he beat Painter 8-6 earlier in the season.
Wade 4/7, Draw 11/2, Painter 10/3 at Paddy Power
Phil Taylor v Simon Whitlock
The only way that Phil Taylor is not going to win the Premier League table, is if he loses all three of his final matches, and Simon Whitlock wins all of his. Taylor went down to his first defeat of the season last week, losing out against his apprentice and double World Champions Adrian Lewis. So a big turn up for the books there, but The Power is still firmly in the driving seat here. Taylor recorded his lowest three dart average of the season last week, and needs to up his game against Whitlock on Thursday, in order to do the season double over the Aussie. Simon Whitlock scored an important victory over Raymond van Barneveld last week, which kept him on his own in second place, three points ahead of the nearest challengers. So Whitlock should be good for a second place finish, even if he doesn’t win this one. There has been a refreshing showing of consistency from the Aussie this season and like the way he is playing Would still back Taylor though in this match, which should be the headline of the night.
Taylor 4/11, Draw 13/2, Whitlock 5/1 at Bet365
Andy Hamilton v Raymond van Barneveld
Débutante Andy Hamilton is still scrapping after having a hard season in the Premier League. He has only won two matches this season, but his point against James Wade last week, was his fourth draw of the season. He really needs to pull out the stops now then and pick up a win, which would pull him level on points with Barneveld. Hamilton went down 8-6 against the Dutchman when they met earlier in the season, but Hamilton has held Whitlock to a draw and beaten Adrian Lewis in the past few weeks, so this is no done deal for Barneveld. Barney is in danger of falling off the pace with three defeats in his last four matches. He has been scoring heavily this season, but for some reason he just hasn’t been able to rack up as many wins as his play has generally deserved. Just on the outside of the top four, so there is still a chance we’ll see him in the finals, but this is going to have to be a must-win game for him. However, would tip Hamilton here slightly, he seems to be more motivated.
Hamilton 9/4, Draw 5/1, Barneveld 4/5 at Bet Victor
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
At the start of the season when this was scheduled, it should have been one of the crucial deciding matches of the season. However, it’s not, as defending champion Gary Anderson is rock bottom and after suffering a family bereavement, just hasn’t got back in the game. That’s understandable, but his form even before that looked a bit unsteady. He hasn’t been scoring anywhere near his best, nowhere near what he is capable of, and realistically needs three wins from the remaining here to get into the top four. Unlikely to happen, especially as he will face a fired up Adrian Lewis. Lewis looked down and out of the running for most of the season, but has turned his form around a bit, just at the right time. He is sitting inside the top four, and would suggest that he is going to be Taylor’s biggest challenger when it comes to Finals night, if Lewis can get into the top four. Big match for Lewis, who has far more to play for, far more at stake in this match than the slightly disinterested Anderson. So would look for Lewis to keep on trucking along.
Lewis 8/13, Draw 11/2, Anderson 11/4 at Paddy Power
Premier League Outright Winner Odds:
Taylor 4/7, Whitlock 6/1, Lewis 11/2, Wade 8/1, Barneveld 14/1 at Bet365
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