Just two weeks left in the regular season of 2012 Premier League darts betting, and the only thing confirmed is that Phil Taylor has topped the table. The other three places to reach the knock-out stages are still up for grabs. Second placed Simon Whitlock needs just one more win to confirm his place in the finals, and behind him then, it genuinely looks as if it will be a three way race for the remaining two spots, as Wade, Lewis and Barneveld are in the strongest positions. So two more crucial nights to come in your 2012 Premier League darts betting before we hit finals night. Phil Taylor is there. Who will join him? We are at the NIA Birmingham for this week’s action, on Thursday, May 3rd
Standings: Taylor 21pts, Whitlock 14pts, Wade 12pts, Lewis 12pts, Barneveld 11pts, Painter 9pts, Hamilton 9pts, Anderson 8pts
Simon Whitlock v Andy Hamilton
Aussie Simon Whitlock can book himself a place in the finals if he can take maximum points off Andy Hamilton. The Wizard was rolling along nicely until he ran into Phil Taylor last week and got demolished 8-3. Still, Whitlock has been surprisingly consistent this season, and looks a good bet to make it through to finals night. Andy Hamilton is still trying all that he can to make an impact in his debut season, and he would need to win this one to be in with any kind of chance of making finals night. He needs two wins from the remaining two matches, and needs other results to go his way. He is fighting well, and making a nuisance of himself, and has earned himself back to back draws in the past two weeks against James Wade and Gary Anderson. Hamilton earned a draw against Whitlock earlier in the season and wouldn’t be too surprised to see that happen again. Would edge things just with Whitlock though.
Whitlock 1.61, Draw 6.5, Hamilton 4.00 at Bet365
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Barneveld needs this win to try and muscle his way into the top four. He just on the outskirts at the moment by a single point, so he still needs other results to go his way. But to keep himself in with a chance he has to pick up two points here realistically, and then there will be the massive showdown against James Wade next week. Barneveld drew 7-7 with Adrian Lewis last week in a grinding match, but it means the Dutchman hasn’t won in three matches now. So he is falling away a little bit. But Gary Anderson is out of the running altogether Mathematically there is an outside chance, but it would need a miracle. The defending champion just hasn’t been at the races this season, and although he ground out a draw against Adrian Lewis last week, Barneveld has to be much hungrier for this win you would think. However, he seems to just be teetering and he has had trouble closing out matches. So would edge Anderson.
Anderson 2.62, Draw 6.0, Barneveld 2.2 at Bet365
Kevin Painter v Adrian Lewis
The Artist Kevin Painter needs to wins from two if he is going to make the play-offs, which seems a little unlikely from this point. However, he would pull within one point of Adrian Lewis, who is fourth, if he could pick up a victory on Thursday night. Painter has struggled over the second half of the season, but has ground out three points from the last four available over the past couple of weeks. A battler, but would expect Lewis to finish off the job on Thursday. Lewis has been resurgent after having a very slow start to the season. He is unbeaten in his last five matches now heading into this, including a win over Phil Taylor two weeks ago. So the double World Champion looks in good shape to book a place in the finals. Just needs to get his head down though and see off the challenge of Painter. Although The Artist has been battling nicely, would expect the power of Lewis to come through.
Painter 5.0, Draw 6/5, Lewis 1.54 at Bet365
James Wade v Phil Taylor
Big match here for Wade, beause if he loses this and both Lewis and Barneveld win, then he will pushed outside of the top four. It is a tough finish to season for Lewis, who has to take on Barneveld next week. Wade, by and large, has been pretty decent over the course of the season, and is unbeaten in his last three. He picked up a draw against Kevin Painter last week, which he will have been disappointed about, so now he has to somehow get something out of Taylor. However, Wade has a horrible record against The Power, and not expecting that to change in Birmingham on Thursday. Phil Taylor bounced back from that defeat against Adrian Lewis by thumping second placed Simon Whitlock last week. Taylor has only dropped three points all season and has been in majestic form. Lewis really is his biggest threat, so he will want to see his apprentice miss the top four. Taylor has the league table all sewn up yet again, and would expect him to be relaxed. A relaxed Taylor is usually an unstoppable one, so would get behind him.
Wade 6.0, Draw 7.5, Taylor 1.4
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