Expect a +116 checkout for Scott Mitchell in a mouthwatering Round 2 clash against Geert de Vos at 5/6, whilst the classy Jamie Hughes can sink Jim Williams covering a -2.5 Handicap @ 5/4
Wednesday we have the commencement of the 2nd round at the Lakeside World Darts Championships in Frimley Green.
Wednesday 12.30pm: Scott Mitchell v Geert de Vos.
The 2015 Lakeside Champion and 2nd seed this week Scotty Dog Mitchell will be heavily tested against Belgian talent Geert de Vos who put in one of the performances of the 1st round to set up this mouthwatering clash.
The bookmakers have this one as a pick'em contest with Mitchell edging favouritism at 8/11 and De Vos at Evs. I do see Mitchell progressing and in doing so continuing the trend of last 16 exits here at Lakeside for the Belgian.
Incredibly Geert has lost at this stage which is his best performances to date for the past five years and although looking extremely fluent on Sunday night we have been here many times before with him showing excellent round 1 form but see very much a simialr pattern and the gritty Mitchell who I see being bang on his game which he will have to be to defeat the improving De Vos.
Mitchell holds all the Aces leading head to head 4-1. He has won four in a row including a recent World Masters 3-1 set scoreline on TV and on this Lakeside stage in early December, it is also worth noting a 4-2 sets scoreline in 2015 here and the omens of a repeat result and repeat run to the title like what occurred in 2015 for Mitchell following this battle.
The market I like over this extended best of 7-set format is for Scott Mitchell's highest checkout set at 116.5 at 5/6 with WilliamHill where I see the focused and determined Scotty Dog who is calm and excellent on his three figure execution landing a 117 or higher.
8.30pm: Jamie Hughes v Jim Williams
The 4th seed Jamie Hughes was another star performer in round1 and the inform man from Tipton will take some stopping this week.
He is 14/1 for the title partly due to the potential semi-final clash should the seedlings go to plan against Glen Durrant who is the tournament's 11/10 red hot favourite and hard to oppose.
Hughes is a player for me I will be very keen on once it is clear who has gone across the darting devide to the PDC ranks and if as expected Durrant makes the switch, players such as Hughes and Danny Noppert will be my idea of next years champion and worth a bet early in the year, as Hughes has the potential to really kick on in 2017 and winning titles throughout the year will see his price deminish like Durrant's has progressively during 2016.
Back to this very pleasing on the eye round 2 contest between Hughes and talented Welshman Jim Williams. Their should be plenty of 180's between the pair however on the flip side I see Hughes pulling rank and ending this one sharp so the market preference is for Hughes to dominate and win covering a big handicap of -2.5, where the 3/10 shot to win the match is best priced 5/4 with Coral or 6/5 general to win 4-0 or 4-1 victory.
Williams can still appear nervous up on the Lakeside stage whilst I love the Hughes body language he looks so confident and game looks to be right on top form, he can go close this week so siding with Yozza at odds against is my value pick for him not to give up more than one set.
Thursday (time not yet confirmed)
Darius Labanauskas v Krzystof Ratajski
This match has very much a European feel to it as we see Lithuania taking on Poland for a place in the quarter-finals at lakeside. Ratajski is a player with experience on both sides of the darting divide having represented Poland in the PDC World Cup of Darts on more than one occasion playing steady each time.
A breakthrough win over Wesley Harms yesterday afternoon confirmed my suspicions that Harms should never be considered for any parlay combination bets at skinny odds on quotes as he has been priced up terrible over the last 2 years on the back of semi-final performances here previous, but that form and consistency is long gone. So the polish player backed up his pre-lim match victory and now he faces Labanauskas who I was mightily impressed with last night as he defeated Conan Whitehead 3-1 with a 92 average and some classy 3 dart checkouts.
The confident Lithuanian who has I have been keen on for a year or two in terms of eyeing his potential is now starting to blossom. He is the 8th seed coming into Lakesideon the back of globe trotting to collect his ranking points and it would appear the hard work will pay off and a quarter-final place writhin his grasp. I don't see Ratajski taking this one the distance so a -1.5 Handicap at 8/11 with Coral and Ladbrokes the only two firms priced up at this very early stage. A 4-2, 4-1, or 4-0 scoreline will suffice.
Recommendations - Round 2 Lakeside
Scott Mitchell's Highest Checkout Over 116.5 @ 5/6 WilliamHill.
Jamie Hughes -2.5 Set Handicap to beat Jim Williams @ 5/4 Coral or 6/5 General.
Darius Labanauskas -1.5 Set Handicap to beat Krzystof Ratajski @ 8/11 Coral & Ladbrokes.