2022 PDC World Championship Final Preview – JP

by | Jan 3, 2022

PDC World Championship Final Preview

So, we are down to the last men standing at the Ally Pally. James Punt was on top form last night, tipping Smith to win 6-3 at 6.00. Our -1.5 sets bet on Peter Wright at 1.85 landed too. James is hoping to finish with a flourish on Monday night. Check out his PDC World Championship Final tips and preview below.

Peter Wright vs. Michael Smith

Both players have played in a World Championship final before, but only Wright has won one. Snakebite first reached the final in 2014 but lost 4-7 to Michael van Gerwen. It wasn’t until 2020 that he reached the final once more, but this time he got the better of his nemesis, MVG, beating the Dutchman 7-3.

That should be something of an inspiration to Michael Smith. Bully Boy reached the final in 2019, and he to lost 3-7 to Van Gerwen. Now he is back for his second bite at the cherry. He doesn’t have to face MVG this time but in Wright, he faces a player who has a very good record against him.

These two have met 37 times with Wright winning 23, Smith 12 and two draws. In 2021 they met three times and it was 2-1 to Wright. In the last ten Wright leads 7-3 and in ranked majors, Wright is 6-0.

Stats Are Similar

Their stats for the last 12 months are very similar, Wright is averaging 98.8, Smith 96.7. In terms of checkouts, Wright is 41%, Smith 40.72% and 180s per leg it is 37.8% for Wright and 29.7% for Smith. Only when it comes to 180s is Snakebite significantly better.

Their Tournament stats tell a slightly different story. Wright is averaging 100.6, checking out at 40.1% and 180s per leg at 41%. Smith’s tournament average is 100.6, check out rate 47.5% and 180s per leg 39%. Wright was slow out of the blocks, however, and he has improved, especially in the 180 department. He only hit one in his first match but set a new record last night by hitting 24, the most in a world championship match. Smith’s checkout rate is significantly better than Wright’s, but that apart, their tournament stats are very close.

Peter Wright holds the advantage in the H2H department and quite significantly. In terms of long term game stats, they is little between them and for tournament stats, again not much between the two but Wright has improved he deeper he has gone.

Wright Knows How To Win

Wright is a past winner and a multiple major winner, he knows how to cross that winning line. Smith, on the other hand, has never won a ranked major and indeed never won a televised tournament. Six times he has been the bridesmaid and that is a big deal. Every time he plays in a major, this could be the one, but in his last 66 ranked majors, it wasn’t. It is the elephant in the room, the monkey on his back.

He not only has to beat Peter Wright, he has to finally cross the winning line and overcome his demons. It is a mental thing. He has the game to win, but he must be able to put thoughts of past failures out of his mind. Last year’s final saw Gerwyn Price thrashing Gary Anderson, it was one way traffic, until Price saw the winning line and suddenly the doubles just could not be found. He was lucky that he had such a big lead that he had plenty of time to finally get the job done, but it highlights the fact that winning can be very difficult, especially if you have not done it before.

Wright A Late Bloomer

Peter Wright took a long time to win his first major. He was a five-time runner up in televised finals before he won the 2017 UK Open. There were seven more lost finals before his second major which was the 2020 World Championship. Since then, Wright has won five more televised titles and only lost one. It took a long time, but he finally learned how to win finals. Smith needs to do the same thing.

We have two very good players, in great form but one has a winning record, and the other does not. That same player also has a good record against his opponent, and you can see why Peter Wright is the 1.75 favourite. Smith has won eight of his last ten matches, but Wright has won his last eleven and lost just one of his last fourteen.

Fatigue A Worry

There is one worry when it comes to Wright and that is fatigue. He has looked wiped out at the end of his last couple of matches. He lost the final of the Grand Slam of Darts last month 8-16 to Gerwyn Price. That was playing a quarter, a semi and the final all in one day and he just ran out of gas in the final. He admitted it afterwards, saying he might be getting too old to play three long matches in one day. Tonight, he is only playing one match, but it is could be a long one and it is the biggest match of the season. Smith is younger and has had a few more hours rest, more time to reset.

Overall, Wright ticks more boxes than Smith, but on performance there is little between them. As usual in these finals, it is who is alright on the night. Who can settle the quickest, who can ride the inevitable ups and downs and who can throw the winning dart. Wright’s recent form and the fact that he is a past winner here and in other majors, including the last one before this, just gives him the edge in my book. It could be close, it is hard to see one player dominating, but in terms of getting over the line, Wright has the experience.

PDC World Championship Final Tips: 2 points Peter Wright to win @ 1.75 with SportingIndex, Fitzdares

It pays to look back at past finals and see if there is anything there which may be a guide as to what could happen tonight. Looking at the last ten finals, the first thing that stands out is the lack of close matches. There has only been one that went to a deciding set. The last five finals have been one sided affairs, four ending 7-3 and the other 7-2. Over the last ten years 50% ended 7-3 and 70% 7-3 or 7-4. The losing player has always won at least two sets, but usually 3 or 4. Under 12 sets would have been a winner in eight of the last ten finals.

PDC World Championship Final Tips: 2 points under 11.5 sets @ 1.73 with Unibet

The form of this year’s two finalists suggests a close match, recent finals suggest that will not be the case. To be honest, the last five finals have been a bit shit. The last match these two played against each other was on stage in the Grand Slam semi-final in late November and Peter Wright won that fairly comfortably, 16-12. Are we finally due a classic, or will history repeat itself? Hopefully the latter and if the bet loses, at least you get to see a good match.

PDC World Championship Final Tips: 0.5 point Wright to win 7-3 @ 10.00 with Fitzdares
PDC World Championship Final Tips: 0.5 point Wright to win 7-4 @ 8.00 with Fitzdares, SpreadEx

Both players have been banging in plenty of 180s, Wright had 24 himself last night. Between the two they are hitting maximums at 3.40 per set. Based on the above analysis, 10 or 11 sets seems realistic so over 33.5 180s looks a reachable target.

PDC World Championship Final Tips: 1 point over 33.5 180s @ 1.95 with Betfred, Fitzdares

-JamesPunt

 

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