PDC Masters 2nd Round Preview James Punt (Afternoon)
PDC Masters 2nd Round: Rob Cross vs. Mervyn King
It was a favourites graveyard last night with Joe Cullen and Daryl Gurney being the only two higher ranked players to win their match. Will the underdogs dominate again in the PDC Masters 2nd Round?
Merv King averaged 102 when beating a worryingly poor Glen Durrant, whose post Covid recovery is still not complete. King was superb on the doubles with six from seven and he had two ton plus checkouts. Even a fully fit Durrant would have struggled with that.
King is the lower ranked player here, but such has been his form compared to that of the struggling Cross, it is King who is the 1.75 favourite. Cross has lost four of his last seven matches as he continues to struggle with his confidence.
We are on King to win the quarter so there is no need to get involved here. Cross is capable of playing strong matches, just not as often as he used to. We don’t need to get involved, but I do like the look of King giving up a 1.5 leg handicap. He has had the advantage of having played a match to settle in. He has won wight of his last ten matches now and is happy and very confident.
PDC Masters 2nd Round: 1 point Merv King to win -1.5 legs @ 2.10 with Betfair, Paddy Power
James Wade vs. Chris Dobey
Unfortunately, Dobey beat our selection to with his match with Dimitri van den Bergh last night. Dobey played well, averaging 97, but Van den Bergh was disappointing, averaging 89, thanks mostly to being very poor on the doubles, hitting just two from ten. In a first to six format, that isn’t going win many matches. Today’s matches are a longer format, first to ten legs, which usually favours the better players.
Is James Wade the better player? Yes, when he is in the mood. However, that mood can change in an instant and when we last saw him at Ally Pally, he wasn’t interested. He does not play well at Ally Pally and obviously decided that his fate was sealed. He might be more interested in this tournament. The Machine was a semi-finalist in 2013 and won it in 2014. Those were the days when it was played in November in Edinburgh. Since 2015 it has been the season opener held here in Milton Keynes and he has still had a decent record, winning seven matches and reaching the 2019 final.
Wade is always hard to call because of his on-off nature. He had been in great form late last year, reaching the final of the European Championship and Grand Slam of Darts but he lost in the first round of the Players Championship finals and the third round of the World Championships. From a very high level of form, he went to losing three of his last four.
Wade is the bookies 1.67 favourite with Dobey at 2.38. The odds on Dobey are just about good enough to have an interest on him winning and hope that Wade has an off, rather than on day.
PDC Masters 2nd Round: 1 point Chris Dobey to win @ 2.38 with Skybet
Nathan Aspinall vs. Mensur Suljovic
Suljovic won a poor match with Ian White last night, a comfortable 6-3 win but he averaged 89 and was lucky that White had a nightmare on his doubles, hitting just 3 from 26.
Aspinall was not in great form at the end of last year, winning five of his last nine matches. He wasn’t terrible, but he wasn’t near his A game. He does miss the crowds that is for sure.
I can find no record of these two having played each other before, which is weird. If they have it must have been some time ago, so it does beg the question of whether Aspinall will be put off by Suljovic’s deliberate, slow style.
Aspinall is the 1.67 favourite which looks about right but makes no appeal. This is his opening match of the season and as we saw last night, some of the players were clearly rusty. Suljovic at least has had a match to help settle in, but it wasn’t a very encouraging performance. No bet.
Dave Chisnall vs. Daryl Gurney
Superchin finally broke his Masters duck last night with a less than convincing 6-5 win over Jeffery de Zwaan. It was a match he should have wrapped up early. He went 3-0 up despite not playing well, but then let De Zwaan back into the match to lead 4-3. The latter part of the match saw the two players find their game a bit more and Gurney was the one to get over the line by wining the last two legs with 15 and 14 dart legs. His relief was clear to see and it will be interesting to see if he is a bit more relaxed today.
Superchin will have overcome his second Masters Hoodoo in the shape of Dave Chisnall. These two have met here for the last two years with Chisnall winning both 10-8. Overall there is nothing between them H2H wise and both finished 2020 on a high note with good runs at Ally Pally.
We have backed Daryl to win the quarter. He is the 2.38 outsider here and I suspect he will play better than he did last night. Of course, he will need to, especially if Chisnall brings his Ally Pally form, which is not a given.
Will it be third time lucky for Gurney, or will lightening strike thrice and another 10-8 for Chisnall? 10-8 to Chisnall is the 9.00 favourite in the correct score market, tempting, but I will sit this one out and root for The Chin.