Premier League Darts : Phil Taylor v Michael Van Gerwen highlight as punters gather round action from Belfast

Premier League darts with Phil Taylor Michael Van Gerwen, Van Barneveld Gary Anderson, Simon Whitlock Adrian Lewis as Paddy Power offer odds & free bets to keep darts punters happy.

The Dublin based firm have reported that darts is quickly emerging as one of the hottest betting properties around for punters, as they launch their new offer in time for the start of the new season of Premier League darts, with Round One kicking off from Belfast tonight.

The darts is definitely back with an expanded list of contenders.

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This week’s extravaganza in Belfast sees the first time the format involving 10 players rather than eight. There is also a shorter format and a relegation zone, which comes into play after nine weeks of action.

The ante-post markets have been alive with action in the build-up to the first round of fixtures with punters trying to nick a slice a value before the first arrow is thrown. It doesn’t take a professional odds trader to know who the markets have made favourite; of course, it’s the winning machine that is Phil Taylor.

The Stoke-on-Trent thrower won his sixth Premier League title in 2012, when beating Simon Whitlock in the final decider. He is once again at the top of game and will be bouncing to get on stage following his Ladbrokes World Championships success at Alexandra Palace over the Christmas period.

Bookmakers have dangled the carrot again for punters though by pricing Taylor at 2/1 for Premier League success. They lived the regret their decision to offer that price pre-World Championships when many punters collected. It could be a case of history repeating itself as Taylor has been popular in the markets ahead of the tournament.

Michael van Gerwen, the World Championship runner-up, is second favourite at a best-priced 7/2 with whilst other popular selections have been Gary Anderson at 14/1 with Coral and World semi-finalist James Wade, who looks very appealing at 16/1 with Ladbrokes.

There are five matches for punters to get stuck into each week, starting with Belfast on Thursday. Remember each week is shown live on Sky Sports, so you don’t have to miss any of the action.

Taylor versus Van Gerwen is the main event this week, with scores to be settled between the pair after the World Championship final that Taylor won 7-4 after a scrappy match that Van Gerwen failed to show his true colours. The rematch has all the makings of a showstopper, especially over the short format.

Taylor is the slight favourite with Bet365 at 11/10 but Van Gerwen has been tempting the interest of punters at a best-priced 7/4 with BetVictor. It’s hard to really draw many conclusions from their last meetings at the Worlds due to the difference in format, and how the nerves seemed to get to the Dutchman in the latter stages of the match. He will be more relaxed for this meeting, and rates as a decent wager at 7/4 to overturn Taylor. Saying that, Taylor looked very composed and almost single handily won the World Cup for England in the last competition as his partner Adrian Lewis played appallingly. But in this quick format, Van Gerwen can do the business and cause a minor upset.

On the subject of Lewis and the state of game currently, Whitlock looks a very good punt to hand out thrashing to the Englishmen in Belfast. Surprisingly, the Aussie can be backed at odds-against to triumph, with Coral’s 11/8 just asking to be taken advantage of. A small wager on Whitlock winning 7-1 and 7-2 at 25/1 and 33/1 respectively also should be of interest.

Andy Hamilton takes on Robert Thornton in the opening match, whilst Wade v Wes Newton and Raymond van Barneveld v Anderson have all the makings of being cracking match-ups. Playing both of those games to finish as a draw could turn out to be a wise move. The Wade/Newton draw is available at 100/30 with Bet365 whilst Barneveld/Anderson can be punted at 4/1 with Paddy Power to finish level. Backing both results in a double could potentially pay out 20/1.

Over 10 years in football analysis and online publishing with articles featured in a number of different publications.

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