2018 Premier League Darts Predictions and Betting Tips
The Premier League of Darts gets underway on Thursday 1 February, and although the format remains the same as the last five years, there are a number of new faces this year aiming to lift the silverware in May. The newly crowned World Champion, Rob Cross, makes his first appearance in the tournament, alongside fellow debutants Gerwyn Price, Daryl Gurney and Mensur Suljovic. There’s a welcome return to the league for Michael Smith and Simon Whitlock, and they’ll be joined by last year’s winner Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld and Peter Wright.
During the first nine weeks of competition, each player will face each other once. After this phase of the tournament the bottom two players in the league get eliminated, and the remaining eight players face each other again. The top four players then meet for finals night at the O2 in May, when the winner will be crowned.
Premier League Darts Betting Tips
Our expert darts tipster will be covering every single game of the tournament and our tips will include weekly accumulators and correct score doubles so make sure you head over to our free darts betting tips page to get access to these tips which will be available throughout the competition.
So let’s get to our betting tips and predictions for the 2018 Premier League of Darts…
ROB CROSSOutright Winner
With the format spread over a 3-month period, the regular season rewards the most consistent of players. Taking a look through the results of the last 13 tournaments, only two men have ever finished top of the league table after the regular season; Phil Taylor in the first eight years, and Michael van Gerwen in the subsequent five. With a career winning record against all his rivals, it is easy to see why ‘Mighty Mike’ is the strong favourite to repeat the feat for a sixth consecutive year. However, at odds of around 10/11, there are more appealing betting options elsewhere.
Instead, the overall Premier League Winner market is of greater interest, where Rob Cross gets the vote. Cross had an incredible first year on the PDC tour, capping it off with a stunning win at the World Championships earlier this month. Although this is his first attempt at the Premier League, in the last seven years, both Gary Anderson and MvG have claimed the top prize on their debut seasons. Cross has shown enough against the best players in the game over the last 12 months to suggest that he can comfortably make finals night, and at odds of around 4/1 he’s the value bet to take the title in May.
SIMON WHITLOCKTo Finish Bottom
Moving on to the elimination market and Simon Whitlock is an odds-on favourite to fill one of the two spots after nine weeks. Gerwyn Price and Michael Smith are next in the market, with Mensur Suljovic and Daryl Gurney the other main contenders. It’s difficult to see where Whitlock’s victories are going to come from, he has a career losing record against all of his opponents in the league, and lost to James Wade at the Masters in round 1 last week. The last time Whitlock played in the Premier League was 2014, when he finished bottom of the league, winning just one game in the process. A similar record is predicted this time around, and at 7/4 Whitlock is expected to prop up the table once more.
MICHAEL SMITHMost 180s
The final selection comes in one of the side markets – the player to hit the most 180’s in the first nine weeks. In three of the previous four seasons, Dave Chisnall has hit the most maximums during the tournament, but with ‘Chizzy’ missing this year the market has an open feel to it. Daryl Gurney, Anderson, MvG and Cross are among the current favourites, but the player I’m going to take a punt on is Michael Smith. Smith is returning to the Premier League after a one-year break, and is expected to give a better account of himself this time around. Smith was unfortunate to lose to eventual winner Cross in the recent World Championship, but hit 23 maximums in 48 legs of darts in that tournament, a ratio superior to all his Premier League rivals. Smith is also likely to be involved in some close matches in the Premier League, giving him more opportunities to find plenty of maximums; and at 10/1 makes most appeal.