Value from the oche
Sky Bet darts trader Andy Bell picks out his best bets from week four of the Premier League darts action
By Andy Bell. Last Updated: 28/02/13 4:40pm
Simon Whitlock: Tipped to upset Raymond van Barneveld in Exeter
This week's McCoy's Premier League darts hits Exeter's Westpoint Arena and, with five intriguing ties to look forward to, promises to provide another night of exciting action live on Sky Sports HD1.
Week Three saw Taylor return to his familiar position at the top of the table but only a point clear of Raymond van Barneveld, Michael van Gerwen, Andy Hamilton, James Wade and Robert Thornton.
At the other end of the table, we see a crucial game for Adrian Lewis and Wes Newton with the result likely to play an important factor come relegation time in Week Nine.
Robert Thornton v Gary Anderson
The first match up this evening is an all Scottish affair. The two are good friends but once on the oche they'll be firing each other up, which will hopefully bring out their best and produce a high quality opening game to start us off.
Thornton has made slightly the better start to this year's Premier League and is still undefeated, with an opening week win followed by back-to-back draws.
Anderson, unlike Thornton, has a short trip to the Westpoint Arena as he is now based in Somerset and maybe use that to his advantage.
The two of them like it in the lipstick and the bet for me is over 180s. I think the clash between the two will spark fireworks and expect some big scoring.
Andy Hamilton v Michael van Gerwen
Two very different darting styles will be on show here as MVG will be throwing with his usual rapid pace whereas Andy Hamilton will be taking his time, which could see the former put off his rhythm.
The one thing they do have in common is on-stage presence, they're both not shy of the big roar on stage and don't expect it to be any different tonight.
These contests usually throw up tight affairs and, with the players sat third and fourth in the table on four points a piece, it could be another close one tonight.
Bet: Hamilton +2.5 - 4/5
James Wade v Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor heads the table and is in top form. He comes into this game on the back of a 107 average as he eased to victory against Whitlock last week.
James Wade has struggled the last six months or so but his determination and commitment is starting to see him come back into some form, with an impressed display of his own last week, averaging 100+ to see off Lewis.
That said, Taylor has a big advantage in the head-to-head and I expect Taylor to take care of Wade tonight and to still be sat at the top of the table.
However, the bet for me lies in the 180s market. Wade has comfortably outscored Taylor in that department the last couple of weeks and, given his upturn in form, he could be value in the 180s match bet.
Wes Newton v Adrian Lewis
The big match of the night has been labelled by some as the basement battle by some. With only one point between them in the first three weeks, which came courtesy of Newton's draw with Thornton last week, the pair are in desperate need of the two points which can kick start their Premier League campaign and save them from the dreaded ninth week relegation chop.
Both players have confidence issues and with so much at stake I can see the game been an edgy affair. I think this may show in their finishing on the doubles and the bet is on the two not been able to produce a big checkout.
Raymond van Barneveld v Simon Whitlock
The last game of the night is definitely worth waiting for. Barney has been rejuvenated since his 2012 Grand Slam win and lies a healthy second in the league table. Whitlock has been struggling for some form lately and a drubbing from Phil Taylor last week certainly would not have helped.
However, he did average 101 in Bournemouth so the signs that a return to form could be imminent are there and maybe this week could see him do that.
Whitlock has a good record against Barney in the Premier League and I fancy him to upset the odds tonight.