Smith to continue fine form?
The second Nordic Darts Masters gets underway in Copenhagen this evening.
The field consists of sixteen players: the eight top seeds based on the World Series from earlier in the year will compete alongside three Nordic PDC Tour card holders, the two highest ranked players from Denmark, and the #1 players from Iceland, Sweden, and Finland.
Michael van Gerwen (above) won the inaugural event in 2021 and, unsurprisingly, goes into this year’s tournament as the 11/4 favourite.
Putting aside the name and legacy, MvG is a worthy fav: he’s the biggest scorer in the world over the past 12 months (99.21 average) and is likely to face some of his favourite opponents on his route to the final – having won 72% of his matches against Wright, Anderson, and Wade, who are on his side of the draw.
On the flipside, The Green Machine recently announced that he’ll miss the World Cup of Darts to undergo surgery for a long-term issue with his throwing arm. That may be enough to make punters look elsewhere, especially when we consider how inconsistent Gerwyn Price has been whilst struggling through an injury of his own.
In that case Michael Smith, our featured image at the head of this piece, looks to be the best bet at 3/1.
Quite possibly the form player in the world right now, Smith beat MvG with relative ease in the final of the US Darts Masters and that long-standing issue with his doubling is easing up – Bully Boy boasting a 42% checkout percentage this calendar year.
James Wade at 12/1 doesn’t look a bad punt either. The Machine has proven over the course of the Premier League that he can mix it with the very best players in the world, and his 44% checkout percentage in the regular season was the best of any player.
His odds here are significantly longer than those of Anderson and Wright, who he comfortably outperformed in the Premier League.
We’re offering 100/1 for Fallon Sherrock (above) to go one better than she managed in 2021 and win the tournament, although It’s worth noting that she automatically advanced to the semi-finals last time out due to Gerwyn Price’s injury.
Her 71 average in New York won’t inspire much confidence, but she did average 96.20 in the final of this competition in 2021 and took a respectable 7 legs off MvG in doing so.
100/1 E/W isn’t a bad shout, with all of that considered.
The Nordic Darts Masters begins at 6pm today. Enjoy!