Dan Fitch can't fathom why Michael van Gerwen is such a big price to score more 180s than Gary Anderson, as he gives his tips for Saturday's Grand Slam of Darts games...
"MVG only hit three 180s in the group stages, but Anderson had just two, so there’s little justification in the Scot being such a big favourite."
Bully Boy can smash 180s total
Michael Smith 1.538/15 v Rob Cross 2.89/5
Start time, 19:15
Saturday's second round matches begin with a clash between the players ranked fourth and fifth in the world. Of the two it's Smith that's the man in form and an appropriately short price. 'Bully Boy' won two of the recent Winter Series events and hit averages of over 100 in all three of his victorious group games.
Cross produced an average of 100.42 when he beat Luke Humphries in his final group match and played very well, so the former world champion should not be discounted. At the least it should go pretty long, so backing Smith to score over 5.5 180s at 5/6 on the Sportsbook looks a wise bet.
Petersen will make last-eight
Devon Petersen 1.635/8 v Damon Heta 2.427/5
Start time, 20:10
Petersen won all of his games in Group E and with his final victory, knocked out one of the favourites in Peter Wright. It's been a breakthrough year for the South African, in which he's won his first PDC title. A victory in a major would be the ultimate bonus and the draw has opened up to create a real opportunity to at least reach the last four.
Heta has also won his first PDC ranking event this year and should not be underestimated, but based on overall form we have to favour his opponent. A Petersen win while scoring the most 180s, can be backed at 6/5.
MVG huge to win 180s war
Michael van Gerwen 1.331/3 v Gary Anderson 3.814/5
Start time, 21:05
These odds look a little skewed in Van Gerwen's favour. MVG has played very well this week, but he didn't have the most challenging group and there are signs that Anderson could provide his toughest test yet.
Anderson pulled off an impressive 5-3 win over Ryan Searle in his final group games, averaging 99.85 to book his place in the last-16. If there's a doubt over Anderson it's how well his injured knee will hold up over this longer format. The value could be with ignoring the match result and instead backing Van Gerwen at the curiously large price of 2.747/4 to score the most 180s. MVG only hit three 180s in the group stages, but Anderson had just two, so there's little justification in the Scot being such a big favourite.
Aspinall can push Price up
Gerwyn Price 1.51/2 v Nathan Aspinall 2.9215/8
Start time, 22:00
This looks like another match in which though the favourite is justified, the odds are just too short against very strong opposition. Price is playing better than anyone right now and won his last match with Aspinall back in September, but it is Aspinall who has won the previous three games between the pair in 2020.
Like this match, the last game between these rivals was over 19 legs and Price just edged it 10-9. Most of their encounters tend to go long and that means that Price and Aspinall will have the opportunity to both score four or more 180s, at evens.
Dan Fitch Grand Slam of Darts P/L
Staked: 18.00 pts
Returned: 19.31 pts
P/L: +1.31 pts