Darts

Premier League Darts Finals Night: 4 best bets with Cool Hand to claim another trophy at 6/4

Luke Humphries - Darts
Luke Humphries has taken his debut Premier League campaign by storm and is rightly favourite to get his hands on the trophy

Just four players remain in the hunt to be crowned 2024 Premier League champion and debutant Luke Humphries is quite rightly the favourite to do so at 6/42.50.


After 16 grueling and demanding weeks of league action, it all comes down to this. World number one and World Champion Luke Humphries starts as the 6/42.50 favourite to get his hands on the trophy, with the player he beat in that world championship final on January 3rd, Luke Littler, available at 7/42.75 to secure his biggest triumph of his senior career to date.

Reigning and defending champion Michael van Gerwen is 7/24.50 to claim victory for a record extending eighth time and 2018 Premier League runner-up Michael Smith is the outsider for the title at 5/16.00.

Humphries has to be favourite

Last week, Luke Humphries became only the seventh player in history to register an overall average in excess of a ton for the league phase of this event, showing on multiple occasions during this darting roadshow that when he produces his best, he is impossible to live with at the moment. He's been the most consistent performer and one of three, along with MvG and Littler, to have picked up four nightly wins along the way.

Whilst he and van Gerwen have an almost identical checkout percentage across the 16 nights, Humphries has scored heavier, hitting 28 more 180s and has had 52 more 140 visits than the Dutchman.

The reigning champion has struggled to set the world alight so far with more averages recorded below 95 than in excess of a ton but impressively, he has won more matches with sub 95 averages than anyone else in the field. He's found a way to pick up the points required even when not at his best.

We also know that more often than not, regardless of what has gone before, Mighty Mike produces on finals night, he knows what it takes to win this event and will be full of confidence as a result.

However, MvG himself acknowledged on the Euro Tour a few weeks back that Humphries is the best player on the planet right now, not something he's said about many other players in the past.

Cool Hand has registered nine more three figure averages in this campaign than MvG and with all things considered, I think the scoring power of Humphries will allow him more chances at the back end of legs and I believe he will get the job done and hit the most 180s at 10/111.91.

Michael has a mighty record against Littler

Michael Smith is one of very few people on the planet with a positive head-to-head record against Luke Littler having won five of their seven contests in this year's Premier League.

michael smith.jpg

Yes, their meeting in Sheffield was somewhat irrelevant in terms of permutations, everything had already been sewn up but their other meetings came when there was still plenty on the line.

Whilst both of their finishing stats read 39%, The Nuke has scored heavier and more consistently than Bully Boy throughout the campaign. In terms of 180 hitting, despite Smith winning five of their seven meetings, The Nuke has hit seven more 180s across their contests, only in two of their matches has the St Helens man produced more maximums.

They couldn't have booked their spots at The O2 in more contrasting fashion. While Littler coasted through, assured of his place at finals night with a couple of weeks to spare, the 17-year-old had already confirmed that he would become just the sixth player to top the league phase prior to his battle with Bully Boy in Sheffield last week, whereas Michael Smith had to show nerves of steel in the city of steel to beat his good friend Nathan Aspinall in a decisive showdown to seal his passage through.

His finishing in that contest was exemplary, 75% checkout success including whopping 136 and 132 outs and he explained to me afterwards that his triumph in Players Championship nine just over a week earlier had given him the confidence required.

Given how their previous matches have gone, I think there is tremendous value in backing Michael Smith to win and have the highest finish at 7/24.50.

I am also backing Luke Littler to beat the handicap of -0.5 most 180s at 5/61.84.


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