BDO World Championship Betting: The dangers of backing hot favourite Durrant

Glen Durrant displays the BDO Trophy at the Riverside Stadium
Glen Durrant is a poor value favourite at the BDO
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Reigning champion Glen Durrant is a massive favourite to retain his title when the BDO version of the world darts championship begins at Lakeside, but Ralph Ellis is not so convinced.

"Durrant faces the winner of Pengiran Mohamed from Brunei and England’s Gary Robson. Robson is [1.28] favourite, which is bad news for Durrant because in six meetings Robson has won five of them."

We all love a good celebration - win the trophy, do the lap of honour, drink in the moment and cherish the occasion.

But when it goes on for nearly a whole year? Well then I guess you'd start to worry and that's why I'd think twice about backing hot favourite Glen Durrant to retain his title when the BDO World Championship starts at its traditional Lakeside home on Saturday.

After all the dazzle of the PDC version at Alexander Palace, it still seems odd timing for what is now effectively the amateur version of the world championships to be held so soon. A competition where no winner in its 41-year history has ever averaged 100 in the final inevitably draws unfavourable comparisons about the standard of play.

Durrant, a 47-year-old social housing manager from Middlesbrough, is as short as [2.36] to emerge as the winner again. That's already a worryingly short price to back when you consider that only Eric Bristow and Raymond van Barneveld have ever won back-to-back titles.

But when you take a look at what Durrant has been doing during his year as champion there are even more doubts about supporting the favourite.

After starting out by showing off the trophy at his beloved Middlesbrough football club he's been travelling the length and breadth of the country with it doing exhibitions. "Everywhere from Land's End to John O'Groats" in his own words.

That's great for fans who get the chance to meet him and take a selfie with the cup, and probably not bad for his bank balance to earn some appearance fees. The prize money when he got to the British Open semi-final was only 750 quid.

It's not so good, however, if you want to stay sharp and competitive when it counts in tournaments, and it isn't surprising that he's slipped down to number three in the BDO rankings.

He's said his aim was to "represent the Lakeside trophy well" in his year as champion, while fielding loads of questions about whether he might join the PDC ranks.

The hours on motorways for a man who has to get back and go to work in the morning are bound to take their toll. But cutting back on tournaments to do so many appearances also looks like a mistake.

True, he won a highly competitive group in the Grand Slam of darts in November and then knocked out Dave Chisnall, but when the pressure started to grow after that he missed countless doubles as he got knocked out by Peter Wright.

In his most recent tournament appearance, at the Zuiderduin Masters, he didn't get beyond the last 24 group. He hasn't won an event since September.

He begins his defence on Sunday afternoon when he faces the winner of Pengiran Mohamed from Brunei and England's Gary Robson. Robson is [1.28] favourite, which is bad news for Durrant because the three-times Lakeside quarter-finalist is a bit of a bogey player - in six meetings Robson has won five of them.

All of that makes backing Durrant far too big a risk. The celebrations might have gone on and on, but in my view they are about to be brought to a shuddering halt.

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