The PDC Home Tour brings us 32 consecutive nights of live sport and Dan Fitch is backing Peter Wright's class to tell on the first night of the new competition...
"In this unusual format we should expect surprises, but it’s hard to bet against Wright given his form over recent months."
PDC Home Tour
Friday 17 April
Live on PDC.TV
Barry Hearn may have recently suffered a heart attack, but that hasn't stopped he and his crack team at the PDC from dreaming up an innovative darts tournament to keep us entertained during lockdown.
For the next 32 nights, four players will take each other on in a round robin format from the comfort of their own homes. Matches will be played over nine legs, with the overall winner from each night progressing to the second stage.
Group 1 features the World Champion Peter Wright, who is the favourite to win the night at 1.51/2. Niels Zonneveld is the second favourite at 5.59/2, with Jamie Lewis at 7.06/1 and Peter Jacques at 7.613/2.
Michael van Gerwen has decided against competing in this tournament, leaving Wright as joint favourite with Gerwyn Price at 5.59/2.
Winning start for Snakebite
Peter Wright 1.171/6 v Peter Jacques 5.69/2
Start time 19:30
'Snakebite' is unsurprisingly heavily fancied in all of his matches and that's especially the case against the outsider Jacques.
In this unusual format we should expect surprises, but it's hard to bet against Wright given his form over recent months. Back him to get off to a winning start, at -2.5 on the handicap at 1.748/11.
Even encounter could go long
Jamie Lewis 1.9520/21 v Niels Zonneveld 1.9620/21
Start time 19:55
The odds could hardly be tighter here, as the more experienced 2018 World Championship semi-finalist Lewis, takes on the young Dutchman.
Though Lewis has the better pedigree, he's struggled over the last year or so. As the odds suggest, Zonneveld at the least has the ability to make this a tight game and over 7.5 legs is 4/6 on the Sportsbook.
Zonneveld goes back-to-back against Jacques
Peter Jacques 2.111/10 v Niels Zonneveld 1.738/11
Start time 20:20
An interesting aspect to watch out for in this tournament is whether playing two matches in a row turns out to be a hindrance or an advantage, as Zonneveld plays the second of back-to-back games.
Zonneveld's countryman Jelle Klaasen won both of his back-to-back games in the recent Darts at Home event and the 22-year old is favourite to claim victory here at 1.738/11.
Lewis has Wright stuff to make it competitive
Peter Wright 1.21/5 v Jamie Lewis 5.04/1
Start time 20:45
Wright has won six of his eight encounters against Lewis (L2), though of course they've never met under these sort of unusual circumstances.
If the price for Wright to win is realistic, it's worth considering that a number of his victories against Lewis have been fairly close affairs. Over 7.5 legs could provide value at 5/4.
Value lies with favourite
Jamie Lewis 1.834/5 v Peter Jacques 1.991/1
Start time 21:10
Neither of these players have been successful on the tour this year, but of the two it's Lewis that's fared better and his price looks a little too big.
If backing Lewis to win this one, it's worth taking a chance on him at -1.5 in the handicap market at 2.89/5.
Wright has recent win over opponent
Niels Zonneveld 4.57/2 v Peter Wright 1.201/5
Start time 21:35
These two players met as recently as February, with Wright beating Zonneveld 6-2 at the Players Championship event in Barnsley.
With Wright winning that one by a comfortable margin, back him at -2.5 on the handicap at 2.01/1.
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Back Wright -2.5 against Jacques at 1.748/11
Back over 7.5 legs between Lewis and Zonneveld at 4/6
Back Zonneveld to beat Jacques at 1.738/11
Back over 7.5 legs between Wright and Lewis at 5/4
Back Lewis -1.5 against Jacques at 2.89/5
Back Wright -2.5 against Zonneveld at 2.01/1