Jason Pettigrove has previewed the Premier League Darts Outright Winner market, and believes that Nathan Aspinall has what it takes to win the top prize.
"Aspinall is fast becoming the new rising star, and over the last 14 months, his form has seen him rise to number eight in the PDC Order of Merit."
After just three weeks of Premier League Darts, the excitement has already reached fever pitch, not least because of Nathan Aspinall's win over tournament favourite, Michael van Gerwen last week in Cardiff.
The 28-year-old from Stockport was unhappy with his first two performances in this year's competition, a 7-3 win over John Henderson in Aberdeen and a 7-5 loss to Rob Cross at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.
In both games, his concentration and accuracy at times wasn't in keeping with that which he showed to topple the Dutchman.
A 101 average against van Gerwen saw that bullishness return to his game, which was missing during his other ties.
If there's one thing we've learned in this round robin set of matches, it's vital for Aspinall to start building up a head of steam from the outset, because he knows that when he's on his game and quick out of the blocks, he has the beating of anyone in the field.
Confident after van Gerwen destruction
"It doesn't get much better than beating the best player in the world on the Premier League stage," he said in the wake of the win in Cardiff. "It was important for me to prove to everyone and myself that I can play well in the Premier League."
In terms of his general form, Aspinall has lost seven games in 2020, but also has 23 wins under his belt in the same time frame.
With just a tiny bit more consistency in the big moments, that lack of confidence that ate away at him in the first two Premier League performances will be a thing of the past.
Currently in third place in the table, level on points with van Gerwen, Aspinall comes up against table-topping Glen Durrant in what is the standout game of week four.
Durrant himself has admitted that he can't believe he's leading the standings at this point, and that's hardly fighting talk.
A win over Gary Anderson shouldn't be used as the barometer from which to judge him, given that the Scot is easing himself back in due to last year's injury, and is just happy to be throwing arrows again.
The draw against Fallon Sherrock during the previous week rocked Durrant to the core and since then, all he's really thought about is staving off elimination in Rotterdam in a month's time.
With his focus elsewhere then, it's time for Aspinall to put in another forceful performance at the oche, and take the crowd with him as he does so.
As long as the expected raucous atmosphere in Dublin doesn't disrupt his flow too much, then a price of 13/10 for Aspinall to take this Thursday's match is a reasonable punt.
Looking further ahead, there isn't really another match in this first set of nine that should trouble the Stockport-born player, and it's for that reason that his 11/1 odds in the Premier League Darts Outright Winner Market represents excellent value at this stage.
Peter Wright and Gary Anderson provide the opposition on weeks five (Exeter) and six (Liverpool). Prior to the start of the tournament, 'Snakebite' looked a great bet for the tournament, but he's struggled in his three games to date.
A 7-5 loss to van Gerwen is misleading, with the Dutchman not on his game in Aberdeen. A 6-6 draw against Anderson was probably the right result on the night, whilst he ambled over the line against Rob Cross.
Aspinall just needs to keep his head and relax into that one, and Wright's woes will continue. Anderson's only win to date is against Daryl Gurney, who props up the table on just a point.
Thereafter, world number three, Gerwyn Price, represents the only real threat before week eight's fixture against Gurney and a Judgement Night face-off with Michael Smith in Rotterdam.
Aspinall is fast becoming the new rising star, and over the last 14 months, his form has seen him rise to number eight in the PDC Order of Merit.
If he can up his 180 output in the remaining games (just two against Henderson and Cross), and ensure his average is nearer the 101 against MVG than the 95.48 against Cross, Aspinall's arrows will shoot him to glory.
Nathan Aspinall to win Premier League Darts outright at 11/1 Premier League Darts Outright Winner Market