The Premier League arrives on the south coast this Thursday with Bournemouth International Centre playing host for the evening. Jaymes Monte picks out his best bet...
"Barney won both the Saturday and Sunday tournaments at the weekend and even hit a nine-darter against Michael Barnard on Saturday."
Playing well in the weekend's floor tournaments doesn't necessarily translate to performing well in front of the cameras on the big stage. Some players are unable to reproduce their very best in major tournaments. Mark Walsh and Justin Pipe, to name just two obvious examples.
But for players well accustomed to the glare of the cameras floor form can be the nudge we need to pick out a bet in the major events.
Raymond van Barneveld has already shown in this year's Premier League that he is edging back to his best. But for a string of missed doubles in the eighth leg of his match against Phil Taylor last week the Dutchman could have taken at least a point from The Power. And he looks to be on course for a top-four finish and semi-final berth in the Premier League.
That alone would be enough to suggest backing Barney at odds of 2.3611/8 to beat Simon Whitlock this Thursday. Despite the Australian's own good form. However, it was Van Barneveld's performances at the weekend in the UK Open qualifiers that make him the standout bet this week.
Barney won both the Saturday and Sunday tournaments at the weekend and even hit a nine-darter against Michael Barnard on Saturday. Beating Whitlock, Terry Jenkins, Wes Newton and Dennis Priestley in a run of 15 straight victories. Suffice to say that he is on top of his game.
Although Whitlock is two points better off in the Premier League group stages I feel that we need to back Barney while he is hot. The Aussie's doubling can crack under pressure in the latter part of matches, and that aspect of his game will certainly be put under the microscope in this match.
Back Van Barneveld to beat Whitlock @ 2.3611/8