Despite being replaced as world number one this week, Gerwyn Price is favourite to claim the title and £10,000 bonus on night five of the Premier League at 11/4 with last week's winner Michael van Gerwen available at 10/3 to go all the way again.
Smith's ability to reset is exemplary
Last weekend was another crushing one for Michael Smith as he finished runner up of a major event for a seventh time.
Looking like his best opportunity to date to claim that maiden trophy that he so deeply craves, his final performance at the UK Open was clearly impacted by his desire to realise his dream.
Bully Boy's improvements on the oche have been well documented of late, he's worked on the mental side of his game and it's paying dividends, but the 31-year-old has had so much more to deal with and coming through that is, for me, his most impressive attribute.
Being trolled on social media for losing a game can be overwhelming, especially when you are already feeling low or have negative opinions about yourself. When Smith found himself in exactly that position, he worked hard to overcome the negativity in order to push on in his career.
Despite squandering another glorious opportunity on Sunday, perspective is key here. He's one of the most naturally talented players this sport has produced, despite the agony of losing the World Championship final, he's bounced back remarkably and he will continue to put himself in positions to win big titles.
Michael Smith will get over the line in a major tournament, and when he does, he'll be unstoppable.
While his emotions are largely in check during games these days, the relief on his face after he picked up his first Premier League point in Exeter spoke volumes, even though he was blown out of the water by an inspired Michael van Gerwen in the next round.
Since January, Smith has set two new World Records for 180s. Throwing the most at both the World Championship and the UK Open, at 5/4 I'm backing the St Helens man to hit over 3.5 match 180s in his opening match this evening.
I also think there is value in backing Smith to complete the match treble of most 180s, highest checkout and win which is at a boosted price of 9/4.
The Snakebite reign begins
At the age of 51 and as a two-time World Champion, Peter Wright will this week be introduced as the world number one for the first time in his career.
A tussle at the top of the rankings with Gerwyn Price is certain to go on all year but the new man at the summit will look to get his reign off to the perfect start against the man sat third in the Premier League table, Jonny Clayton.
The Ferret came unstuck against Snakebite in the final on night one but I expect a much closer contest this evening.
I expect high quality and think there'll be a minimum of nine legs and therefore seven or more total 180s at 4/7 looks likely.