Premier League Darts Week One Tips: Can Barney prove doubters wrong?

Raymond van Barneveld Premier League darts
Barney has a lot to do to compete in his final Premier League

The Premier League is back and bigger than ever and James Buttler looks for the betting value in week one as Michael van Gerwen begins the defence of his title in Newcastle...

"There will be a lot of love for Barney from a vocal Newcastle crowd and leftie James Wade, making his return to the Premier League after winning the event back in 2009, will have to retain focus to deliver."

Has Barney got it in him for one last hurrah?

James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
Thursday, 19:15
Live on Sky Sports Darts


It's asking a lot to expect Raymond van Barneveld to achieve too much in the Premier League 2019. The Dutchman has already announced that this will be his final year on the circuit and he was an emotional and controversial wildcard pick by Sky Sports to even feature for a 14th successive time in the event. The world number 12 and winner in 2014 came sixth last season and this initial encounter could be a good gauge on his chances of making the grade. Unfortunately I have him down to finish bottom of the nine participants in 2019.

There will be a lot of love for Barney from a vocal Newcastle crowd and leftie James Wade, making his return to the Premier League after winning the event back in 2009, will have to retain focus to deliver. The world ranked eighth player has returned to form winning the Grand Slam Of Darts and the World Series Of Darts Finals last year. 'The Machine' should have too much for Barney in the opening game on Thursday evening.

The vastly experienced pair have faced off 47 times with Barney leading 25-22. There isn't a lot between these two, but Barney's star is fading and Wade is getting back to his best form. Their last meeting came in the semi-finals of the World Series Of Darts Finals last season and Wade crushed Barney 11-2.

Best Bet: Back James Wade to hit Most 180s and win @ 7/2 (1 unit)

The match up of the night sees MVG tested

Michael Van Gerwen v Michael Smith
Thursday, 21:30
Live on Sky Sports Darts

It's a repeat of last year's final and the World Darts final just over a month ago and Michael van Gerwen came out on top on both occasions, but there is no doubt that Michael Smith is growing as a player.

MVG has started this season well with the World Darts title and The Masters in his locker already. It's a brave man to back against the number one player in the world from lifting his fifth Premier League title this year, which would be his fourth-in-a-row.

Smith failed to put out MVG's fire at the Ally Pally when losing the World Darts final 7-3 and overall the pair have met on 32 occasions with MVG victorious 26 times. MVG took the Premier League final 11-4 last year and despite Smith's comtinued improvement it's hard to see him winning on Thursday evening, although the price of 4/1 is too big for a player of his growing reputation. Smith has the game to run MVG close in this one and the handicap markets are the way to seek out some value. I'm playing it safe.

Best Bet: Back Michael Smith +2.5 @ EVS (2 unit)

Expect a stalemate here

Peter Wright V Rob Cross
Thursday, 22:15
Live on Sky Sports Darts

Peter Wright is a former World Championship, World Matchplay and Premier League finalist, but his form has been a worry for some time, although his run to the semi-finals of the recent Masters event will have renewed confidence. On his day he is more than capable of taking anyone down and the world number two will be eager to make 2019 count. He'll also be keen to avenge the disappointment of missing six darts to land the Premier League title in 2017 when he lost a cracker against MVG.

Rob Cross is going to be continually classed as a player seeking the form that won him the 2018 World Darts Championship, until he lands another big crown, but he is an incredibly tough opponent and he will have fond memories of the 2018 Premier League where he was beaten 10-6 in the semi-final by MVG after finishing fourth in the league standings.

It was 6-6 when these two met in last year's tournament and overall Cross leads the head-to-heads 7-5. There really is nothing between these two players who will both have very realistic aspirations of going very deep into this tournament. Another six apiece result is not beyond the realms and could be worth 16/5, although I'll play the draw as it's a better price of 7/2.

Best Bet: Back the draw in Peter Wright V Rob Cross @ 7/2 (1 unit)

Week One Fixtures

James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
Gerwyn Price v Daryl Gurney
Chris Dobey v Mensur Suljovic
Michael Van Gerwen v Michael Smith
Peter Wright V Rob Cross

James Buttler at PDC World Darts 2019

Total Staked: 0 units
Total Won: 0 units
Profit / Loss: 0 units

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles