Dimitri van den Bergh has been the standout player at the Grand Slam of Darts and Dan Fitch is backing him to hit another high average against Nathan Aspinall, as he previews Sunday's quarter-finals...
"Van den Bergh beat Aspinall 5-1 in Group H, averaging 101.03. The Belgian has averaged over 100 in all four of his games, with his latest outing seeing Van den Bergh record 103.61 as he beat Jonny Clayton 10-3."
PDC Grand Slam of Darts
Sunday 22 November
Live on Sky Sports Arena
We're down to the last eight in the Grand Slam of Darts and now have a very clear favourite.
With Gerwyn Price eliminated in the second round, Michael van Gerwen is now the favourite at 2.47/5. Dimitri van den Bergh's performances have seen him become the second favourite at 6.86/1, with Michael Smith not far behind at 7.413/2.
Another win for Bully Boy
Michael Smith 1.768/11 v Jose De Sousa 2.265/4
Start time, 13:15
Of the four quarter-finals, three are repeats of games that we saw in the group stage. Smith beat De Sousa 5-2 in a high-class encounter in which 'Bully Boy' averaged 102.50, with the Portuguese player recording 99.10.
Back then we recommended backing Smith and though his price is a little slimmer on this occasion, it's hard to not come to the same conclusion. Smith has won all three of the encounters between the pair this year and is a decent price to do so again at 1.768/11.
Wade will beat Heta again
Damon Heta 2.6413/8 v James Wade 1.68/13
Start time, 14:30
Wade won his game in Group F against Heta 5-2. Heta overcame the odds to beat Devon Petersen in the last-16, but there's little to suggest that he will be able to do so again, when he meets Wade for the second time.
In the second round, Wade averaged 98.18 to blow away Ian White 10-4. Back Wade with -2.5 in the handicap market at 2.01/1.
Average still set low for Van den Bergh
Nathan Aspinall 2.0811/10 v Dimitri van den Bergh 1.910/11
Start time, 19:15
Van den Bergh beat Aspinall 5-1 in Group H, averaging 101.03. The Belgian has averaged over 100 in all four of his games, with his latest outing seeing Van den Bergh record 103.61 as he beat Jonny Clayton 10-3.
Where this game differs from the previous quarter-finals that have seen a repeat of a group game, is that Aspinall is a higher ranked player than Van den Bergh. Aspinall beat Price 10-8 in the last round and it would hardly count as a surprise if he won this quarter-final, despite Van den Bergh's form. With the result in doubt, it could be wise to back Van den Bergh to score another high average. Despite his brilliant scoring this week, the bar has been set curiously low once again, with Van den Bergh available at 1.9110/11 to average over 96.5.
MVG has opportunity for revenge
Michael van Gerwen 1.192/11 v Simon Whitlock 6.05/1
Start time, 20:30
This is the only quarter-final between players who haven't previously met in the tournament, but there have been some recent encounters in big events. Whitlock has beaten Van Gerwen in the World Matchplay and the Grand Prix this year.
You'd think that the obvious move would therefore be to back Whitlock to knock Van Gerwen out of another major, but the Dutch master has complicated matters with his fine form this week. MVG averaged 101.81 in a 10-2 win over Gary Anderson in the second round, while Whitlock was poor in his 10-6 victory over Adam Hunt. With Van Gerwen such a short price, it could make sense to once again look to the average market. MVG is 1.834/5 to average over 98.5.
Dan Fitch Grand Slam of Darts P/L
Staked: 26.00 pts
Returned: 28.77 pts
P/L: +2.77 pts