Wayne Mardle: Confident van Gerwen to stride into quarters

Wayne's enjoying himself in Blackpool too

Wayne Mardle previews tonight's four second-round World Matchplay fixtures where he's backing Michael van Gerwen to keep enjoying himself...

"I spoke to Michael van Gerwen yesterday and he was so confident, he told me he was enjoying himself. I like Michael, I have a lot of time for him, and I've got to go with him tonight."

I've been loving the World Matchplay, don't get me wrong, but I think the tournament came alive last night with Dean Winstanley's amazing 13-11 defeat of Gary Anderson. That comeback win from 5-0 down was sheer drama and I think we're in for plenty more now the second round begins.

Betfair customers give us four odds-on favourites to pick from tonight, but there's only one who I'll be backing in the match odds and it's my main man Michael van Gerwen.

The 25-year-old was a winning first round tip at odds of 3.7511/4 and I fancy him to follow up with a defeat of Steve Beaton. Unfortunately, so do BF customers and rather than taking a price of nearly 3-1, it's more like 1-2, but I actually think 1.625/8 is a decent price on van Gerwen and it's given "Wayne Mardle's bet of the night" status!

I just think Michael will have too much ammunition for Steve, he's a lot younger and is on the upgrade. Steve played brilliantly to beat Kevin Painter but I don't see him progressing here, especially as Michael seems to be in such a positive frame of mind. I spoke to him yesterday and he was so confident, he told me he was enjoying himself. I like Michael, I have a lot of time for him, and I've got to go with him tonight.

A rival for bet of the night was James Wade to average under 96.5 points against Mark Walsh.

James played fantastic darts to beat Richie Burnett 10-5, but what he rarely does is obliterate an opponent. He just plays to win, he doesn't care about performance. There's rarely any drama with James, his supporters don't get much panic or worry and against an out-of-form Mark Walsh he will win the match, no doubt about it. Just don't expect him to do it with bags of flair.

The third match of the night pits Raymond van Barneveld against Terry Jenkins and though Barney is priced at 1.444/9 to win I'm not sure it's that clear cut. In fact, with the head-to-head at 11-7 (in favour of Barney), I won't be having a bet in the match odds and instead will focus on the 180s market where I'll be going low.

When Barney throws his darts they land down rather than up and he often switches from the treble 20 after the first or second throw. He's better at switching than many other players and I think that'll result in a low 180s total.

Our last match-up features the shortest-price of the night - Adrian Lewis, who is just 1.141/7 to beat Andy Smith. Now, I'm a sports fan so I know upsets can happen but Lewis has to have one of his worst ever televised games and Smith one of his best, and I shan't be going near the match odds here.

I'm not hugely tempted by the handicap either, even though I feel this will be a commanding win for the favourite. My preferred bet is backing an under 97.5 point average for Lewis. I think the pace will be slower than the first round and that will put Lewis off a touch, potentially dropping him three or four points.


Recommended Bets
Back Michael van Gerwen @ 1.625/8
Back James Wade under 96.5 average @ 1.910/11
back Under 12.5 180s in van Barneveld v Jenkins @ 1.728/11
Back Adrian Lewis under 97.5 average @ 2.01/1

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