We are probably in the best ever darts era and this is mainly due to the excellent coverage from Sky Sports and the recently-formed Premier League of Darts.
There are two different darts governing bodies; the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and the British Darts Organisation (BDO).
The PDC tournaments are generally covered by Sky Sports and the BDO have at least one covered by BBC, though in recent years ITV Sport has covered the Grand Slam of Darts (a tournament played between players from both governing bodies).
The PDC has the most media coverage, and almost all the elite players. Phil Taylor continues to dominate the sport but challengers such as Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade and Simon Whitlock are closing the gap.
Betting on the Outright Winner Market
When considering backing a runner look at their draw, when will they meet Taylor and Barney, do they have an easy or hard route to the final?
What kind of form is the player in? (Both averages and double percentages)
What record does the player have at this tournament?
What type of tournament is it? Sets, just legs, number of sets and legs in each game/round, start off with throwing a double etc. If it is a short game and no seeding this is where it could be value to oppose the favourites as the shorter the games are the more chance for an upset.
If they have to start off with a double you need to know who has the best check out percentage as this could be a large factor as a heavy scorer who struggles on doubles will struggle in this type of format.
Factors to Consider for match betting:
- Form in last few months and form in the current tournament (three-dart average and checkout percentage).
- Head-to-head record of the two players (this is hard to find an exact figure but you should be able to find out a general opinion on who is winning overall).
- Big game player - Some players don't perform as well on the TV stage and the bigger games. It might be worth researching their results when on TV.
Some players become tense when nearing the finishing line and allow their opponent to catch up, so there could be value in laying them when they approach the end of a vital leg/set at very low odds - either to trade out when the price rises or to oppose.
Players seem to go in and out of form a few times during a match. At one point they will be hitting the big scores and checkouts, then suddenly they can't hit anything.
There are momentum changes in darts, particularly in longer formats, and if you can get on the right end of these you should make healthy profits as you don't need to pick the winner, you just need the market price to change in your favour and then you can possibly trade out for profit on both outcomes.
Breaking the throw
The person who throws first in a leg has the advantage (similar to tennis with the server) so if the opposing player breaks the throw this will have a larger effect on the market than if the player throwing first holds his throw.
In a best-of five set match, the person who throws first in the first leg has the advantage in that particular set but in the next set the other player has the advantage as he will throw first in leg one.
Leg Betting - Factors (Extremely fast and furious type of gambling)
- The person who throws first has the advantage.
- Make sure your feed (i.e. Sky Sports) does not suffer from a long delay (Sky Sports through a digital set-top box is acceptable in my opinion)
- Big scorer and bad finisher? Or vice-versa - if a strong scorer but poor finisher it might be value to lay a player at low odds when he gets a big gap in the leg and hopefully fails to check out.
- Important leg? If it is a very important leg then the players may tense up and checkouts might prove difficult. It could be worth backing the outsider in these cases at the right price.
Did you know?
At the start of the 20th century, betting on darts was an illegal activity as it was considered a game of chance and not skill.
In 1908 a Leeds publican faced charges of allowing gambling on games of chance at his establishment. At trial the said publican brought his darts and a Yorkshire dartboard with him. After the accused had thrown three darts into double top, the presiding judge tried his hand and only hit the board once.
He declared, "This is no game of chance, case dismissed!"
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