Words by Dave South aka @lockuptipster
The 2023 PDC World Championships resumed on 27th December, with the first six matches producing some impressive stats.
Josh Rock continued his quest in a seven-set thriller, Gerwyn Price sailed past Raymond van Barneveld, and Jim Williams missed match darts over Gabriel Clemens, only to fall just short.
Finally, Peter Wright was ‘stunned’ by Kim Huybrechts 4-1. Wright’s display was lacklustre, but for good reason.
Stats in summary:
Legs played: 1,164
Maximums scored: 504
Ave. 180s per leg: 0.4329
Number of 170 finishes: 1
Number of 9 dart finishes: 0
Number of 100+ finishes: 115
Outright Contender: Michael Van Gerwen
Into 9/4 best price from 13/5, Mighty Mike is the man to beat according to fellow rival Gerwyn Price and has been publicly backed by Sky Sports pundits Wayne Mardle and Mark Webster.
MVG has the impetus with the longer format to progress after dispatching Lewy Williams 3-0 in a good 101.84 average and 50 percent checkout success in round two.
Mighty Mike is there for the marathon, not the sprint, and do not let you be put off the 4/5 on offer to reach the semi finals, or 6/4 with Hills to make the final on January 3rd.
Dark Horse Contender: Josh Rock To Win Quarter Three
Josh Rock wasted little time in settling into the World Championship, confidently defeating Jose Justicia 3-1 in round one and Callan Rydz with relative ease 3-0 in round two.
One of the recommendations to shorten most in this feature, Rock, a formidable force, was resilient against the much-fancied Nathan Aspinall, taking the game the full seven sets in a show-stealing 29 legs producing an emphatic 25 maximums between the pair.
Early prices suggest Rock is a slight favourite against Clayton when they toe the oche on Thursday evening.
To Win Quarter One: Gerwyn Price
Price’s first encounter was an edgy one, losing the first set to Luke Woodhouse. Price was taken the distance in the second set, before coming through it 3-1.
He entered the last 32 rejuvenated sailing past Barneveld 4-0, with Barney’s best chance falling in the third set.
Price will feel more confident now as this bet does as it edges first step further to supremacy, seen as odds in with many major firms.
A 9-Dart Finish: No
This price was 11/8 but has been trimmed down, after 1,164 legs. There have been a few very close attempts but no cigar.
Bookmakers are still holding out for a nine-dart finish. The calibre of players left in the event means it would not be a surprise, but it remains to be seen!
All odds are subject to change