The PDC World Darts Championship recommences on Friday following three days off during the Christmas period with the third round matches taking place both today and tomorrow.
The competition was blown wide open last weekend with the shock departure of defending champion and huge favourite Phil Taylor, but who will take advantage of this big upset?
Friday Afternoon’s Action
The last of the second round games takes place on Friday afternoon with Justin Pipe taking on Devon Peterson from 12:45pm before the third round kicks off as Richie Burnett faces Ian White at 2:30pm.
Following that eighth seed Wes Newton plays number nine seed Robert Thornton in the pick of Friday afternoon’s matches. Both these players have dropped just one set in their two matches so far, with 3-1 wins in their first round matches and 4-0 wins in the second round so expect a close match here.
Scotland’s Thronton is searching for his first appearance in the PDC World Championship quarter-final after twice reaching the BDO World Championships Quarters in 2005 and 2008. He’s 4/6 favourite with a number of bookies including SkyBet.
Wes ‘The Warrior’ Newton reached the quarter-finals of this tournament last year and the best odds on him doing that again come courtesy of Ladbrokes at 5/4.
Friday Evening Matches
Simon Whitlock is against Kevin Painter in the first of Friday evening’s matches at 7:20pm, with the fourth seed now eying an easier route to the final following Taylor’s departure last week.
Ladbrokes provide the best odds on the Australian winning this match at 4/9. Whitlock is a decent bet to reach the final, with SkyBet offering odds of 5/2, with odds of 9/1 from Ladbrokes providing good value on an outside bet for the title.
Opponent Painter’s best accomplishment in the tournament was runner-up back in 2004 but the 46-year-old is an outsider for this match, Stan James offering the best odds of 21/20 on him prevailing tonight.
Then comes giant-killer Michael Smith, the man who beat Phil Taylor on Saturday and he faces number 16 seed Peter Wright.
Smith played brilliantly to beat the stuttering defending champ and will fancy his chances in this round. My BET OF THE DAY is on a Smith victory, especially considering Stan James are providing generous odds of 21/10. The best price on a Wright win comes courtesy of Bet Victor at 4/9.
Live coverage of Friday’s action is available all day on Sky Sports 1.
Following Taylor’s exit the favourite for the title is now Adrian Lewis, with Ladbrokes, amongst others, offering the best odds of 7/4 on him taking the title.
Don’t forget, you can claim free bets with Ladbrokes by clicking HERE.