Boring, I know, but the fact that, for once, the best player in the world is available at an odds-against price is not to be sniffed at.

Since winning his first world title in 2014, Michael Van Gerwen has never lost a final at Alexandra Palace. So, if he’s not to retain it, then somebody from his side of the draw is probably going to have to stop him.

Michael Smith is the only other player in the top six of the betting in the top half of the bracket, and he’s all the way out at .

The form of Gerwyn Price has attracted plenty of attention, but he hasn’t got a great record at Ally Pally and has admitted that he struggles with set play. His price of just isn’t tempting enough.

MVG comes into this in good form, having won four of the last six majors, and makes no secret of the fact that he covets this one more than all the rest.



If you’re looking for an outside shot, then it makes sense to focus on the other side of the draw as, should MVG win it, then at least you’ve got a chance of being paid out twice.

Dave Chisnall is in better form than both Rob Cross and Peter Wright , but his longer price reflects an inability to back up power scoring with pressure finishing.

The player I’m drawn to is Chris Dobey, who announced himself at Ally Pally this time last year after pushing Gary Anderson all the way in the last 32, hitting 15 maximums and averaging 100.83.

He’s since impressed as a challenger in the Premier League and reached the semis of both the World Grand Prix and Players Championship Finals during the last couple of months.

When it comes to finding a bit of each-way value, he looks the savviest pick.



With the top two in the betting in quarters one and four, and three of three of the next four favourites in quarter three, quarter two makes the most appeal in this market.

Only one of Michael Smith and Adrian Lewis can make it past the fourth round, and it’s difficult to say with any real confidence who that might be.

Gary Anderson, meanwhile, has endured a stuttering season – reaching one quarter-final in the four majors in which he’s been able to take part.

Nathan Aspinall is therefore the one that stands out. He made the semis last year – beating Smith along the way – and has since claimed his first TV title at the UK Open and reached the last eight of the World Grand Prix as recently as October.

He, combined with whoever you fancy to triumph in the other three sections, would make a tasty four-fold.



Ian White comes into this in decent nick, having reached the quarters of the World Grand Prix and semis of the Players Championship Finals during the last couple of months to rise to ninth in the world rankings.

He’s got a pretty smooth path to round four, where he will most likely meet James Wade.

Wade has only made it to the last eight of a ranked major once this calendar year – at the World Matchplay back in July – and hasn’t got beyond the last 16 at Ally Pally since 2017.

Presuming White makes it past The Machine, then MVG will surely end his run in the quarters.

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