Can anyone stop Mighty Mike?
Considering this is the first time in Premier League history that the starting field has not contained a single debutant, this year’s tournament ought to be the most competitive ever.
Except, that is, for the presence of one man: Michael van Gerwen.
Having won the last six tournaments – and 11 of the last 12 televised PDC events – the Dutchman is an overwhelming favourite at to defend his Premier League title.
There looks to be much better value, then, in backing Mighty Mike to go unbeaten during the entire tournament at enhanced odds of – a remarkable price, given that an opening-night defeat to James Wade was his only defeat last season and he enters this year’s campaign on the back of a 32-game winning streak.
If you do fancy an upset, then it is worth backing the winner to be Scottish at , with compatriots Gary Anderson and Peter Wright the second and third-favourites respectively.
Surviving Judgement Night
Unsurprisingly, it is the two players making their Premier League comebacks, Kim Huybrechts (), who are the two most likely to be eliminated on Judgement Night.
Yet despite being the higher-ranked player, it is Klaasen – playing in the tournament for the first time since 2009 – who looks most vulnerable.
Recent history has shown the importance of making a good start to the campaign. Since the current format was adopted in 2013, three of the four players to finish bottom of the table failed to win any of their first three games.
And, given that Klaasen’s first three matches this year are against the current top three in the world in Wright, Anderson and Van Gerwen, he may struggle to turn the tide and is to end up propping up the rest.
If it is outside value that you are after, then Dave Chisnall looks tempting at to fail to make the cut for the second year in a row.
Chizzy has the lowest double success rate of all 10 Premier League players in recent televised matches, and that recurring weakness could again prove costly in the matchplay format where finishing is so key.
Predicting the play-off picture
Given their respective records, it is surprising that Wright () as the only odds-on favourites to reach the semi-finals.
Snakebite has enjoyed an excellent season, but found similarly good form difficult to maintain over the course of the campaign last time around, winning his first three matches before falling just short.
Wright has failed to reach the last four in all three of his previous Premier League bids, and is to prolong that record this year.
Phil Taylor, on the other hand, always seems to thrive when it comes to the Premier League format, only once failing to make the semis in his 17 seasons to date.
Following his announcement that this will be his final campaign as a full-time pro, the six-time Premier League champion still has more than enough quality to recover from the occasional off-day during the course of the four months.
Taylor is to be among the final four at the O2 in May.
Predictably, it is MVG who is the favourite to hit the most 180s during the course of the tournament.
Given the Dutchman’s propensity for switching to 19s, though, second-favourite Anderson could be a decent shout at .
Even in a losing cause, The Flying Scotsman hit more maximums than MVG in the recent World Championship final, breaking the record both for highest number of 180s in a single match (22) and in an entire tournament (71).
Despite plenty of other records also tumbling at Alexandra Palace, the Worlds did not see a single nine-darter over the course of the competition, with the chances of the Premier League also going without priced at .
The only player who did hit a perfect leg last season was Adrian Lewis, and Jackpot looks as good a bet as any to repeat the feat at .
Last year’s Premier League also only saw two 7-0 scorelines, both of which were registered against a below-par Robert Thornton.
With a more evenly-matched field than ever, another long-term punt on the 2017 season not to feature a single whitewash is tempting at a boosted .