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Austrian Open Darts - 3rd Round Matches

2018-04-22 00:00:00 (This report was created at 2018-04-22 10:58:17)

Michael Smith vs. Dimitri van den Bergh

It was an emphatic 6-0 win for Smith yesterday over Michael Barnard. It was a bit of a masterclass from Bully Boy who averaged 104 and hit 6 out of 6 on his doubles. He has been handing out some drubbings recently but surely DVDB has more to offer?

Dimitri had to dig a little deeper than many expected to beat Benito van de Pas but that win made it eight wins from his last ten. He came up against Rob Cross in the second round of the German Open last week and lost 6-0. The way Smith is playing at the minute he may be on the end of a similar result. That said, the last time they met it was van den Bergh who ran out the 6-1 winner.

Their H2H record says two wins apiece but Smith is in top form and van den Bergh will have to raise his game a few levels to compete if Smith continues to bring his A game. Odds of 1.40 are not of any great interest however.

Joe Cullen vs. Merv King

There is no point in me ever betting on a match with Joe Cullen in it because I never call it right. So I won’t. No bet. (I would like to see a better price for King than 2.10)

Wayne Jones vs. Gerwyn Price

Gerwen Prices post premier League recovery goes on at a pace after another good performance yesterday, beating Scott Taylor 6-2 with a 101 average and a 43% checkout rate. Nine wins from twelve post PL tells you that Price is back to something like his best.

Jones is going to pick up at least £3000 thanks to him getting a bye into the third round after Dave Chisnall had to withdraw due to illness. Jones’ form is ok with five wins from ten and he can still take on top players and win without ever threatening to have a long run in a tournament. It won’t be the biggest surprise if Jones put in a good performance but I think Price has something to prove to himself and the wider darting community. He isn’t finished just because the PL was an exercise in humiliation. Best odds of 1.29 for Price are of course of no interest.

Rob Cross vs. Steve Beaton

Beaton got past the talented Luke Humphries yesterday but things don’t get any easier for him as he now faces the world champion, Rob Cross. It’s fair to say he should be playing Steve West who conspired to miss seven match darts to beat Cross last night.

Cross isn’t at his best right now and he may be one of those players who gets fixated on the premier league and maybe isn’t as switched on for these events as he normally would be. He has won six of his last ten but he is throwing in poor matches fairly regularly. He is an opposable player who invariably starts at a short price.

Beaton has been around the block more than once and he knows that if you can stick in, you’re not beaten. He may not have the game to match Cross but if Cross underperforms then an experienced player like Beaton can take advantage.

Beaton’s form is ok, five wins from ten, he has defeated Cross twice in their three matches, he has beaten him on the big stage, 2-0 in the first round of the World Grand Prix, and he will not be overawed at the prospect of facing a world champion.

I am happy to oppose Cross if the odds are big enough and they are this time.

1 point Steve Beaton to win @ 5.25 with SpreadEx

Daryl Gurney vs. Darren Webster

Webster got here by the skin of his teeth after beating Ritchie Burnett 6-5 last night. He was cruising to a comfortable win, 4-1 up, but the match went down to the deciding leg after Burnett took a 5-4 lead. That was Webster’s sixth win from his last ten so he’s in fairly good form and has a decent record vs. Gurney winning four of their ten previous matches.

Gurney finally broke the spirit of Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp, winning 6-3 but it was harder than the score line suggests. Both players were poor on the doubles and missed no less than 29 between them. I will suggest that tiredness will have played a part in that. Darts is a game of fine margins and just being a bit tired, or having a cold can make that millimetre of difference.

Another nights rest will have done Gurney some good and while he has a lot of respect for Webster, he is the better player. It’s a big match for both players as it looks to me that there is a very good chance to reach the semi-final at least for the winner of this match. Gurney is the 1.40 favourite which is a bit short given their H2H record. No bet.

Mensur Suljovic vs. Cristo Reyes

Suljovic certainly made the most of home advantage last night, destroying Darius Labanauskas 6-1, averaged 106 and checked out 106. That was his best performance for a very long time and if he keeps that up, who knows, we could get back to back home nation winner on the European Tour.

Reyes was good at times vs. Klassen, winning 6-2. Klassen struggled as he usually does these days and Reyes took advantage. However an average of 91 and a checkout rate of 25% tell you he will have to up his game significantly against the home hero.

Their H2H record is very close with Suljovic leading Reyes 4-3. That suggests that Reyes can cope with Suljovic’s pace but will he cope with a hostile home crowd against him? Probably not but with Suljovic having lost six of his last ten, he is poor value at 1.33. No Bet.

Ian White vs. Simon Whitlock

This is a case of simply opposing Whitlock. He beat Adam Hunt 6-4 yesterday but it was more a case of Hunt just not taking his chances. Whitlock averaged 88 and he missed 14 doubles. His recent form is dire and yesterday’s win ended a run of six consecutive defeats. A win is a win and all that but it was as far from convincing as it gets.

5 points Ian White to win @ 1.80 with Betvictor

James Wade vs. Jonny Clayton

I didn’t fancy these two to win their matches yesterday. Wade defied the pain and hobbled to a 6-4 win over Peter Wright who continues to confound and confuse with his form.

Clayton beat Max Hopp in a poor game and it was the fact that Clayton hit 40% of his doubles compared to 23% for Hopp that was the difference.

Wade has won both their previous meetings and so long as his foot isn’t too painful he should win. Ironically Clayton is also getting over a foot injury so maybe they will be able to compare notes afterwards. Wade to win but odds of 1.50 for a player who was struggling to walk to the oche in Friday night are too short.

-James Punt