The opening night of action in the World Series of Darts Finals sees the unseeded players battling it out over the best of 11 legs in Amsterdam with the reward for winning being a shot at a seeded player on Saturday night.
Eight matches will form the Friday night session and although we have to wait until Saturday for most of the stars to come out to play, we have the world champion, UK Open winner and the two World Cup champions entertaining us here.
First Four Matches
We actually begin with a couple of players who came through the PDC qualifier as the American ace Danny Baggish takes on Ryan Joyce to get the tournament underway before two more qualifiers take to the stage when Jamie Hughes goes up against Dave Chisnall in one of the better matches on the evening. Two Australian players are third up when Gordon Mathers takes on Damon Heta before we head through to the midway point of the evening when two invited players clash as Haupai Puha faces Dirk van Duijvenbode.
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Later Four Matches
The quality on show goes up a notch when we get to the second half of the evening and two entertaining players start that run when the American player Leonard Gates meets the South African qualifier Devon Petersen. The marquee match of the night is the third to last one to take to the stage when Fallon Sherrock meets the world champion Peter Wright before the home crowds will get to see one of their own when Vincent van der Voort faces Matt Campbell. The tie of the round closes the show when World Cup winner Simon Whitlock meets the UK Open champion Danny Noppert.
I’ll open the weekend with one bet and it comes in the final match of the night where I think Danny Noppert can come through against Simon Whitlock with a fair bit in hand. To be fair to Whitlock, he has a couple of wins over Michael van Gerwen on the stage over the last six weeks or so but the amount of doubles he misses alarms me. If we go back to the start of the World Series swing down under his checkout ratios on stage in those events and the last European Tour tournament have been 6/15, 3/16, 6/13, 2/10, 4/8, 6/17, 6/18 and 5/17.
That does not bode well for Whitlock here because he is going to get heckled on his doubles by a home crowd and I’m not convinced he is going to get that many darts at a double anyway because he isn’t going to outscore Noppert for the majority of the match. Noppert has lost his first match in the last two European Tour events but he has still averaged comfortably into the 90s in both of them so he just needs the luck to turn in his favour. With home advantage and against an opponent who isn’t clinical on the doubles I expect Noppert to come through no worse than 6-4.
Back D.Noppert (-1.5 legs) to beat S.Whitlock for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with BetVictor
Back him here: