Some of the throwers on show are at the top of their game and personal circumstances dictate that they are happy to compete on a less crowded circuit while others, like Dave Chisnall and Stephen Bunting to name but two who went before them, are looking to develop their game before crossing to the more lucrative PDC.
There can be great value on offer from a betting point of view at the same time so who is in the frame for the BDO Worlds this year?
The action starts this Saturday, January 6, and according to the bookmakers the man to beat is our reigning champion Glen Durrant. At 46, ‘Duzza’ claimed his first World title 12 months ago but also has two World Masters wins under his belt and is clearly in the best form of his career.
Durrant is at 5/4 with most bookies while Coral have best odds of 11/8 on our defending champion. That’s quite an advantage and while we saw Michael Van Gerwen start at a shorter 8/13 for the PDC version, Durrant has a significant gap over the chasing throwers so would seem to be a strong option.
Behind our favourite we have Danny Noppert who is on offer at a best price of 8/1 with a number of outlets including MobileBet and Winner Sports. Noppert is a 27 year old Dutch darter who was second to Durrant in 2017 before going on to win the Finder Masters so seems a logical option as the second favourite.
Now we come to a former BDO World Champion in Scott Mitchell who is quoted at 11/1 with RedBet. Scotty Dog is our 2015 winner and always a threat in any tournament but has yet to add a major win since picking up that title three years ago.
A further gap now opens until we find Jamie Hughes at a top price of 16/1 with Paddy Power, Cameron Menzies at best odds of 20/1 with SportingBet and Scott Waites at a best of 22/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral.
Of those three, Waites is a former World Champion and one of the most successful still playing outside of the PDC. He’s won the BDO World’s twice, most recently in 2016 and while 2017 was a barren year for the 40 year old, he has to be considered a threat at what is a strong price.
One of the most popular men on the BDO circuit is Martin Wolfie Adams who has had to battle ill health just to be taking part in the 2018 renewal. Adams is a distant best price of 40/1 with most bookies including Sun Bets and 188Bet and at 61 he is winding down his career but remember that Wolfie has three BDO world titles to his name.
Other names appearing in the same sort of price bracket include Andy Baetens at best odds of 40/1 with Bet365 and BetFred, Jim Williams at a top price of 50/1 with 10Bet and Sport Pesa and Darryl Fitton who won the World Darts Trophy in 2016 and could be worth a look at a best of 66/1 with Ladbrokes and BetFred.
Our rank outsider for 2018 is Pg Mohammed at a mighty 500/1 with Paddy Power and SkyBet but is there anyone worth considering with a three figure price? It’s hard to see us getting a winner from such distance but some players to look at here could include Wayne Warren at best odds of 150/1 with Paddy Power and Sun Bets, Scott Baker at 125/1 with Betway and BetBright and Martin Phillips at 80/1 with William Hill and Winner Sports.
Don’t forget you can take an Each Way punt on your chosen player if you’re not comfortable with long odds and there are other betting options for the BDO tournament as a whole. Match betting will be available for every game with additional side bets such as Correct Score and who will hit the most 180s.
Long term bets should also appear with Yes or No options on whether there will be a nine dart finish or a maximum 170 check out during the tournament. Those are for later but ahead of the event, it’s time to pick a winner.
Few would have expected Rob Cross to win the PDC equivalent but in general, that code is easier to tip. The BDO has less tournaments across a calendar year and therefore it’s a little tough to assess form coming into the biggest event of them all.
One man who has enjoyed a great year is Glen Durrant and looking at success from 2017, it’s hard to argue prices for either of the top two. If they can survive the earlier rounds where it’s a race to just three sets, Durrant and Danny Noppert should justify their billing at the top of the market.