PDC Premier League Darts 2020: Betting and Odds Preview

The latest edition of the PDC Premier League Darts kicks off on February 6 with some of the world’s best darters preparing once again for a testing marathon. New World Champion Peter Wright will be targeting another trophy while defending Premier League champion Michael Van Gerwen will undoubtedly start as favourite once again.

Last year’s unusual format has been adopted once again so we can expect a special guest appearance from one player each week. We’ll explain more right now as we take a quick look at the formatting before seeing if we can pick some winners.

Event Date: February 6 – May 21, 2020

History and Format

The rise in darts’ popularity meant that the organisers were looking to incept a long-term tournament that would capture the public’s imagination over several weeks. Accordingly, the Premier League started back in 2005 and, like it does now, that opening competition featured the world’s best throwers at that specific time.

That first edition was won by Phil Taylor who went on to claim the first four Premier League trophies. The Power won six titles in total and is the most successful darter in the tournament’s history but his proud record is now under threat from Mighty Michael Van Gerwen. MVG’s success in 2019 was his fourth title in succession and his fifth overall.

The only other players to have won the Premier League are Gary Anderson (twice) plus James Wade and Raymond Van Barneveld.

In 2019, a late injury to Anderson led to an interesting change in the format. Rather than bring in a straight replacement, the organisers chose one extra player to compete in each phase. It proved a success so that styling has been retained for this year. Among those throwers added to the main list in 2020 are history-making women’s player Fallon Sherrock, plus Scott Dobey, Stephen Bunting and Jeffrey de Zwaan.

They will join regular competitors Van Gerwen, Wright, Rob Cross, Michael Smith, Gerwyn Price, Gary Anderson, Daryl Gurney, Nathan Aspinall and Glen Durrant. Those nine throwers will play for points each week and at the end of week eight, one of those players will drop out.

The one-off challengers will also disappear and that will leave eight throwers to compete for seven more weeks before we get to the playoffs. The semi finals and final are set to take place this year at the O2 Arena on May 21st.

It’s a long and packed few weeks ahead so let’s now move on and see if we can make any profits.

Green Machine

Michael Van Gerwen

Michael Van Gerwen

After a slow start to 2019, Michael Van Gerwen could often be found at odds against prices for most tournaments. A recovery began in the second half of the year and while MVG is now available at odds on with most bookies to win the Premier League, you can claim a top price of Even Money with BetFred.

The format of the tournament suits Van Gerwen because he is almost guaranteed a place on finals night. While it may be easy enough to lose the odd game along the way, a long competition means that the best players will always come to the top so we can fully expect Mighty Mike to be in the Top Four.

Van Gerwen’s expected dominance is highlighted by a significant gap to joint second favourites. World Champion Peter Wright can be backed at best odds of 13/2 with Betway while Gerwyn Price is listed at that same industry best of 13/2 with BetFred.

Wright ended a rollercoaster couple of years with that World Championship win but Price was the more consistent of the two players in 2019. Wright also produced some poor darts in last year’s Premier League and, to be honest, we’re not sure what to expect from Snakebite this time around.

Chasing Throwers

gary anderson

Gary Anderson

Once again, we have two players listed at the same numbers in the outright betting with both Rob Cross and Gary Anderson quoted at best odds of 12/1. Flying Scotsman Anderson can be picked up at that figure with Coral and Betway while Voltage Cross is on offer at 12/1 with William Hill and 888Sport.

At least one of the players that we’ve mentioned so far will miss out on finals night. That’s the aim for Cross and Anderson at the head of this chasing pack and if they can make it to the semis, it becomes sudden death.

Next up we have Nathan Aspinall at a best of 20/1 with BetFred while Michael Smith is listed at that same figure of 20/1 with Betway. Smith has a good record in this competition while Aspinall is a worthy addition to the roster after impressing in 2019.

Bringing up the rear are our two outsiders. Multiple BDO World Champion Glen Durrant can be picked up at best odds of 28/1 with Unibet and 888Sport while the same two bookmakers offer a top price of 33/1 for Daryl Gurney. It might appear that those two will be battling to avoid the wooden spoon but can either man spring a surprise?

Verdict

We’ve already hinted at one of the keys to finding a winner of the Premier League. This is a long competition, played out over several weeks and the format tends to give the stronger players an advantage. It’s no coincidence that Phil Taylor and Michael Van Gerwen have dominated the list of previous champions and that trend may well continue into the future.

There are anomalies: Few punters would have expected Peter Wright to have had such a poor year in 2019 and the struggles of one of the fancied players can always allow one of the outside bets to sneak through into finals night.

One of the players who can cause a surprise this year is Glen Durrant. He’s won the BDO world title on three separate occasions and while the PDC division represents an obvious step up, he’s more than held his own in the top flight. On the flip side, the player who looks vulnerable is Rob Cross and we have a suspicion that Voltage will not be lighting up finals night.

As for the winner, it can be a case of just making sure that you make it to the semis and hope that anything can happen from that point. One man who hasn’t hidden his disdain for the competition is Gerwyn Price but the feisty Welshman has a point to prove and nobody loves a challenge like the Iceman.

Price won the Grand Slam last year and, having made the semi finals of the World Championships in December, we suspect that 2020 will be productive. At generous win odds of 13/2, we feel that Gerwyn Price is worth an each way bet at the very least.

Best Bets: