Premier League Darts heads to Exeter for the fifth night of action on Thursday and we've selected our expert betting tips for all five matches.
The league table is beginning to take shape after four weeks of competition, with Michael van Gerwen having returned to his customary top spot and only Gerwyn Price yet to taste defeat.
Six players are separated by just a single point in what is shaping up to be one of the most closely-matched editions of the elite invitational to date.
As in previous years, the Premier League’s visit to Exeter precedes the start of the UK Open in nearby Minehead the following day, and the ten players in action will be looking to warm up for ‘The FA Cup of Darts’ in style.
Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney – Over 11.5 total legs @ 6/5
The opening match of the night sees 2019 Premier League finalist Rob Cross take on 2019 semi-finalist Daryl Gurney in a crucial basement battle.
Gurney is rooted to the foot of the table with just one point to his name but would go level with Cross if he can register his first win of the campaign here.
Cross has proved somewhat of a nemesis to the Northern Irishman over the past 12 months, having claimed wins in the Semi-Finals of the World Matchplay, European Championship and Brisbane Masters.
However, it may be Cross who has the most cause for concern on current form, having averaged just 90 and 91 in successive 7-5 defeats.
With both players below their best so far this term and given their league positions, this has all the makings of a tense and cagey affair and it’s difficult to envisage a clear winner.
Their aforementioned meetings over long formats in the Matchplay and European Championship were decided by a margin of just two legs, and odds-against for the full 12 legs to be played out here looks a solid bet.
Gerwyn Price to win @ 5/6
Gerwyn Price and Glen Durrant face off for the tenth time in PDC competition as ‘Duzza’ aims to avenge his crushing 5-1 defeat in the Quarter-Finals of December’s World Championship.
Debutant Durrant was knocked off top spot after squandering a 3-1 lead in an eventual 7-5 defeat to Aspinall a week ago and went on to suffer an early exit to Mervyn King on the European Tour.
The three-time BDO World Champion has openly admitted to relishing show-downs with box office star Price and will need to brush up on his finishing if he is to get back on track.
After three consecutive draws, Price put his first win on the board in Dublin to climb to third in the table and went on to win the Belgian Championship in emphatic fashion.
The passionate Welshman is vying to reach the play-offs at the third attempt after narrowly missing out last year and should he pick up from where he left off in Hasselt, that could grave danger for Duzza.
Price has won six of their nine previous meetings and is favoured on current form to add to that tally.
Nathan Aspinall to checkout over 97.5 @ 17/20
Nathan Aspinall looks to maintain the pressure on Van Gerwen at the top of the table and fine-tune his preparations for his UK Open title defence by overcoming World Champion Peter Wright.
Aspinall has made a superb start to his debut Premier League campaign with six points from a possible eight and has won three of his four previous meetings with Wright.
The Stockport star climbed to a career-high sixth in the Order of Merit following the first European Tour event of the season and has already gone some way towards safeguarding his spot for the second half of the Premier League.
Aspinall landed a 170 checkout in the opening week of competition and has hit at least one ton-plus finish in three of his four matches so far.
The Asp will be under pressure to seize his chances from similar range against the world number two and 17/20 looks a reasonable price for him to register a finish of 98 or higher.
Gary Anderson to win and both players to hit two or more 180s @ 6/4
Luke Humphries returns for his second stint as a ‘Challenger’ and looks to go one better than last year’s draw by pulling off a shock scalp of two-time champion Gary Anderson.
Humphries held Gerwyn Price to a 6-6 draw on his debut at this venue 12 months ago, averaging 101.3 in a fine showing, and has since gone on to become World Youth Champion.
The 25-year-old also reached the Quarter-Finals of the World Championship for the second successive year and has climbed to a career-high 34th in the Order of Merit.
Anderson has taken five points from his opening four games and is out to avoid becoming the first player to lose to a Challenger.
The 2018 UK Open champion defeated Rob Cross 7-5 in Dublin last week and knows he can ill-afford to be off his game against an opponent of Humphries’ scoring calibre.
Humphries was thrashed 6-1 by Ronny Huybrechts on the Euro Tour last weekend, and with Anderson back fit and firing, this could prove an uphill task for the youngster, with 6/4 representing sound value on the Flying Scotsman to prevail in a high-scoring encounter.
Van Gerwen to win and both players to hit two or more 180s @ 11/10
The pick of the night’s matches sees reigning champion and league leader Van Gerwen take on in-form Michael Smith in a repeat of their Belgian Championship clash on Sunday.
Smith pulled off a 6-5 victory in the Last 16 in Hasselt to extend his nemesis’ wait for a first ranking title of the season on his way to finishing runner-up to Gerwyn Price.
Van Gerwen will be gunning for revenge as he bids to make it seven wins from seven against Smith in the Premier League to cement top spot.
The world number one leads the way by virtue of a superior legs difference over Nathan Aspinall and boasts the only ton-plus tournament average of the field (101) as well as the highest checkout percentage (54%).
Both players are averaging over 2.5 180s per game, and given MVG’s unbeaten record over ‘Bully Boy’ in this competition and added incentive, it’s tough to see past a win for the green machine with both players landing at least two maximums in the process.