2017 PDC Worlds day 1 preview: Upsets expected, as Anderson begins title defence
Sam Barnard | 15 December 2016
2017 PDC World Championship
- First round, day one
- Thursday, December 15th
- Session starts: 19:00 GMT
- Alexandra Palace, London
- Live on Sky Sports Darts (3)
Anderson should have no trouble on opening evening
It’s that time of the year! No, not Christmas, nor the New Year; something arguably more exciting to many – the PDC World Championship, which takes place either side of those days!
Defending champion Gary Anderson aptly takes part on the opening day at Alexandra Palace, as he is scheduled third onto the oche against Mark Frost, while the likes of Michael Smith and Kevin Painter also feature.
Whether you are a staunch darting fan or not, the Worlds is always an event for everyone, with high quality entertainment, shock results and crazy crowds guaranteed to be on offer.
So, make sure you are strapped in tightly – but allow enough room for some festive food of course – and read on to check out our 2017 PDC World Championship day 1 preview…
Jamie Caven v Kevin Painter
The PDC World Championship always produces magical moments, and the opening match of this year’s tournament could well produce the first minor upset.
Former runner-up in 2004 Painter is the 4/6 odds-on favourite for this clash, but has lost seven of his 11 duels with Caven (6/5), including their most recent meeting earlier this year.
Jabba won 6-4 at that Players Championship event in Barnsley, so is 4/1 to edge The Artist 3-2 this time.
Jamie Lewis v Mick McGowan
Next up onto the Ally Pally oche on day one is a match-up between 30th seed young-gun Lewis (4/7 favourite) and experienced Irishman McGowan (11/8).
There are no previous meetings to go by, but Ireland’s The Magnet has got past this stage twice before while Rasta has gone out at the first hurdle in each of the last three years.
Another slight shock is set up to be on the cards, therefore, but this might just be the year the Welshman finally gets off the mark at the PDC Worlds. Lewis is 10/3 to also win 3-2.
Gary Anderson v Mark Frost
Two-time defending champion Anderson goes up against his on tour friend Frost, who perhaps has the greatest nickname of them all – Frosty the Throw Man.
It is highly unlikely that there’ll be an upset on this occasion, though, with 74 places in the PDC world rankings separating the duo, which is why The Flying Scotsman is so heavily odds-on at 1/20 to win.
Anderson is a more tempting 1/2 price for a 3-0 victory, though if you fancy Frost to get a set then odds of 13/5 say he’ll lose 3-1.
Scotland’s finest Anderson is also 6/1 tournament second-favourite to get a hat-trick of titles.
Michael Smith v Ricky Evans
Quick throwers Smith and Evans may not have met since 2014, but the former boasts a 6-0 career record over his fellow youngster and being the 11th seed is 4/11 favourite.
However, Bully Boy’s form has tailed off in the past couple of months ever since finishing bottom of the 2016 Premier League.
So, why not back Rapid at 21/10 to cause another upset, as he did at this same stage the last two times he played here against Ronnie Baxter and Simon Whitlock in 2014 and 2016 respectively?
Evans has also been touted by former BDO world champion Stephen Bunting, who spoke exclusively to Coral before the 2017 Worlds, to go on a surprise run this tournament.
For more previews, tips and features during the 2017 PDC World Championship, check out our extensive archive.