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Take Dutch courage in Vegas

Frank Monkhouse | 15 July 2017

Little surprise to see MVG as fav

Followers of the darts scene have a fascinating tournament to sort through this weekend, with the inaugural staging of the US Darts Masters taking place at the Tropicana Las Vegas. Eight North American players are thrown in with eight of the PDC’s finest.

The build-up was knocked off-course with the news that fans’ favourite Phil Taylor will not be travelling, the soon to be retired star pulling out due to health reasons, having picked up a bug in Shanghai. It’s a minor set-back, but there’s plenty to keep punters entertained on Friday and Saturday.

MVG in a fighting mood

Phil Taylor’s withdrawal did little to affect the outright market, the former world champion would’ve been nowhere near the head of the betting, and Coral traders have Michael van Gerwen priced up as red-hot favourite. Surprised? Of course not, but the Dutchman fully deserves to be the shortest price.

MVG was at his best when destroying Dave Chisnall to win the Shanghai Darts Masters recently, oozing class on route to an 8-0 thumping. He was in a fighting mood throughout, telling reporters that you have to be ruthless in darts, and if he can win 8-0, he’ll try to do it. In that kind of form, it’ll be a brave punter who’s willing to take him on.

Mighty a hot favourite

It wasn’t plain sailing for Mighty in the early rounds at The Pullman Hotel, and van Gerwen looked to be on the brink of defeat when falling behind against Phil Taylor. The Power doesn’t appear to be the finisher he once was however, and with Phil missing darts to win, he left the door open for Michael to fire back, and that’s just what he did.

That impressed our boys on the trading floor, and they have MVG as a 4/7 jolly going in to the weekend. He’ll be a bit tight for some at the price, but judging by his recent form, we really can’t argue against that stance.

Is Anderson worth a shot?

Leader of the chasing pack is Gary Anderson, The Flying Scotsman a 9/2 shot at the time of writing. The 46-year-old’s form has been a bit hit-and-miss of late, but there’s little doubt he’s a very capable player on his day, and we saw that when winning the 20th Players Championship in Wigan last month. When hitting those doubles he’s a match for any man at this level, and the price looks worth a shot.

If you’re after big odds, look no further than Raymond van Barneveld, who is doing the rounds at a massive 20/1. Barney has gone off the boil of late, but he sharpened his tools when trying out a new set of darts in Shanghai, beating Chinese qualifier Cheng An Liu. Another it never pays to write off, and it wouldn’t be the biggest shock in sport to see him win this.

We preview all the major darts tournaments here