World Series of Darts Finals first round: The Wizard, Chizzy star

Holly Thackeray | November 20, 2015

First round: Chisnall, Thornton and Whitlock take to Glasgow oche

  • World Series of Darts Finals
  • Saturday, November 20th
  • First round begins: 13:00-16:30 GMT
  • Braehead Arena, Glasgow
  • Live on ITV 4

Glasgow hosts first-ever World Series of Darts Finals

Coral experts preview the first round of the inaugural World Series of Darts Finals, with Glasgow the perfect stage for this tungsten tournament debut.

Taking to the Braehead Arena oche for the opening encounters are big names such as Dave Chisnall, Terry Jenkins, Robert Thornton and Simon Whitlock, with superstars Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and co set to join the victors in the second round later on Saturday evening.

Can Mighty Mike taste glory again, or will one of home hopes Gary Anderson and Peter Wright lift silverware on Scottish soil? First, before the big-guns arrive, it’s back to first round business…

Simon Whitlock v Rowby-John Rodriguez

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Five - Alexandra Palace
The Wizard is still capable of gloriously magical darts on his day and, with the experienced Australian arrowsmith trying to get back on track in televised tournaments, he is an odds-on 4/7 price to sink his younger peer.

Though widely adored Whitlock still has plenty of cards up his sleeve, it may prove much more profitable to opt for Austrian upstart Rowby-John Rodriguez at 11/8 instead. Little John continues to cut his teeth against the big-guns but has had success in scuffles with The Wizard before, winning both of their previous head-to-heads by 6-3 and 6-1 margins.

Benito van de Pas v Jamie Lewis

International Darts Open in Riesa
Two more up-and-coming oche stars feature here, making this potentially one of the tightest ties of the round. Aiming to follow in the footsteps of Dutch darting heroes such as Van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld is Van de Pas, with the 22-year-old 4/5 favourite to take the spoils after reaching two PDC finals this calendar year.

Big Ben also holds the edge having won two of three previous encounters with Welshman Lewis, and customers can potentially find value in a repeat of the 6-3 scoreline that occurred in Van de Pas’ favour back in October at the PDPA Player’s Championship in Coventry. Should your allegiances instead align with Rasta, the 24-year-old is rated evens to progress.

Max Hopp v Dimitri van den Bergh

International Darts Open in Riesa
Antwerp-born Van den Bergh has beaten The Maximiser in their two career clashes to date, though is available at longer odds of 11/8 to triumph in Glasgow, with teenage prodigy Hopp match favourite at 4/7 due to his superior experience.

The 19-year-old German dartsman has already taken part in a World Cup of Darts, as well as PDC majors such as the World Championship and European Championship, so does look good value to capitalise on the cool and composure he has shown previously in televised tussles.

Michael Smith v Mark Webster

Darts - World Darts Championships - Day Eight - Alexandra Palace
There’s more exciting action here, as ever-improving Smith tackles The Spider in Scotland. Bully Boy made it all the way to the Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals last time out, having out in some of his best career performances in Wolverhampton.

It took the power of Mighty Mike to unravel this talented 25-year-old and, though Webster also enjoyed a successful quarter-final finish, Smith’s superb outings make him a justified 4/7 favourite. Bully Boy won the last battle between the two, and can therefore be backed at much more enticing price of 5/1 to be victorious by a 6-3 scoreline again, or at 11/4 to be King of the Oche (Player to win match, most 180s and highest checkout. If any of the markets are tied, bets will be settled as losers).

Keegan Brown v Ian White

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Four - Alexandra Palace
This duel pits exuberance against experience, with young Englishman Brown a 6/4 shout to sink veteran White. The Needle has been making steady progress, claiming the recent Players Championship in Coventry and scalping stars such as Adrian Lewis and Robert Thornton.

Despite this promise, darting stalwart Diamond has a perfect record against Brown, having beaten him four times in a row, with the last an emphatic whitewash, so is not unreasonably rated as 8/15 to reach the second round, where Jackpot awaits.

Kyle Anderson v Dave Chisnall

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Seven - Alexandra Palace
Darting juggernaut Phil Taylor is the second round prize for the winner of this wrangle, with Chizzy an obvious 4/11 favourite to defeat Aussie Anderson.

The Original has flattered to deceive recently, so English oche star Chisnall should have too much for his opponent, who is an outsider at 21/10 to triumph. Chizzy has a habit of burning brightly early on in competitions, so could clock up some fine finishes, after dazzling crowds with a nine-darter in the recent Grand Slam of Darts. With that in mind, back the St Helens hitman at 9/4 to be King of the Oche in this clash.

Devon Petersen v Robert Thornton

Darts - Betway Premier League Darts - Brighton Centre
Whoever triumphs here has the daunting darting challenge of Van Gerwen up next, with The Thorn, a 2/5 chance, the best equipped to progress.

Having downed Mighty Mike to lift the World Grand Prix, the prospect of a re-match already is mouthwatering, and Thornton is unlikely to let that chance slip. The Spartan has a slim 2/1 shot to spoil that reunion, as The Thorn is yet to reach the level of his Grand Prix performances since.

Terry Jenkins v Chris Dobey

Darts - Grand Slam of Darts - Wolverhampton Civic Hall
There should be no surprises here as The Bull is 1/3 to see of the challenge of another young-gun in Dobey. Jenkins still has plenty left in the tank, having stormed to a recent Players Championship success in Barnsley, defeating Snakebite 6-4 with an excellent average of 108.02.


There’s much more to read about this riveting winter of darts in our archive

Coral’s top tip: Rowby-John Rodriguez’s record against Simon Whitlock means an 11/8 price for victory is enticing.