The Masters Darts 2022 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

Another year of PDC darts gets underway on Friday evening when 24 of the best players in the world head to Milton Keynes for The Masters, an event which is gaining in significance on the calendar not least because it could have a huge say on the Premier League entries.

Jonny Clayton took full advantage of the door which was open to the invitational showpiece last year when he won this title before landing the Premier League crown and he’ll be looking to make a successful defence here in Milton Keynes.

Recent Winners

2021 – Jonny Clayton

2020 – Peter Wright

2019 – Michael van Gerwen

2018 – Michael van Gerwen

2017 – Michael van Gerwen

2016 – Michael van Gerwen

2015 – Michael van Gerwen

2014 – James Wade

2013 – Phil Taylor

The Format

We have the same extended event this weekend with 24 players taking to the oche rather than the 16 which was the case prior to last year. The first round sees the players ranked 9-24 meeting over the best of 11 legs on Friday evening with the winners progressing to face one of the top 8 in the last 16 on Saturday. The quarter finals, semi-finals and final all take place on Sunday with the last 16 and last eight being the best of 19 legs and the latter stages the best of 21 to find the winner on Sunday evening.

Top Half

Although he isn’t the world champion or defending champion here, this is an event where the world rankings determine the seeding so Gerwyn Price is the number one seed and in the top half of the draw as a result of that. There are three other seeds who receive byes through to the second round this weekend in this half of the draw. They are the defending champion Jonny Clayton, former winner James Wade and the man who lost out in that wonderful world final at the beginning of the month in Michael Smith.

Eight players line up in the first round in this part of the draw. Dimitri Van den Bergh heads them on rankings while Krzysztof Ratajski, Dave Chisnall and Ryan Searle are the other three players who would have been in the tournament in the original 16 player format. The other four men in this section are Mervyn King, Stephen Bunting, the German star Gabriel Clemens and an Ian White who will be looking to push on after his injury issues.


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Bottom Half

This is the part of the draw where the newly crowned world champion Peter Wright will begin a second stint as holder of the Sid Waddell Trophy. He will be looking to put on a show this weekend but he faces three seasoned campaigners who receive the first round bye as a top ranked player. They are Michael van Gerwen, who might still be reeling from his exit at the worlds at the hands of Covid, Gary Anderson and Jose de Sousa.

Eight more good players will battle it out in the first round for the right to face one of those seeds in the second round. Rob Cross is the highest ranked among them with Joe Cullen not too far behind. Nathan Aspinall would have been in this section but he has had to withdraw through injury with Devon Petersen replacing him. Dirk van Duijvenbode, Simon Whitlock, Luke Humphries, Brendan Dolan and Daryl Gurney complete the field.

Betting

I’ll take a couple of players to have a good weekend here, one who has the plum draw and the other who is overpriced. The draw has worked out perfectly for Michael Smith, who I expect to be heavily motivated after losing that world final which he looked to be in control of at one stage. He did nothing wrong in that final, he just ran into three sets of absolute brilliance from Peter Wright at the end of it so he only needs to offer up that sort of level here to go very deep this weekend. Smith will get the winner of Krzysztof Ratajski or Gabriel Clemens in the last 16 and the worst case scenario is he plays James Wade in the quarter finals. Smith cruised past Wade in the world semi-final so we know he has the beating of him. The other two seeds in his half – Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton – were also beaten by Smith at Ally Pally so with a plot draw and a point to prove I like the 9/1 on ‘Bully Boy’ here.

The overpriced player for me in this field this week is Daryl Gurney, a player who showed signs of life at the Players Championship Finals and then had a good World Championship campaign before it was halted in its tracks by Rob Cross in a barnstorming last 32 clash where he averaged the better part of 100 in a deciding seventh set defeat. Gurney is now down at 22 in the rankings and he is going to need a big year to remain among the elite on the circuit. While this isn’t a ranking event, Jonny Clayton was outside the top 16 when winning this event last year and used the confidence from that to dominate the scene for the entire 12 months. Gurney should use that as inspiration and with a first round clash against a Joe Cullen who flatters to deceive on TV too often for my liking, a possible second round meeting with Gary Anderson who has been away getting married and a quarter final against a Micharl van Gerwen of whom we don’t know what effects Covid had on him, there is certainly a route for Gurney to go very deep here at a monster price.

Tips

Back M.Smith to win The Masters (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 10.00 with Betfair (1/2 1-2)

Back him here:

Back D.Gurney to win The Masters (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with Coral (1/2 1-2)

Back him here:

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