After more drama on and off the Oche than ever before, we end up with an England v Scotland clash in the World Darts Championship Final.
Either Peter Wright or Michael Smith will lift the Sid Waddell trophy, and the bookies have Wright the slight favourite. Let’s break down the final…
PDC World Darts Championship 2022 Final Picks
Current Tournament Profit & Loss: +4.44pts Profit
Michael Smith v Peter Wright – 20:00
Over the time of their careers, these two have been at times labelled (unfairly) as ‘Bottlers’.
Well, Wright put that ludicrous claim to bed long ago, while Smith has every chance on the biggest stage of all. Both these men lost their first Worlds final: Wright avenged his two years ago and a fair bit of money has come in for Smith to do the same.
But already though he has been the best player over the time of the tournament so far, he’ll need to continue and probably surpass that level to get past ‘Snakebite’.
I can’t say enough good things about Wright’s performance against Gary Anderson in the Semi-Final.
He raced into a three-set rule and it was enough for him to keep up onto, despite Anderson throwing the kitchen sink at him.
Wright said in the immediate aftermath that it was the greatest he has ever played and when you take everything into consideration, I probably agree.
The ability to find nine more 180s (24 to Gary’s 15) was what gave him the rule and I think his best chance is to play a similar game.
Smith will be a dangerous frontrunner, especially in the middle stanza.
It’s no secret that the reason Smith is playing better than ever before is that his doubling is just better than ever before.
He hasn’t dropped below 45% checkout percentage in any of his past three matches and if he continues at that level, he’ll win five sets minimum.
If you’re a Smith backer you will be nervous at the fact that Smith has never got over the line in a big one in addition.
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And while the mileage you have in the information ‘in addition’ will vary, it’s that exact reason why I chose Wright at the start of the tournament, and I’m not changing now.
That UK Open win in 2017 changed his darting life and opened the floodgates.
And it’s very difficult to go against someone who has done it all before in the biggest game of the year, as opposed to someone who hasn’t.
Before making my picks, I’d say first: If you have a favoured person here, don’t back them to win close.
In the last 12 finals, we’ve only seen three be won by a score of 7-5 or 7-6, the longest format in Darts allows someone to keep up a cushion throughout.
I’m going for Wright 7-4; he averaged 102 in his past final and 104 last night, his all-round proven finals game will help him to keep up a rule if he gets one early, which I think he will.
Next up, the 180s market is suitably bonkers but I’ve settled on both players to hit 16 or more 180s (2/1 at Paddy strength, similar lines in other places).
They both hit this number in their Quarter and Semi Final matches and no matter what happens, I don’t see the 180 strength of these two wilting.
Finally (and this is almost for fun), back the 9 dart finish. It’s double figures with some bookies and I saw shorter prices than that for some Quarter-Final matches.
They’ve both hit one on TV before and Wright has been one dart away on consecutive nights.
It’s been a fantastic tournament and I hope to see a Final fitting of the event.
If you’re a Wright backer like me or a Smith backer, get yourself ready for the greatest sporting evening of the year. Game on…
1pt – Wright to win 7-4 @ 7/1
2pts – Both players to hit 16 or more 180s @ 2/1
1pt – 9 Darter in the Match @ 10/1
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