If you’ve been following along with our PDC Home Tour Darts coverage, you know what our basic strategy is for the early part of this first-of-its-kind event. Given the unfamiliar environment and format for this tournament– the players are at home, play is sometimes interrupted by phone calls and the matches are short — it seems unwise to back big favorites.
Jonny Clayton spoiled a good run for the underdogs on Friday. “The Ferret” became just the second favorite to win his group, making it look simple in a sweep of Group 8.
Clayton’s easy ride won’t deter me from trying to find some decent prices on Night 9, though the job won’t be easy as we’ve got ourselves a legitimate headliner on Saturday.
PDC Home Tour Night 9 Betting Odds and Picks
Saturday, April 25 at 2:30 p.m. ET
- No. 5 Michael Smith (-190)
- No. 101 Martijn Kleermaker (+350)
- No. 64 Harry Ward (+400)
- No. 82 Matt Clark (+900)
- Michael Smith (-335) vs. Martijn Kleermaker (+240)
- Harry Ward (-167) vs. Matt Clark (+130)
- Martijn Kleermaker (-180) vs. Matt Clark (+140)
- Michael Smith (-400) vs. Harry Ward (+275)
- Harry Ward (-109) vs. Martijn Kleermaker (-118)
- Matt Clark (+333) vs. Michael Smith (-500)
Michael “Bully Boy” Smith is a bonafide star in the PDC and has been a regular fixture in the semifinals and finals of the sport’s biggest tournaments. Smith has yet to win a major title but he’s a good bet to get one sooner rather than later.
Smith is the story of Group 9 and the odds-on favorite is expected to win this group 65.5% of the time according to implied probability. Sure, if this was a more normal set up, with longer matches taking place on a stage, Smith’s odds would be a lot shorter but this event is anything but normal. The short games and unfamiliar playing conditions are a recipe for chaos and that’s why I’m happy to try and beat Smith at these prices.
None of Martijn Kleermaker, Harry Ward or Matt Clark are what you’d call stars, but any one of them can get hot in a 9-leg dart match to upset “Bully Boy.” I’m especially keen on Ward, a 22-year-old who uses “A Little Respect” by Erasure as his walk-on song, even if his form hasn’t been great this season.
Motivation is a key factor for this tournament and I doubt that the Smith, who regularly plays in finals in front of boozed-up crowds, will take The Home Tour as seriously as he takes regular events. On the other hand, I expect the three underdogs to be fully engaged — especially when they take on Smith. It’s not everyday that you get the chance to beat the fifth-best player in the world.
You may think I’m crazy for going against the clear favorite in all three matches but I’d suggest it is even more insane to lay -335, -400 or -500 on a 9-leg darts match that is taking place in a living room.
PDC Home Tour Night 9 Betting Picks
- Martijn Kleermaker (+240) over Michael Smith
- Harry Ward (+275) over Michael Smith
- Matt Clark (+333) over Michael Smith
PDC Home Tour Betting Record: 10-18, -1.5 units
PDC Home Tour Odds and Schedule
PDC Home Tour Group Winners
- Group 1: Jamie Lewis (+600)
- Group 2: Luke Woodhouse (+600)
- Group 3: Dave Chisnall (-134)
- Group 4: Geert Nentjes (+250)
- Group 5: Nick Kenny (+450)
- Group 6: Ryan Searle (+180)
- Group 7: Jelle Klaasen (+200)
- Group 8: Jonny Clayton (+130)
PDC Home Tour Darts Tournament Rules and Format
- If you’re unfamiliar with the rules of darts, click here.
- The tournament will feature 32 groups of four players who will play a round robin to determine a group winner.
- One group plays per day, for 32 days in a row. Yes, 32 days in a row.
- All group-stage matches are best-of-9 legs and two points will be awarded for a win. If there is a tie at the top of standings, the first tiebreaker will be leg difference.
- After the 32-day group stage, the winners will advance to the second phase of the competition. I’m assuming that means a single-elimination, bracket-style tournament. But, the PDC website didn’t go any further than that.
- The action will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. local time) each night and stream on PDC.tv, free of charge.
- The first eight groups have been announced, along with the order of play, though the PDC has yet to confirm the remaining competitors.