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.
One of the cold, hard truths about gambling is that sometimes you’ll be betting against teams and people that you love. It’s a big crossroads in betting, the first time you go against your childhood team — a real hard-look-into-the-mirror moment. What would seven-year-old me say if he found out I bet against the Islanders?
Like with anything, the more you do it, the less it stings. After a few times you may even be able to separate your fandom from the never-ending quest to become a stronger sports bettor. But there are some times where we just throw that discipline out the window, like when you’re on a diet but have a bag of screw-it-I-had-a-tough-day Doritos.
Oh, how I wish that Sunday could be one of those days.
PDC Home Tour Night 17 Betting Odds and Picks
Sunday, May 3 at 2:30 p.m. ET
- No. 31 John Henderson (+150)
- No. 106 Damon Heta (+163)
- NR Krzysztof Kciuk (+400)
- No. 113 Gary Blades (+500)
- John Henderson (-230) v Krzysztof Kciuk (+170)
- Damon Heta (-220) v Gary Blades (+165)
- Krzysztof Kciuk (-137) v Gary Blades (+105)
- John Henderson (-130) v Damon Heta (+100)
- Damon Heta (-200) v Krzysztof Kciuk (+150)
- Gary Blades (+170)v John Henderson (-230)
Group 17 of the PDC Home Tour is headlined by the world’s most popular athlete, at least pound-for-pound. Those that know Big John Henderson love Big John Henderson. Take one look at “The Highlander” and let it sink in that this man is one of the world’s best players in his sport and you’ll start to appreciate what beautiful gift the darts are.
Not only can Henderson light up a room — especially in his hometown of Aberdeen, Scotland — but he also comes across as a man who is genuinely appreciative of how lucky he is. Thousands of people lose their shit and cheer him on as he plays darts. If watching the video below makes your hair stand up, imagine what it does for Hendo.
Henderson isn’t on the PDC Tour because of his popularity. According to the PDC Order of Merit, Big John is the 31st-best darts player in the entire world and it’s not surprising to see him listed as the favorite in this group. That being said, his price is too high on Sunday.
Even though two of the last three group favorites have advanced and we’re just two days removed from Darren Webster sweeping Group 15 as the chalk, the PDC Home Tour is producing enough upsets that it seems wise to go price-hunting rather than just trying to pick the player who is most likely to win.
That’s why I’ll be looking to beat Henderson — at least in two of his matches — on Sunday. The PDC Home Tour is a roller coaster and variance runs wild, so your margin for error is almost non-existent if you lay the type of juice required to bet favorites like Henderson or Damon Heta on Sunday.
Despite the gulf in their rankings, there’s very little to separate Hendo and Heta. In fact, the Australian has the better scoring average over the past year, besting the Scot, 95.85 to 94.45. They are the two most likely winners on Sunday and Heta has burst onto the scene lately, but this tournament won’t look kindly on you if you don’t ride with the underdogs.
Instead of picking between Hendo and Heta for a full-on fade, I am going to back the two also-rans, Krzysztof “The Thumb” Kciuk and Gary “Razor” Blades, who just earned his PDC Tour card a few months ago.
Skill will win out in longer, more traditional matches of darts. But in these quickfire games taking place via video conference it’s all about which players can adapt to the environment best. For Heta, he will be participating from his home in Australia, so it will be playing in the middle of the night. No shot I’m laying the wood on someone who should be three REM cycles deep in a game that is all about focus and rhythm.
As for The Highlander, the hero we all wish we could root for and bet on every night, something tells me this format won’t suit him, a real natural at working crowd, while there’s a lot more to gain for players like Kciuk and Blades.
PDC Home Tour Night 17 Betting Picks
- Krzysztof Kciuk (+170) over John Henderson
- Gary Blades (+165) over Damon Heta
- Krzysztof Kciuk (+150) over Damon Heta
- Gary Blades (+170) over John Henderson
PDC Home Tour Betting Record: 19-34, +1.05 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)
- Group 9: Martijn Kleermaker (+350)
- Group 10: Nathan Aspinall (-177)
- Group 11: Mike van Duivenbode (+300)
- Group 12: Max Hopp (+175)
- Group 13: Carl Wilkinson (+450)
- Group 14: Chris Dobey (-118)
- Group 15: Darren Webster (+175)
- Group 16: Jeff Smith (+225)
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.