If you’ve been following along with our PDC Home Tour Darts coverage, you know what our basic strategy is for the group stages 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.
The sports world may still be on a hiatus but that can’t stop me from finding some knife-twisting bad beats.
World No. 4 Rob Cross went 3-0 and won Group 21 as the odds-on favorite but that doesn’t even begin to tell the story. According to the stats, Cross was easily the worst player on Thursday, posting a group-low 82.08 average.
Despite averaging less than 80 points per throw, Cross took care of the business in his opening match against William Borland. It was clear that “Voltage” wasn’t on song but he continued to eek out wins. He took down Dimitri van den Bergh, 5-4, despite being outscored by 10 points per turn and then came back from an 0-4 hole against Karel Sedlacek in the finale. Box scores lie all the time, even in the world’s most honest sport.
What looked like a sure thing to be a fantastic day for betting on Thursday turned into a trainwreck in the blink of an eye, so let’s see if we can make it hurt even more on Friday.
PDC Home Tour Night 22 Betting Odds and Picks
Friday, May 8 at 2:30 p.m. ET
- No. 10 Ian White (-134)
- No. 25 Danny Noppert (+225)
- No. 40 James Wilson (+700)
- No. 127 Jesus Noguera (+800)
- Ian White (-500) v Jesus Noguera (+333)
- Danny Noppert (-200) v James Wilson (+150)
- Jesus Noguera (+110) v James Wilson (-143)
- Ian White (-177) v Danny Noppert (+135)
- Danny Noppert (-315) v Jesus Noguera (+225)
- James Wilson (+210) v Ian White (-305)
There are a million reasons to love The Darts but one of my favorite things about this common-man sport is that three of the top 10 players in the world are at least 49 years old. That puts them in the same age bracket as Gus Frerotte and Mark Brunell. One of those players, Ian “Diamond” White, is the odds-on favorite for Group 22 of the PDC Home Tour.
White looks like your uncle who was the life of the party in the 80’s and still, when he’s feeling his oats, can still bring it in the 2020’s.
Looks be damned, White is still a world-class athlete and he was in championship-winning form before play was halted on the PDC Tour. According to The Stats Zone, White owns the highest tour average in the Players Championship tournaments this year and his 98.73 scoring average over the past 365 days only lags behind Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright.
If this tournament featured a normal set up, White would be a popular bet to hoist the trophy. Perhaps White continues to run hot and crushes the competition on Friday, but I’m skeptical that a long-in-the-tooth darting veteran like “Diamond” will take to the format and playing conditions of the PDC Home Tour.
Danny “Noppie” Noppert is expected to be White’s only real competition and the 29-year-old Dutchman’s stats, he ranks 19th over the past year in scoring average, suggest he could provide more than a speed bump for the favorite.
Beating White and Noppert won’t be easy but the prices on the underdogs, Jesus “Yuso” Noguera and James “Jammy Dodger” Wilson, are way too high to ignore in some of these matches.
Noguera has been assigned the task of taking on White in the opening match on Thursday and the listed odds suggest that “The Diamond” beats the Spaniard 78.3% of the time. If this was a normal match, maybe those odds would make more sense, but in a 9-leg game of Skype darts it is a huge number to swallow.
I’ll take a pair of shots on Noguera, one against White and the other against Noppert, and hope the Iberian is out to prove himself after just earning his tour card back in January.
I’m also going to back Wilson in Friday’s show-closer against White. My hope is that the group has been settled by the time the two 49-year-olds meet and that would just add to the volatility.
PDC Home Tour Night 22 Betting Picks
- Jesus Noguera (+333) over Ian White
- Jesus Noguera (+225) over Danny Noppert
- James Wilson (+210) over Ian White
PDC Home Tour Betting Record: 23-51, -8.8 units
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)
- Group 17: Damon Heta (+163)
- Group 18: Stephen Bunting (+100)
- Group 19: Glen Durrant (-121)
- Group 20: Ryan Murray (+500)
- Group 21: Rob Cross (-150)
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 20 groups have been announced, along with the order of play, though the PDC has yet to confirm the remaining competitors.