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 PDC Home Tour continues to be full of surprises.
A few moments before Jose de Sousa would win 15 of 16 legs to sweep Group 25 in the performance of the tournament so far, the world’s flagship darts promotion announced on Monday that since almost all of the 101 Tour Card Holders who registered for the Home Tour have played in the first 24 nights, the remaining groups will mainly be filled with previous group runners-up.
It’s almost like the darts version of Last Chance Kitchen.
PDC Home Tour Night 26 Betting Odds and Picks
Tuesday, May 12 at 2:30 p.m. ET
- No. 100 Mike de Decker (+110)
- No. 75 Conan Whitehead (+188)
- No. 116 Steve Brown (+550)
- No. 103 Martin Atkins (+650)
- Mike de Decker (-200) vs. Steve Brown (+150)
- Conan Whitehead (+115) vs. Mike de Decker (-150)
- Conan Whitehead (-167) vs. Steve Brown (+125)
- Martin Atkins (+110) vs. Conan Whitehead (-143)
- Mike de Decker (-230) vs. Martin Atkins (+170)
- Steve Brown (-134) vs. Martin Atkins (+100)
I am a bit perplexed by the odds for what looks to be the most evenly-matched group we’ve seen in this tournament.
While Mike de Decker’s 91.98 scoring average over the past year is the best mark in this quartet, I can’t justify him being this short of a favorite. His odds suggest he wins this group 47.62% of the time, and while he’s not exactly going up against the 1927 Yankees, he’s no superstar either.
I do understand why de Decker has been installed as the favorite, but I am having a bit more trouble understanding why the dropoff is so steep after Conan Whitehead. “The Barbarian” had the longest odds to win Group 12 at +350 and while that set featured stiffer competition, it wasn’t that much better than what Whitehead will be up against on Tuesday.
It also begs to be mentioned that Whitehead really struggled with his first taste of Home Tour cooking. The 34-year-old Englishman averaged just 82.38 points per trip, easily the worst mark of the four players engaging in battle on Tuesday. Surprisingly, Atkins — the biggest longshot on Tuesday — actually played the best darts of this group in his first go-round:
- Martin Atkins, 91.31
- Mike de Decker, 89.38
- Steve Brown, 87.17
- Conan Whitehead, 82.38
I don’t know how much stock to put into Atkins’ solid performance a few weeks back, it probably means bupkis on Tuesday, but it doesn’t make me like his odds to win this very winnable group any less.
At +650 you only need Atkins to advance to Round 2 13.3% of the time and he easily hits that mark against this crop of players.
PDC Home Tour Night 26 Betting Picks
- Steve Brown (+150) over Mike de Decker
- Martin Atkins (+170) over Mike de Decker
- Martin Atkins (+650) to win Group 26
PDC Home Tour Betting Record: 25-58, -10.37 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)
- Group 22: Jesus Noguera (+800)
- Group 23: Daniel Larsson (+800)
- Group 24: Jamie Hughes (+240)
- Group 25: Jose De Sousa (+120)
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.