World Matchplay Darts tips and free bets: Expert picks and best betting offers

AFTER a two-year absence the World Matchplay comes back to its spiritual home of the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and there might be Donkeys on the beaches, but you’d struggle to find one amongst this star-studded field.

It’s got the feel of a wide-open tournament too, especially if we go by the results of the last four TV Majors: all won by someone for the first time (although one player did collect three of them on his own!)

Yes, Jonny Clayton comes with an eye-catching double-figures price that immediately looks tempting… Until you see his draw

A brutal run that sees him play Dirk van Duijvenbode before possible matches against Gerwyn Price and Dimitri Van den Bergh means that although he’s the form man in Darts, he’s very hard to back.

Likewise for Quarter 3. Plenty of backable names appear like Peter Wright and Jose de Sousa, but they both have banana skin games against Danny Noppert and Gabriel Clemens.

Normally I’d be shouting from the rooftops to go in on Ryan Searle, as I’m convinced that he’s on the cusp of a true deep run in a major, but being in this quarter (and with a game to kick off against Michael Smith) I just can’t bring myself to do so this time.

In the bottom quarter, Michael van Gerwen starts off against Damon Heta, which is a horror draw if the Aussie is on form. But past that the draw does open up for him, I certainly wouldn’t advise against a bet on him but it’s a sign of the times that to me, 9/2 is too short.

It’s been a while since we saw the MVG of old that put multiple consecutive games together that wiped the floor with the rest. And with the tournament producing some shock results to say the least recently, look elsewhere.

It’s Quarter 2 for me that intrigues and where I give both my selections.

JAMES WADE is enjoying an Indian summer and really should have qualified for Premier League Final’s night, but one win after Judgement Night put pay to that. Still, he loves this tournament and put himself on the map when he made the final on debut 15 years ago and won it the year after.

He’s the top seed in the quarter and has no-one in it to fear him. If the big names knock each other out in other quarters, he could well make a deep run and there’s more than enough juice in the current price to back E/W.

Likewise, there could well be some value in CALLAN RYDZ. He made the fifth round in the UK Open in March and we’ve seen plenty of mid-90s averages from the Geordie on big stages.

The 23-year-old is quietly going about his business and putting himself out there as a young star, picking up his first Pro Tour title in February, beating the one and only Jonny Clayton in the final.

His opening game is against Gen Durrant and with no disrespect to the former Lakeside champ, Rydz couldn’t have asked for a better draw with Duzza’s current struggles.

From there, Rob Cross or Ross Smith is a winnable game could precede a Quarter-Final against the aforementioned Wade if we get what we want.

I do think both of these can make the final and with Rydz being a three-figure price, I’m more than happy to go E/W again.


James Wade E/W @ 16/1
Callan Rydz E/W @ 125/1

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2021 Betfred World Matchplay -Schedule of Play

Saturday July 17 (1900 BST)
4x First Round

Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort
Jonny Clayton v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Gerwyn Price v Jermaine Wattimena
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Devon Petersen
Sunday July 18
Afternoon Session (1300 BST)
4x First Round

Krzysztof Ratajski v Brendan Dolan
Glen Durrant v Callan Rydz
Rob Cross v Ross Smith
James Wade v Luke Humphries
Evening Session (1930 BST)
4x First Round

Joe Cullen v Chris Dobey
Michael Smith v Ryan Searle
Peter Wright v Danny Noppert
Jose de Sousa v Gabriel Clemens

Monday July 19 (1900 BST)
4x First Round

Daryl Gurney v Ian White
Nathan Aspinall v Mervyn King
Michael van Gerwen v Damon Heta
Gary Anderson v Stephen Bunting
Tuesday July 20 (1900 BST)
4x Second Round

Cross/R Smith v Durrant/Rydz
Wade/Humphries v Ratajski/Dolan
Price/Wattimena v Clayton/Van Duijvenbode
Van den Bergh/Petersen v Chisnall/Van der Voort
Wednesday July 21 (1900 BST)
4x Second Round

M Smith/Searle v De Sousa/Clemens
Anderson/Bunting v Aspinall/King
Van Gerwen/Heta v Gurney/White
Wright/Noppert v Cullen/Dobey
Thursday July 22 (1900 BST)
2x Quarter-Finals
Friday July 23 (1900 BST)
2x Quarter-Finals
Saturday July 24 (1900 BST)
Sunday July 25 (2030 BST)

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