The Unibet European Championship Darts for 2017 gets underway on Thursday in Belgium and what a tournament this promises to be!
Darts betting fans are of course siding with Dutchman Michael van Gerwen to defend his crowd in Hasselt.
But there is a full PDC line-up here with world class players heading to the Ethias Arena to compete on the oche for the €446,000 prize fund.
The Unibet European Championship Darts format is simple. It’s straight knockout from round one, with Best of 11 Legs in the opening matches. Rounds two and three are Best of 19 Legs, with the semi-final and final Best of 21.
Long-form matches suit some players and not others. Van Gerwen is a talent that can span both long and short matches, although his weaknesses were exposed in his first-round exit to John Henderson in the Unibet World Matchplay Darts.
Bet on the Unibet European Championship Darts
The best bet for the Unibet European Championship Darts is of course to consider Michael van Gerwen. He is 8/11 to win the Unibet European Championship Darts — and with good reason. He has won five of the 10 European Tour tournaments on the PDC schedule this year, most recently beating England’s Rob Cross 6-4 in the European Darts Trophy final.
Van Gerwen sometimes plays against himself at tournaments but the Unibet European Championship Darts will test his resolve. His first match is against Dutchman Jan Dekker, a players to whom he has never lost in six previous meetings. But Van Gerwen does have seeds Simon Whitlock, Jelle Klaasen and Mensur Suljovic in his side of the draw, so he’s not guaranteed progression to the final.
Bet on Michael van Gerwen to beat Dekker, while also recording the most 180s and the highest checkout, at 8/11.
Michael van Gerwen specials
Unibet have a special market for Michael van Gerwen, which includes him being eliminated at the semi-final stage at a tasty 4/1 price. If you’re not confident in the current World Champion he is 16/1 to be eliminated from the first round.
Bet on darts live and in play
Unibet is covering every Unibet European Championship Darts match LIVE and in play, so you can bet on all the twists and turns. And there are some exciting first-round matches to get your mouth watering for this tournament.
John Henderson, who was victorious over Van Gerwen earlier this month, plays Australian Kyle Anderson. It’s a toss-up as to who will win this contest. Henderson is a fine arrows player on his day, but Anderson has proven himself capable of handling high-pressure situations, winning the Auckland Darts Masters in the summer. This match is good at evens to go +9.5 legs.
Mensur Suljovic v Kim Huybrechts is another excellent first-round match for darts betting fans. Suljovic remains an outsider in the betting odds even though he is a proven match winner. The Austrian is going deeper and deeper into tournaments and especially thrives on the European Tour. He is 13/25 to win this match.
Unibet European Championship Darts betting tips
Other special bets to consider for the Unibet European Championship Darts include nationality and quarter betting.
A Dutchman is of course the favourite to win the Unibet European Championship Darts at 8/11. That’s the same price as you can get on Van Gerwen to clinch the trophy, so you may as well bet on this instead! An English or Scottish winner are both priced at 4/1. And with neither Phil Taylor or Gary Anderson in the tournament this seems a little unlikely.
Instead, it’s worth backing the ‘others’ to do well in their quarters. Away from Van Gerwen’s top quarter, we have Peter Wright, Michael Smith and Mensur Suljovic as favourites for their respecting slices of the draw. Amazingly, Smith isn’t actually the favourite for his quarter even though he’s seeded highest. Cross, the defeat finalist in the last European Tour event, is 2/1 to make the semi-finals. Smith is only 3/1 but that’s still a great bet!
Wright at 8/11 should reach the last-four but Unibet World Grand Prix winner Daryl Gurney is in his draw, which makes a confident bet tricky. Gurney is 11/4 to reach the semis and 16/1 to win the tournament. He’s proven capable of winning the big prizes… so why not do it again?