Darts is one of the UK’s greatest pastimes and one of the most exciting sports to bet on. With so many events being broadcast live, the PDC ones being the most popular, it is no surprise that betting on darts has become more popular with the betting public.
In this betting strategy tipsters Form Labs share their expertise to help guide you into hitting the bullseye.
The Basics of Betting on Darts
The nondemanding nature of the sport of darts allows players to play week in, week out without much of a break at all. This leaves darts as one of the main sports that provide betting markets throughout the calendar year. While there are numerous qualifying and development competitions constantly taking place, there’s definitely no shortage of PDC events to get stuck into and so our recommendation is to focus on those tournaments.
The PDC circuit is split into the Ranked and Non-Ranked Tournaments, with an additional 30 non-televised Players Championships and 13 European Championships to bulk out the year. The table below outlines the different PDC tournaments for darts betting and the increasing significance of each tournament.
Once you’ve understood which events bear the most significance to the players, it’s easier to start looking at betting angles. For instance, World Number One Michael Van Gerwen hasn’t won any of the last 13 PDPA Players Championships he’s competed in, though he’s come through victorious in four of the last nine Ranked Majors, as well as a final run at the World Champs, showing the bigger players look to peak for the biggest tournaments.
How to Make Money on Darts
With darts being a sport of such fine margins, there’s often very little to separate the top players in the world, and it often comes down to who can hold their nerve on the big stage.
For instance, Englishman Ian White has been nominated for Pro Tour Player of the Year for the last two years, as his performances away from the cameras have been exceptional, though he’s still looking for his first final appearance in a televised event, reaching just one semi in 69 attempts.
With this considered, there are multiple betting markets to get stuck into for a given match, the most common being:
Total 180s (Over/Under)
For all four of these markets, it’s best to have a good understanding of each player’s form with regard to these aspects.
The match outcome is the most common market for bettors, which simply denotes whether Player A or Player B wins (or draw depending on the event eg. Premier League). It’s good to not only look at previous results of the players, but also to look into their averages across these ties.
The top players will be looking to consistently hit above a 95 average, and as an (extremely) loose rule, the player that throws the highest average is more likely to win the match. This is obviously not always the case, as Daryl Gurney proved at the UK Open in which his sub-ton average was enough to see of reigning World Champion Peter Wright 10-6, despite Snake Bite throwing an impressive 101.78.
A lot of matchups may be mismatched, with the likes of a top 10 player facing someone outside the top 100 on the bigger stages. Obviously, the market will react to a mismatch, so it’s often better to look at the game handicaps (margin of legs or sets victory) to find some value.
A prime example of this is when the in form World Number 10 Nathan Aspinall took on 109th ranked Dutchman Wesley Harms in Wigan back in February. Harms was coming off the back of five defeats from his last eight matches, with two of those victories coming against players ranked below him, while the Asp was reeling off his Premier League victory over Michael van Gerwen.
The Englishman went on to win it comfortably 6-1, though the price for him to win was incredibly short, while backing him on the -4.5 handicap would have brought home a tasty return. In order to assess whether or not the handicap brings value, it’s useful to establish a pattern in the player’s previous margins of victory before deciding whether to get behind them or take them on.
This, along with Highest Checkout, can be viewed as much more of a lottery bet than the previous two. Though while a player may not hold much value on the outright, or even in the handicap market, this could be the place to look for your bet.
The pre bet analysis for 180s is fairly simple: look at the form of both players playing, and more importantly their consistency with averages and 180s.
If both players are in good nick and you’re struggling to separate them, the Overs market tends to offer up some good value, as was the case in the World Championship Final between the (now) top two in the world, Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright, with a whopping 27 180s thrown in the Scotsman’s first ever World Championship title.
The best piece of analysis you can do is to establish, on average, how many 180s each player has thrown per leg (instead of total in a match) in their similar tournaments in the build-up, i.e. Ranked or Non-Ranked, televised or not. This will give a greater understanding of which of the ‘Over’ or ‘Under’ markets provides the best value.
The final market we’ve chosen is the Highest Checkout. While this is probably the most ‘up in the air’ market, it’s a good indication at who can hold their nerve better when it comes to finishing a leg.
For this market, a player’s form with regard to results and averages should not be taken into account, though their checkout percentage should be considered, but most importantly their previous highest checkouts will provide the biggest indication, unsurprisingly.
This is a great market for matches where, on the surface, it seems like a mismatch due to their varying recent averages, though the underdog is capable of the odd surprise and is known to be clinical on their doubles. Rob Cross is the perfect player for this market. His consistency leaves a lot to be desired, though he keeps himself up near the top of the Order of Merit by being particularly good on his doubles.
In fact, back in his prime in 2018, Cross landed 53% on double 18, meaning he led the way for the most 10 dart finishes that year which helped him to the World Championship title that year. While Cross is not throwing with any consistency at the moment, he remains proficient at the checkout and should always be considered for this market.
The key to success is to bet on VALUE. Over a long period of time if you consistently find this then you’re going to be making a profit and so lets see how to know if you’re finding it or not.
If the value is great than zero we have an value bet. This can also be valid for tournament outrights applying the same theory.