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Article: Unibet Masters - First Round Predictions and Tournament Betting

Unibet Masters - First Round Predictions and Tournament Betting

Unibet Masters - First Round Predictions and Tournament Betting

The Unibet Masters, which takes place this weekend, is a funny old tournament. Just 4 matches separate the top 16 hopefuls from a £50,000 winner’s prize and the honor of calling themselves champion, but these matches are far from routine.

The tournament has a simple structure: the top 16 players in the world will play each other in the first round (1st seed plays 16th seed, 2nd seed plays 15th seed…you get the idea), with the winner of each match progressing to the last 8, then to the semifinals and, if they’ve successfully weathered those storms, the final. The structure may be simple, but it’s produced some tasty tungsten tussles for us to look forward to this Saturday, and with it some tasty odds. We thought we’d take a look at them.

Michael Van Gerwen, the bookies favourite at 9/4, faces a redemption-seeking Wes Newton whose shock exit from the Worlds under will surely have him fired up for the first televised tournament since. Still, we’re backing the Dutch number 1 seed to progress to the Quarter Finals.

Score Prediction: Michael van Gerwen 10 - 3 Wes Newton

Gary Anderson has a long commute to Milton Keynes, having to travel all the way from Cloud 9. Assuming he’s unaffected by the journey, we expect he’ll oust tournament outsider Andy Hamilton in his first round tie. The bookies seem to think so too, offering a measly 3/1 for the newly crowned World Champion to win the tournament outright.

Score Prediction: Gary Anderson 10 - 2 Andy Hamilton

Number 2 seed Phil Taylor meets an oft resilient Terry Jenkins in the first round. Taylor, who is a generous 3rd favourite for the tournament at 15/4, should come out on top. But the greatest player of all time is not the invincible maestro he once was, and if Jenkins is on form, we could be in for a great first round battle.

Score Prediction: Phil Taylor 10 - 4 Terry Jenkins

Adrian Lewis enters this tournament as the 4th seed, and has been placed accordingly by the bookies too. At 13/2 to win the tournament, Lewis is our tip for the weekend. The Stoke sensation seems to be gathering momentum following his disappointing 9-darter defeat to Barney in the World’s, and this Premier League warm-up would be the ideal time to consolidate his obvious talent. He plays an unpredictable Ian White in the first round though.

Score Prediction: Adrian Lewis 10 - 4 Ian White

Peter Wright might feel he has something to prove after his incredible form in 2014. A 5-1 defeat in the World’s at the hands of eventual winner Gary Anderson might look like a bad omen on paper, but until that point the Scotsman had only dropped a single set. He plays an out-of-form Dolan which might help his chances of progressing, and we’d not be surprised to see him win this tournament.

Score Prediction: Peter Wright 10 - 5 Brendan Dolan

We’ll be treated to a repeat of last year’s phenomenal final between James Wade and Mervyn King in this first round too. And it’s a tough one to call. On paper, it should be a straight forward win for the Machine, against an opponent who crashed out of the World’s in the first round at the hands of Max Hopp. But when these two meet strange things happen. We wouldn’t touch this with a barge pole.

Score Prediction: James Wade 10 - 8 Mervyn King

Simon Whitlock and Raymond van Barneveld’s match-up is perhaps the headline clash of the first round. The Wizard, despite being seeded higher then Barney, has got to be favourite to lose this after the Dutchman’s fantastic World Championship campaign. The tournament odds reflect that, with Barney at a tempting 20/1 to win the £50,000. Whitlock, meanwhile, has been tipped at 40/1. Never write off the Australian, but he has a mountain to climb here.

Score Prediction: Raymond van Barneveld 10 - 6 Simon Whitlock

The final pairing in this first round sees Robert Thornton meet Dave Chisnall. Thornton, who did not drop a single set on his way to the Quarter Finals of the World’s, will feel confident going into this tournament. Chisnall’s dismal luck at the World’s continued this year with a second consecutive shock exit, but we know the St Helens ace is capable of great things on his day. This one could go all the way.

Score Prediction: Robert Thornton 10 - 9 Dave Chisnall

Whatever happens in the first round on Saturday, we’re in for a right treat. Let us know what accy’s you’ll be putting on and most importantly, enjoy the darts!

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