Thu, Aug 2, 9:12am by Staff Writer
The Trusts Arena in Auckland hosts the Auckland Masters for the fourth year, as part of the Professional Darts Corporation’s (PDC) tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Defending champion Kyle Anderson is among eight seeded players invited to the event, along with eight regional qualifiers.
Arguably Anderson’s best win of his career came in Auckland last year when he defeated fellow Australia Corey Cadby 11-10 in the final.
Anderson is $67 to repeat his success from last year, with Cadby receiving a wildcard from the PDC.
Dutchman Michael van Gerwen is the man to beat according to oddsmakers, priced at $1.80 at Sportsbet.
He was knocked out in the quarterfinals in 2015 and 2016 and did not compete in last year’s event.
International players are travelling to Auckland after a grueling eight day event in Blackpool at the annual World Matchplay event at the Winter Gardens.
It was at that event where van Gerwan as top seed was knocked out in the first round by countryman Jeffrey de Zwaan, who made it all the way to the semifinals before losing to eventual winner Gary Anderson.
The Scotsman has had a terrific season and enters the Auckland event as second favourite at $5.50.
What is counting against Anderson is his short turnaround from finishing the event in Blackpool and backing up his tremendous form in Auckland.
Anderson struggled recently after a win in Las Vegas with a short turnaround, losing to local hope Royden Lam in Shanghai less than a month ago.
Of the remaining players, Rob Cross at $6.50 and Peter Wright at $9 are the best priced.
Cross was another who will be disappointed with his performance in Blackpool bowing out in the second round to Darren Webster.
Cross is top seed for this event after finishing runner-up in two events in this years World Series of Darts in Las Vegas and Shanghai.
This is the first time Cross is competing at the Auckland Masters and given his form in events of this stature in recent times, is a good chance of going the distance this weekend.
Peter Wright has never been further than the quarterfinals in Auckland and has appeared in all three of the previous stagings of the event.
He is seeded fourth so will likely draw a local qualifier in the opening round and set up a showdown with Rob Cross in the semi-finals.
Of the remaining notable players, youngster Corey Cadby is one to watch at $23.
The 23-year-old Tasmanian was runner-up at this event last year and although ranked 59 in the world, is a player looking for a breakout result.
He was runner up in this year’s UK Open at Minehead behind Gary Anderson, so will be looking for his first big-time professional win this weekend.
Best bet- Rob Cross to win Auckland Masters at $6.50
Value bet- Corey Cadby to win Auckland Masters at $23
Auckland Masters Darts Odds – Sportsbet
Michael van Gerwen $1.80
Gary Anderson $5.50
Rob Cross $6.50
Peter Wright $9
Michael Smith $17
Corey Cadby $23
Raymond van Barneveld $26
Simon Whitlock $41
Kyle Anderson $67
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