In the short history of the PDC World Cup of Darts, every winning team has either featured Raymond Van Barneveld or Phil Taylor in its line-up. Indeed, only England and the Netherlands have ever won the tournament, with four wins going to Phil Taylor/Adrian Lewis, two to Van Barneveld/Michael Van Gerwen and one to Van Barneveld/Co Stompé.
Of course, while Van Barneveld and world number one Van Gerwen are still going strong, Taylor and Lewis will no longer grace the tournament in which they were almost permanent fixtures in the final. As you might expect, the Netherlands are big favourites with the bookmakers to land their fourth title, which would see them equal England’s record. Sponsors Betway have put them in at evens for the 2018 tournament which gets underway on 31st May in Frankfurt. That’s a significant distance ahead of Scotland at 11/4 (Peter Wright and Gary Anderson) and England at 4/1 (Rob Cross and Dave Chisnall).
A second slew of teams feature Australia 20/1 (Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson), Wales 20/1 (Gerwyn Price and Johnny Clayton) and Austria 25/1 (Mensur Soljović and Zoran Lerchbacher). It is the former pair, Australia and Wales, who offer some intrigue from a betting perspective. They are on the opposite side of the draw from both the Netherlands and England, with a run to the final not beyond either side.
If either reached the final, you would, of course, find the Netherlands/England to be a big favourite against them. However, their price at 20/1 is big enough to employ an each-way bet on either nation. Betway and other bookmakers are offering one third the odds on each-way outrights for teams reaching the final. You can use this free bet calculator to work out the exact returns for your bet, but essentially you are looking at just a shade under 7/1 for Wales/Australia to reach the final, plus the big payout of 20/1 if they win it all.
If you think there is some value in that bet, then the next thing you might need to come up with is whether to back Australia or Wales. One of the issues with backing both is that they look likely to meet in the quarter-finals. There is little doubt that the quarter-final will happen, with each team looking confident of swatting aside the likes of Hong Kong, Thailand, Russia and the USA along the way.
If you can choose the winning team to come through the quarters, then they will likely come across Scotland or, perhaps, Austria in the semi-finals. That’s where the value bet in the each-way market kicks in. You see, theoretically speaking, any punter will be receiving odds of just under 7/1 (the payout from the each-way bet for reaching the final) as a prize for the semi final win. And, you will receive nowhere near those odds if betting on the semi-final itself. In fact, Wales/Australia would probably be odds-on should it be Austria they meet in the semis.
The point is that Australia or Wales may not be able to break the English and Dutch stranglehold on the tournament, but they sure do look big value to get close and punters can capitalise on that. Now, all you have to decide is which of the two nations to back.