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PDC - Darts: World Grand Prix Final Preview

Michael van Gerwen has made the World Grand Prix his own in recent years and the destructive Dutchman will be hoping to claim a sixth win in the event in Sunday's final with Nathan Aspinall at Leicester's Morningside Arena.

Mighty Mike lifted successive World Grand Prix titles in 2018 and 2019 and has looked back to his brilliant best in Leicester this week, highlighted by his 91.64 average in his semi-final whitewash of Peter Wright.

Van Gerwen is 3/10 to claim the silverware at Aspinall's expense and few will be predicting an upset, although the unique 'double-in, double-out' format has the potential to level the playing field.

The Asp, who won the UK Open in 2019, shouldn't be underestimated as he defeated world number one Gerwyn Price 4-2 in his last-four clash - the Stockport lad is 5/2 to cause another stir with victory against the Green Machine.

What:World Grand Prix final
Where:Morningside Arena, Leicester
When:19:30, Sunday 9th October
How to watch:Sky Sports Arena
Odds:Michael van Gerwen 4/11, Nathan Aspinall 11/5

Van Gerwen hoping to extend his dominance

Van Gerwen's success in this event shows it is clearly a format that plays to his strengths and his record against Aspinall suggests more celebrations should follow.

These two have met 15 times during their careers and Van Gerwen has prevailed nine times - they have drawn once in the Premier League - which includes in each of their last four meetings.

The 33-year-old overcame Aspinall 16-14 in a thrilling World Matchplay quarter-final in July, firing in 12 maximums and posting an average of 101.86.

Van Gerwen went on to win that event at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and, having also won the Premier League earlier this year, the Dutchman looks back to his best.

Dropping to world number three behind Price and Wright has put fire in the belly of Van Gerwen and that alone could spell danger for Aspinall.

The Green Machine didn't need to be at peak performance to beat an out-of-sorts Gary Anderson 2-0 in round one and was pushed close in a 3-2 victory over Stephen Bunting in the second round.

However, Van Gerwen averaged 94.35 in that victory over the Bullet and was more convincing than the close scoreline suggests.

Even so, his quarter-final win over Chris Dobey was mighty impressive as he won 3-1, averaging 99.33, and he built on that in an easy 4-0 win over Wright last time out.

Snakebite played poorly, but Van Gerwen finished clinically and was 12 from 19 on checkouts, which included a 167 checkout in set one.

Doubles can sometimes be MvG's downfall, but with him finishing legs convincingly and scoring as heavily as ever, Aspinall has his work cut out.

Mighty Mike has had the highest checkout in all four of his World Grand Prix matches and it is 8/13 for him to do so again in the final.

With this title decider also now being first to five, bettors may want to consider Van Gerwen -2.5 on the handicap - winning by at least three sets - at 1/1. It is 8/15 if you play it more cautiously and back MvG -1.5.

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Aspinall may thrive as underdog

It hasn't always been convincing, but Aspinall is in the final and his latest performance in beating Price was by some distance his best.

The Asp needed deciding sets to see off his opening three opponents - Michael Smith, Danny Noppert and Martin Lukeman - and survived four match darts in his second-round victory over Noppert.

But he was always in control against Price as he took the first set and led 3-1 before fighting off a brief comeback to see out the job 4-2.

With seven maximums and an average of 87.13, Aspinall scored well and 15 from 27 on the doubles (55 per cent) shows he finished legs strongly, too.

However, for one reason or another Price looked out-of-sorts and MvG will put far more pressure on the shoulders of Aspinall than the Welshman managed to do.

The world number 16 is a major winner having won the UK Open in 2019 and he is also a two-time World Championship semi-finalist, so shouldn't be overawed by the occasion.

Aspinall clearly enjoys being underdog as he has been sent off as an outsider in three of his four wins, just as he will be in this title decider.

But there is a confidence about Van Gerwen that had been missing in recent years and it is difficult to see Aspinall matching the Dutchman for the whole of this first-to-five clash.

One thing that can be assured, however, is plenty of 180's as Aspinall has already managed 19 across his four games.

The Asp is 21/20 to hit the most maximums, which holds plenty of appeal, while it is 5/6 that he fires in over 6.5 180's, just as he did in victory over Price.

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