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2024 PDC World Darts Championship: Day one tips as Michael Smith and Simon Whitlock feature

The first night of World Darts Championship is upon us as Michael Smith and Simon Whitlock both feature at the Alexandra Palace on Friday night.

There are four games taking place on the opening night of this annual darting extravaganza.

The action begins with three first-round matches and one second-round clash featuring the defending champion, Smith.

Bully Boy lifted the Sid Waddell trophy and claimed the £500,000 prize last year with a 7-4 victory over Michael Van Gerwen.

Smith will kick off the defence of his title against the winner of the first match, which sees Dutchman Kevin Doets take on American Stowe Buntz.

Darts fans will remember Buntz from November’s Grand Slam of Darts which saw the 44-year-old reach the quarter-final.

The American’s dream run was ultimately ended by Stephen Bunting, but the one thing we learned about Buntz is that the right-hander certainly has the ability to cause problems.

Doets, however, won’t be an easy opponent. The Dutchman is a former Youth World Championship semi-finalist and has been plying his trade on the tour.

This should be a close opener and we’re backing it to go all the way. Over 4.5 sets is currently priced at around the 6/4 mark.

Cameron Menzies and Rusty-Jake Rodriguez meet in the second match of the night.

Both men have struggled to make much of an impact this year and we’re not expecting a barnstormer.

With that in mind, we’re backing the highest match checkout to be under 120.5 points at around the 11/10 mark.

Simon Whitlock will enter the Ally Pally stage for the 15th straight year in the third clash of the night.

The Aussie, who reached the final back in 2010, has not been in great form for some time. In fact, you need to go back to May in order to find Whitlock’s last run of three-straight match wins on the tour.

Paolo Nebrida of the Philippines will be his opponent on Friday night as he makes his second appearance at the worlds.

His debut back in 2022 ended in a close 3-2 defeat against Danny Jansen – a match which saw both players average in their low 80s.

Whitlock is heavy favourite, though with the Aussie in poor form, this is the time to back our first major upset at Ally Pally.

Nebrida is priced at 15/2 which is a far more enticing proposition than the 1/14 odds on Whitlock who has been far from convincing on the tour.

When it comes to the final match of the night, we’re backing Michael Smith to turn on the style. Bully Boy to win the match, hit the most 180s and produce the highest checkout is the way to go.

Suggested bets

Doets vs BuntzOver 4.5 sets
Menzies vs RodriguezHighest checkout under 120.5
Whitlock vs NebridaNebrida to win
Smith vs Doets/BuntzSmith treble: Win, hit most 180s and highest checkout

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