The Premier League of Darts heads to Birmingham this week for night 13 and the action continues to intensify as we approach the closing stages of the tournament.
There are still plenty of points to play for and for the likes of Michael Smith and Peter Wright it is simply make or break if they want to make the semi-finals at the O2 next month.
Our darts betting expert picks out two of this week’s important ties and give you the best bets to look out for.
Mensur Suljovic v Michael Smith
The night kicks-off with this simply must-win tie for Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith against Mensur Suljovic.
Smith has not been playing too badly of late, but continues to fall just short, leaving himself with too much to do.
He averaged just under a 100 last week in an 8-5 defeat to Gerwyn Price in Cardiff and he was found wanting at the crucial stages in the games with the Iceman hitting the big doubles when it mattered the most.
Smith sits bottom of the table; six points shy of Price who holds fourth spot going into this week’s matches.
His opponent on Thursday, Mensur Suljovic remains consistent as ever and produced the goods to see of Daryl Gurney 8-5 last week.
As much as I rate Smith highly, I feel his current run of bad luck may continue against the dogged Suljovic and while I see little separating the two, I fancy the Austrian to edge it 8-6 at a tasty 9/1.
James Wade v Michael van Gerwen
This fixture brings the night to a close on Thursday where first meets third as they look to move one step closer to a confirmed spot in the play-offs.
Both players are in fine form having won 8-2 last week, with Wade seeing off an out-of-sorts Peter Wright while MvG came from two legs down to defeat Rob Cross 8-2.
The Dutchman kept up that form by winning the German Darts Grand Prix in Munich over the weekend, defeating Simon Whitlock 8-3 and he looked back to his best in that tournament, winning the final with a 106.45 average.
The consistent Wade was a surprise second round casualty, losing 6-5 to Kim Huybrechts, and will want to erase that from his memory on Thursday with a solid showing in Birmingham.
I give ‘The Machine’ a chance, but he simply can ill-afford to let the Dutchman get away.
Despite all that, I still feel ‘Mighty Mike’ will have too much and an 8-5 win for Van Gerwen looks a good bet at 8/1.