Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith betting tips: Three best bets for the 2018/19 World Championship final

Van Gerwen and Smith go head-to-head in darts' blue riband fixture (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Two of the most naturally-gifted players in world darts face off for the sport's most prestigious prize on New Year's Day, and we've picked out our best bets to place on the final.

For the first time since 1983, two players aged under 30 will compete for darts' biggest title and richest ever prize, with the winner pocketing £500,000 and the iconic Sid Waddell Trophy.

The match signals a repeat of this year's Premier League final as MVG aims to repeat the dose on 'Bully Boy' and be crowned World Champion for the third time.

Van Gerwen, who claimed glory at Alexandra Palace in 2014 and 2017, is bidding to become the first player outside of Phil Taylor to win three PDC world titles and underline his position at the summit of the sport.

Smith is out to create a slice of history by becoming the latest new name on the Sid Waddell Trophy at the first attempt.

Smith, Shanghai Masters winner and Premier League finalist in 2018, culminated the most successful year of his career to date by booking his place in the final with a tournament average of 100.5

Here are our recommended bets for the final with tournament sponsors William Hill...

Over 10.5 total sets @ 5/6

Van Gerwen has dropped just one set in each of his six wins en route to the final but is set to face a tough test from a player who will hold no fear going into the biggest match of his life.

The Dutchman has the upper-hand in the head-to-heads, winning 25 of their 31 previous encounters, including a crushing 11-4 victory in May's Premier League final and a thrilling 10-8 triumph in the Last 16 of November's Grand Slam.

Smith did defeat the green machine en route to glory in Shanghai - his only televised triumph over MVG to date - and is looking to tear up the script and etch his name into the history books.

The tempo of the tie is likely to suit both players, with Smith looking to feed off MVG's relentless leg-on-leg scoring power and seize opportunities when they are presented to him.

A strong start is paramount to Smith's chances, but given the respective form of the two players, it's difficult to envisage either running away with the final, making a minimum of 11 sets a solid bet.

Van Gerwen to win and both players to win four or more sets @ 17/10

Van Gerwen has recorded an astonishing 18 consecutive ton-plus averages on the Alexandra Palace stage and has made a career out of producing his brilliant best on the big occasion.

The world number one lost just one major ranking final since 2015 - with that coming against Daryl Gurney in last month's Players Championship finals.

His experience of featuring in three previous world finals could prove crucial as he looks to exploit any early nerves from the St Helens ace.

Though Smith can be expected to give Mighty Mike a real run for his money, the fairy-tale ending may just be quashed by darts' dominant force, with a 7-4, 7-5 or 7-6 scoreline covered by the match win and both players to win four or more sets market.


Michael Smith to average over 100.5 @ 5/6

Smith's tournament average of 100.5 is the third highest of the 96-player field, having steadily increased his performance level accordingly with each round.

After averaging 103 in a 5-1 rout of Luke Humphries, Smith set a new record tally of 180s (17) for a World Championship Semi-Final and averaged 105 in a thrilling 6-3 win over Nathan Aspinall.

The last three PDC World finals have seen five of the six finalists record ton-plus averages, and expect 'Bully Boy' to rise to the occasion and record his fourth ton-plus average of the championship.


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Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith betting tips: Three best bets for the 2018/19 World Championship final

Two of the most naturally-gifted players in world darts face off for the sport's most prestigious prize on New Year's Day, and we've picked out our best bets to place on the final.

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