The Premier League is back - 17 weeks of fun on a Thursday night, culminating with the finals at the O2 in May! Our regular Darts tipster Sean Rafferty is in red-hot form, so of course we've asked him to preview this one and give us his best outright tips.
History, Location and Format
The 2024 Premier League Darts is the 20th running of this prestigious event and is played weekly at 17 different venues around the UK and Europe.
Each of the nightly events sees a tournament knockout format, with league points allocated depending on the players finishing positions.
Eight of the top players from the PDC Order of Merit have been selected, with the top four in the rankings as well as four wildcard picks.
The tournament starts at Cardiff's Utilita Arena on the 1st February, running all the way up to the finals on 23rd May, which will be held at London's O2 Arena as always.
There have been just seven winners of the title, with only two multiple winners in Michael van Gerwen (seven times) and Phil Taylor (six).
Michael van Gerwen is the defending champion, after defeating Gerwyn Price 11-5 in the 2023 final.
There is a total prize fund of £1,000,000 on offer to the 8 participants.
|Weekly winner Bonus
|(1) Luke Humphries
|(5) Gerwen Price
|(2) Michael van Gerwen
|(6) Rob Cross
|(3) Michael Smith
|(8) Peter Wright
|(4) Nathan Aspinall
|(31) Luke Littler
Order of merit ranking in brackets
The Premier League is the ultimate test for punters, due to the duration of the tournament. Players form will come and go over three and a half months. It’s also a test of stamina for players, as all the travelling for this on top of playing in regular events can result in mental and physical fatigue.
Ideally you are trying to back the player that has the best blend of talent, consistency and stamina. A lot of this will come down to the form players are in come May when the finals night is played, however, you need to play at a high level over the next few months to make it that far. There’s only ever been seven different winners of the Premier League since it’s introduction in 2005 - Van Gerwen and Phil Taylor have won 13 of the titles between them, so the elite tend to prevail here.
3 pts Luke Humphries to win tournament @ 11/4
Humphries has recently spoken of picking and choosing what events he’ll play in this year to prevent getting burnt out. Part of his thinking will be to stay fresh for these Premier League nights.
'Cool Hand' was in many peoples eyes, wrongly kept out of the Premier League line up last year and has done everything possible to show why he should’ve been in it the rest of the year. He’ll be determined to prove it here by winning on debut too.
In the betting, Humphries, Littler and Van Gerwen are clear of the rest in the outright market, but I still think the current World Champ is the man to beat, having won the last four major televised events and I think he’s best prepared out of all of them for this challenge.
3 pts Rob Cross to make the semi-finals @ 11/8
Cross has made four previous appearances in the Premier League, his results - F, SF, 9th, 9th. With his first appearance here since 2021, I feel like 'Voltage' is back to playing some of his best stuff. He’s also showed a lot of consistency the last 12 months in his performances, which is exactly what’s required here.
I think the fight for the final place in the top four in the league table could be between Price and Cross, with the 33-year-old Londoner proving to be the better value at 11/8, compared to just 10/11 for Price.
5 pts Peter Wright to finish bottom of league @ 4/7
This has been the standout bet for me since the line-up was announced.
Smith and Aspinall are struggling a bit lately but Wright looks so far adrift from the rest of the pack right now. The 53-year-old has been on a bit of a landslide the past 18 months with his game and the Premier League can be a cruel mistress for a player who’s struggling for form - we’ve seen it in the past with the likes of Mark Webster and Robert Thornton.
The Premier League has never been the happiest of hunting grounds for Wright even in his prime - making finals night just twice in 10 previous appearances.
The Scot finished bottom of the league last year and if anything his form’s got worse - he has averaged below 95 in his last nine matches. To put that into perspective, he’ll need to average at least mid 90s to have a chance of competing in this.
Could be a tough few months for Snakebite...
You can find all Sean's latest Darts Betting Tips on our main Darts Insights content hub.