A popular addition to the ever increasing number of darts betting markets is correct score betting. This market does what it says on the tin in that you have to predict the exact score for each match. It’s a pretty simple bet to make, but it offers huge rewards if you can get it right, with the favourites for these bets often being around 4.00 and working their way up.
A key point to take on board for these bets is the format of the match and even the tournament involved, as they will likely differ for each. The first thing to note is that most matches run using a ‘best of’ format, which means that they play a best of number of games for the match. For example, if the match was a best of 11 legs, this would mean that the winner would be the first player to win 6 legs. These matches will always have an odd number for the total number of legs.
Next up we have the Premier League format, which again follows a ‘best of’ format, but these matches are the best of an even score. This is because in the Premier League you can have matches that end in a draw. So, a best of 14 leg match could end up as 7-7, but for a player to win they would need to get to 8 legs.
Finally, we have set betting. The World Championship is the best example of this, and it works as a best of so many sets. Within each set they will play the best of so many legs. For example, the set might be best of 3 legs and the match might be best of 5 sets. This means that to win a set they need to win 2 legs, and to win the match they need 3 sets.
There is an alternative market to betting on the correct score and this comes in the form of the correct score after so many legs bet. For a game that is best of 11 legs, which is pretty standard for the early round of most tournaments, the bookmaker would likely set the correct score after 4 legs.
These markets work well for players that are either notorious for starting fast, or alternatively, for those that start slow.
Picking the correct score for any match is no easy feat. You need to be able to apply a reasonable amount of strategy to this, so here are a few tips that we wanted to include to help you to make better betting decisions.
Check out the handicap line
A popular bet for darts is the handicap line, which is where the bookmaker adds or removes a handicap from one of the players. The bookmaker’s goal is to apply a handicap to both players that will mean that they are both around the price for that handicap bet. For example, one player might be given a negative handicap of -3.5 legs and the other a positive handicap of +3.5 legs. Basically, this is the bookmaker stating how much better they think one player is over the other.
We can actually use this margin to then predict a decent bet for the correct score. All we need to is remove the handicap from the favourite for the match and then see what the score would be.
Let’s run through a quick example of this.
Above you see that Daryl Gurney has been given a handicap of -3.5 legs to win against Christian Bunse in the upcoming German Masters. This indicates that the bookies think that Gurney will win by 4 or more legs. Given this match is a best of 11 legs match, it would then make our correct score for the match 6-2 or better
Notice how we have stated that the score be 6-2 or better here. You can back more than one score within this market and, in fact, we encourage to do so. You could take 6-2, 6-1 and 6-0, all based on the fact that bookies have set this line. Also, notice how the odds aren’t quite equal either, although very close. This would state the bookies think that there is more chance of 6-1 than 6-3 as they make Gurney shorter on the handicap line.
Take note with this as it can offer enough insight to go one up or one down for your bet selections.
Find potential upsets for the big money
With darts betting, you often find that pre match prices can be very tight. If you take the above example, the bookies have seen fit to state that Gurney is going to win by 4 or more legs to get a price that is even with their opponent. The actual price for Gurney to win straight up is just 1.1, which offers very little value to punters really.
But these upsets do happen and more often than you might think, especially in the early rounds. Whilst the price for an upset is high, with Bunse being priced at 6.50 to win at any score, the fact is that you are getting so much more with the correct score market.
Let’s run some numbers….
We bet £10 on Bunse to win at odds of 6.50. This would return us £65 if he won, but let’s assume that we place the same bet on every possible correct score result for Bunse to win:
- 6-0 = 151.00 x £10 = £1,510
- 6-1 = 51.00 x £10 = £510
- 6-2 = 41.00 x £10 = £410
- 6-3 = 26.00 x £10 = £260
- 6-4 = 21.00 x £10 = £210
- 6-5 x 17.00 x £10 = £170
The outgoing if we placed £10 on each result would be £60. The lowest that we would win from this would be £170 for a score of 6-5. If we take away the stake, this leaves us with a return of £110, some £35 more than if we had just bet on the outright winner market.
These sorts of trends are really common for these bets and they work great with those players that are long shots to win. Of course, it’s easier said than done picking a winner priced like this, but if you are keen to bet on the underdog, this is a much, much more profitable way of doing so.
Playing style is something that a lot of people overlook when betting on these types of markets. You really need to be aware of the type of player that is competing in each match and then go from there to make your prediction for the correct score.
Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor was renowned as a super-fast starter and applied pressure to his opponent from the first dart. In shorter format games he would often find himself 3-0 up and then from there regardless of what his opponent did, the match was pretty much over.
This means that with faster players you can assume they are going to win games with a wider margin. Correct score bets over best of 11 legs for example would mean that you’d be looking at 6-2 and 6-1 markets for strong favourites.
The flip side is that of slower players. These are the type that take time to get going and are often involved in tight matches. Rob Cross is probably a pretty good shout for someone like this as he takes a little time to really get into his stride so often has tighter matches than maybe he should.