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The “magic of the UK Open Darts” is a thing, I promise.
Much like football’s FA Cup, the UK Open opens the door for the world of darts to get their hands on a major title.
One week you could be throwing arrows in your local pub, and the next, walking out to thousands of bevved up fans inside Minehead Butlins.
Danny Noppert (2022) and Nathan Aspinall (2019) are probably the most notable long-shot winners in recent years, with the open-style draw lending a hand to plenty of big names falling at early hurdles.
We’ve picked a selection of candidates to reign supreme at this year’s UK Open at a range of prices:
Michael Smith – 15/2 with Paddy Power
Ok, let’s get this one out of the way.
Michael Smith has turned from a runner-up machine into a winning machine after his Grand Slam of Darts win at the back end of 2022.
“Bully Boy” is the #1 player in the world and will be looking to capitalise on as many titles as possible in 2023.
No reigning world champion has scooped the UK Open as well since Phil Taylor in 2013 so Smith will be relying on some help from the draws if he is to navigate these choppy waters.
Rob Cross – 25/1 with Paddy Power
Cross considers himself as the forgotten man on the PDC Tour.
The 4x PDC major winner and 2019 UK Open runner-up is a serial winner, but has been left disappointed at being left out of Premier League selection once again.
Match sharpness may be a slight concern, but a runner-up finish in January’s Masters proves his ability in the bigguns.
Cross has been inside the top 10 year-end rankings since 2018 and can never be overlooked in the majors.
Luke Humphries – 16/1 with Paddy Power
“Cool Hand” Luke Humphries is without question the most improved player on the PDC circuit.
Since finishing runner-up at the 2021 UK Open, the 28-year-old has bagged four European Tour titles and doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon.
He reached two major semi-finals and two quarter-finals in 2022 and is a cracking mid-range outsider for the title in Minehead.
Josh Rock – 16/1 with Paddy Power
The reigning world youth champion is one to keep a sneaky eye on in Minehead.
Josh Rock broke onto our screens by running to the fourth round of the 2023 World Championship and plays with the confidence and resilience of a man that hasn’t suffered any oche heartbreak.
He’s got a tricky assignment against Luke Woodhouse in the third round but should advance.
Joe Cullen – 40/1 with Paddy Power
The “Rockstar” was left reeling after missing out on the 2023 Darts Premier League and will have a point to prove in Minehead.
He reached the quarter-final back in 2016 but is 10x the player he was back in his formative years on the oche.
Cullen was a Masters winner and Premier League runner-up in 2022 and can mix it with the very best when he is firing on all cylinders.
Dave Chisnall – 20/1 with Paddy Power
An in-form player is always worth a look at the UK Open.
Dave Chisnall is a perennial bridesmaid in darts majors, but with bundles of experience he is bound to get over the line one of these days.
“Chizzy” has reached two quarter-finals and a semi at the UK Open and you’ll do well to find a better outsider than the likeable St. Helens man.
* Betting odds correct at the time of writing. Subject to changes.
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