Betfred World Snooker Championship Preview and Outright Bets

Craig Edwards

Thursday, April 18, 2019 3:22 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 18, 2019 3:22 PM UTC

Former snooker professional Craig Edwards @EdwardsTips_  previews the Betfred World Snooker Championship

<p><strong>Crucible Theatre, Sheffield </strong></p><p><strong>April 20<sup>th</sup> – May 6<sup>th</sup></strong></p><h2><strong>Preview</strong></h2><p>The World Snooker Championship brings the curtain down on the ten-month snooker season in style. The sport's most prestigious tournament at the spiritual home of the Crucible Theatre which has hosted since 1977.</p><p>The top 16 players in the current world ranking list are seeded through to the final stages meeting sixteen qualifiers from last week’s qualifying at the Sheffield Sports Institute which culminates only two days prior.</p><p>I will preview the top 16 players as listed below with their position in the draw and first round opponent from qualifying. Despite Ronnie O'Sullivan being the World number one Mark Williams takes the number one seeding as World Champion.</p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>(1) Mark Williams/ Martin Gould v (16) David Gilbert/ JoePerry </strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>(9) Barry Hawkins/ Li Hang v (8) Kyren Wilson/ Scott Donaldson </strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>(5) John Higgins/ Mark Davis v (12) Stuart Bingham/ Graeme Dott </strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>(13) Shaun Murphy/ Lou Honghao v (4) Neil Robertson/ Michael Georgeiu </strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>(3) Mark Selby/ Zhao Xintong v (14) Luca Brecel/ Gary Wilson</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>(11) Jack Lisowski/ Ali Carter v (6) Mark Allen/ Zhou Yuelong </strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>(7) Judd Trump/ Thepchayia un Nooh v (10) Ding Junhui/ Anthony McGill </strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>(15) Stephen Maguire/ Tian Pengfei v (2) Ronnie O'Sullivan/ James Cahill</strong></p><p><strong>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;The official &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/Betfred?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@Betfred&lt;/a&gt; World Championship draw! &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/ilovesnooker?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#ilovesnooker&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/eEPe74UDqt\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/eEPe74UDqt&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— World Snooker (@WorldSnooker) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/WorldSnooker/status/1118820916266459138?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;April 18, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</strong></p><h2><strong>Top 16 seeding</strong></h2><ol> <li><strong>Mark Williams </strong></li></ol><p>Mark Williams started his season in style winning the Yushan World Open in dogged fashion since however, he has not managed a semi-final and defending champions can be vulnerable particularly in their opening match.</p><ol> <li value="2"><strong>Ronnie O'Sullivan </strong></li></ol><p>Ronnie O'Sullivan comes here in superb form, recently winning the Coral Tour Championship after winning the Corals Players Championship prior in unforgettable style making his 1000<sup>th</sup> century break in the tournament winning frame. Earlier in the season he won the UK Championship, snookers second most important event after starting season by winning the Shanghai Masters and Champion of Champions. Over twenty-five years winning the World Championships five times feels a paltry return given he has been at the pinnacle of his sport all that time however, he is still maturing as a competitor and this year without question “The Rocket” is the man to beat.</p><ol> <li value="3"><strong>Mark Selby</strong></li></ol><p>Mark Selby’s highlight of a poor season was winning the China Championship last September, that apart the three-time World Champion has struggled to win close matches despite looking in great form. This is usually a sign that a players’ confidence is low so I do expect if he wins a couple of close matches in the early rounds he would feed off the confidence given how much he loves the venue. That is what he needs to do so we will pass over him as a bet for the first time in four years.</p><ol> <li value="4"><strong>Neil Robertson </strong></li></ol><p>Neil Robertson like Ronnie O'Sullivan has had a fantastic season only last week destroying the field in the China Open. This was his fourth final in succession losing twice to “The Rocket” and winning the Welsh Open prior. The “Thunder from Down Under” won the season opening Riga Masters and this previous champion knows what it takes to win over the seventeen-day marathon. If fatigue does not kick from a long season Neil Robertson is a worthy second favourite and given how well this Vegan looks after his health it would be no surprise should he win a second world title.</p><ol> <li value="5"><strong>John Higgins </strong></li></ol><p>After losing the last two World Championship finals and his game looking lacklustre this great champion is easily overlooked and never been so vulnerable.</p><ol> <li value="6"><strong>Mark Allen </strong></li></ol><p>The Northern Irish Mark Allen must be considered a contender this year given how impressive he was in the first half of the season winning the China Championship and Scottish Open. He also lost to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the UK Championship Final, if fatigue does not affect him over the marathon event he has the class and belief to win.</p><ol> <li value="7"><strong>Judd Trump </strong></li></ol><p>An odd but brilliant season from Judd Trump. He started season slowly but then sprung into life winning the Northern Ireland Open followed quickly by winning Snooker's triple crown event the Masters beating Ronnie O'Sullivan emphatically in the final. The next month he followed with an impressive week winning the World Grand Prix at Cheltenham. Since he has gone off the boil somewhat losing a close semi-final at the Tour Championship to Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-10 after leading 6-2. If that defeat does not set “The Juggernaut” back too much he is a worthy joint second favourite with Neil Robertson.</p><ol> <li value="8"><strong>Kyren Wilson </strong></li></ol><p>Impressive this season winning two ranking events, the Paul Hunter Classic and the German Masters. On returning from the later victory he needed to replace the ferrule on his cue and has not looked the same player. He has shown the ability to go deep at the Crucible Theatre and has to be respected.</p><ol> <li value="9"><strong>Barry Hawkins</strong></li></ol><p>A real Crucible Theatre specialist who always appears to raise his game however, he will need to on the back of a below average season. If his confidence has not been dented too much he will have an outside chance.</p><ol> <li value="10"><strong>Ding Junhui </strong></li></ol><p>China's main hope for a World Champion has been in poor form all season long noticeably his break building statistics are way down on his normal high standards. Easy to pass over as a betting proposition.</p><ol> <li value="11"><strong>Jack Lisowski </strong></li></ol><p>Jack Lisowski looks to be Snooker's next superstar and a real crowd pleaser. Last event the China Open he lost in the final to Neil Robertson after starting the season losing in the Riga Masters final to the same player. He is in the hardest half of the draw but looks to have a real shot at winning his quarter.</p><ol> <li value="12"><strong>Stuart Bingham </strong></li></ol><p>The 2016 World Champion has won the English Open and the Gibraltar Open this season. Not always the most consistent this season he remains a dangerous opponent for anyone who has an outside chance</p><ol> <li value="13"><strong>Shaun Murphy </strong></li></ol><p>The worst season I can remember for this former world champion. No doubt he will be the player the qualifiers want to draw and unless he is inspired by the occasion/venue he will struggle to win his opening round.</p><ol> <li value="14"><strong>Luca Brecel </strong></li></ol><p>“The Belgian Bullet” has rededicated himself to the sport this season, losing weight and looked in good form last week at the China Open losing a high-quality semi-final versus Neil Robertson. I am not convinced he can win the World title, although he is playing well enough to be a dangerous opponent for anyone.</p><ol> <li value="15"><strong>Stephen Maguire</strong></li></ol><p>This season Stephen Maguire has been reasonably consistent without threatening to win any events. He admitted to the press after last season’s defeat to Ronnie O'Sullivan that he thought he was “past his best” and that looks the case sadly.</p><ol> <li value="16"><strong>David Gilbert </strong></li></ol><p>David Gilbert has broken into World Snookers top 16 for the first time after a breakthrough season with finals in China and Germany. He has always had high quality game and represents the outside value in the easiest quarter.</p><h2><strong>Verdict</strong></h2><p>This year we have a record seven debutants which consists of a stronger hand from Asia than previous. In years gone a debut for some has been an ordeal while some look at home immediately at the smallest arena on the snooker circuit. We know it is rare for a qualifier to win or even reach the later stages however, Ding Junhui and Alan McManus been close in recent years. This year’s qualifiers have proven winners like former champion Graeme Dott, Joe Perry, Martin Gould and Ali Carter. To win the world title means winning eight matches over longer format matches in twenty-nine days so to win the world title from qualifying in the modern-day game would be a monumental achievement. I will preview the first-round matches in a separate article for oddsmarket.com.</p><p>A tough betting heat to find value we have gone with reliability and pedigree.</p><p>Neil Robertson has the easier half of the draw, his toughest assignment is likely to be a quarter final with Stuart Bingham and for an each way bet we will get a solid run for our money.</p><p>At the prices Mark Allen represents value for a small each way punt coming from a winnable quarter with a current pedigree in triple crown events.</p><p>Ronnie O'Sullivan is rightly very short price favourite in the betting market and he faces a very tricky quarter final against Judd Trump so we will pass on both for now however there is some forecasts I like with Trump or Allen to play Neil Robertson in the final, again keep stakes small.</p><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Betting Odds</strong></h2><p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=3e56a0bf-7bdf-4fe1-b9a6-d22c7cc3dd2c" target="_blank" title="Snooker Betting Odds">Ronnie O'Sullivan - 13/5 (3.60) Betway</a></p><p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank" title="Snooker Betting Odds">Judd Trump - 5/1 (6.00) Bet365</a></p><p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=df66db4b-b019-4343-9fc7-6c4f20e2a356" target="_blank" title="Snooker Betting Odds">Neil Robertson - 5/1 (6.00) Paddy Power</a></p><p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07" target="_blank" title="Snooker Betting Odds">Mark Selby - 10/1 (11.00) Ladbrokes</a></p><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Recommended Bets</strong></h2><p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank" title="Snooker Betting Odds"><em><strong>Neil Robertson - each way @5/1 (6.00) Bet365 </strong></em></a></p><p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank" title="Snooker Betting Odds"><em><strong>Mark Allen – each way @20/1 (21.00) Bet365 </strong></em></a></p><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Name the finalists </strong></h2><p style="text-align:center"><em><strong>Neil Robertson v Judd Trump @14/1 (15.00)</strong></em></p><p style="text-align:center"><em><strong>Neil Robertson v Mark Allen @22/1 (23.00)</strong></em></p>
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