Our resident snooker betting expert reveals his approach to turning a profit when wagering on this popular sport.
<p>The team at OddsMarket is rapidly expanding as we seek to deliver on our mission to become the ultimate one-stop shop for all punters. We have experts covering a wide range of sports, and one of our latest additions is former professional snooker star Craig Edwards. He has been betting on snooker since his career drew to a close and he is now our resident expert on the sport. He will write articles previewing big matches and tournaments and appear as a regular guest on our upcoming daily sports betting show. We caught up with him to find out more about the wonderful world of snooker betting:</p><p><strong>Could you tell our readers about your time as a professional snooker player? </strong></p><p>I played professional snooker from 1988 to 1996, reaching a career high ranking of 61 for two seasons consecutively. During that time I played a handful of matches on television, most notably losing to reigning world champion and world number one Steve Davis in the last 16 of the European Open in 1990. In 1991 I beat James Wattana to reach the Crucible theatre and the last 32 of the World Championships, where I lost 10-7 to Tony Meo. Players of note that I beat were John Higgins, Nigel Bond, James Wattana and Joe Johnson.</p><p><strong>How long have you been betting on snooker? Why do you think it is a good sport to bet on? </strong></p><p>Snooker makes a great TV sport. Forty years on from the initial Pot Black coverage on the BBC the viewing figures are still very good in comparison to all other sports. I have been betting on snooker since finishing my career. It has become a great sport to bet on nowadays with a 10-month season putting professionals under more mental and physical demands than ever. For the punter we can exploit these factors to our advantage using my understanding of the pressure it puts on the players’ mindsets. I am a great believer in endorphins and bio-rhythms, which explain why the level of a professional’s play can vary so much as they travel between venues from day to day. That is an area bookmakers can never quantify as their figures expect players to play to a certain level like robots.</p><p><strong>What are some of your biggest successes when wagering on snooker? </strong></p><p>Over the years I have had many memorable wagers on snooker matches or tournaments but one that sticks in my mind was the 2004 World Championship semi final between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry. My prediction was that the great Scotsman Stephen Hendry’s reign as world champion and world number one was about to come to an end, as I believed there were a few chinks in the champions armour surfacing. “Rocket Ronnie” respected Hendry more than any other player and I expected he would keep his foot to the peddle when he got in front, so I backed the scorelines at fancy prices for correct scores between 17-0 and 17-7. O’Sullivan happily won 17-4 at 500/1.</p><p>A couple of seasons ago, when Mark Selby won back to back world titles, the bookmakers were slow to rate his progress to the game’s dominant match player and so every time he lost in a ranking event and his price drifted for the end of season World Championship, I kept nibbling away at the prices, giving me average odds of 15/2 by the time April’s showpiece came round. He dominated the 17-day marathon like all good champions have over the years.</p><p><strong>How do you approach particular matches or tournaments from a wagering perspective? Do you analyse stats? Or do you rely more on your opinions of the strengths and weaknesses of various players? </strong></p><p>At <a href="https://edwards-tips.co.uk/" target="_blank">Edwards' Tips</a>, we collect the stats and data from all matches and build a portfolio for every professional’s strengths, weaknesses and trends. We refer to our stats when we analyse each match on its individual merits as the dynamics change week to week for each player. Our staking is derived on our perceived value comparing our prices with bookmakers and the bigger the value the bigger we stake. For example, if we price player A to beat player B at 2.1 and the bookmakers make it 2.4 we start with a 0.6 stake.</p><p>Sometimes an improving player with confidence can start playing way above their previous level and I like to believe I recognise that. In particular from watching there are plenty of signs in a professional’s body language about their current state of mind. I also believe I know when players are on a bad run and struggling, whereby their level of play continues to drop due to fact that a snooker professional needs a clear mind without negative thoughts to execute this precise, high-skill, hand to eye co-ordination game.</p><p><strong>Do you have any tips for readers that do not have much experience when it comes to betting on snooker but would like to get involved? </strong></p><p>My advice to readers who are new to snooker is to keep a separate bankroll and start to follow the Eurosport coverage to see which players are in and out of form. You don’t always need to place a bet. Instead make an assessment of how a particular match will play out, giving you a chance to see if your opinion is correct. Always bet with money you can afford to lose, so you can enjoy the game on its merits, keeping betting fun.</p>