Snooker Betting Tips and Predictions: World Snooker Championship

OM Staff

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 3:51 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 31, 2021 3:51 PM UTC

Former snooker professional Craig Edwards (@EdwardsTips_ ) previews the World Snooker Championship for

<div><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>World Snooker Championship</strong></h2><p style="text-align:center"><strong>April 17th to May 3rd, 2021 - at Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England</strong></p><p>Having been delayed for three months in 2020 due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic it seems strange to have the sport's Holy Grail event come round so quickly. There has been no let-up for the snooker professionals with a constant schedule leading to April's seventeen-day marathon.</p><p><strong>Sort of Players That Flourish During the World Championship 17-day Event</strong></p><p>The key requirement for the champion nowadays is endurance and the ability to keep a constant level of play. That is always a huge task, but this year the summit feels further away than normal for the potential winner, after a constant run of tournaments that contain a format of best of seven frames.</p><p>If that wasn’t enough, the players have had shorter formats in the Championship League and WST Pro Series to contend with. The success of Mark Selby, Graeme Dott, and Peter Ebdon, to name three, illustrates how the tenacious competitor can be better suited by the World Championship than any other tournament.</p><p>I will work through the top 16 players and the draw they have been presented with. The qualifying competition will produce 16 qualifiers to join them.</p><ul> <li style="text-align:center">Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) / Qualifier</li> <li style="text-align:center">Anthony McGill (16) / Qualifier</li> <li style="text-align:center">Ding Junhui (9) / Qualifier</li> <li style="text-align:center">Stephen Maguire (8) / Qualifier</li></ul><p style="text-align:center">————————————</p><ul> <li style="text-align:center">John Higgins (5) / Qualifier</li> <li style="text-align:center">Mark Williams (12) / Qualifier</li> <li style="text-align:center">Mark Allen (13) / Qualifier</li> <li style="text-align:center">Mark Selby (4) / Qualifier</li></ul><p style="text-align:center">————————————</p><ul> <li style="text-align:center">Neil Robertson (3) / Qualifier</li> <li style="text-align:center">Jack Lisowski (14) / Qualifier</li> <li style="text-align:center">Barry Hawkins (11) / Qualifier</li> <li style="text-align:center">Kyren Wilson (6) / Qualifier</li></ul><p style="text-align:center">————————————</p><ul> <li style="text-align:center">Shaun Murphy (7) / Qualifier</li> <li style="text-align:center">Yan Bingtao (10) / Qualifier</li> <li style="text-align:center">David Gilbert (15) / Qualifier</li> <li style="text-align:center">Judd Trump (2) / Qualifier</li></ul><div><p style="text-align:center">————————————</p></div><p><strong>Ronnie O'Sullivan</strong> – <a href=";a=df66db4b-b019-4343-9fc7-6c4f20e2a356&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 5.00 with Paddy Power</a> (visit our <a href="">Paddy Power Review</a>)<br /><br />The Rocket arrives in Sheffield on the back of a lacklustre season by his high standards. Despite winning last year's World Championship, he has failed to win a ranking event all season. However, he regularly featured at the business end of tournaments, losing in five finals.</p><p>Ronnie O'Sullivan won last year's World Championship by toughing it out and outlasting the opposition when below his A-game. This has become a constant theme for the sport's GOAT, who has been below his sublime best since making his 1000th century a couple of years ago.</p><p>Winning the World Championship was never easy for the Londoner in his prime, despite the six world titles in just under thirty attempts because his flair and brilliance were often blunted by those who endured the seventeen days better. Now in his mid-40s, O'Sullivan has to fight harder than ever, and it's perversely possible the demands this unique event brings suit him better than at any point in his long and distinguished career.</p><p><strong>Judd Trump</strong> – <a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 3.75 with Bet365</a> (visit our <a href="">Bet365 Review</a>)</p><p>The 2019 champion Judd Trump has made the World number one spot his own, and this season there has been a continuation of that dominance with five titles. His brand of snooker looks like the complete player when he employs it well, and he has the attributes of a great champion.</p><p>The only thing missing on his CV is triple crown titles as he's only won the World, the UK, and Masters on one occasion each. He needs to add more for the record books to confirm my belief that he is the best player ever.</p><p>I don’t know whether fatigue from a long season has been kicking in lately, but the Bristol man has swapped a bright honest presence for deluded rhetoric in recent interviews and press conferences. If he can stay focused and let his snooker do the talking, he will take the beating.</p><p><strong>Neil Robertson</strong> – <a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 6.50 with Bet365</a></p><p>The Australian, Neil Robertson arrives at the Crucible Theatre fresh and in good form. He won the sport's second most prestigious event, the UK Championship at the start of December. However, Robertson barely played a match of importance until the recent Tour Championship, where he impressed again by winning sublimely.</p><p>It's always been a surprise that Robertson has only won the World Championship once, a decade ago, but that's often been attributed to arriving at the Crucible Theatre burnt out after a hard season. There are no such excuses this year, and Neil Robertson looks like a strong contender for a second World Championship.</p><p><strong>Mark Selby</strong> – <a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 8.50 with William Hill</a> (visit our <a href="">William Hill Review</a>)</p><p>The Leicester man arrives in Sheffield on the back of a run of inconsistent performances in the 2021 tournaments. Just before last Christmas, he looked close to his best after two early-season tournament wins. The three-time World Champion knows what it takes, and no one endures the twists and turns the snooker marathon supplies better than the rest. His third-world title was won when the jester from Leicester was well below his best, and it's impossible to discount him in this perfectly suited unique test of stamina.</p><p>J<strong>ohn Higgins </strong>– <a href=";a=95095aa3-ae41-43ba-886d-99a97893c4a3&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 10.00 with Boylesports</a></p><p>The veteran Scot has been a revelation by recapturing former glories since the start of 2021. The first event of 2021 was the Championship League, which is a low-key event where professionals play in a more cordially relaxed manner than normal events. As I watched the six days Higgins played in, it became apparent that he was enjoying playing and that was due to a new cue combined with a tinkering of his technique.</p><p>From what I saw, I took the opportunity to support him in the Masters, and he delivered with a runner-up finish at 21.00 each way. He built on this a few weeks later at the Players Championship, where he won with resounding victories over Ronnie O'Sullivan, Kyren Wilson, and Mark Selby. On that form, he would have an outstanding chance at this year's World Championship given his pedigree of three recent 2nds and four World titles previously.</p><p><strong>Kyren Wilson</strong> – <a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 21.00 with William Hill</a></p><p>The Warrior has plied his trade manfully since reaching last year's World Championship final, but he failed to make a final all season. It's plausible that the best of 7 frame matches don’t suit him ideally, and he will lack nothing in endurance.</p><p>The last two seasons have seen Wilson constantly undermine himself by losing close matches from in front, and he's struggled badly if drawn against Mark Selby and John Higgins.</p><p>The positives are that he troubles Judd Trump more than any other player, as he proved at last year’s World Championship when he beat the defending champion in their quarter-final. If he can avoid those two players mentioned Kyren Wilson fits the similar mould of previous champions and hardened competitors like Mark Selby, Peter Ebdon, and Graeme Dott.</p><p><strong>Shaun Murphy</strong> – <a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 34.00 with William Hill</a></p><p>After a superb 2019/2020 season, once again, Shaun Murphy has found his career on the skids with several below-par displays and inconsistent tournaments.</p><p>However, there are reasons or excuses for the Englishman. Firstly, his friend and long-time manager Brandon Parker sadly passed away at the start of the season. Secondly, Covid restrictions have made life difficult for the Irish-based player to commute to see his family. He remains a player of huge scope and potential, with an ability to be able to function at a higher level than most when he gets the ball rolling.</p><p><strong>Stephen Maguire</strong> – <a href=";a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 51.00 with Unibet</a></p><p>It has been a poor season for the Scot since winning last summer's delayed Tour Championship. There has been slight encouragement in recent events, but he has never reserved his best performances for the Crucible Theatre, so it's doubtful he starts now.</p><p><strong>Ding Junhui</strong> – <a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 29.00 with William Hill</a></p><p>The Chinese superstar has failed to negotiate the quarter-final stage of a ranking event for 18 months since he won the UK Championship. That was a shock victory, snapping a similar run of exposed form, and there has been no evidence since that win was nothing other than a freak.</p><p>To be fair, there are plausible excuses for the recent passionless defeats given he has been separated from his young family back in China for the obvious reasons. He is easily overlooked for betting purposes.</p><p><strong>Yan Bingtao</strong> – <a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 26.00 with Bet365</a></p><p>The young Chinese player shocked many with his Masters win at 41.00 in January. It’s fair to say he was a deserving champion, but he has done nothing else all season. It is strange given how brilliant he was in 2019/2020 with two final appearances, a semi-final in the UK Championship, and his first tournament victory in the Riga Masters.</p><p>Bingtao is my idea of a shock winner of this year’s World Championship, given his pedigree of winning the Masters and last season’s UK Championship semi-final. Yes, his form has been lacklustre apart from the Masters, but he is young, dedicated and one of the sport's hardest workers. A test of endurance could suit him perfectly and give China a first World Champion.</p><p><strong>Barry Hawkins</strong> – <a href=";a=1ba923f3-5341-4bda-b457-0138ac61ae7a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 34.00 with Betfred</a></p><p>This season has seen gradual improvement from the Englishman with a recent victory over Judd Trump, his best win for a couple of seasons. Hawkins has a pedigree for playing well at the World Championship with two runner-up finishes, but his career has constantly been undermined by attacks of clinchers disease. With his growing confidence, he is a match for everyone and could be considered for the quarter and ‘to reach the final’ markets.</p><p><strong>Mark Williams</strong> – <a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 41.00 with William Hill</a></p><p>Having recently won the WST Pro Series and with a newfound enthusiasm for the sport, the veteran Welshman arrives at the Crucible in great form. He admits to lacking the practice of his early year, but this laissez-faire character is capable of springing a surprise at the Crucible Theatre as a third world title proved in 2018, fifteen years after his second.</p><p><strong>Mark Allen</strong> – <a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 26.00 with William Hill</a></p><p>It's been a strange season for the Northern Irishman, who won the Champion of Champions with high-quality performances in three victories against Ronnie O'Sullivan, Judd Trump, and Neil Robertson. The rest of the season has been a write-off by Mark Allen's normal high standards with a constant swapping and changing of cues. If Allen could find his best form, he has the quality to win a World Championship.</p><p><strong>Jack Lisowski</strong> – <a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 41.00 with William Hill</a></p><p>Since reaching the quarter-final of the UK Championship Lisowski has gone on to reach three ranking event finals, losing on each occasion to his good friend, Judd Trump. There is no evidence to suggest his laid-back style will be suited by the World Championship demands and for that reason is overlooked.</p><p><strong>David Gilbert</strong> – <a href=";a=8ec6399a-9df1-4c52-b272-39e6428836a6&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 51.00 with Betfair</a> (visit our <a href="">Betfair Review</a>)</p><p>The Angry Farmer has been living up to his nickname in recent months, seemingly out of love with snooker. It’s two years since he lost an emotional semi-final to John Higgins at the Crucible Theatre, and apart from a semi-final in the Masters, his form has been a long way below his best.</p><p><strong>Anthony McGill</strong> – <a href=";a=df66db4b-b019-4343-9fc7-6c4f20e2a356&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">at 101.00 with Paddy Power</a></p><p>Last year's semi-finalist has struggled to put deep runs together in tournaments all season despite often appearing in good form. A quarter-final appearance in the UK Championship was his best performance, and it’s likely he is better suited by the longer formats.</p><p>If there was to be a shock winner then Anthony McGill could follow in the footsteps of Graeme Dott, another doughty Scottish competitor who was ideally suited by the World Championship above all other events.</p><p><strong>Popular Opinion</strong></p><p>The popular opinion suggests the World Champion will come from the top five in the market. I tend to disagree, given how far removed from normal the current and unique format is.</p><p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p><p>With the qualifiers to come, there may be the odd title contender like Ali Carter and Stuart Bingham to consider, but history is against any qualifier winning. Therefore, we can concentrate on these top 16 players for now.</p><p>Ronnie O'Sullivan will be a strong favourite for the top quarter, and rightly so, given the poor form of Stephen Maguire and Ding Junhui.</p><p>I do think there is a shred of value in believing last year's semi-finalist, Anthony McGill will go well in future years, but a potential last 16 matchup with Ronnie O'Sullivan slightly dampens my enthusiasm this year. That said, I did notice McGill straight back into his good rhythm this week at the Championship League. I am going to stick with my original thoughts that the World Snooker Championship is ideally suited to the Scot.</p><p>At 101.00 for Anthony McGill, I think a small each-way bet twinned with a quarter bet when markets go up nearer the time is the play.</p><p>The next section is polluted with aging Crucible specialists given Mark Williams, John Higgins and Mark Selby have ten World titles between them. Strangely enough, it's a section that a qualifier like Ali Carter would fancy his chances in.</p><p>The top quarter of the bottom half looks power-packed with four in-form players. Neil Robertson we know was in superb form at the recent Tour Championship. A last 16 matchup is dreadful for the in-form Jack Lisowski, who struggles badly to get to grips with the Australian. The other last 16 matchup pits last year's finalist, Kyren Wilson against Barry Hawkins, if Neil Robertson is to get ground down it will liable to be in his quarterfinal encounter against either.</p><p>Neil Robertson winning the Tour Championship so impressively has brought value to his opponents in this section, and in particular, the winner of Kyren Wilson (20.00 at William Hill) and Barry Hawkins (34.00 at Betfred).</p><p>The bottom section has the World's best player Judd Trump, and he has an easy draw to the last 16. There, he will meet Shaun Murphy or Yan Bingtao. Given the Masters champion Yan Bingtao has a respectable record against Murphy, I expect him to beat the Englishman. At last year’s World Championship Bingtao proved he could trouble Judd Trump when he led 5-2. With that experience, there is every chance that his natural game could grind the Bristol player down in the best of 25 frames.</p><p>The unfashionable grind of Yan Bingtao could be perfect for wearing the opposition down, and his pedigree suggests a deep run at the World Championship is coming soon giving us an each-way bet with potential.</p><p><strong>World Snooker Championship Betting Tips</strong></p><p><a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Yan Bingtao Each-Way at 26.00 at Bet365</a></p><p><a href=";a=df66db4b-b019-4343-9fc7-6c4f20e2a356&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Anthony McGill Each-Way at 101.00 at Paddy Power</a></p></div>
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