World Snooker Championship 2017 Betting Preview

RECOMMENDED BETS MARKET ODDS BOOKMAKERS
Barry Hawkins (ew) Tournament Winner 20/1 BetVictor
Ali Carter (ew) Tournament Winner 50/1 Betfred

World-Snooker-Championship-TrophyThe World Snooker Championship 2017 commences at the Crucible in Sheffield this weekend – with Mark Selby bidding to win his third title in four years. But the world number one is only second favourite for the event at 9/2, with Judd Trump the 4/1 favourite.

Only three players have won more than one ranking title this season – with Scotland’s Anthony McGill (2) the surprise name alongside Selby (4) and Trump (2) in 2016/17. As for the World Championship, it has produced few major surprises in recent years, with Stuart Bingham’s 50/1 success in 2015 the exception.

The five-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan would normally be the pre-tournament favourite, but he has flitted in and out of the sport over the last few seasons and although he won the Masters at Alexandra Palace in January, he can be backed at the bigger than usual price of 6/1 with Stan James. To put that into perspective, he was a best price of 15/8 going into last year’s tournament, and a 5/2 chance in 2015.

Selby beat O’Sullivan 18-14 in the final three years ago to claim his first world title and he then beat Ding Junhui by the same scoreline last year, with his two victories coming either side of Bingham’s solitary success. Prior to that, O’Sullivan won back to back titles, following on from three wins in five years for John Higgins.

Trump has never won this tournament, losing his only final in 2011 and reaching 2 semi-finals since then. He certainly has the talent to end his wait to become world champion, and the draw has been kind to him – he is in the bottom half of the draw while the likes of Selby, Neil Robertson, Ding and O’Sullivan are all in the top half.

By any other measure it is Selby, winner of the most recent world ranking event in China, who is the man to beat. However, backing a 9/2 chance is unlikely to provide you with a bumper pay day, so instead we’ll offer up an alternative at big odds who could at least give you a run for your money. Last year we singled out 125/1 chance Kyren Wilson, who made it to the quarter-finals before being beaten by Selby.

McGill, a Crucible quarter-finalist in 2015, is one such candidate at best odds of 80/1, but his form since winning the Indian Open in the early part of the season has been patchy at best, so we’re going to look to Ali Carter instead at a slightly shorter price.

The 37-year-old from Colchester won the World Open last year, was runner-up at the German Masters and reached the last four at the recent Players Championship, while he has won at least one match at all but one of this season’s ranking events.

He hasn’t been knocked out in the first round in Sheffield since 2006 – reaching two finals and a semi-final in the last 10 years. Tournament sponsors Betfred offer 50/1.

Back at the top of the market, last year’s beaten finalist Ding is a 12/1 chance across the board, with the 2010 World Champion Robertson available at the same price at Bet365. Four-time winner Higgins can be backed at a stand-out 16/1 with Bet365 – as short as 11/1 elsewhere – while Barry Hawkins is a 20/1 chance with BetVictor.

Hawkins has a strong recent record in Sheffield, reaching the final in 2013, the semi finals in each of the next two years and the quarter finals last year, while he has won the World Grand Prix this season, reached the final of the Northern Ireland Open and the last four at the Masters and the English Open. He too is in the bottom half of the draw, so we like the look of that 20/1 quote obout the current world no. 12.

RECOMMENDED BETS MARKET ODDS BOOKMAKERS
Barry Hawkins (ew) Tournament Winner 20/1 BetVictor
Ali Carter (ew) Tournament Winner 50/1 Betfred