The climax and crescendo to the snooker season leads us to Sheffield and the World Championships. In what has been an unpredictable and fascinating term there’s a real open feel to this year’s blue riband event.
With the continuing attempt to globalise the game resulting in colossal air miles, there have been very few players who have produced the level of consistency expected or needed when it comes to punting with confidence on the World Championships.
World No. 1 Mark Selby has lifted four titles this year and shown flashes of sheer brilliance along the way (most notably in the International Championship final with a 10-1 rout of Ding Junhui). He justifiably heads the market along with Judd Trump at 9/2, and will be a tough nut to crack.
Trump has been his typical self this season with some sublime play but also some truly unexpected defeats. He is not one to rely upon when it comes to your hard earned, and 9/2 does not appeal for a man who has yet to fulfil his promise even given an easier half of the draw on paper.
Instead we look to last year’s beaten finalist Ding Junhui to go one better this year at a healthy and tempting 12/1. With all high street bookmakers paying half the odds each way (top two) he could be a real value bet.
Ding has had solid form this year, winning two titles before that heavy defeat in the International Championships.
His form over longer matches has improved greatly over the years and last years run to the World final was noteworthy. With the weight of the nation upon him, Ding got off to a horror start in the first session and was playing catch up throughout against a dogged and classy Selby.
He stuck to his guns and fought back before eventually losing 18 – 14. That experience will stand him in good stead and the 12/1 odds on him going one better could seem very generous indeed.
He has a nice run to the quarters, by which stage he could be only two matches away from a pay-out.
Recommendation: Ding Junhui, World Snooker Champion, 12/1 generally available, each way 1/2 first 2 places.
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