With the Crucible kicking off over the weekend there are some extremely difficult opening rounds to call.
Several of the top 16 have been off their game in the past number of months and will approach their premiere tie with no shortage of trepidation.
Its hard to know how debutantes will respond to the Crucible but that along with their lower ranking give some attractive prices for punters.
Tian Pengfei overcame an extremely difficult three rounds of qualifying to ensure participation after swotting away Soheil Vahedi he then annihilated the much touted World Number 17 Ryan Day 10-3 before blitzing Matthew Stevens in the last round before eventually getting over the line 10-8.
Therefore a draw against the enigmatic Stephen Maguire holds no fears and the 15/8 for the upset looks particularly generous in what is a toss up on form.
Luo Honghao is another who fought through three tough matches against a high calibre opponent to seal his first appearance in Sheffield. Marco Fu, Robbie Williams and Tom Ford all succumbed to the youngster who will have no fear against an out of sorts Shaun Murphy in the opener.
He is sure to show up well and the +2.5 frames in the handicap market for both these Chinese players looks more than sufficient to ensure a return.
There are several other qualifiers who could well create a shock with Martin Gould a tough test for reigning champion Mark Williams and Zhao Xintong sure to run Mark Selby to the wire. Both are worth a look in the handicap market at the very least. Stuart Bingham should have far too much for Graham Dott and looks worth including -2.5 frames in any multiples given the consistency he has shown this term.
However it is elsewhere that we will take our third leg. Jack Lisowski has finally started to deliver on his incredible talent and to see him priced up at 5/6 to beat Ali Carter looks a steal. Indeed the 11/10 about him winning by more than a frame is more than achievable.
Carter’s results in qualifying were far more impressive than his performances as he missed several chances and needed multiple visits to seal frames against Jimmy White and this trend was repeated against John Astley when he won only one frame in one visit. This form simply won’t cut it against the potent Lisowski who is capable and playing consistently well since the turn of the year.
Recommendations : Jack Lisowski -1.5 frames vs Carter, Luo Honghao +2.5 frames vs Murphy, Ting Pengfei +2.5 frames vs Maguire, 1pt win treble @c13/2
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