Masters Snooker Betting Preview 2017
Masters Snooker Betting Preview 2017
On the 15th January the Alexandra Palace plays host to its second major sporting event of the month as the Masters Snooker gets underway. This tournament is an invitational event, with only the worlds top 16 players qualifying to compete so it is the crème de la crème. In our betting preview, we assess who the runners and riders are at the Ally Pally and predict who we think will come out as the champion.
It will come as no surprise for you to hear that Ronnie O’Sullivan is the bookies favourite to lift the title. ‘The Rocket’ is arguably the most gifted individual to ever play the sport professionally and on his day is capable of dismantling any opponent. When he is on it he is near enough unstoppable, the rate at which he pots balls is quite remarkable and he can clear the table in around four minutes. He is the best break builder the game has ever seen and regularly makes century breaks. He reached the final of the UK Championship in December where he was beaten by his recent nemesis Mark Selby, whilst also reaching the final of the Champion of Champions. Surprisingly he is yet to claim a title this season, but he loves the Masters and will be keen to defend his title having won the event last season. He is a six-time winner of the Masters and with Liang Wenbo in the first round he will be confident of making a good start, one thing is for sure expect plenty of big breaks from the Rocket so backing him to have the highest break of the tournament at 5/1 with Bet365 looks a great bet.
Mark Selby is very much the form player coming into the tournament and is possibly playing the best snooker of his career at the moment. The ‘Jester from Leicester’ is currently ranked world number one and has already has three ranking titles to his name this season. The most recent of those was the UK Championship in December where he knocked out John Higgins and Shaun Murphy before claiming a 10-7 victory over O’Sullivan in the final. He is also the reigning world champion and so will be looking to be the first player since Mark Williams in 2002/03 to hold all three ‘Triple Crown’ titles at once. He will certainly fancy his chances on current form and having being placed in the more favourable side of the draw with recent winners O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson on the other half as well as Judd Trump and Higgins. Selby loves playing the Masters and it has been one of his most successful tournaments, winning the title on three occasions already in his career in 2008, 2010 and 2013 as well as being runner-up twice.
Whilst he hasn’t been at his best in recent months, Robertson always poses a threat in major tournaments. The Australian has consistently been one of the worlds top players in recent years and is a former Masters, UK and World champion. Robertson started the season well, claiming the Riga Masters title as well as reaching the semi-finals of the World Open and European Masters. However he was on the end of a surprise first round defeat to Peter Lines at the UK and he has not been beyond the last 16 in any of the last six tournaments (prior to the German Masters). The ‘Thunder from Down Under’ can never be written off however, he has immense cue power and consistently knocks in century breaks (he already has 27 this season). He has been handed a tough draw though, Ali Carter in the first round will not be easy and should he get past him it should set up a stellar clash against O’Sullivan in the quarter-finals.
Scottish star Higgins has been playing some good stuff this season and also comes in as one of the favourites. The ‘Wizard of Wishaw’ has won 42 of his 52 matches this term and has reached the quarter-final stage or better in seven of his last 10 tournaments. He claimed the China Championship and Champion of Champions titles whilst also making the final at the Scottish Open, but does come into this tournament having made a shock exit at the hands of Zhao Xintong in the last 64 of the German Masters. He faces a tough opener against Mark Allen and could then come up against Trump in the last eight, a player he has met regularly this season having already taken him on five times.
Trump himself is also enjoying a decent campaign and will fancy his chances of going on a good run at the Ally Pally. The 2011 World Championship finalist won the European Masters in Romania and also made the final of the English Open and semi-finals of the International Championship and Scottish Open. Trump is very much a flair player, bringing his own brand of ‘naughty snooker’ to the baize and taking every opportunity to attack and pot balls. He is not a big safety player which can often let him down, but in a best of 19 format that doesn’t always matter. He takes on Marco Fu in the opening round and as mentioned above could meet Higgins in the following round, a player who he has an intriguing rivalry with. Higgins leads the head-to-head 15-9 but it is Trump who has edged this seasons matches having won three matches to Higgins’ two. That would be an incredibly tight match, it went to a deciding frame when the two met at the Scottish Open but we fancy Trump just to edge it and therefore win the third quarter, which you can back at 15/8 with Coral.
It is set to be a cracking week of snooker at the Ally Pally with the worlds best players going head-to-head. It is hard to pick a winner with so much talent on show, but we cannot look past Selby for the title. He has been in magnificent form of late and has come up trumps over his nearest rival O’Sullivan in recent major finals (2016 UK Championship and 2014 World Championship).
Mark Selby to win the Masters (Best priced at 4/1 with BetVictor) – BET HERE
Ronnie O’Sullivan to have the highest tournament break (Best priced at 5/1 with Bet365) – BET HERE
Judd Trump to win the second quarter (Best priced at 15/8 with Coral) – BET HERE
Check out all of our betting previews HERE
Watch Ronnie O’Sullivan knock in the fastest ever 147 break: