As we enter the ultimate group of first spherical matches, there nonetheless hasn’t been a main upset. (Jamie Jones beating Stephen Maguire would not rely).
Could that change as a trio of former champions enter the fray? Certainly, none of them are bombproof and a case might be made for every outsider.
Williams hinting at return to type
For more often than not since Mark Williams gained his third title in 2018, I’ve regarded to oppose him. That 12 months was a one-off return to his long-past glory days. However he is rediscovered his urge for food for the sport in latest months and outcomes are enhancing. In truth from the highest half of the draw, he is not the worst outright bet at 70.069/1.
Williams has gained all six earlier frames towards Sam Craigie however that is not a truthful reflection as 4 of them got here six years in the past. The 27 year-old is an underachiever – much better than his lowly rating – and did brilliantly in qualifying, whitewashing Hossein Vafaei earlier than hitting three tons to edge Zhao Xintong.
I’m sceptical Craigie could have the technique and craft to beat Williams on the Crucible. That’s the reason for his underachievement. 6/5 concerning the Welshman successful 10-6 or higher, through the three.5 Frame Handicap, appeals.
Maflin poses critical risk to Selby
Six years in the past at this stage, Kurt Maflin took Mark Selby to a last body decider on his Crucible debut. When returning final 12 months, the Norwegian reached the quarter-finals, beating David Gilbert and John Higgins alongside the way in which.
Maflin has large pure expertise and is a risk to all at his finest. That appeared extremely unlikely to materialise throughout a grim season, however he turned it round with a very good efficiency in qualifying, hammering Jak Jones and Robert Milkins.
He’s completely able to taking Selby to the wire, as so many underdogs do. The Jester’s powers of restoration and resilience are legendary, so he’ll in all probability come by way of, however taking 11/8 about Maflin successful eight frames is sensible.
Murphy too brief on stability of type
Shaun Murphy is totally friendless within the outright betting at 75.074/1. Sure, he is had a horrible season and acknowledged his struggles throughout lockdown, however that is nonetheless a man with rock-solid Crucible credentials.
I would not dismiss him. He turned up on the Masters and performed properly, additionally on the Welsh Open. However he actually is not a participant to belief at brief odds-on, towards an opponent who has given him numerous hassle previously.
Mark Davis solely trails their head-to-head 5-4 and gained 4 of their final 5 conferences. The 48 year-old is making his twelfth Crucible look, because of a beautiful comeback from 7-2 down towards Jamie Clarke.
No miracles are anticipated, however he has the expertise to capitalise if Murphy does battle. 4.216/5 concerning the upset affords good buying and selling potential. Try a again to put from these odds, inserting an order for a partial cashout ought to Davis hit 2.01/1 at any stage.
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