The first spherical attracts to a conclusion at the moment, with 4 former Masters champions in motion. Between them, the quartet have received this occasion 11 occasions.
Ronnie is the brand new favorite
Seven of these had been by the brand new match favorite. Ronnie O’Sullivan’s odds about successful an eighth title have fallen from 6.411/2 to 3.814/5 with out potting a ball, following Judd Trump’s withdrawal and yesterday’s defeats for Mark Selby and Neil Robertson – the latter by Yan Bingtao tipped right here at 4.47/2.
Is this main now Ronnie’s for the taking? Far from it. Take out the final World Championship and he is been nicely under his greatest for a while. Plus no matter these outcomes elsewhere within the draw, he is removed from sure to attain the semis.
Head-to-head report is one-sided
First up an outdated rival who normally comes off second greatest of their encounters. O’Sullivan leads Ding Junhui 16-5, together with six of the final seven and three since final summer season.
Ronnie’s commonplace of snooker hasn’t been inspiring however he is been battling on admirably. Even in a poor season by his requirements, he is made two finals and a semi. Only Trump and Selby thwarted these title bids.
With these rivals out, yet one more main title is shifting into view and I think he’ll step up to the problem. At least within the early phases. There has by no means been a greater participant coming in recent off a break.
Whilst Ding’s mercurial expertise is at all times revered, he is been making far too many errors and giving opponents possibilities for a while. He hasn’t gone additional than a quarter-final this time period. 6/5 about O’Sullivan successful 6-3 or higher, by way of the two.5 Frame Handicap, is the decision.
Allen most popular over Higgins
I feel the betting is the fallacious means round within the night match, the place John Higgins is a marginal favorite over Mark Allen. This regardless of the Scot dropping to a sequence of lower-ranked opponents. He’s solely crushed one top-16 participant (Ding) this season.
To make clear, that reductions the Championship League, the place he was in successful kind final week. A special format, desk and of incomparable significance.
Allen isn’t wholly dependable however his current greatest has been a lot better. In touchdown the Champion of Champions title – the same format to the Masters – he comfortably beat Trump, Ronnie and Robertson. He’s additionally received all 4 earlier matches with Higgins at this main.
One facet guess additionally appeals. Allen is a ton-machine, hitting one each 5.47 frames this season. Take benefit of the improved #Oddsboost to 3/1 about him hitting two.
Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty