WE asked Ed Acteson (@EdActeson) for his best bets from the World Snooker Championship 2nd Round. He gave us this.
Barry Hawkins v Ronnie O’Sullivan | Saturday 10.00 | BBC
Barry Hawkins has a superb recent record at The Crucible, having finished runner-up in 2013 and reaching the semi-finals in the subsequent two years. Unfortunately for ‘The Hawk’, two of those exits came at the hands of his next opponent, Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The head-to-head between these two players is possibly the most one-sided on the tour.
Over 11 encounters, Ronnie has only lost once (back in 2002) and won the last 10 in a row. In the most recent three, O’Sullivan has achieved a frame aggregate of 17-3, including a 10-1 drubbing in the final of The Masters earlier this year.
As a fellow Kent lad, Barry is probably my favourite player but reluctantly I’ll try to profit from his misery here by taking him on in the handicap market, with Ronnie -5.5 frames available at 21/20 (William Hill).
For this to lose, Hawkins will have to claim at least 32% of the match frames, something he hasn’t managed in their last four meetings, during which he has averaged 15%.
I’ll go even further and additionally back the -6.5 at 17/10 (Betfair) which would require Barry to win 28% of the frames.
Again, he hasn’t managed this in those last four meetings and barring a huge reversal of fortunes, shouldn’t this weekend.
Ding Junhui v Judd Trump | Sunday 10.00 | BBC
Having tipped Judd Trump in the outright market, as well as Martin Gould to defeat Ding Junhui, I had a vested interest in both these players’ 1st Round matches.
Trump looked a beaten man when he went 7-3 down against Liang Wenbo, but showing a coolness that hopefully bodes well for the remainder of the tournament; he claimed seven of the following eight frames to steal the match 10-8.
Ding saw the other side of a similarly remarkable comeback, when Gould rallied from 4-1 down to lead 8-6. Before I could immerse myself too deeply in researching speedboat ownership, momentum shifted again and Ding snuck over the line to leave me crestfallen and facing Super Noodles until payday.
Though I fully expect (hope) that Trump will ultimately triumph here, it hasn’t escaped my notice that he often takes a while to get going, whereas Ding tends to fly out of the blocks, and I like the 3/1 (Betfred) available on the Chinese player winning the ‘first 4 frames’ market.
Ding has reigned supreme in this market in his last four matches whereas Trump has only managed one success from the same amount of games.
That’s enough to convince me that Ding should be rated higher than a 25% chance to take the three early frames required before hopefully then falling apart.
Barry Hawkins v Ronnie O’Sullivan – Ronnie O’Sullivan -5.5 frames (21/20 William Hill)
Barry Hawkins v Ronnie O’Sullivan – Ronnie O’Sullivan -6.5 frames (17/10 Betfair)
Ding Junhui v Judd Trump – Ding Junhui to ‘win’ the first four frames (3/1 Betfred)
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