SNOOKER specialist George Weyham (@GWSnookerTips) has spied a slice of value from the Shanghai Masters on Thursday morning.
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Stuart Bingham | Thursday 13th September 2018, 07:00 | Eurosport
Ronnie O’Sullivan won his first match of the season against Neil Robertson 6-3 on Wednesday afternoon. A few doubters thought he might come unstuck against the ‘match fit’ Aussie but Ronnie has shown in the past, he’s perfectly fine fresh after a long break.
It wasn’t an absolute stroll, although he was very workmanlike and I’m sure he’s got a few things still to work on. It was a surprise the Rocket didn’t register career century number 949, but he got the all-important ‘W’ next to his name at least.
His quarter-final opponent is fellow Essex lad, Stuart Bingham. He had a bye in the last round when he was due to face Shaun Murphy, who withdrew from the event as his newly born daughter was ill in hospital.
In his opener, he thrashed new pro Fan Zhengyi 6-0, with breaks of 140 (the highest break of the tournament so far), 92, 83 and 78. So he’s in very good nick.
Siding with Stuart
Onto the Thursday morning battle, and I’m going to take a flyer on the 2015 world champion Bingham here.
The bookies have him as a big unconsidered outsider here (7/2 Betfair). I think it’s a disrespectful price to the capable prowess of ‘Ball-Run’.
He’s beaten O’Sullivan three times in 15 matches. Some will say, it’s a poor record but firstly Ronnie has generally a top record against every player.
And secondly, (and most importantly) Bingham has beaten O’Sullivan twice at the UK Championship and once of the grandest stage of them all, at the Crucible in the World Championships – the two biggest events on the snooker calendar.
He’s also gone close to beating him in other matches – from 160 frames played, it’s O’Sullivan 96-64 Bingham.
The betting angles
So Bingham won’t be afraid of beating Ronnie, which is half the battle these days – most players have lost before a ball is struck. It’s also very likely he’s a regular practise partner of Ronnie’s in Essex so the fear factor will be close to zero.
He knows he can beat O’Sullivan – who has plenty of respect for him and probably needs more match practise adjusting to new technique methods of SightRight. Stuart was the first player to use Steve Feeney’s unique coaching system, in 2015 – his World title year.
As I stated in my outright preview, Ronnie has a good thing going in Shanghai with two wins here before. He could well blow Stuart away, as he can to anyone who gets their cue out, but if he is a touch vulnerable, now is the time to strike.
Anyone who can’t quite see Bingham winning, I can certainly see Bingham getting to four frames (+2.5 on the handicap, 11/10 Betfair) in this best of 11. In 12 defeats to O’Sullivan, Bingham would of won with a +2.5 handicap in half of those encounters (2x best of sevens) and so 7/2 is overpriced on a player who has the game to trouble anybody, even a genius like O’Sullivan.
I also think 11/10 is generous, as most other bookies pricing have this at odds-on.