Snooker: Indian Open quarter betting and 1st Round fancies

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SNOOKER specialist George Weyham (@GWSnookerTips) picks out his favourite fancies from the first round and quarters in the Indian Open.

Indian Open | Quarter Betting

I wouldn’t normally want to touch a player in a Quarter where I have an outright selection in but I’ll make an exception with Iranian cueist, Hossein Vafaei.

When I say cueist, boy do I mean it with this lad! He’s got a tremendous, rock solid, silky smooth, cue action.

A very well respected snooker fan I talk to a lot on Twitter, @Deco800_, has been purring about Vafaei for a very long time. I’ve not been on the Iranian’s bandwagon as long as him, but I’ve seen with my bare eyes what a future he has on the green baize.

Vafaei is a real tough cookie. He was quite brilliant in making the recent Welsh Open semi-finals. He ran out of steam against a rampant Neil Robertson but a 54 clearance against Mark Selby in the Last 16 win on the black in the decider will live long in the memory. It was Selby-esk!

Two years ago Vafaei made the China Open semi-final. And he’s made two other quarter-finals in ranking events, so making the latter stages is no issue. On his last appearance here in 2016, he made the Last 16 and I think Vafaei is bred for this test this week. Vafaei should relish conditions he’s been used to from his amateur days. He won the World Under 21 title in 2014 in nearby UAE.

Vafaei is due to face John Higgins in Last 32 – a toughie but one Hossein can win, for sure. Get past him then he could face my outright pick, David Gilbert in the Last 16, who he’s beaten already this season. His quarter-final opponent will be no tougher than Higgins and Gilbert.

I wouldn’t put anyone off him at 80/1 in the outright – he’s that good a player. I feel there’s a much better chance he will make a last-four though, than winning it altogether and so 20/1 (Ladbrokes) is well overpriced for me.

I want to get Oli Lines on side in an open Quarter 2, fronted by Stuart Bingham. It’s packed with class, but Oli has been improving of late. He started the season with a Last 32 at the Riga Masters then went on a poor run of either 1st Round or 2nd Round defeats.

He turned a corner when he faced 1st Round opponent here, Fergal O’Brien, in Cardiff knocking in two 118 breaks and an 87 in a 4-2 win (good omen for here). Then was desperately unlucky not to beat Ding Junhui in his next match – he led 3-2 and it went to a black ball in the sixth frame. Oli potted it for the win but went in off. Then proceeded to lose the decider.

He brushed that off a week later by convincingly qualifying for the China Open with a thumping win over danger man, Tom Ford 6-2 with more heavy scoring. The Leeds-based players best finish in a ranking event came in this event in 2016, making the Last 16, so he has previous here. T

he former European U21 champion has got some momentum currently and I think 28/1 (Ladbrokes) is a touch too big on the 23 year-old given the draw he has.

on side in an open Quarter 2, fronted by Stuart Bingham. It’s packed with class, but Oli has been improving of late. He started the season with a Last 32 at the Riga Masters then went on a poor run of either 1st Round or 2nd Round defeats.

He turned a corner when he faced 1st Round opponent here, Fergal O’Brien, in Cardiff knocking in two 118 breaks and an 87 in a 4-2 win (good omen for here). Then was desperately unlucky not to beat Ding Junhui in his next match – he led 3-2 and it went to a black ball in the sixth frame. Oli potted it for the win but went in off. Then proceeded to lose the decider.

He brushed that off a week later by convincingly qualifying for the China Open with a thumping win over danger man, Tom Ford 6-2 with more heavy scoring. The Leeds-based players best finish in a ranking event came in this event in 2016, making the Last 16, so he has previous here. T

The former European U21 champion has got some momentum currently and I think 28/1 (Ladbrokes) is a touch too big on the 23 year-old given the draw he has.

Indian Open | 1st Round Betting

My only fancy in the 1st Round of fixtures is a double containing Indian amateur and former main tour pro Lucky Vatnani and Finland’s Robin Hull.

Even in a best of seven, I don’t see Hull having too many problems against another Iranian, Soheil Vahedi. This lad, even though has great amateur pedigree (former World amateur champion) isn’t in Vafaei’s league. He’s won just twice all season, and both were against two, has to be said, poor professionals.

Hull, a former Shoot-Out champion, is still a good operator at lower level. He might have only won three more times this season than Vahedi (all in best of seven) but he’s pushed quality players pretty close including Barry Hawkins, Ryan Day, Yan Bingtao and Ding Junhui. I expect the classy Finn to have too much quality even if it’s close to Vahedi’s backyard.

For the double, I think Lucky Vatnani can get the one frame required (+3.5) off Shaun Murphy and 4/6 looks a bit generous. As mentioned in my outright preview, I watched Murphy last week disintegrate losing to Poland’s Adam Stefanow (Murphy was a 1/33 shot) in qualifying for China.

Murphy was devoid of any confidence and it wasn’t a case of Stefanow playing brilliant either. He just picked up the pieces to Murphy’s overall play. It was as if Murphy hadn’t played the game before – it might as well of been someone off Cannock town centre playing with his cue!

His opponent on Wednesday can play. Vatnani has previously made breaks of 132 and 135 at Q school. He was just two wins away from getting back onto the main tour at Q school in May losing narrowly to world number 95, Craig Steadman 4-2.

Murphy has lost in nine 1st Round matches this season. OK, on paper this should be a straightforward assignment but the way Murphy has been this season in general, it would take a brave soul to back him to win this match 4-0 (-3.5).

I fully expect Vatnani, who will have the crowd behind him, under atmosphere he’s used to, to get on the board with a frame.

The double pays 5/4 with Ladbrokes.

Best Bets

Indian Open – Hossein Vafaei to win Quarter 1 (20/1 Ladbrokes)

Indian Open – Oli Lines to win Quarter 2 (28/1 Ladbrokes)

Indian Open – Lucky Vatnani +3.5 and Robin Hull (5/4 double Ladbrokes)

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