SNOOKER specialist George Weyham (@GWSnookerTips) shares his best bet from Friday's China Championship action.
Judd Trump v John Higgins | Friday 28th September 2018, 07:30
In the quest to get John Higgins beaten in Guangzhou, I failed on Thursday morning. But, yet again, the ‘Wizard of Wishaw’ was far from convincing in defeating Scott Donaldson 5-3, and for me, is on thin ice.
There's only so much the gallant Scot can endure in these tough conditions in the Far East, and I think on Friday morning he'll get Trumped.
Maybe Judd Trump read my ‘Three Things We Learned' piece after the Shanghai Masters where I doubted his dedication and drive. Or maybe someone had a word with him?
He said in an interview after his win over Rhys Clark in round one that he had prepared for this event in Hong Kong, just a stone's throw away from Guangzhou. His results here have been excellent.
It's not just the victories that have impressed me, but the manner of them. Trump beat Jamie Jones 5-2 with just one break over 50, proving he can grind out results when needed. In his other two wins, it's been typical Trump; breaks of 111, 102, 86, 83, 66, 59, 56, 55 and 51.
The betting angle
This will be the 31st meeting between the two – Higgins leads 20-9 (one draw in the Championship League) in all encounters but just 9-7 in ranking events. In 16 ranking event matches, five have gone to a decider, with Higgins winning all of them.
This has the hallmarks of a classic. It usually is between the two – Higgins beat Trump 13-12 in April at the Crucible in a real humdinger of a quarter-final.
I think the Bristolian can take revenge here. If going on form, the bookies should have made Trump favourite.
I've heard a lot of stories from the players over in China that the conditions are horrible. Of the ‘older crew' just Higgins (43 years-old) and Hawkins (39) remain. It's the same for both players on Friday but the fitter, slimmer, younger Trump is clearly relishing it more so than Higgins; it's as if Higgins is running a long marathon so far, falling over the line.
The ‘Wizard of Wishaw’ has used his experience to get this far but he will have to improve big time in the break-building department to defeat a hungry Trump. It would be folly to disregard a great champion like John, but I just think ‘The Ace in the Pack' is on a roll, and like a tough thoroughbred on a racetrack, he's hard to pass.
Instead of tipping Judd to just win this (a very respectable 11/10 with Betfred), I'm going to advise Trump -1.5 (15/8 Ladbrokes) so the only way the bet will lose (as long as Trump wins of course) in this best of nine contest, is if he finally beats Higgins in a decider.
Of Trump's seven victories over Higgins in ranking tournaments, all seven were won with a -1.5 frame handicap. I think this trend will continue Friday morning. If you use Ladbrokes' daily price boost, you can get 19/10 on the selection.
Judd Trump v John Higgins – Judd Trump -1.5 handicap (15/8 Ladbrokes)