Indian Open Snooker – Head to the qualifying handicaps for a handy treble


SNOOKER analyst George Weyham (@GWSnookerTips) takes a look at the Indian Open qualifiers, highlighting an attractive treble.

David Gilbert v Niu Zhuang | Wednesday 15th August 2018, 10:00

Niu Zhuang opens up my fancied handicap treble for the Indian Open qualifying in Preston's Guild Hall.

The 24-year-old is in his second season on the main tour. Last season in 21 matches, he was only whitewashed once (by Mark Allen 4-0). He got at least one frame off the likes of Ding Junhui, Barry Hawkins, John Higgins (twice) and Mark Williams.

In Riga Masters qualifying this season, he opened up with a memorable scalp over former world champion, Stuart Bingham 4-0.

Now, he did faceDave Gilbert in qualifying for the World Open in his last match, and lost 5-1 but I'm going to ignore that score line. And here's why. Gilbert made the World Open final on Sunday in China, so I doubt he would of got home until late Monday night at the earliest and then has to drive from Tamworth to Preston for Wednesday's early start time of 10am.

The journey from Yushan to UK alone has taken players nearly 24 hours. I can't imagine him practising too much for this and jet lag could kick in.

Zhuang will be fresh. I think he's got a chance in this best of seven of causing a minor upset (10/3 William Hill) but I would rather take the 4/7 +2.5. I can certainly see him getting two frames here over the bound to be tired Gilbert.

Liang Wenbo v Mitchell Mann | Wednesday 15th August 2018, 13:00

With the same handicap start (+2.5) I also like Mitchell Mann to gain the two frames required against Liang Wenbo. Birmingham's Mann lost his place on tour last season after four years. He has two wins over Wenbo in best of sevens already in his career.

Wenbo lost to an amateur in Yushan, James Cahill 5-1. That was a much bigger upset than it would be if Mann beat Wenbo.

In the pre tournament event in the Haining Open, Wenbo conceded the whole match against a fellow chinese after missing a ball. I wonder if his head is right. The last two years, Liang didn't even bother trying to qualify for this event so I wonder further if he will be too fussed if he doesn't have to make the trip to India.

I think +2.5 8/13 on Mann to throw into the treble is value worth taking.

Mark Davis v Sean O'Sullivan | Thursday 16th August 2018, 13:00

Lastly, on Thursday, I think Mark Davis will be far too strong for Sean O'Sullivan. Davis, a pro since 1991 is one of the most consistent and reliable players on tour. A beautiful cueist.

I can't see the world ranked no.40 conceding more than two frames against Sean O'Sullivan.

Sean is in his second season on tour and last season only won two matches from 19. He is in fact on a 16-match losing run. His last win in a ranking event (bar the one frame shoot-out) was early last September. Interestingly, in best of sevens since then, he's lost six of his last seven -1.5.

Providing we get to this last leg of the treble, Davis is in a different league to O'Sullivan here and should cover the -1.5 handicap with plenty to spare.

Best Bets

David Gilbert v Niu Zhiang – Zhiang +2.5 handicap

Liang Wenbo v Mitchell Mann – Mann +2.5 handicap

Mark Davis v Sean O'Sullivan – Davis -1.5 handicap

Back the treble (14/5 Betfair)

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