Snooker: Friday’s Masters quarter-final analysis and best bets


SNOOKER specialist George Weyham (@GWSnookerTips) previews Friday's quarter-final action from the 2020 Masters at Alexandra Palace.

Stephen Maguire v David Gilbert | Friday 17th January 2020, 13:00 | BBC

Scotland vs England opens proceedings Friday afternoon as hot from his miraculous comeback on Monday, Stephen Maguire entertains Mark Allen’s conqueror, David Gilbert.

I still can’t believe how Maguire beat Neil Robertson from 5-1 behind. In snooker circles, it’s quite rare but against someone of Robbo’s calibre, unheard of! Robertson hasn’t lost like that since 2012 when he was 4-0 up on Mark Selby in the UK and lost six on the spin, 6-4.

Maguire isn’t usually up for a gritty battle so it was a surprise he even pulled a few frames back to make the score line a touch more respectable.

Usually dependable Robertson had his chances in the decider but massive credit to the Scot who continues his excellent form, and I do wonder if winning a mass load of prize money already this season (over £300k) has helped Stephen’s cause, as financially being stable must relieve you of any worries on the table as well as off it.

Gilbert played wonderfully well on Masters debut, thrashing Allen 6-1. I can’t remember many better first timers – he was like a duck to water. Gilbert is a fabulous cueist and must wish he could perform like this in finals where he keeps freezing.

This is a tough match to call. Both players have their ganders firmly up. I would of made these pair even on the prices so as Maguire is 6/5, a case could be made for him. I think Gilbert is a more reliable figure so I would favour him just even though he’s only beaten Maguire once before (in 2013, lost five).

One part of Gilbert’s game where he is so reliable is in the breaks department and that’s where I’ve found a bit of value.

Gilbert has played 37 matches this season, and in 14 of them, compiled four or more breaks of 50+. Two came in 12 best-of-sevens where they are pretty remote so if we narrow it down into just best-of-nine and 11 bouts, it goes to 12 four or more 50+ breaks in 25. If he wins the match, then it increases to a very decent sum of 10 four or more breaks of 50+ in 16 matches.

On nine occasions out of 37, he’s bagged exactly three 50+ breaks (so one short) so it just relays what a consistent 50+ break maker Gilbert is. That’s sort of disregarding his current total of 29 centuries for the season (and 99 breaks of 50-99 in 57 matches).

Paddy Power dangle a 6/4 on Gilbert to bag over 3.5 50+ breaks and providing he doesn’t lose around 6-0 to 6-3 (I can’t see it) he will go very close. Maguire is an attacking player which Gilbert will love. Much like Mark Allen in round one, where Gilbert hit five breaks over 50.

Gilbert is no value at odds against to win this match, but 6/4 (Paddy Power) for over 3.5 50+ breaks definitely is.

Predicted Score: Dave Gilbert 6-4.

Kyren Wilson v Stuart Bingham | Friday 17th January 2020, 19:00 | BBC

Stuart Bingham won only his second match on the Masters stage, with a fairly comfortable victory over an out of sorts Mark Williams. He cued pretty well overall with four breaks over 50 but Williams played rottenly and gave little resistance.

Kyren Wilson won six frames on the spin from 2-0 down, in defeating Jack Lisowski. A bit like Williams, Lisowski didn’t turn up, and lacked a bit of fight.

Given Kyren’s prowess in these type of events, I think he’ll come out the winner on Friday evening. He’s got a very record against Bingham, winning eight of their 11 encounters (one of Bingham’s ‘wins’ came at the one frame Shoot-Out).

In ranking matches, Wilson leads 4-1. Bingham isn’t the strongest psychologically and will probably know about this previous record he has with the Warrior. It’s more extreme in this following case but Stuart has an even worse record against John Higgins, and you kind of know Bingham will lose to him before a ball is struck.

Might it happen on Friday?

The bet I like is a special on Ladbrokes and it’s Wilson to win the match, with Bingham to have highest break at a generous 11/4. It’s fairly common knowledge that Bingham is the much heavier scorer of the two.

This season, in 69 matches, Wilson has compiled 22 centuries. In just 40 contests, Bingham has 24 tons to his name. Excluding Championship league & 6 Reds match ups, Bingham has a fantastic season record of hitting the highest break in a match with 26 wins in that category from 29 contests. Wilson has hit the highest in 21 of his 36 in the same formats as Bingham.

No doubt Wilson can (like 95% of pros) bag big breaks himself but with those stats in his favour, Bingham is the more likely player to hit the highest. And going on previous between the pair, Wilson has the all important Indian sign over his opponent going into Friday evening.

Joined together, it makes for an intriguing play at 11/4 (Ladbrokes).

Predicted Score: Kyren Wilson 6-4

Best Bets

Stephen Maguire v David Gilbert – David Gilbert Over 3.5 50+ Breaks (6/4 Paddy Power)

Kyren Wilson v Stuart Bingham – Kyren Wilson to win and Stuart Bingham to have the highest break 11/4 (Ladbrokes)

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