Snooker Masters Betting 2018 – Winner Odds & Predictions

The Rocket to defend Masters title?

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Snooker Betting

The Masters Snooker 2018, the most prestigious of all tournaments in the sports, despite it being a non-ranking event, will kick into action on January 14th. This is a great start to the calendar year for snooker action, even though the tournament itself actually falls around two-thirds of the way through the season which is split over two calendar years. So the best in the world get to battle it out at the Alexandra Palace in London over the week in what will be the 44th edition of the tournament.

Reigning Champion

Heading back to the Masters as the reigning champion is Ronnie O’Sullivan who is 5/2 with Betfair to defend* (Betting Odds taken January 7th, 2018 at 4pm). The snooker maverick took a 10-7 win over Joe Perry a year ago and he created history for himself at the same time as well, becoming the most successful player ever in the history of the event. That was his seventh title last year, taking him past the six title haul of Scotland’s Stephen Hendry. O’Sullivan has finished runner-up on five other occasions in the Masters. The tournament is clearly a good fit for him.

Snooker Masters Betting 2018 Odds*

Ronnie O’Sullivan 5/2, Mark Selby 7/2, Judd Trump 6/1, John Higgins 8/1, Ding Junhui 9/1, Shaun Murphy 12/1, Barry Hawkins 25/1, Mark Allen 28/1, Mark Williams 28/1, Marco Fu 33/1, Kyren Wilson 33/1, Luca Brecel 33/1, bar 50/1.

Qualification

The qualification for the Masters is straightforward and simple. This is actually an invitational event and the top sixteen players on the Order of Merit are the ones who actually get the invites to participate. All of the top sixteen with one exception are participating in the 2018 event. Stuart Bingham ranked 12th is banned because of breaking betting rules and so 17th ranked Liang Wenbo gets into the tournament in his place.

The Draw

It is a straight knockout all the way and the first three rounds are all the best of 11 frames, with the final being the best of 19 Frames. Two players are making their Masters debut this season, namely Belgium’s Luca Brecel and Scotland’s Anthony McGill.

First Round Draw

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Marco Fu
Mark Allen v Luca Brecel
John Higgins v Anthony McGill
Ding Junhui v Ryan Day

Judd Trump v Liang Wenbo
Shaun Murphy v Ali Carter
Barry Hawkins v Kyren Wilson
Mark Williams v Mark Selby

The Main Contenders

Ronnie O’Sullivan has such a tremendous history at the tournament that he is good value to go and get yet another title there. He has won two for the last four ranking tournaments for the season as well, claiming the Shanghai Masters and the UK Championship. So he’s right on top of his game at the moment and he looks to be enjoying himself without any pressure at all. That makes him dangerous. John Higgins may ultimately be his big challenge in his half of the draw.

The Scotsman isn’t a bad price at 8/1* (Betting Odds taken January 7th, 2018 at 4pm) to rattle through and get close to what would be his third Masters title. He had a decent run to the semi finals of the Scottish Open recently, and he took the Championship League this season. Still, at the end of the day, he comes off second best in term of form to O’Sullivan and O’Sullivan is a very good price of 5/4* (Betting Odds taken January 7th at 4pm) to reach the final from the top half of the draw.

So that leaves a really competitive bottom half of the draw with Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy and Mark Selby all rattling around down there. Selby is the one with the proven track record at the Masters, being a three-time winner of the event and he would be looking for his first success there since 2013. He has been in decent from, winning the non-ranking Haining Open before following up with a win at the International Championship.

He fell surprisingly early in the quarter finals last season so will be hungry for much better. Trump was a first-round casualty last season and his stats at the Masters isn’t great. He has been to the semi finals twice but he has gone out in the first round in three of the last four seasons. Shaun Murphy, the 2015 Masters Champion beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the Champion of Champions tournament in November and he has made the semi finals at least in four of his last six attempts at the Masters.

Outsiders

The big outsider would have to be Kyren Wilson who goes into the tournament with the most promise from an underdog position. He has reached the World Open and the English Open finals this season and this will be just the second crack at the Masters for him, after losing in the first round last year to Ding Junhui. There’s no easy path for him to the final unless Selby and Trump are upset in the early rounds, but he carries the most threat to strike and is 14/1* (Betting Odds taken January 7th at 4pm) to reach the final.

Predictions

It should be O’Sullivan all the way again. He is enjoying his snooker at the moment even with taking power naps in between frames and letting spectators take shots for him. This is a tournament he enjoys so much and the draw really ahead of him will give him a great chance of getting that title again. There would be nothing wrong with shooting for an O’Sullivan/Selby shot at 6/1 with Betfair* (Betting Odds taken January 7th, 2018 at 4pm) in the Name The Finalists market.