World Championship 2019 Odds and Preview – Snooker Betting April 20 – May 6

Kyren could be Crucible value this year

One of the most intimate and iconic sporting venues in the world, Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, as it has since 1977, plays host to the last and biggest ranking tournament of the snooker season – the Betfred World Championship.

Surrounded on all sides by banks of seats, the stage at the Crucible is partitioned in the early rounds so it’s pot luck who you’ll be watching if you have a ticket. But that partition is removed in the latter stages, allowing clear views all round as the countdown quickens towards knowing who will be crowned champion in 2019.

It’s a straight knockout competition with only 32 qualifiers. Half of the field are in Sheffield courtesy of their world ranking but the other 16 have had to emerge from gruelling qualification process which has already accounted for the lies of Jimmy White.

The First Round is the best-of-19 frames and the Second Round is best-of-25, as are the four Quarter Finals. The two Semi Finals are best-of 33 and the Final is best of 35 frames. The World Championship is worth a cool £500,000 to the winner. The losing finalist pockets £200,000 and each losing semi-finalist £100,000. Merely qualifying for the tournament guarantees a cheque for £20,000.

World Championship Finals Since 2000

2000 – Mark Williams v Matthew Stevens 18–16

2001 – Ronnie O’Sullivan v John Higgins 18–14

2002 – Peter Ebdon v Stephen Hendry 18–17

2003 – Mark Williams v Ken Doherty 18–16

2004 – Ronnie O’Sullivan v Graeme Dott 18–8

2005 – Shaun Murphy v Matthew Stevens 18–16

2006 – Graeme Dott v Peter Ebdon 18–14

2007 – John Higgins v Mark Selby 18–1

2008 – Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ali Carter 18–8

2009 – John Higgins v Shaun Murphy 18–9

2010 – Neil Robertson v Graeme Dott 18–13

2011 – John Higgins v Judd Trump 18–15

2012 – Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ali Carter 18–11

2013 – Ronnie O’Sullivan v Barry Hawkins 18–12

2014 – Mark Selby v Ronnie O’Sullivan 18–14

2015 – Stuart Bingham v Shaun Murphy 18–15

2016 – Mark Selby v Ding Junhui 18–14

2017 – Mark Selby v John Higgins 18–15

2018 – Mark Williams v John Higgins 18 – 16

crucibleRONNIE O’SULLIVAN is bidding to win a sixth world title but a first since 2013. Now 43, the Rocket is desperate to overtake Stephen Hendry’s record for ranking titles and has already won the UK Championship, Players Championship, Tour Championship, Shanghai Masters and Champion of Champions this season. However, he’s only a best 5/2 with sportingbet and the longevity of the World Championship has always put a strain on his concentration levels. If he can keep himself fresh and interested, O’Sullivan may well win but there are bigger-priced alternatives.

Defending champion MARK WILLIAMS is 22/1 with several bookmakers including Coral. The Welshman has not had the best of seasons, however, and neither has last year’s losing finalist JOHN HIGGINS (a best 20/1) but both are more than capable of raising their game again for the big matches.

MARK SELBY (10/1 with Coral) beat O’Sullivan in the 2014 final and is one of the few players in the modern game who can probably match the favourite for style and panache. But he also knows how to grind out victories, essential for the Crucible. Winner in three of the last five years, Sheffield is his favourite venue and he can go deep into the tournament again.

NEIL ROBERTSON is only a best 6/1 but the Australian’s only World Championship triumph so far came in 2010 when he had a very weak half of the draw from which to progress. That said, he has won the China and Welsh Opens this season and reached the final of three oters ranking tournaments so arrives in good nick.

JUDD TRUMP has won the Northern Ireland Open and the World Grand Prix this season, as well as the invitational Masters, but he’s never won the World Championship though did reach the final in 2011 and has twice been a semi-finalist at the Crucible. At a general 5/1, Bristol’s Mr Haircut looks much too short.

KYREN WILSON has won a couple of minor tournaments in Germany this season. Not outstanding credentials for a World Championship. But The Warrior has made the last eight at Sheffield in each of the last three years. It didn’t help the man from Kettering that he had to receive medical attention halfway through his semi-final with John Higgins last year, which he only lost in the final session. Still only 27, there is still plenty of time for Wilson to prove himself at the highest level and the general 18/1 this year represents solid value.

World Snooker Championship 2019 Selected Best Odds

Ronnie O’Sullivan 5/2
Judd Trump 5/1
Neil Robertson 6/1
Mark Selby 10/1
Kyren Wilson 18/1
Mark Allen and John Higgins 20/1
Stuart Bingham and Mark Williams 22/1
Barry Hawkins 25/1
Ding Junhui 30/1
Jack Lisowski 50/1
Shaun Murphy 66/1
Luca Brecel 80/1
Alli Carter 100/1
Stephen Maguire and Joe Perry 125/1
Dave Gilbert and Yan Bingtao 150/1
(Odds correct at 2.30pm April 17)