Betfred Snooker World Championship 2017 Betting Tips & Predictions
The biggest tournament of the year is about to get underway, where one of the 32 players will realise his dream to become the snooker world champion. Staged at the iconic Crucible theatre in Sheffield since 1977. This intimate venue really adds to the pressure to perform as the players are almost within touching distance of the crowd, up until the semi-final stage where it is transformed to the one table setup.
This marathon of snooker is the toughest test of the season and takes place from 15th April – 1st May. Live coverage of this event can be followed on BBC1, BBC2 & Eurosport. Once again sponsored by Betfred, it is the most lucrative tournament of the season with a top prize of £375,000 and a £5,000 “rolling 147 prize” for a maximum. Gary Wilson has already completed a 147 break in the qualifying stages (earning him £1,000 high break prize for the qualifiers, plus another £1,000 from the ”rolling 147 prize”).
Mark Selby is the defending champion, becoming a two time winner here with his 18-14 victory over Ding Junhui in last years final. This is the final event of the season with high stakes not just in prize money but also for ranking points. With the seeding and long format in place, usually the best players progress, and therefore provides good betting accumulator prospects.
1st Round – Best of 19 frames.
2nd Round – Best of 25 frames.
Quarter Final – Best of 25 frames.
Semi Final – Best of 33 frames.
Final – Best of 35 frames.
The “Jester from Leicester” looks very difficult to oppose in the betting here, everything suggests he should have a strong run at Sheffield. Coming off the back of winning the latest tournament, the China Open, his form is great. This followed an impressive season with more ranking event wins than anyone else (4). Selby’s game is clearly suited to the format & venue winning here twice already and reaching the quarter final or better 6 times in his career. At 33 years old and leading the world rankings he looks to be playing his best snooker. Selby’s experience should work in his favour during the crucial moments of the long matches ahead. Reliably taking out the frame winning clearances when it counts the most, due to his self belief to ruthlessly dispatch his opponents.
The odds have drifted for “The Rocket” recently with the strong form shown by Selby & Trump in recent tournaments. However, 11/2 for the five times world champ is very tempting. If his ‘A’ game is on, he is still a step ahead of his rivals and should be fresh & prepared coming into this tournament. Its fair to say his form this season has been more solid than spectacular but the crowd favourite should raise his game for this one as chasing Hendry’s record seven titles still remains a target to achieve and cement his legacy as possibly the greatest player to ever grace the green baize.
“The Hawk” represents some value in the market given his excellent record here, 1 final, 2 semi-finals and 1 quarter final in the last four years shows he has what it takes to go deep in this competition. Hawkins has shown consistent form again this season, he has the fifth best match win percentage of the season with 58/81 wins (71.6%) only trailing Trump, O’Sullivan, Selby and Higgins. Also its worth noting he has had more time to prepare for this event than most of the top players having missed the China Open.