Snooker betting tips: Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby under World Championship spotlight

Snooker
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui

Richard Mann assesses the recent snooker action as he looks for World Championship pointers ahead of next month's Crucible showpiece.

A hectic two weeks of snooker came to an end in Cardiff on Sunday as John Higgins beat Barry Hawkins to claim a record-breaking fifth Welsh Open title.

With the World Championship now less than six weeks away, Richard Mann picks out five key points from the recent action as he looks ahead to Sheffield.

Ronnie O’Sullivan is human after all

The Rocket is 7/2 with Sky Bet to claim a sixth world title in Sheffield and the manner in which he gunned down Ding Junhui in the final of the World Grand Prix was another reminder of why he remains the dominant force in the game. Four ranking titles to his name already this year, he looked set to add to that haul when breezing through the early rounds of the Welsh Open. However, another busy period of snooker appeared to catch up with him as he was defeated by John Higgins in the quarter-finals and at 42 years of the age, one has to wonder whether a 17-day slog in Sheffield truly plays to his strengths nowadays. With cue in hand, he remains the King of the green baize but Cardiff proves that he is beatable and, as was the case last year, he might just run out of steam late in the piece.

Mark Selby needs to find his best, and quickly

While the Crucible marathon might not be what Ronnie O’Sullivan wants now, it brings out the very best in Mark Selby. The Jester from Leicester has won three of the last four renewals of snooker’s blue ribband and loves the longer matches here, grinding down his opposition with his impeccable safety game and finding his best form when the pressure levels are at their greatest. However, the current campaign has been something of a disappointment for Selby, considering his usually high standards. A freak injury to his toe hampered him at the beginning of the season but victory in the International Championship in China, his only title so far this term, is scant reward for a player of his supreme class. A semi-finals run in the World Grand Prix appeared to signal a return to his best form but he crashed out to Liang Wenbo in the last 64 in Cardiff, again highlighting his recent struggles, and he desperately needs to find some consistency in the next few weeks if the 9/2 about him can be taken with confidence.

Ding Junhui might be peaking at the right time

A semi-finalist at the Crucible last season, Ding seems destined to win the big one at some point and has the whole of China willing him on as he bids to do it. Last year’s run appeared to be a turning point for Ding - he beat his idol Ronnie O’Sullivan on the quarter-finals - and only an inspired Mark Selby stopped him from reaching consecutive Crucible finals. Sadly, just has been the case with Selby, his campaign this time around hasn’t gone to plan and he was blown away by O’Sullivan in the final of the World Grand Prix recently. That said, there were plenty of positives to be taken from his form that week with his impressive break building looking in good working order again. There is still more to be done but he might just be peaking at the right time and with slight doubts surrounding Selby and O’Sullivan, Ding might not get a better chance than this year. The 12/1 available with Sky Bet isn’t to be sniffed at.

Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui

Stephen Maguire simmering away as a big win beckons

Something of an enigma, Stephen Maguire is one of the most dangerous players on the circuit when on song and was a brilliant winner of the 2004 UK Championship. Twice a Crucible semi-finalist, he has five ranking titles to his name to date and has shown enough this season to suggest there are a few more around the corner. Runner-up at the China Championship this term, he also made the last four back at the UK Championships and then at the World Grand Prix more recently. It was that last performance that suggested he could be ready to strike gold very soon as, despite losing out 6-4 to eventual winner Ronnie O’Sullivan, Maguire dominated the Rocket in the early exchanges of that match. More than matching his opponent in the long potting and scoring department, Maguire again proved that he is more than capable of taking on the very best when in the zone and his performances so far this term, along with his proven Crucible pedigree, would suggests odds of 66/1 might just underestimate him.

Is Trump juddering to a halt?

Judd Trump is one of the finest talents in snooker with a long game and an air of confidence around the table that can put the fear of God into his rivals. A host of big tournament wins have cemented his status as one of the leading lights in the sport and his European Masters victory earlier in the season was the second time he has lifted that trophy in as many years. However, The Masters and the World Championship are titles that still evade him and the feeling remains that his safety game will continue to let him down against the very best. Granted, he has made significant strides in that department but early exits in the World Grand Prix and Welsh Open recently will have done his confidence no good whatsoever and odds of 9/1 for Sheffield make little appeal right now.

Related snooker links

Most Read

Our best bets for the Carabao Cup action1

Carabao Cup betting preview

The Carabao Cup continues on Tuesday with the third round bringing in England's big-hitters. Tom Carnduff has a 20/1 best bet.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action2

Tuesday's racing preview

Nick Robson makes Handmaiden his best Tuesday bet and he has a selection for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Lyon featured in the Sky Bet punter's mega accumulator3

Punter scores with £33,000 win

One Sky Bet punter enjoyed Sunday's football more than most as a mega accumulator saw them win over £33,000.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing4

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Matt Brocklebank is back in the Nap hotseat as he heads to Lingfield on Tuesday for the best bet of the day.

All the day's football rumours and transfer talk from the national papers5

Tuesday's Paper Talk

Declan Rice's West Ham future is in doubt after turning down a new deal, while both Manchester clubs are after Frenkie de Jong.

Most Read

Our best bets for the Carabao Cup action1

Carabao Cup betting preview

The Carabao Cup continues on Tuesday with the third round bringing in England's big-hitters. Tom Carnduff has a 20/1 best bet.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action2

Tuesday's racing preview

Nick Robson makes Handmaiden his best Tuesday bet and he has a selection for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Lyon featured in the Sky Bet punter's mega accumulator3

Punter scores with £33,000 win

One Sky Bet punter enjoyed Sunday's football more than most as a mega accumulator saw them win over £33,000.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing4

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Matt Brocklebank is back in the Nap hotseat as he heads to Lingfield on Tuesday for the best bet of the day.

All the day's football rumours and transfer talk from the national papers5

Tuesday's Paper Talk

Declan Rice's West Ham future is in doubt after turning down a new deal, while both Manchester clubs are after Frenkie de Jong.

Racing Tips

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action

Tuesday's racing preview

Nick Robson makes Handmaiden his best Tuesday bet and he has a selection for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Matt Brocklebank is back in the Nap hotseat as he heads to Lingfield on Tuesday for the best bet of the day.

Horses parade in the sun at Sandown Park

Sporting Life: Tipping record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in September 2018.

Next Race Off
10:00 Kolkata
1
(1)
Advika
J: Nikhil Naidu
5
(10)
Gimme Credit
J: P Vikram
10
(11)
Aiyana
J: Anil Baandal

Football Tips

Our best bets for the Carabao Cup action

Carabao Cup betting preview

The Carabao Cup continues on Tuesday with the third round bringing in England's big-hitters. Tom Carnduff has a 20/1 best bet.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

Horses parade in the sun at Sandown Park

Sporting Life: Tipping record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in September 2018.