World Championship Snooker 2020: Betting and Odds Preview
While the majority of sports across the world are succumbing to the Coronavirus Pandemic, snooker survives for now. The Gibraltar Open started with an audience before it was concluded behind closed doors while the Tour Championship is also expected to go ahead in March.
This all suggests that the game’s governing body is determined to progress with the World Championships at Sheffield which are scheduled to start on April 18. There’s certainly a full set of markets attached to it and at a time when we are starved of betting opportunities, we should really take a look.
July 2020 Update
The delay in staging the 2020 edition of the World Snooker Championship has allowed for the markets to move a little. The Championship League and the Tour Championship have come and gone since the sport returned to the schedules so we need to quickly assess recent form and have a quick look at any updated odds.
Stephen Maguire is our most recent winner on Tour after he beat Mark Allen in the final of that Tour Championship. Maguire remains an outside bet for the World Championship and can currently be claimed at best industry odds of 28/1 with BetFred and SportingBet.
Northern Ireland’s Allen was impressive until falling at the final hurdle and he is now on offer at a top price of 16/1 with 10Bet and SportNation for the Crucible.
At the top of the outright markets for the World Snooker Championships, Mark Selby and defending champion Judd Trump made it through to the semi finals of that Tour Championship. Trump remains favourite for the win at best odds of 11/2 with Betway and Unibet while Selby can be picked up at a top price of 12/1 with Unibet and 888Sport.
The one significant player who has yet to return to action is Ronnie O’Sullivan and, despite that inactivity, the Rocket remains second favourite at best odds of 9/2 with SportingBet and BetFred.
Event Date: April 18 – May 4, 2020
Man to Beat
Judd Trump is the reigning world champion and in picking up his sixth ranking title in Gibraltar, he is very much the man to beat. The left hander is on offer at best industry odds of 11/4 with Ladbrokes and SportingBet and that gives him a big lead over the rest of the field.
Having claimed the Gibraltar Open in front of empty seats, Trump added to a list of five trophies since his triumph at the Crucible twelve months ago. The ‘Ace in the Pack’ went on to win the International Championship, the World Open, the Northern Ireland Open, the German Masters and the Players Championship before that victory in Gibraltar.
Trump has always had undoubted talent but up until now, he’s lacked the consistency needed to win titles on a regular basis. Clearly that has all changed and he’s very much the man to beat as he goes in to defend his crown.
We’re used to seeing Ronnie O’Sullivan at the top of outright snooker betting markets but it’s been a subdued season for the Rocket. He fell out of the top 16 and therefore didn’t make it into the Players Championship but that’s partly due to a schedule where he picks and chooses his tournaments.
Going into the 2020 World Championships, O’Sullivan is on offer at a top price of 5/1 with William Hill and BetFred and there will certainly be some interest in that figure.
Moving through the pack, the in-form Neil Robertson can also be found at a best of 5/1 with 888Sport and Unibet while the same two bookies have a top price of 10/1 next to the name of Mark Selby. That 10/1 figure on the Jester from Leicester is certainly tempting. He’s a multiple world champion who happens to be out of form right now but wins in the English Open and the Scottish Open this season show that he can’t be ruled out of any event.
Also in the chasing pack are Shaun Murphy at best odds of 18/1 with Unibet and 888Sport, John Higgins at 18/1 with Unibet and 888Sport, Kyren Wilson at a top price of 20/1 with William Hill and Coral and Ding Junhui at that same figure of 20/1 with Unibet and 888Sport.
Mark Allen is another player whose dip in form has seen him fall off the radar but there could be some value as he heads our list of outsiders. The left handed Northern Irishman is on offer at best odds of 25/1 with William Hill and Ladbrokes and as a winner of multiple world ranking and triple crown events, we think he is a live contender.
Continuing our way down the list of cuemen, Dave Gilbert is listed at a top price of 33/1 with BetFred while Stuart Bingham is also available at that same best of 33/1 – this time with William Hill. The 2018 World Snooker Champion Mark Williams is further back at 40/1 with William Hill while the up and coming Yan Bingtao can also be picked up at 40/1 with Coral.
In all probability, we have already mentioned the name of the winner but there are other players further down who are available as potential each way picks.
While moving through the pack, you may want to take a look at Jack Lisowski and Stephen Maguire who are both quoted at 66/1 with William Hill, 2006 Champion Graeme Dott at a best of 100/1 with SportingBet or Luca Brecel at 125/1 with William Hill and Unibet.
There are lots of runners and riders but those prices are just starting to get a little too long so let’s move on now and consider some other options.
The majority of bookmakers that we have quoted in this round up will give punters each way terms but your pick is likely to have to reach the final. That doesn’t leave a lot of margin for error but it could certainly bring some of the mid-range prices under your radar.
With some three weeks to go until the first cue ball is struck in anger, there is a shortage of additional markets but these should come in during the run up to April 8. Odds on whether there will be a maximum break should attract some interest while a full set of match betting will also be released when the draw is finally known.
In the meantime, Ladbrokes have an unusual market with a price of 9/2 up for grabs if Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby all fail to reach the final. We’re certainly not convinced and are going to avoid that ourselves but it’s there if you want to follow it through.
Format and Verdict
The longer format of the snooker world championships mean that there is less scope for shock outcomes. We’ve just seen at the Gibraltar Open a series of a best of seven frames all the way up to and including the final but that doesn’t happen at the Crucible.
In the first round, we have a best of 19 format and matters continue to increase until the final which is a best of 33. The reigning champion pre-qualified and will be seeded number one so in theory, Judd Trump will have a relatively easy passage to the final but he will clearly be tested in the later rounds.
Many will find it difficult to see past Judd Trump and that’s understandable. He’s the form player with a tremendous run of success coming into the tournament and he will take some beating. Our pick, meanwhile, is on Mark Selby who we feel is certain to get back to the top of the snooker tree before too long. Selby’s form is more sporadic but that means he’s drifted to a good value price of 10/1. As a slight safety net, we’ll take the Jester from Leicester as an each way pick but those are odds that are hard to turn down.
- Mark Selby Each Way at 10/1 with 888Sport