Snooker specialist Craig Edwards (@EdwardsTips_) previews the 2019 Dafabet Masters outright market and provides us with his 2 players to back ahead of Sunday's curtain raiser.

2019 Dafabet Masters Outright Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 13/01/2019
  • Time: 13:00
  • Venue: Alexandra Palace, London
  • Channel: BBC

This year’s Masters championship is the eighth time Alexandra Palace has held Snooker's triple crown event.  The Masters has a rich history in the snooker world, established since 1975 for the elite top16 players in the world rankings.

This year Ronnie O'Sullivan attempts to land a record breaking eighth title and given he looks more dedicated to winning matches than I can ever remember in what has been an impressive season so far it will take a brave man to oppose him at his favourite venue.

Mark Allen last year’s champion also comes here in the form of his life having won the last event on tour the Scottish Open in December plus the China Championship only a month previously.  In between he lost to Ronnie in the UK Championship Final so there are absolutely no holes in his form either.

Effectively these two are the most in form players this season sadly they are stuck in the same half of the draw so only one can reach the final.

The bottom half of the draw looks the most open of the two and I respect two previous champions chances in quarter four Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy.  Neil Robertson's general level of play has improved this year and he appears to have re-dedicated totally to the sport.  Shaun Murphy has only just found form this season having made the final of the Scottish Open after a dreadful start.  He is working with his old coach again and looks to be scoring and cueing better than ever.

The other current player with a rich Masters history is the three time champion Mark Selby but his form is altogether too erratic to consider.  Surprisingly two players who have poor records relative to their outstanding careers are Mark Williams and John Higgins meaning they can always be opposed here.

Betting Odds

  • Ronnie O'Sullivan – 5/2 @ Sporting Bet
  • Mark Selby – 8/1 @ Black type bet
  • Judd Trump – 9/1 @ Paddy Power
  • Mark Williams – 12/1 @ BetVictor
  • Mark Allen – 12/1 @ 188bet
  • John Higgins – 14/1 @ Skybet
  • Neil Robertson – 16/1 @ Bet365
  • Kyren Wilson – 16/1 @ Betfred
  • Ding Junhui – 18/1 @ Black type bet
  • Barry Hawkins – 22/1 @ Boylesports
  • Shaun Murphy – 25/1 @ Bet365

The Verdict

Ronnie O'Sullivan has won this historic event a record seven times despite having a ten year gap between his first and second titles.  Since the second win he has won six times in fourteen years making even 5/2 small value.  We have to consider despite his long career it is only now that Ronnie has his mind set on winning like a true champion and matured accordingly.  With many years of help from  sport psychologist Stephen Peters he is more committed to the process of winning despite knowing in the back of his mind the clock is ticking.

In the bottom half I like the chances of the previous champions Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy but only one can reach the final.  I am going to go for Shaun Murphy given how brilliantly the 2015 champion played in December during the Scottish Open and German Masters qualifying when he made four centuries in a nine frame match versus Jimmy White.

Recommended Bets

  • 0.8 Units – Ronnie O'Sullivan @ 13/5 (Unibet)
  • 0.2 Units Each Way – Shaun Murphy @ 25/1 (Bet365)