World Snooker Championship 2015 Tips

Judd TrumpTournament Winner13/2Betfred, Coral
Stuart Bingham (ew)Tournament Winner50/1Betfred, Paddy Power

Ronnie O’Sullivan is the 5/2 favourite for the Betfred World Snooker Championship 2015, which gets under way at the Crucible in Sheffield on Saturday.

O’Sullivan is available to back generally at odds of 5/2 despite having been no bigger than 7/4 in December, following his victory over Judd Trump in the final of the UK Championship.

The Rocket has appeared in the last three finals in Sheffield, winning the title in both 2012 and 2013 before losing out to Mark Selby 12 months ago. He was won five times and last year’s defeat was the first time he has been the runner-up. He has reached the semi-finals in six of the last 11 editions.

Trump, who beat O’Sullivan 10-7 in the final of the World Grand Prix in Wales last month, is the second favourite at best odds of 13/2 with Betfred and Coral. He has won two titles this season, making it the most successful of his career, but has reached only two finals at the 10 ranking tournaments.

His only run to the final in Sheffield came back in 2011 when he lost out to John Higgins, but he has performed well enough in the last two years, reaching the semis in 2013 and the last eight last year. He certainly has the talent to go all the way and that recent win over O’Sullivan should have filled him with confidence.

Neil Robertson is renowned as one of the most gifted players on the tour, but his form is sporadic and since winning at the Crucible in 2010 he has suffered two first round exits, as well as reaching the semi-finals last year.

The Australian’s current season has told a similar tale. He won the opening ranking event of the year at Wuxi and has reached further finals at the Masters and the Australian Goldfields Open, but he has also lost in the first or second round on five occasions. Sky Bet and William Hill are offering best odds of 13/2.

Defending champion Selby is fourth in the betting at best odds of 8/1 with Betfred and Coral, but he is as short as 13/2 elsewhere with several firms easing his odds following his victory at the China Open, the most recent ranking event on the tour.

Selby could have been backed at 9/1 earlier this month, but having won two of his last four ranking tournaments including the German Masters in February, he looks to be in the best possible form as he prepares for his title defence and once again he will be a genuine threat to the market leaders.

Shaun Murphy is the man who defeated Robertson in the final of the Masters, after which the 2005 World Champion’s odds tumbled for this year’s event. He is now an 11/1 chance, in from 25/1, and the value looks to have gone.

Ding Junhui is a 16/1 shot, but the young Chinese star, who won no fewer than five ranking titles in the 2013/14 season, has had a miserable year, losing in the first round at six of his 10 events. He has never been beyond the semi-finals here and has lost in the first round in two of the last three years, along with four successive first round exits at the Masters.

Stuart Bingham catches the eye as an outsider at a big each-way price, with Betfred and Paddy Power both paying 50/1. Bingham doesn’t have the best record here – he reached the last eight two years ago – but he has enjoyed a good season, winning the Shanghai Masters followed by a run to the semi-finals of the UK Championship. He was ranked as high as fourth last year and is currently the world number 10.

Finally, it is worth noting that the sponsors, Betfred, are offering live streaming throughout the tournament – simply log into your account and fire up the stream on either desktop or mobile devices.

Judd TrumpTournament Winner13/2Betfred, Coral
Stuart Bingham (ew)Tournament Winner50/1Betfred, Paddy Power