Masters Snooker Final Betting: O'Sullivan and Trump to serve up a final for the ages
Get set for one of the most hotly anticipated Masters finals in many a year between the game's two biggest draws. Here's Paul Krishnamurty's preview...
"Trump won their recent clash in the Northern Ireland Open final, thus piercing what has generally been an aura of invincibility around Ronnie all season."
The Masters final that snooker fans most wanted to see has come to pass. Standing in the way of Ronnie O'Sullivan's eighth title, 20th major and second leg of the triple-crown is the man widely tipped to eventually replace him at the game's peak - Judd Trump.
Trump has the edge in finals
Adding further spice to the encounter is the fact that Trump won their recent clash in the Northern Ireland Open final, thus piercing what has generally been an aura of invincibility around Ronnie all season.
More widely, Trump has a better head-to-head than anyone against the Rocket - trailing 11-9 overall and leads 4-3 in finals. The younger man has never feared his hero and he's never looked more like a major winner-in-waiting.
Ronnie's semi-final performance was far superior
The betting is fairly one-sided with O'Sullivan trading at [1.46] - which must be due in some part to their semi final displays. Whereas Ronnie sailed through in very impressive style, Trump's win over Neil Robertson was a disjointed affair with patches of brilliance and rubbish from both.
I don't think anything should be read into that. Trump was under tremendous pressure trying to reach his first Masters final, especially having blown a big lead in last year's semi.
He's generally been outstanding of late and finally seems to be maturing, notably in terms of shot selection. Moreover, he's come through the hardest section of the draw, defeating three strong contenders.
The problem with backing Trump, even at odds of [3.1], is the same as with anyone else. How on earth do you manufacture an argument against Ronnie? Nobody has got close to him, just as they didn't in the last five rounds of the last major.
Ronnie too has never looked better and more focused. Most people agree his best is unbeatable. This opponent is one of very few who might give him a run for his money.
It all points to a classic. Rather than try and pick the winner, back Over 16.5 Frames. Sit back, enjoy the spectacle and hope it is at least fairly close - as that target implies.
2019 Masters P/L: