In the wake of a first round littered with upsets, Shaun Murphy and John Higgins lead the Masters betting. Both are odds-on to progress at the expense of Joe Perry and Ali Carter respectively.
Head-to-heads strongly point toward favourites
The head-to-head records between these experienced quartet are based over many years and illustrate the gulf between their careers. Murphy leads Perry 6-3, Higgins 13-5 over Carter.
For those looking to do a 'favourites double', their odds combine to just above even money. That makes no appeal - both of these outsiders played very well in the opener and the way this tournament is going, betting at short odds-on makes no sense.
Murphy the one to beat from here
Murphy is preferred. He's enjoyed the most productive season of anyone left in the tournament, and was outstanding against Judd Trump. A repeat standard would be too good for 'Gentleman Joe'.
Let's try 6-3, 6-4 to 'The Magician'. The odds about the former are boosted to 6/1 on the Sportsbook, making the combined odds around 3.4.
Higgins wasn't tested in previous round
Although Higgins was one of my initial outright picks, odds of just 5/12 here make no appeal. Sure, he was efficient enough in the previous round but Barry Hawkins put up very little resistance.
In contrast, Ali played great to beat Selby. It was probably his best ever performance in the Masters, making the most of this surprise opportunity to compete in this renewal. If carries that mindset further, 'The Captain' can beat anyone left in.
Carter can at least keep things close
As for that dire head-to-head against Higgins, it should be noted that Ali was 7-0 down at one stage so more recently, there has been little between them. A terrible record against Selby didn't stop him in the last round.
I'm tempted by 2.9 about the outsider here as a trade but instead am going for a tight match. Back Over 9.5 frames at 5/4.
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