UK Championship Snooker Daily Tips: Struggling Ding to be opposed at odds-on

Snooker player Ali Carter
Ali Carter has a golden opportunity to improve his record against Ding

Among Paul Krishnamurty's bets for Monday's third round, Ali Carter is tipped to take advantage of Ding Junhui's miserable form...

"It would be no surprise to see Matthew Stevens and Anthony Hamilton go to a decider."

Back Over 9.5 Frames in Stevens v Hamilton 4u @11/10

Nothing we saw in the previous round will dampen expectations of another Ronnie O'Sullivan v Judd Trump final and snooker's two main attractions are both extremely likely to progress to the last-16 this afternoon.

Ronnie and Trump set for easy wins

Ronnie is yet to lose a frame and, while Noppon Sangkhaem is perfectly capable of ending that run, it is hard to make a case for the Thai ending the Rocket's bid for a third straight title. For an interest, I'll try 6-2 at 16-5.

Judd Trump did lose his first frame of the tournament but the world champion couldn't have been more impressive in thrashing Mei Xi Wen. Veteran Nigel Bond presents a lesser threat and ripe to become his tenth whitewash victim of the season. That supremacy is factored into short odds, though, with Trump 4/5 to win 6-0 or 6-1 via the 4.5 Frame Handicap. Best left alone.

Ding Junhui and Ali Carter are two of four players locked in a battle for the final Masters spot (Stephen Maguire and Joe Perry are the others), adding significance to their encounter. Ignore the fact Ding leads their head-to-head 7-2 - their last match was in 2016, previously 2013.

Ding is simply nothing like the same player nowadays, whereas Carter is roughly the same standard. While both won easily enough, the evidence from Ding's televised match wasn't promising. He is hard to back against anybody, especially at odds-on against top-class opposition.

Ali has pedigree for turning up in form when it matters in these rankings/qualifications battles - check his first round record at the Crucible.

Stevens and Hamilton could go to wire

In the evening session, one match particularly stands out as liable for potential drama. It would be no surprise to see Matthew Stevens and Anthony Hamilton go to a decider. I can't separate them and expect a long match. Try 11/10 about Over 9.5 Frames.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

Stats after R2:

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