Paul Krishnamurty previews today's quarter-finals from York, recommending single bets in three of the matches, along with a four-fold acca...
"Ryan Day is a worthy favourite to beat Mark Joyce and included in the accumulator, but he has never been the most reliable type. Joyce has earned his place in the latter stages with some excellent wins... and is fancied to keep things close."
As today's quarter-final line-up - involving only two of the world's top-16 - demonstrates, this UK Championship has been like no other. And last night, we so nearly saw an upset like no other. Had Sunny Akani not cruelly potted the blue whilst developing a nice clearance, we would have seen arguably the biggest snooker shock of all-time.
Instead, Ronnie O'Sullivan continues to loom large over this draw, odds-on favourite to lift his sixth UK crown. However, as last night proved, everyone is vulnerable nowadays. Akani played fantastically well given the situation but the real takeaway was Ronnie's dismal performance. I can't remember a worse one in 25 years. On that basis, there is definitely hope for the rest.
Next in line for the Rocket is Martin Gould, about whom the market has little confidence at [6.0]. One of my pre-tournament picks at [140.0], the 'Pinner Potter' is nonetheless perfectly capable of taking advantage if Ronnie underperforms again. I don't expect that to happen, (and won't be surprised at all if he turns in a flawless show in response to last night), but am happy to swerve short odds and the side bets that derive from them.
My one new interest in that match is to include Gould for the handicap in an accumulator. Winning four frames, to beat the 2.5 frame Handicap, is within range for this capable outsider.
Backing overs in total frames has worked well for us this week and that bet appeals in at least two of today's matches. Ryan Day is a worthy favourite to beat Mark Joyce and included in the accumulator, but he has never been the most reliable type. Joyce has earned his place in the latter stages with some excellent wins, most notably over David Gilbert and Neil Robertson, and is fancied to keep things close. Over 9.5 Frames is likelier than not in my view and 11/10 a good price.
Likewise, nobody will be surprised if Stephen Maguire v Joe Perry goes the distance. I was considering backing the latter until checking their head-to-heads which, remarkably, the Scot leads 10-2. Most of those matches, however, came during the peak spell of Maguire's career whereas nowadays, there is very little to choose between them. I can't call this one.
Shaun Murphy has dominated Mark King throughout their careers, leading 8-1 in their head-to-head. Of course, King's record against John Higgins was equally inferior, yet the Romford man came through in typically gutsy fashion. King is respected but Murphy is playing well this week and looks stronger as the tournament progresses. Here, let's try a correct score combo on 6-2 and 6-3, paying 7/4.
1 unit accumulator (pays around 17/2)
2017 UK Snooker P/L:
Stakes: 44.5 units
Returns: 47.8 units