As part of our comprehensive coverage of the Betfair World Championship, Paul Krishnamurty will be providing betting advice every day. To start, he recommends backing a couple of outsiders to progress...
"This match could produce the story of the first day and possibly round...Whereas Williams' form has been poor, 22 year-old White is storming up the world rankings and destined for the top."
Back Michael White @ 3.185/40
While the overwhelming majority of public attention will be focused on table one this morning, to see Ronnie O'Sullivan begin his title defence, a superior betting opportunity is available on table two. There are always several close finishes in the first round, but I doubt Ronnie's match with Marcus Campbell will be one of them. With O'Sullivan a mere 1.182/11 chance to win, value-seekers might want to predict the margin of victory and trade either the handicap or correct score markets. For the record, my prediction is 10-5.
In contrast, the Ricky Walden versus Michael Holt affair is far from a straightforward pick and that makes the outsider a good value bet or trade at 2.68/5. Holt has long been regarded as an underachiever with plenty of natural talent, badly lacking in the temperament department. There have been signs of improvement in that regard and this may not take that much winning.
Walden hasn't done much since the early season and has yet to win at the Crucible. Perhaps I'm still scarred from backing Ricky when losing an atrocious encounter to Rory Mcleod at this stage two years ago, but he is surely worth opposing at odds-on.
This match could produce the story of the first day and possibly round. The leading Welsh player of his generation, a two-time champion, against the best of his up and coming compatriots. Whereas Williams' form has been poor, 21 year-old White is storming up the world rankings and destined for the top.
The outcome will largely be determined by how well the youngster settles on his Crucible debut. If this were over best of nine in a lesser event, 3.185/40 about White would be huge. He seemed confident on previous TV appearances so I expect him to give a good account. The sensational run of another young Welshman, Jamie Jones, in last year's championship should act as an inspiration.