At this early, last-64 stage of the tournament, the betting for most matches is one-sided. Five leading contenders - defined as trading below 25.024/1 for the title - are in action, at odds ranging from 1.11/10 to 1.171/6.
For the record, a Sportsbook acca on Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Mark Allen, Ding Junhui and John Higgins pays 1.758/11. All are expected to progress but such bets make no appeal. Usually, we see at least one big upset on this day.
Dale can give Trump a decent test
Instead, side markets are the best way forward. First, I think Dominic Dale can avoid humiliation against Trump. Despite a predictable 8-1 head-to-head, only one of their matches was one-sided. At this exact stage two years ago, they went to a decider.
Trump's best performances have tended to come in the latter stages of events recently while the Welshman has started the season respectably. Let's try a correct-score combo on 6-3 and 6-4.
Try this favourites treble
I'm also having a crack at the following treble of favourites. First at 4/6, Luca Brecel has generally been playing much better than Xiao Guodong.
Stephen Maguire has a 3-0 head-to-head record over Stuart Carrington and found a rich vein of scoring in the first round, as he so often does in the majors.
No fairytale for Jimmy
Finally, I simply cannot see Jimmy White beating Zhou Yuelong. Yes it is great to see him still competing at 58 but forget the fairytale. He lost 4-0 to the same opponent last week.
Indeed the 22 year-old is in cracking form. Five matches over the past fortnight yielded four wins and a 24-4 frame margin. Previously he'd lost to Selby in the English Open quarter-finals and reached final days at the Championship League, showing excellent form. Trust him to restrict Jimmy to two frames or less, via the 3.5 Frame Handicap.
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