Two matches begin on Sunday, with four from Saturday drawing to a conclusion. At the time of writing, three of those haven't even started so check back later to see if any bets have been added following their first sessions.
McGill v Walden could go the distance
The first of my quartet of outright picks gets underway in the morning, with Anthony McGill taking on Ricky Walden. McGill was selected more because of his suitability for this marathon tournament rather than specifically for this match. The betting is basically even and that assessment is hard to dispute.
Walden is entitled to fancy his chances after an impressive win in qualifying against Ryan Day. There's been plenty to like about his snooker in recent months, particularly in the earlier rounds against similar or inferior standard types.
Whilst last year's semi-finalist tends to come alive at the Crucible, McGill fits that description. If he didn't have that tournament pedigree, I may have preferred Walden. However there's very little reason to think either player will dominate and every chance it will go to a decider.
That is reflected by shorter odds than usual about Over 16.5 Frames but in better news, the odds about either player winning 10-9 are boosted to 4/1. Try that in a trappy contest.
Higgins too good for Pengfei
John Higgins is another outright pick and the four-time champion is strongly fancied to land the odds against Tian Pengfei. He won all three of their previous matches although, in fairness, the last came six years ago and Pengfei has progressed a bit since then.
Nevertheless, this strikes me as one of the more limited qualifiers, playing one of the most reliable favourites against lesser opposition. Pengfei probably has a tactical advantage against many opponents but that will be negated against arguably the greatest match player of all-time.
I'm trying a correct score combo on Higgins to win 10-4 and 10-5.
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