Paul Krishnamurty previews the final pair of third round matches, which both start on Sunday morning at the Crucible Theatre. Check out his latest predictions here...
"Whereas Trump was the most disappointing of the contenders left in, completely opposite remarks apply to Ding... He's brought his A-game to the last two Crucible renewals and only been thwarted by Selby."
Back Ding Junhui to win the 3.5 Frame Handicap @ 4/5
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Walden can expect plenty of chances against Trump
Day to day form can make a big difference to the odds and, in this case, first round performances have rather scuppered my plans. Ricky Walden is one of my outright picks, each-way at 150/1, but I was hoping for a lot bigger than [3.75] against the greatest hype machine in snooker history.
Even now, these odds bear no reflection to what we've seen so far in this championship. Walden can hardly have done more than win all four matches to date with something to spare, knocking in seven tons along the way. Alternatively this [1.35] favourite didn't better 72 in a wholly unimpressive 10-9 win. It is hard to overstate just how bad Trump played against Chris Wakelin, nor how lucky he was.
This is, of course, a new day and Trump wouldn't be the first contender to make the most of his early luck in this event. Nevertheless, even at this enhanced odds he makes no betting appeal whatsoever. Avoiding or opposing him is fast becoming a golden rule. I'm not overwhelmed by the Walden odds but, given his form, there may be some value in backing him to make Over 6.5 Fifty Breaks at 8/11. He should certainly get plenty of chances.
Ding set for another very strong title bid
Whereas Trump was the most disappointing of the contenders left in, completely opposite remarks apply to Ding, whose performance against Xiao Guodong was outstanding. He's brought his A-game to the last two Crucible renewals and only been thwarted by Selby. I'm not on him yet, because his early draw was tough, but expect that will change sometime next week.
With the greatest of respect to McGill, there is a class gulf here. The Scot is capable and completed an impressive comeback to upset the odds in the first round, but he didn't score heavily and was aided by Ryan Day throwing in one of those awful sessions that used to be his ruinous habit. I'm not expecting this to be all that close and Ding to pull away with a string of big breaks. Back him to beat the 3.5 Frame Handicap.
Stats after Round 1:
In-play outright already advised
Back Mark Allen 4u @ [20.0]