Wilson in imperious form
McGill poised to ease into quarters
Don't rule out Milkins comeback
There are four second round matches left to be resolved, with one yet to start. Kyren Wilson and John Higgins kick off at 10am.
The pair have met twice before at the Crucible, both won by Higgins, contributing to a 4-2 career lead. However the market rates Wilson favourite at odds of 1.79 and, on the balance of form, it is hard to disagree.
Wilson has found peak form at right time
Kyren has already defied a bad head-to-head against Ryan Day with what has become a characteristically powerful performance at this venue. The icing on the cake was a maximum 147 break, among five century breaks. We will see how he fares if pitched against the very best later in the tournament, but for now I suspect there is more to come.
It may sound harsh to exclude Higgins from the 'very best', but he hasn't been at that level all season. One hesitates to ever write off such a legend, who has emerged from the doledrums before, but I don't see Higgins as a serious contender this year. A 10-3 win over David Grace including five 90+ breaks was much more encouraging but, in truth, the opposition was very poor.
I'm confidently backing Wilson in a single and, for the daily multiple, trying a correct store double with the McGill/Lisowski match. At 7-1 to McGill, the latter looks all over as a competitive contest.
Daily double (pays £52.50 to a £0.50 stake)
Kyren Wilson to win 13-7 @ 14/1
Anthony McGill to win 13-6 @ 6/1
Try a trade on a Milkins comeback
I've just returned from watching the first session of Milkins v Jiahui. The youngster was outstanding again in building a 6-2 lead. On his form so far, he can win the tournament. Besides the brilliant potting and flawless break-building, his composure is mightily impressive. Not a hint of nerves. Yet.
Every year we see big turnarounds in best-of-25 matches. Three sessions is the equivalent of three matches at most events, in which fortunes are bound to fluctuate. This one looks a prime candidate.
Milkins didn't play terribly, and has already come back from 7-2 down to win a shorter match. He's the higher ranked player, and would have started favourite for this at any time prior to Si's win over Shaun Murphy. Whilst his potential was no secret, Si's failure to reach latter stages was precisely due to inconsistency. It is asking a lot to maintain this level, with the quarter finals in sight.
At the generous odds of 5.3, Milkins strikes me as perfect back to lay material. Set the lay target at 2.5 for twice the stake, thus at least doubling our money if he gets back to perhaps within one frame.
*Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty