Australian Open snooker betting
After his victory at the Wuxi Classic in China last month, Neil Robertson finds himself the favourite for snooker's Australian Goldfields Open, which begins in Bendigo on Monday.
Robertson beat John Higgins 10-7 in the final in Wuxi and goes into his home championship - the second ranking event of the new season - with eight ranking titles to his name. With Judd Trump not in attendance, the bookmakers have Robertson and Mark Selby as the market leaders, well clear of the rest of the field.
Paddy Power are offering a stand-out top price of 4/1 about 31-year-old Aussie Robertson, despite the fact that he has been beaten in the second round in each of the two previous editions of this tournament. He is just 3/1 in places, which is unusually short given that these events can be wide open.
Selby is generally available at 4/1 but can be backed at 9/2 with William Hill. He too hasn't enjoyed great success here, going out in the first round 12 months ago having been a quarter-finalist a year earlier. Last season's UK Championship winner suffered several other early exits in 2012-13, including a second round loss at the World Championship.
The defending champion is Barry Hawkins, who beat Peter Ebdon 9-3 in the final 12 months ago. Notable achievements are few and far between on his CV, yet he managed to reach the final of the World Championship having only ever won two previous matches at The Crucible. He's a top price of 14/1 with Sky Bet and BetVictor, or just 8/1 with Ladbrokes.
In 2011 the title went to Stuart Bingham, thanks to a nail-biting 9-8 win over Mark Williams in the final. Bingham reached two finals and four quarter-finals as he enjoyed his best ever campaign last season, including reaching the last eight in Sheffield, so he's more than capable of giving you a run for your money at best odds of 18/1 (BetVictor & William Hill).
With Higgins also not including this tournament in his schedule, the third favourite is Ding Junhui, who is too inconsistent to be backed with any great confidence at a best price of 8/1, on offer from Ladbrokes. Several firms are quoting the Chinese star at just 6/1.
After Ding in the betting comes Shaun Murphy, the winner of four career ranking titles, who enjoyed a strong 2012-13 campaign without adding to his list of honours. He reached the final of the UK Championship and four semi-finals including The Masters, but he has claimed only one ranking title in the last four years, so best odds of 9/1 with Sky Bet still look a little skinny. He has enjoyed his previous visits to Australia, though, reaching the last four and the last eight.
Another player to keep an eye on is Joe Perry, who arrives here in good form after reaching the last eight of the Wuxi Classic before going on to win the minor ranking event in Yixing, where he defeated Mark Selby in the final. He’s never won a ranking tournament, but at 33/1 with Betfred he’s an interesting each-way chance.
|Stuart Bingham||Tournament Winner||18/1||BetVictor & William Hill|
|Joe Perry||Tournament Winner||33/1||Betfred|