Day four of the Masters sees the current world number one, Mark Selby, let off the leash for the first time, though Stuart Bingham is more than capable of ensuring his Ally Pally stint is a short one this year.
Mark Selby v Stuart Bingham
Despite being ranked a whole 10 places below the Jester from Leicester, Bingham has won six of their 13 clashes, including two triumphs already this season. This important stat makes the recently crowned UK Champion’s 8/13 price for victory unworthy of a bet, with Ball-Run’s odds-against 6/4 a much more enticing prospect.
Looking at their previous six meetings, each player shares three wins apiece, though Bingham’s wins have come over longer contests meaning he should be better suited to the Masters’ format.
He’s relied on a strong start in attaining these three triumphs and claimed the lead after four frames had been duked out on each occasion. A price of 5/2 says he’ll achieve the same feat when they next face off.
With five of their last six tussles going the distance, however, the best bet on this match is the 1/1 that says that more than nine frames will be required in determining a winner, while Bingham claiming victory by a one or two-frame margin is available at an appetising 10/3.
Mark Williams v Matthew Stevens
These two Welsh cuesmiths lock horns for the 22nd time in their careers with the more decorated Williams taking the lion’s share of wins; he leads 11-9, with the pair having tied once.
This wasn’t the case prior to their three most recent meetings, however. Williams has won them all to tip the scales in his favour and this should give him the edge over his compatriot as he bids to nail down a fourth straight victory.
Of these three wins, he managed to avoid dropping a single frame twice. Though these were over a shorter format than the one they will next contest, a 6-0 Williams win would entitle backers to a massive profit at 50/1.
A much safer bet, however, is that Williams conquers a negative 1.5-frame handicap and beats his next adversary at 1/1.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date