The Masters heads into the quarter final stage on day five and defending champion Neil Robertson opens proceedings with his match against Mark Allen, though a certain record could work against his 8/13 favouritism.
Neil Robertson v Mark Allen
For the superstitious among us, Aussie cueman Robertson has been defeated in the quarter finals of every Masters he’s competed in on an odd-numbered year.
He has beaten his Northern Irish adversary in each of their previous three clashes, however, so he is unlikely to be fazed by this particular monkey on his back. Perhaps it would be wiser leaving Allen’s 5/4 match odds alone.
These three aforementioned matches have each churned out two centuries. Of the six in total, the reigning Masters champ has ran in four so the 13/8 that he chalks up exactly one here looks worth a bet, while a slightly more adventurous two pays handsomely at 9/2. One Allen century pays the same as a solitary Robertson ton, but the best price is the 11/4 on offer for two centuries total to be scored in the match.
Shaun Murphy v John Higgins
Scottish star Higgins is in excellent touch and his win over Ali Carter in the last-16 was his eighth victory from nine outings. In addition to this, he’s claimed the spoils in 31 of his 43 duels this season. It’s no surprise to see him priced up as the big 4/7 favourite ahead of this quarter final tie.
His chances of another win are boosted by the fact that his next opponent has failed to win more than one match in each of his previous eight Masters ventures, except for his run to the final of last year’s event.
At 11/8, he’s another underdog who should be avoided, but backing Murphy to win the match with a +1.5 frame handicap applied to his score could well ensure payout.
This bet pays out at 8/11 which isn’t the most exciting of prices, but it would have copped on four of his previous five matches contested over 11 frames in this tournament and his confident performance against Ricky Walden last time out suggests he can run Higgins close.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date