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Forget the first round upsets, now it’s time to follow the favourites

| 27.04.2013

The return of Ronnie O’Sullivan was the hot topic ahead of this year’s action at the Crucible, but after a number of shocks in the first round, various new kids on the block have staked their claim for a place amongst the game’s elite. Nevertheless, as the tournament progresses it could pay to look towards the more experienced cuesmiths.

Robert Milkins caused a major upset by defeating world number two Neil Robertson 10-8 on his tournament debut. His reward for that victory is a clash with Ricky Walden, who demolished Michael Holt 10-1 last Sunday.

Walden ran out a 5-3 winner in the only previous encounter between the two and looks good value to win by at least two frames again, available at 8/11 with Ladbrokes.

Winner of the last year’s Wuxi Classic, Walden certainly likes to dominate his ties, with nine of his last 14 victories having been by two or more frames. A price of 33/1 to go all the way might tempt each way backers, with the bottom half of the draw looking very open, and a final spot not out of the realms of possibility.

Sunday’s other second round tie sees Mark Davis, conqueror of four-time champion John Higgins, take on Stuart Bingham. The two clashed in the semi-final of the aforementioned Wuxi Classic with Bingham coming from behind to triumph 6-5.

Davis holds a 5-4 advantage in his nine meetings with ‘Ball Run’, but with the form he has been in this season, it is hard to see past the Premier League champion levelling the scores. A price of 5/6 for Bingham to overcome a 2.5 frame handicap looks fair enough.

The gasps of surprise would perhaps not be as audible as after their first round victories should the two underdogs triumph here. That being said, taking the Walden (-1.5) and Bingham (-2.5) double, priced at just over 2/1 looks the better option.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Author

Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.