Ding a worthy adversary to O’Sullivan’s Masters favouritism
Given his immense ability, it’s no surprise to see Ronnie O’Sullivan heading the betting to win the 2014 Masters.
The Rocket can be backed at 11/4 for glory, but his recent record in the tournament he’s won four times in his career isn’t all that great and his questionable temperament makes him worth a swerve at such relatively short odds.
He didn’t feature in last year’s event when on hiatus and hasn’t advanced beyond the second round since winning the trophy last in 2009.
O’Sullivan’s valueless favouritism has fattened the bones of the prices attributed to many of the men who would be king and those looking to sink their teeth into a big profit have plenty of options.
A standout one of which is Chinese potsmith Ding Junhui, who can be backed at odds of 9/1 to hoist a second Masters crown.
The Star of the East has won two of his last seven completed events so arrives at the Ally Pally in solid knick.
His track record in this competition suggests that he struggles to get out of the traps, but he can definitely make an impression if he avoids a first-round exit.
The past four Masters have seen him sent packing after one match three times and have his name etched on the trophy in the other.
Ding’s first round opponent for this instalment is Shaun Murphy, an adversary whom he is currently on a good run against, prevailing in three of their last four meetings. If he can keep The Magician in the chokehold for the duration of this match, he’s in with a shout of venturing deep into the tournament.
An interesting side bet on offer is the 3/1 available for Neil Robertson to reach the final. In 18 of the last 25 renewals of the tournament, a player from the final of the previous year has reappeared in the Masters showpiece. The Thunder from Down Under was beaten in 2013 by Mark Selby, who can be backed at 5/2 to do the same.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date
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