Author: Roy Brindley
Published: 10:31 03/02/2015
If you don’t have access to Eurosport then find a friendly online bookie with live web-streaming – Bet365 comes to mind – and get your fill of opening round German Masters snooker action. It begins Wednesday live from Berlin.
Three games start at 2pm and an additional five get underway at 7pm. All matches in this opening round are ‘best of nine’ affairs.
There’s long odds-on shots aplenty amongst the early starters. Mark Selby is a stand-out 2/7 (with Ladbrokes) to beat Anthony McGill; John Higgins is 1/2 (Boylesports) to overcome Peter Ebdon; Martin Gould is 1/4 with most firms to beat Ashley Carty.
Selby is declared ‘standout’ as Ladbrokes, ‘the magic sign’, are way out of line with their quote given most major firms make the current World No. 4 a 2/9 shot and some go as short as 1/5. If you string the three ‘good things’ together with Ladbrokes the treble will pay 5/4.
Naturally if the 2/7 about Mark Selby stands up it must be taken. His red-headed Scottish opponent, celebrating his 24th birthday on Thursday, may be coming here on the back of a career best quarter-final appearance in the UK Open but there are 26 places between McGill and Selby in the World Rankings and a gulf in break-building ability and plain old simple results.
But 2/7 is not a get-rich quick price. Coupling up with John Higgins – who has been previously recommended to prevail against Peter Ebdon – will give you an 80 percent premium (odds of 4/5) on an investment and some ‘bangers & mash’ for the evening matches.
The stand-out amongst the evening games is the Stephen Maguire vs David Gilbert encounter. On face value Maguire is worthy of his 1/3 favouritism and should make short work of his little-known opponent.
However Gilbert, despite being 33-years-old and having spent 16 of them as an unknown pro, has been a revelation during the past 18 months. Last season he qualified for eight ranking tournaments. To quantify that, he only qualified for a total of six ranking events in the previous 14 years!
This season he has looked even better, making the third round of the UK Championship just prior to Christmas and the second round of the International Championship immediately before that.
As for form against Wednesday’s opponent: Last season, in the Rotterdam Open Gilbert defeated Stephen Maguire 4-frames-to-1. That was one of three matches the pair have played together and while the score is 2-1 in Maguire’s favour, the total frame tally reads just 10-9 (again in Maguire’s favour).
Safely predicting Gilbert will win this match may stretch the imagination but this is unlikely to resemble a demolition job and Paddy Power’s 11/10 about the match featuring over 7.5 frames looks the best odds-against bet on Wednesday in Berlin.