2021 Champion of Champions

Former snooker professional Craig Edwards @EdwardsTips_ previews the
Champion of Champions for BetWithUs

Bolton Whites Hotel, Bolton

Nov 15-21

This year’s renewal sees a change of venue for the Champion of Champions but still the
same format of best of 7 in round 1 of the group, best of 11 in the group final and semi-
finals while the winner gets £150,000 after a best of 19 frame final.

Champion of Champions – BetWithUs Snooker Picks

Neil Robertson – to win Group – 11/8 (2.38)

Neil Robertson – each way – 11/2 (6.50)

Yan Bingtao – each way – 33/1 (34.00)

David Gilbert to beat Mark Selby @ 13/8 (2.62)

David Gilbert -1.5 frames v Mark Selby @ 11/4 (3.75)

Group 1

Judd Trump v David Lilley

Stephen Maguire v Ryan Day

Seems odd to say the weakest group of the Champion of Champions contains Judd Trump
but with his match versus World Senior Champion, David Lilley and two out of form players
contesting the other round of 16 match, that’s what it is.

David Lilley played solidly in the early stages of his English Open round one encounter with
Ronnie O’Sullivan as readers and followers will remember when he landed us two winning
bets in frame 1. Strangely some firms have doubled their price versus Trump which seems
off given Trump is arguably playing worse than the ‘rocket’ but is a faster starter. Lilley
could trouble Trump early doors of their best of 7 but there’s no viable alternative in this
group with Stephen Maguire and Ryan Day looking well below their best recently.

Group 2

Mark Selby v David Gilbert

Shaun Murphy v Yan Bingtao

This looks like the strongest group on current form, and you could make a strong argument
for all four winning. World Champion, Mark Selby has yet to get his season started,
habitually struggles in this event so unless the change of venue works, he’s passed over for
betting purposes. David Gilbert, I categorize as a big-time player as his Masters’ run on
debut and German Masters record would indicate he benefits from a crowd and as such, I
like Gilbert’s chances of a quick start in their best of 7 frame encounter. Splitting stakes
between the money line and alternative handicap looks like a solid strategy because if
Gilbert wins, it’s likely to be without a decider.

David Gilbert to beat Mark Selby @ 13/8 (2.62)

David Gilbert -1.5 frames v Mark Selby @ 11/4 (3.75)

Shaun Murphy versus Yan Bingtao looks hard to call but I would expect Bingtao to beat
either Selby or Gilbert while Murphy, I only fancy to beat Selby and would be vulnerable to
Gilbert who beat him in last year’s event.

With those match scenarios in mind, why some firms make Bingtao’s outright price nearly
twice Murphy’s is beyond me. Let’s not forget if he makes it through the group, he’s liable
to play Ronnie O’Sullivan or John Higgins who are both player’s Bingtao has shown an ability
to frustrate and beat if they are slightly below their best.

Yan Bingtao – each way – 33/1 (34.00)
I suggest trying to grab some 33/1 (34.00) or 28/1 (29.00) Yan Bingtao each way at ½ odds
for the top 2 places.

Group 3

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Stuart Bingham

John Higgins v Ding Junhui

All four players will be quietly fancying their chances in this group despite seemingly being
between Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins

The Rocket may be vulnerable in best of 7 versus Stuart Bingham if he makes his habitual
slow start.

We all saw how disappointed John Higgins understandably was with himself after his English
Open final loss to Neil Robertson. He did lose to Ding Junhui here last year and Ding’s
attitude seemed good at English Open so could strip fitter this week and catch Higgins cold.

If it does happen to be the two greats, Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins contesting the
group final, always check Higgins’ price because he often represents strong value versus the
Rocket.

Group 4

Neil Robertson v Mark Williams

Kyren Wilson v Jordan Brown

Northern Irishman, Jordan Brown’s reward for winning the Welsh Open is a spot in this elite
event. Kyren Wilson looks a difficult draw so unless he can stay with the warrior in the hope
that clinchers disease strikes him down like it does when pushed on occasion, then Wilson
will wn.

The master bluffer, Mark Williams has two player’s that he struggles to gain the
psychological high ground against, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson so after being
unwell with Covid-19 he has his pot on against the Aussie.

The group final looks to be a rerun of the English Open quarter final with Kyren Wilson and
Neil Robertson contesting it. At 11/8 for Robertson to win the group in perspective of Kyren
Wilson only being 13/8, the Aussie is a bet for the group.

Should Neil Robertson reproduce anything like his best form he may have plenty in hand
this week in Coventry. With Judd Trump his projected semi-final opponent, he could prove
too sharp for the Englishman after recent events.

Neil Robertson – to win Group – 11/8 (2.38)

Neil Robertson – each way – 11/2 (6.50)

I was pleasantly surprised to see Neil Robertson slightly bigger in the price for this week’s
Champion of Champions than the UK Championship straight after where he would need to
win three more matches. You could theorize that Trump and Wilson are below their best
while the class of 92 are slightly on the wain especially under the intense pressure a player
like Robertson creates therefore, let me suggest taking Neil Robertson, a player who looks
below his ceiling but improving for his group and each way for the Champion of Champions.

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