The 2018-19 season concludes with the World Championship once more at the Crucible in Sheffield. Mark Williams is the defending champion and installed as the number one seed.
The shape of the draw is interesting and it appears very lopsided with a lot of the form players, and the first two and three of the first four in the outright betting, in the bottom half. This presents an opportunity as bookmakers offer half the odds first two, so picking a player to win the “weaker” half would pay dividends
Here is the seeding draw:
Mark Williams (1) v Qualifier
Dave Gilbert (16) v Qualifier
Barry Hawkins (9) v Qualifier
Kyren Wilson (8) v Qualifier
John Higgins (5) v Qualifier
Stuart Bingham (12) v Qualifier
Shaun Murphy (13) v Qualifier
Neil Robertson (4) v Qualifier
Mark Selby (3) v Qualifier
Luca Brecel (14) v Qualifier
Jack Lisowski (11) v Qualifier
Mark Allen (6) v Qualifier
Judd Trump (7) v Qualifier
Ding Junhui (10) v Qualifier
Stephen Maguire (15) v Qualifier
Ronnie O’Sullivan (2) v Qualifier
The bottom quarter in particular looks very tough, and there are several out of form players in the top half.
The shape of the betting market is (best odds quoted)
In the top half Neil Robertson has six ranking finals this season and has won three events most recently at the China Open. He is at the top of the one year ranking list but at 6-1 each way (effectively 3/1 to win his half) the price has come in a long way.
In that top half with Selby struggling, Wilson’s form dipping after his cue problems in Germany and Murphy a shadow of the player he was the top half looks wide open for someone like Hawkins (six last eights in a row at the Crucible including four semis and a final) or Bingham (back to form this season with two ranking event wins, a final and a semi final) at 25/1 each way to give great runs for their current prices.