The 2014 version of the World Snooker Championships takes place at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield from the 19th of April to the 5th of May and while a strong field will battle for the title, the bookmakers believe there can only be one winner.
In 2013, Ronnie O’Sullivan ended a year-long exile from the game and was surely the only man to have been capable of pulling off a victory after such an extended absence. The Rocket is way out in front in the pre-tournament market and the odds for his sixth world title are 11/8 with Bet365.
Ronnie is back on the main circuit but his appearances have been sporadic enough to see him currently ranked as the world number 27. It’s obviously a false position and if O’Sullivan is on form and mentally switched on, it’s hard to look beyond him.
The man most likely to challenge is April’s winner of the China Open Ding Junhui. The 27 year old is ranked number three in the World and is at 9/1 with Paddy Power for the title and he comes into this tournament with victories in China and at the German Masters. Crucially however, Ding’s defeat in the final of the 2014 Welsh Open came at the hands of O’Sullivan.
Current World Number One Neil Robertson lost heavily to Ding in China and is now at 9/1 with Coral to take the most prestigious tournament in Sheffield for a second time. The likeable Aussie was impressive in the run up to the final but the scoreline of 10-5 to Ding was even more comfortable than it looks.
Moving through the list and Mark Selby is at 10/1 with Bet365 but current form suggests looking elsewhere. Shaun Murphy who beat Selby in the final of the 2014 World Open is a much better option at 22/1 with BetFred.
From the outside bets, never rule out John Higgins who is at 20/1 with SkyBet while last year’s beaten finalist Barry Hawkins has a win already this year and is quoted at 33/1 with Bet365. Elsewhere, it would be good to see the exciting Mark Allen deliver on his potential and the left hander is at 22/1 with Bet365.
When it comes to winning the big tournaments however, it has to be O’Sullivan but if tournament win odds of 11/8 are exactly tempting you, Shaun Murphy looks excellent by comparison at 22/1.
Check out this amazing quick fire century break from Ronnie!