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World Snooker Championship first round tips: Snooker predictions, best bets & odds

The World Snooker Championship starts on Saturday and we've picked our our best bets for round one
World Snooker Championship first round tips: Snooker predictions, best bets & odds
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2024 World Snooker Championship first round tips

Luca Brecel and Judd Trump headline day one of the 2024 World Snooker Championship and betting sites expect easy first-round wins for both title challengers.

Last year’s champion Brecel begins the defence of his crown against World No 31 David Gilbert on Saturday morning, while Trump has a slightly trickier opponent in Hossein Vafaei in the afternoon session.

With the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Williams not playing until later next week, much of the focus now is on how Trump and Brecel will perform at the Crucible. Brecel is one of our outright World Championship tips and both he and Trump have a chance to set down a marker for the tournament.

Gambling sites have priced the pair at very short odds to claim respective first-round victories. It means value across the snooker betting markets lies elsewhere.

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Wales’ Jak Jones has the chance to impress in front of the TV cameras in Saturday’s other early session encounter against Zhang Anda. Tom Ford and Ricky Waldon wrap up the opening day taking centre stage in Sheffield.

These are the sort of fixtures punters may want to look at on betting apps when weighing up their first round bets. The odds are far more competitive.

Still, there’s no harm considering a big snooker accumulator across the weekend to wrap some of the big favourites into one. Here, we offer three snooker tips for the weekend matches at the Crucible.

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Jak Jones vs Zhang Anda predictions

(10am Saturday, BBC Two & Eurosport 1)

Jones is making his World Snooker Championship debut this year after battling past Jamie Clarke and Zhou Yuelong in qualifying. The Welshman is in great form, having recently reached his group’s Championship League playoff final.

He has beaten Zhang in their two previous professional contests – most recently at February’s Welsh Open. That 4-1 victory preceded a win over Vafaei before Jones was dumped out of the tournament by Dominic Dale.

Zhang has the higher ranking heading into Saturday’s clash but is bang out of form. His immediate exits at the World Open and Tour Championship mean he comes to Sheffield perhaps a little rusty.

Jones’ odds of 13/8 at BetVictor look favourable when you consider his record over Zhang.

World Snooker Championship tip 1: Jak Jones to beat Zhang Anda – 13/8 at BetVictor

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Ali Carter vs Stephen Maguire predictions

(2.30pm Saturday, BBC One & Eurosport 1)

Ali Carter is another first-round favourite on Saturday who comes into the World Snooker Championship in poor form. He has fallen in the second round in each of his last three tournaments.

His best result of the season was a final appearance at the Masters but that was back in January.

Stephen Maguire, meanwhile, looked in decent form during World Championship qualifying and enjoyed a couple of good runs in tournaments this season. He may be a class below Carter, but he is worth considering here.

After all, Maguire has won his last four matches against Saturday’s opponent – a streak that goes back to 2018.

Maguire cannot be overlooked and his odds of 6/4 at BetUK offer a bit of value when you consider his record over the favourite.

World Snooker Championship tip 2: Stephen Maguire to beat Ali Carter – 6/4 at BetUK

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Quartet can justify first round favouristm

If you're planning a snooker acca for the weekend then here's an option to back four firm favourites at 7/4 with Betway. Top seed Brecel is first up on Saturday against Gilbert. The Belgian beat the Englishman in their only previous meeting in 2015 and is considered a solid 8/13 bet to win here.

Trump gets underway at 2:30pm on Saturday against a potential banana skin in Vafaei. Trump lost to Mark Williams in the Tour Championship opening round earlier this April but has two trophies to his name this year already. Vafaei actually won their last meeting but Trump holds the better overall head-to-head record and is 4/11 to win here.

Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy headline Sunday’s action against Joe O’Connor and Lyu Haotian respectively. Selby has never lost to O’Connor – his worst result a 2-2 draw in the 2020 Championship League.

Murphy, the World No 8, is not in great form but has the edge over Lyu in their previous three meetings. This is perhaps the riskiest bet of the four-fold, with Murphy priced at 2/5. Selby, by contrast, is a far stronger 1/4 to win his contest.

World Snooker Championship tip 3: Four-fold: Luca Brecel, Judd Trump, Mark Selby & Shaun Murphy all to win – 7/4 at Betway

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How to get free bets on the World Snooker Championship

It's set to be a busy weekend at the Crucible, giving bettors ample opportunity to unlock free bets for wagering on the World Snooker Championship.

HeySpin are currently giving new users £15 in free bets. To claim the free bet, open an account by clicking the link below and make a deposit of £15 or more.

Then wager a minimum of £15 on an event on the HeySpin sportsbook. Once the qualifying bet has been settled, you'll be credited with a £15 free bet to us on snooker or any other sport.

As far as casino sites go, HeySpin has plenty to offer with a selection of table games and the best online slots.

Before joining any new betting sites, check the terms and conditions of the welcome offer first. If you choose to have a bet this weekend, remember to gamble responsibly.

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Joe Short for

Updated by

Joe Short

Last Updated: 18th April 2024, 06:00 PM


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