World Snooker Championship betting tips: Best bets for Round One at The Crucible

Jamie Shaw:

The titans of the baize head to The Crucible for the World Snooker Championship, and bettingpro.com has picked out best bets for each round.

The annual snooker show-piece features the world’s top 16 ranked players alongside a further 16 qualifiers as they battle it out for £2.4 million in prize money from July 31 to August 16.

A host of decorated stars and exciting emerging talents lock horns at the sport’s spiritual home in the rescheduled event, which was initially due to take place in April/May.

Judd Trump returns to Sheffield as the defending champion as he aims to break the infamous ‘Crucible curse’ and become the first new champion ever successfully retain the trophy at this venue.

Trump is one of eight previous winners in this year’s field, including five-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, four-time champion John Higgins and three-time champions Mark Selby and Mark Williams.

We’ve teamed up with livesnooker.com to bring you our top tips throughout the 17-day tournament.

World Snooker Championship tips

Jack Lisowski v Anthony McGill tips

Scottish star McGill returns for his sixth successive Crucible appearance, having shrugged off a below-par season to come through the qualifying rounds last week.

The former Indian Open champion reached the Quarter-Finals on his debut here in 2015 and was a top 16 ranked player as recently as two years ago.

He dropped just two frames in his two qualifying matches en route to the main event, including a 10-1 demolition of Sam Baird, underlining his timely return to form.

He starts out against Gloucester ace Jack Lisowski, the number 13 seed, who has won just one match at this venue in three previous appearances.

Lisowski was runner-up in last December’s Scottish Open but has offered little either side of that run, suffering exits in Round Three or earlier in every other ranking event.

McGill has the upper-hand when it comes to safety play and could frustrate the attacking-minded Lisowski, with this seeming the most likely seeded casualty of the pack.

Stephen Maguire v Martin Gould tips

Maguire enters the World Championship as the most recent ranking title winner, having claimed glory in last month’s Tour Championship in Milton Keynes.

The 2004 UK Champion produced some of the best form of his career to end a seven-year wait for ranking silverware and will look to pick up from where he left off.

Maguire is making his 17th consecutive Crucible appearance and is a two-time semi-finalist, most recently back in 2012.

He starts out against a rejuvenated Martin Gould – the former German Masters champion who came through the qualifiers to reach his tenth World Championship.

Expect a heavy-scoring contest between these two attacking cueists, and having made six centuries in a best of 17 Quarter-Final at the Tour Championship, 6/5 looks a tempting price for Maguire to land at least two tons in this best of 19 clash.