The second triple-crown event of the snooker season starts on Sunday, and here we look ahead to the 2023 Masters and bring you our free snooker betting picks on who the best value bets are to win the competition.
- What; 2023 Masters Snooker Championship
- Where; Alexandra Palace, London, UK
- When; Sunday, January 8th - Sunday, January 15th
The defending champion is Neil Robertson. The Australian will open the competition when he takes on Shaun Murphy on Sunday.
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) January 16, 2022
Despite being the defending champion, Robertson is not the favorite to win the event this year; that accolade goes to the legend that is Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Ronnie, as he’s simply known in the snooker world, is +350 with the best snooker betting sites to win the title. Last year’s winner, Neil Roberston, is next at +400. Following the Australian champion is Judd Trump at +450, and it’s from one of these three players that the best sports betting sites are expecting the winner to come from.
These odds are taken from BetOnline, you can read about them in our BetOnline sportsbook review. Full odds on all 16 competing players can be found below. For more information on the other bookmakers listed below, please check out our sportsbook reviews.
|2023 Masters Snooker Winner Betting
About the 2023 Masters
The Master is one of snooker's three big events known as the triple crown. The other two events are the UK Championship and the World Championship.
The Masters is always the first big snooker event of the year and is an invitational event, with only the top 16 players in the world invited to take part. This year there has been a slight deviation from the top 16 criteria due to an ongoing investigation into match-fixing in snooker.
Two players who should be taking part, former Masters champion Yan Bingtao, along with Zhao Xintong, have both been suspended by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) due to the match-fixing investigation. Their places have been taken by David Gilbert and Hossein Vafaei.
The format for the competition is a straightforward knock-out. The first round is followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final. The first round, quarters, and semi-finals are all best of 11 frames. The final is the best of 19.
The draw for the first round is:-
- Neil Robertson v Shaun Murphy
- Mark Selby v Hossein Vafaei
- Ronnie O'Sullivan v Luca Brecel
- John Higgins v Jack Lisowski
- Mark Allen v Barry Hawkins
- Mark Williams v David Gilbert
- Judd Trump v Ryan Day
- Kyren Wilson vs Stuart Bingham
Now, let’s take a look at the players with the best chance and name some betting picks.
Is Ronnie due another Masters this year?
I don’t think there are many snooker fans around who don’t think this guy is the best player to ever pick up a snooker cue. In general, all 16 players in this competition have the beating of each other on their given day. But that rule doesn’t always apply to O’Sullivan.
If O’Sullivan turns up and is on his game, 99% of the time, he will win. The problem with O’Sullivan is predicting which version of him will turn up.
He has won this competition a record seven times - only Stephen Hendrey’s six wins come close. But the last time Ronnie won here was in 2017. He did make the final back in 2019, losing 10-4 to first-time winner Judd Trump.
Anybody thinking that at the age of 47, O’Sullivan is too old needs to remember that he has ranked number one in the world again and has also won two of the last three World Championships (2020 and 2022).
Ronnie O'Sullivan has won the World Snooker Championship for the seventh time, equalling Stephen Hendry's record 🏆
O'Sullivan beat Judd Trump 18-13 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. A genius, the best snooker player ever 🙌 pic.twitter.com/hWNwTJql02
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) May 2, 2022
It just may be the case that the longer format of the World Championships suits Ronnie more than this one does.
Will be difficult for Robertson to go back-to-back
Only four players have ever successfully defended a Masters title. They are Cliff Thorburn, Stephen Hendry (who won it a remarkable five times in succession), Paul Hunter, and most recently, Ronnie O’Sullivan.
This shows how difficult the task is for Robertson. But as the current number three-ranked player in the world, he has to have a fighting chance.
Can Trump rekindle his 2019 form?
Judd Trump won this title in 2019, thrashing Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-4 in a one-sided final.
A dream come true.... masters champion 😀 pic.twitter.com/0uV0T3BSkr
— Judd Trump (@juddtrump) January 20, 2019
He followed that up by adding the 2019 World Championship to his collection of titles four months later, and at the time, it looked like we might be witnessing the changing of the guard in snooker.
Not a bit of it. O’Sullivan soon killed off that theory by winning the World Championship again in 2020, and Trump has not won a triple crown event since.
Trump has the game and the ability to win multiple triple-crown events, though, and few doubt he will. So can it be again this week?
I’m going to go with Judd Trump to win the 2023 Masters for exactly those reasons. He has the game to win the event, and as he has shown in previous finals, he is not intimidated by Ronnie O’Sullivan. As alluded to above, Ronnie is the best player to have ever picked up a cue, but hasn’t won here since 2017. So, Judd Trump is my first Masters betting pick.
Elsewhere, and I’m going for a second bet that offers a lot more value. Mark Allen looks like a man on a mission at the moment. He’s lost a lot of weight, is in a good place mentally, and he has just won the UK Championship (December 2022). At very good odds of +1000, I make Mark Allen my second betting pick to win the 2023 Masters.