Today sees the start of two days of intense snooker action in the final of the Betfred 2015 World Championships. Played over a marathon best of 35 frames, this years final is between Shaun Murphy and Stuart Bingham.
Unsurprisingly (for me anyway), Murphy goes into the final as the odds on favourite, he is available to back at around the 2/5 to 4/9 mark.
You might find it a bit odd that I say it unsurprising to see Murphy as favourite, when you consider that Stuart Bingham has knocked out multiple world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, and tournament favourite Judd Trump, on route the final, but there is good reason for this.
First, winning big titles is a pressure Murphy has dealt with before. He is already a world champion (back in 2005), and this year he has already won the 2015 Masters title, regarded as one of snookers three main titles (Murphy has won all three in his career).
The second reason why Murphy is favourite, is because he is the fresher of the two players. Bingham has already had two mentally straining matches against O’Sullivan and Trump, with the Trump match finishing only last night. During this time Murphy had his feet up relaxing, as he completed a relatively routine 17-9 semi-final victory over Barry Hawkins some hours earlier.
As well as being the fresher of the two players, Murphy also seems to be cueing the more fluently of the two. He is showing the sort of form this season that won him his first title back in 2005, and made him look like he could dominate world snooker for some time.
The flip side to that is that Bingham must fear nobody. He has got to the final the hard way, knocking out two of the tournament favourites, so why should he fear Murphy or anybody for that matter? The answer is he shouldn’t.
I can see Bingham struggling today though. He looked emotionally and mentally shot when he came off the table last night. His match against Trump will have definitely taken something out of him, and it’s a matter of how quickly he can recover.
I can see this final going one of two ways. If Bingham starts slowly today, Murphy could be out of site by the end of the days play – with a lead too big to overturn on Monday.
If Bingham can stay in touch with Murphy today though, I believe he has a chance of clawing it back on Monday. The matches against O’Sullivan and Trump have shown that Bingham can scrap right until the bitter end, and on what I seen last night, there is no way you could bet against Bingham if the match goes into a close final session on Monday night.
If you think Bingham can continue his remarkable run, he is a best price of 2/1 to win the title with bet365 (new customers can claim a £200 Welcome Bonus here).
The match starts at 2pm, and is live on BBC TV. The match is the best of 35 frames (first to 18), and is played over two days.
If the match goes to a final frame decider, you can get your money back as a free bet on losing bets with Betfair.