After the fun of the Shoot-Out it’s back to the serious stuff this week for the 3rd home nations event of the season and final ranking event of 2023, the Scottish Open.
This event is the last chance for players to qualify for the World Grand Prix, the top 32 players for the season so players currently outside of that will have to lot to play for with notable names such as Luca Brecel and Kyren Wilson currently sitting outside the top 32.
1pt - John Higgins to win Outright - 14/1
My first outright pick for this event is John Higgins in his home country. Since the Scottish Open returned to the tour in 2016 he’s twice finished runner-up and reached another semi-final too; and if you include older editions he’s been a finalist 5 times, winning it twice.
His form this season has been good with 20 wins out of 28 and he’s reached 3 semi-finals. Twice beaten in deciders by Trump, and lost in the Champion of Champions semi to a very good Mark Allen performance.
Also took eventual winner O’Sullivan to a deciding frame in the Shanghai Masters so his performance levels have been high throughout the season.
Given his consistency against lower-ranked players he looks to have a good draw this week with Oliver Brown followed by He Guoqaing and then potentially Ricky Walden, who’s struggled for form this season.
The top seeds in his quarter haven’t been great this season either, Murphy and Brecel both struggling to find much consistency in recent weeks.
0.5pts Each Way - Kyren Wilson to win Outright - 22/1
Wilson’s form on paper doesn’t look great but I think he’s playing better than his recent results suggest and 22/1 for a player of his quality looks a little big considering his draw.
Many of his recent defeats have come in deciding frames and there’s actually only 4 players on tour with a higher frame win percentage than him this season in ranking events.
His scoring has still been as strong as ever too, averaging a century every 6.62 frames, the current best ratio on tour.
He finds himself in the 1st Quarter this week and with Gary Wilson seeded 1st as defending Champion that makes Kyren the highest ranked player in this section.
His first potential top-16 opponent is Mark Williams in the last 16 and he has a dominant head-to-head record over Williams, winning all 6 and losing just 3 frames in the last 5.
Snooker Betting tips, from Betfred Insights.