The Masters – which takes place at Alexandra Palace in London from 10th to 17th January 2016 – is the most prestigious invitational event in snooker, with the top 16 players in the world set to attend. With the list of past winners reading like a who’s who of the greats of snooker, there is more than the £200,000 winner’s cheque up for grabs in this one, but who will raise their game sufficiently to take the title in 2016? Read on as we make our predictions and bring you the betting tips we hope will make you a nice pile of cash. We’ve also got the latest live betting odds from the top bookies in the business to make sure you’re never short-changed on your bets.

As tends to be the case with any snooker tournament of note, the genius that is Ronnie O’Sullivan is priced as the favourite to win outright, with Sportingbet offering best betting odds of 11/4. This is despite the fact that Ronnie has barely picked up a cue in competitive action since being knocked out of the World Championship by Stuart Bingham at the quarter-final stage. But such is the mercurial talent the five-time world champion possesses, he could turn up having not played for six months and still have a decent shot at the title.

Partly because of his underperformance in the World Championship, and partly because you never know if he will even turn up, we are willing to give Ronnie a swerve for the 2016 Masters and will instead focus on the other contenders. Current world number six and Masters title holder Shaun Murphy has to be considered at best odds of 10/1 with Sportingbet. Famed for his exquisite cue action, the Magician hasn’t found his feet at the time of writing, losing in the second round of the Shanghai Masters to Mark Davis, but he’s the type of player who produces the goods when it matters and those odds are more than fair.

Judd Trump is another player worth considering. He hasn’t quite lived up to the potential he showed when he burst onto the circuit a few years ago, but as he matures he is starting to play a cannier and more measured game that is sure to bring further success. He was beaten in the final of the Shanghai Masters, a big surprise considering his opponent was the qualifier Kyren Wilson. But we think that shock could do Trump a favour at this early stage of the season and force him to knuckle down and get his game in tip-top condition. Odds of 6/1 with BetVictor are just a little on the short side, but Trump has the game and the determination to taste success at Ally Pally in 2016.

World number one Mark Selby – who won the Masters in 2013, 2010 and 2008 – can never be discounted, and the Jester from Leicester looks a steal in the betting at 9/1 with Sportingbet. He is another top class player who tends to save his best for the biggest tournaments, and though he is prone to lapses of concentration on occasion, he now has enough experience to grind out results against the best of them and we predict he’ll make the semis at least at the Masters.

Our main tip for the Masters outright winner betting market, however, is to take a punt on Stuart Bingham at nice odds of 22/1 with BetVictor. In winning the World Championship in 2015, Bingham moved from journeyman to one of the best players around, and we think he’ll reproduce some of the form he showed at the Crucible when he goes to the Masters in January. We also predict these odds will get shorter as soon as Bingham finds his winning touch on the tour, so get on him now and reap the rewards when he proves his worth in the Masters.


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