Ronnie O’Sullivan will play Hossein Vafaei in the 2nd Round of the 2023 World Snooker Championship in what is already being billed as a grudge match. O’Sullivan is the favorite to win the match, and also the world title. Hossein Vafaei is a massive outsider, but he has already shown he isn’t intimidated by the Rocket. So will Ronnie put his opponent back in his cage? Or has Vafaei managed to get under his opponent’s skin? Let’s find out with our latest snooker betting picks.
- What; 2023 World Snooker Championship, 2nd Round
- Who; Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Hossein Vafaei
- Where; Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, England
- Format; Best of 25 Frames (first to 13)
- Start; Friday, April, 21st, 2023
Betting to win the 2023 World Snooker Championship
But first, let’s take a look at the betting to win the 2023 World Championship. Following his 10-7 1st Round win over Pang Junxu, O’Sullivan has seen his odds cut to +333 to win a record eighth world title.
O’Sullivan started the competition at +400, so he’s not seen a huge swing in his odds. But he also wasn’t at his fluent best against Junxu, and that may explain the slight stall in his odds to win the championship.
Elsewhere, and before he’s even completed his 1st Round match, Mark Selby has been cut from his pre-competition odds of +800, to +500, second favorite. This could be mainly down to the fact that Judd Trump has already sensationally been knocked out by Anthony McGill.
WHAT A VICTORY FOR MCGIILL! 🏴
Anthony McGill defeats 2019 World Champion Judd Trump 10-6, securing a seventh win from his last nine first-round ties at the Crucible. Incredible.#CazooWorldChampionship | @CazooUK pic.twitter.com/bUWNzxwv2d
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) April 19, 2023
More betting can be found below on our World Championship odds table. These odds are taken from the best online sportsbooks, meaning you can bet on snooker with confidence. And also don’t forget to check out our best sports betting apps, where you can find out even more about these top rated sportsbooks and their mobile betting apps.
|2023 Snooker World Championship Betting|
Why is this a Grudge match?
Now, back to Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Hossein Vafaei. And if you’re looking for some background to this match, then you’re in the right place.
This is a real grudge match! Why? Well, because Hossein Vafaei has made some pretty outspoken comments against Ronnie O’Sullivan in the past. The Iranian qualifier has previously criticized O’Sullivan for his derogatory comments about his fellow professionals. Vafaei is on record saying that O’Sullivan was “not good for the game” and “sometimes disrespectful” with his comments about other players.
In fairness to Vafaei, a lot of fellow professional snooker players may agree that some of O’Sullivan’s comments can be disrespectful. But given the Rocket’s status in the game, they choose to keep quiet.
But in speaking out, Vafaei has upset O’Sullivan. When reminded of Vafaei’s previous comments after his 1st Round win on Sunday night, the Rocket said “Has he been saying much about me this year? I think he’s learned to be quiet. Don’t rattle my cage. I love it when they call me out, I love it when they give me stick. I just love it.”
But unperturbed by O’Sullivan’s comments, Vafaei has since hit back by saying “He’s such a nice person when he’s sleeping.”
Where will all this end? Who knows. But one thing for certain is that it promises to be a feisty affair. And whatever happens, Vafaei has already shown he’s not prepared to take a backwards step when confronted with the legendary O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan vs Vafaei Betting Odds
It’s not going to be a massive surprise to hear that the Rocket is the betting favorite with the top online sportsbooks. On the moneyline, Ronnie O’Sullivan is -345 to win, with Hossein Vafaei at +275.
And while this might sound one-sided in the betting, it maybe isn’t. Starting on the same day, Neil Robertson is -700 to beat Jak Jones, the qualifier who has just beaten Ali Carter 10-6 in the opening round. Meaning the bookies are giving Vafaei more chance of beating Ronnie, than they are for Jones to beat Robertson.
Moving on, and on the handicap spread, O’Sullivan is giving his opponent a +3.5 frames start. Vafaei at +3.5 frames is -115, O’Sullivan at -3.5 frames is -115. The total match frames spread is set at 21.5, with over at -126, and under at -104.
Our O’Sullivan vs Vafaei Snooker Betting Picks
When hearing what Vafaei had said about O’Sullivan earlier this week, Welsh legend Mark Williams asked why would you want to wind him up?
— Eurosport (@eurosport) April 17, 2023
And we believe this is the key to this match. Either O’Sullivan will go out and destroy his opponent in no time. Maybe with a session to spare as Williams’ points out. Or will it have the opposite effect, and put the Rocket off his game?
It’s hard to know. But one thing we do already know is that Hossein Vafaei isn’t going to be intimidated by O’Sullivan. And although we can’t back Vafaei to win, we can back him to get close to the Rocket. If Vafaei wins 10 frames, he covers the spread. And we think that is a good bet for our first snooker betting pick.
This means for our second snooker betting pick, we have to go for over 21.5 frames in the totals market. A scoreline of at least 13-9 to either player will see that bet win, and we think it’s a good value second betting pick.