LONDON, UK – The second match of the 2013 Betfair Masters gets underway at 7pm this evening and promises to be an entertaining affair as Northern Irelands Mark Allen takes on St Leonard’s Mark Davis and after close inspection of the available markets there appears to be three areas of value.
Reigning World Open champion Allen is rightly priced favourite for the match and can be backed at 11/20 (bet £20 to make £11 profit) with Unibet and Marathon whilst Sussex cue man Davis is a best industry price of 17/10 (bet £10 to make £17 profit) with 32Red and Boylesports.
The pair have met on five previous occasions in there careers and it is Antrim’s Allen that holds a 4-1 advantage. Davis’s sole victory came in the last 16 of the 2012 one frame snooker shootout last January at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool. The four victories that Allen has had over Davis have all been comfortable; the most noticeable of these was their last 16 encounter in the 2010 World championship, Davis let 2-0 on that occasion but eventually lost the match 13-5 and overall Allen leads 24 frames to 8 in all career meetings which makes the handicap betting an enticing proposition as William Hill are offering even money (bet £10 to make £10 profit) on Allen conceding one and a half frames start to Davis. The match is played over the best of 11 frames and as Allen has 3-1 ratio on frames won and lost in previous clashes the even money on offer for Allen to win by a score line of 6-4 or better looks to be very generous.
The highest match break again appears to offer considerable value; Allen is quoted at 8/11 (bet £11 to make £8 profit) with BetVictor for him to construct the largest break in the contest. Allen who turned professional in 2003 has to date made 164 career centuries, where as Davis who is in his 22nd year on the circuit has 139 centuries to his credit, this is 25 less than Allen in more than twice the time span. This season alone the statistic is magnified as Allen has made 16 centuries to Davis’s 14 even though Davis has played almost 80% more matches.
Davis is currently having very good season although he is only ranked in the World’s “top 16” players courtesy of Ronnie O’Sullivan’s withdrawal from all events this season and Steve Lee’s current ongoing suspension, prior to these events Davis had hovered around the 17-19 mark in the rankings for some time but he has not disappointed and grabbed this timely piece of fortune with both hands. 2012 was undoubtedly the best year of Davis’s 22 year professional career as he reached three major semi finals in the Wuxi Classic, Australian Open and the UK championship, so far in the current season Davis has won 38 of the 63 matches he has played (60.3%) and can boost wins over John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Shaun Murphy and Mark Williams during this period.
41 year old Davis is a player of undoubted quality; he has been six red World champion twice, in 2009 he defeated Mark Williams 6-3 in the final and again in 2012 when an 8-4 win over Shaun Murphy saw Davis lift the title for a second time.
Allen too is also enjoying a strong season, he has won 23 out of the 36 games he has contested ( 63.9%) and the seasonal highlight so far has been a 4-1 victory over Mark Selby in the final of EPTC3 (European Players Tour Championship) in Antwerp, Belgium last December. Allen is clearly a player for the big occasion and on his last four visits to the Masters has reached two quarter finals and one semi final, he has also claimed the scalps of John Higgins, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson along the way, only in the 2012 staging of the event has Allen failed to win a game when he was defeated by the eventual winner Neil Robertson in the last 16. Davis has only one previous appearance at the Masters to his name, in 2003 despite making two century breaks he lost 6-5 to Glasgow’s Alan McManus in the wild card round.