Sunday 3 March 2019

UK Open quarter finals

And then there were six... with Chizzy and Wade falling, which was a bit of a surprise, certainly for Dave, it's looking very much like a three horse race between Price, Cross and Michael Smith, all of whom have managed to avoid each other, drawing Stevenson, Payne and Beaton respectively, Nathan Aspinall and Ross Smith drawing each other in the one remaining quarter final. Can anyone cause an upset? Who'll come through the Aspinall/Smith game and go within one match of the Grand Slam? Let's take a look.

First game appears to be Cross/Payne, I guess this is being played in order of the draw? Cross was in a little bit of a hole against Reyes early on, but was able to claw it back with solid legs, not hitting the heights he did in either of his previous games, but it was enough to put away the Spaniard, while Payne was able to get an early lead against Whitlock, but Simon to his credit kept pulling it back as Payne kept re-establishing it, getting all the way to 7-7 before Payne pulled away. Probably Payne's worst game, but not by much (at least since he played Bain anyway), he's been pretty consistent throughout. Can't see how Josh wins this one. I'm reading 90/10 on a worlds onwards sample, on a full sample it's a little bit more than 3-1 in Cross's favour, which is what the line indicates, we've got enough legs now I think where we can project based on just the UK Open results as well, Cross is favoured 70/30 on that, so with the line as it is I'm not betting this one.

Smith/Beaton is next, Michael easily dispatching Jermaine Wattimena in a dominating display, while the Beaton game against Dimitri was level at the final break, then Beaton was able to nick a break and just about hold on. Beaton's playing well enough in this tournament that based just on this tournament, he nearly has a 40% chance to claim the match, but if we expand the samples, Smith's nearly a 3-1 favourite from the worlds onwards, and a little less favoured but still over 70% over the last twelve months. With Smith at 1/4 and Beaton 10/3, the question is if we can justify yet another bet on Steve. I'm not so sure, I don't know how long he can sustain playing at a level that'll make the bet profitable, and if we consider their normal games, I don't think there's enough of an edge. Smith's surgery issue seems a non-issue so I'll just move on.

Stevenson/Price is third, Gerwyn looking extremely comfortable and consistent against Ratajski which could very easily have been a banana skin, while Simon came from behind against Chizzy, winning from behind as he hit a string of good legs, but only getting them himself as Chisnall looked like he missed doubles. Gerwyn is, as you would expect, a prohibitive favourite, around the same line as Smith's game if not even shorter, and over the course of the last twelve months, that's more or less exactly where I'd expect the line to be - Gerwyn having nearly 80% win chances. Since the worlds, it's a different story - Price being expected to win over 96% of the time, with a similar outcome just on this tournament. There's a couple of places offering a good line so 1u Price 1/4, Stevenson's had a fun run but it ends here, Price is simply playing too well for Stevenson to get close to winning ten legs.

This leaves Nathan Aspinall against Ross Smith, to complete the semi final lineup and effectively be the wildcard at that stage. Aspinall came from a bit of a hole to beat Lennon in what wasn't a great match, while Smith took out James Wade with a string of good legs early to open up a 7-3 lead, slotting in a couple of five visit kills to ice the game when Wade threatened a comeback having pulled it back to 8-7 down. This is the only close line, with the markets thinking Aspinall has around a 60% shot, maybe a touch more - is this fair? He's outperforming that line a lot in this event, the single event projections saying better than 80/20. From the worlds onwards it's around 2-1 in favour of Aspinall. Now over the last twelve months, it's a lot closer, 56/44 in favour of Nathan, but I think this is a spot where we should lean more towards the newer samples - Aspinall has the confidence of having made the world semi finals and has done the business at this level of a TV major before. 0.25u Aspinall 8/13, I think he takes this home, bear in mind that my data model typically loves Ross Smith, so if it's the case that it has been overrating Smith all along, then this actually becomes an even clearer bet.

I probably will need to be very quick for the semis and finals so keep an eye out after the Everton game is finished.

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