Masters Snooker Final: Bingham v Carter4 min read
As snooker tournaments go, few have been more unpredictable that the 2020 Masters. The carnage started in the very first game with outright favourite, Judd Trump, beaten by Shaun Murphy. Second favourite Neil Robertson and Mark Selby, who was third in the betting, quickly followed. And the upsets never stopped there. In fact, by the semi-final stages it was only the ninth, eleventh twelfth and sixteenth seeds that remained.
We now have a final which few people could have predicted, it features Stuart Bingham and Ali Carter. Not only is Carter the lowest ranked of the 16 players asked to compete in this tournament, he only gained a spot in the field courtesy of Ronnie O’Sullivan forfeiting his place. That’s kind of ironic as King Ronnie and Captain Carter have never seemed the best of friends at the table.
Bingham finished last season with a string of solid results but has failed to shine in the past five months. Carter’s last ranking tournament victory came in July 2016 and he too has had an underwhelming 2019/2020 season. Nevertheless these are the two remaining candidates for the 2020 Masters title and its Bingham, at 8/13 who is Betvictor’s match favourite.
It could be close
Of course the Masters final, unlike all previous rounds, is a ‘best of 19 frame’ contest. That’s interesting as previous ‘long format’ matches between this pair have been close run things – they were 10-9 in the last 32 stage of the 2016 World Championship for example and 9-8 in their only other match beyond a ‘best of 11’ format.
In the head-to-heads Carter holds sway winning 15 of their 27 meetings with one being a ‘draw’. But if that puts you in the Carter camp just consider he has lost lost all of his last seven matches against Bingham a sequence that stretches back three-and-half years. Remarkably, of the 190 frames they have contested, they have won an identical 95 apiece.
Low on the centuries
But historical stats count for little in snooker and I’m drawn to the match centuries market where the line is set at 2.5. Given this pair have contested 54 frames throughout the competition it is amazing to see they have not registered a single century break between themselves.
Total Match Centuries – Under 2.5