SHEFFIELD, England, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- John Higgins has been restored as the sponsors' clear favourite at 9/2 for the Betfred.com World Snooker Championship after completing a 10-5 victory over Stephen Lee tonight.
The Wizard of Wishaw was the last man to claim a place in the second round and will now face Rory McLeod, a 200/1 outsider for the title. Higgins is 1/20 to win that match and McLeod 9/1.
Betfred spokesman Jon Wilde said: "Higgins made four century breaks in beating Lee and yet was still not completely happy with his form. If there is improvement to come then he will definitely be the man to beat for the rest of the tournament, even though it still looks wide open."
Mark Williams was another man to produce an impressive performance today, racing into a rapid-fire 7-1 lead over Jamie Cope, and the Welshman is in to 11/2 to win the event for a third time.
Mark Selby is unchanged, also at 11/2, after coasting through to the second round 10-1 against Jimmy Robertson, while Judd Trump remains 12/1 after opening a 5-3 lead over Martin Gould.
Betfred.com World Snooker Championship odds
Outright: 9/2 (from 5/1) John Higgins, 5/1 Ronnie O'Sullivan, 11/2 Mark Selby, Mark Williams (from 6/1), 6/1 Ding Junhui, 12/1 Shaun Murphy, Judd Trump, 14/1 Ali Carter, 16/1 Mark Allen, Graeme Dott, 40/1 Stephen Hendry, 50/1 Martin Gould, 66/1 bar (e/w 1/2 1,2).
Second round matches: 4/5 Ali Carter, Evens Graeme Dott 4/11 Mark Allen, 2/1 Barry Hawkins 1/2 Ronnie O'Sullivan, 13/8 Shaun Murphy 1/6 Ding Junhui, 4/1 Stuart Bingham 1/20 John Higgins, 9/1 Rory McLeod ***Odds subject to fluctuation***