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World Snooker Championships – back over 68.5 centuries at 10/11

The strength in depth in snooker has been increasing steadily in recent years and whilst the quality of cuemen facing off at the Crucible in the World Snooker Championships is no guarantee of explosive scoring this year looks set for plenty of big tallies. With scorer par excellence Ronnie O’Sullivan returning from his hiatus and potential century fiends Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy destined to go deep, Coral’s 10/11 about there being more than 68.5 three figure breaks in this year’s Championship is an ideal slow-burn wager to improve your savouring of the baise-based heroics.

Casting our eyes over the annals of recent Snooker World Championships suggests that 2013 looks sure to yield more than 68 century breaks, with three of the last four tournaments posting more than that figure. In fact on each occasion more than 70 breaks were posted, with the record 83 100-plus breaks set in the 2009 competition.

2010 was the sole year in the last four that less than 68 three-digit breaks were posted in the tournament proper and on that occasion the amount of centuries made in qualifying proved an accurate barometer of the low scoring tournament that was to follow. There were just 50 centuries made in qualifying that year, whereas in the three tournaments-proper that yielded over 68 scores of 100 or more, the total centuries in qualifying reached at least 60 – this year’s qualifiers produced 63.

The news that Ronnie O’Sullivan returns to defend the title he won last year should swell the century coffers with “the Rocket” registering 12 ton-plus scores in the 2012 tournament. Although  he’s scheduled to meet with Ali Carter – a scorer of six centuries on the way to last year’s final – in the second round, elsewhere in the draw big scorers should be able to go deep without meeting too many top level rivals to make up for the loss of either big-name.

In-form world number one Neil Robertson – author of six 100-pluses on his way to the 2012 semis – has been afforded a reasonably forgiving journey through to the quarters, as has the man who he’s likely to meet there, Shaun Murphy.

Murphy posted two century scores despite getting knocked out in the first round and as a former World Champion can be expected to rattle off plenty more if afforded the chance to get his eye in at this year’s Crucible shoot out.