Michael To Draw Early Stumps?

Oct 10, 2012 by

Michael To Draw Early Stumps?

Markets move rapidly in the tv betting world and this was no better exemplified than during the first 2 nights of Strictly action.

Two big movers in the Strictly Outright market were Sid Owen and Lisa Riley, Lisa the biggest mover of all, in both senses of the description, as her price crashed from around 140 to as low as 16 during, and after, a highly entertaining cha, cha, cha. Colin also came in significantly courtesy of a decent cha, cha, cha, while Victoria, Dani, Nicky and Michael all drifted following weaker efforts.

The market seems to have decided it’s already a 3-horse race: Louis vs Kimberley vs Denise, the three of them trading close to ten points shorter than the rest of the field. We think this is a big over-reaction and struggle to see the series as such a foregone conclusion.

In fact, with enough doubts over the front 3 in terms of their public appeal, and plenty of challengers already emerging from the pack, it looks a very open year. And we get the feeling this is the exact narrative they will aim to build this series. This would give them more leeway to effectively manage the eliminations, courtesy of the dance-off, as they see fit in the critical last month or so.

If you are looking for some back to lay action ahead of this Saturday, we reckon Victoria, Nicky and Dani are the 3 most likely to bounce back into contention and see their prices drop. Nicky got a very harsh working over from the judges despite a reasonable first ballroom effort. We have since seen VTs of him in fast Latin action and he looks a natural snake hips to us.

We are similarly confident Dani will shine performing a salsa. She has the look of someone who will be in her element in the fast Latin arena. Victoria fell apart after losing her way with a first, highly demanding cha, cha cha. She showed enough promise there to offer hope she could yet prove a runner this series, and the calmer waters of ballroom this Saturday should see a marked improvement.

She does now have the Timeform squiggle alongside her name but her foxtrot looked a decent work in progress on ITT and 10-1 on her to be Top Female with SportingBet looks too tempting to pass up as does 14-1 e/w on the Outright, to top up on our earlier advised Victoria bets.

Louis performed well but we couldn’t help noticing the ‘we were good’ comment from him immediately after the routine. We have since seen him and Flavia interviewed on ITT and it looks to us like the early concerns on him expressed here are already coming home to roost. There was a preening VT of him in the studio and if his ego doesn’t prove his downfall there also doesn’t seem to be much chemistry between the pair of them.

Kimberley danced very well but her back price of 5 on Betfair at time of writing looks very skinny given the track record of attractive girl band members on this show. Among the front 3 as of now, we are keenest on Denise given that, based on her first effort, she looks likely to prove herself in a different league to the rest of the field come series-end.

Many consider her public image as a massive negative. We don’t see it that way. The judges had a clear agenda to focus on criticising her as a way to temper early enthusiasm. This will likely transform into glowing praise over the course of the series. We still think they will look to engineer a female winner this year and we can see Denise’s sheer excellence slowly winning over the Strictly audience.

If Sid can produce a decent salsa on Saturday he could well shorten further but perhaps more likely will be a harsher appraisal from the judges. We are delighted right now to have advised Sid at 40 on the Outright, 8 to place top 3, and at 14-1 to be Top Male.

While Nicky is far from out of it in the battle for Top Male we are almost consigned to tearing up our ante-post Vaughan vouchers. His ballroom was nowhere near the standard we hoped for and we fear for his fast Latin skills greatly.

It would be foolish to write off Lisa and Colin. The worry with Lisa is, it will be difficult for her to strike pleasing lines in her ballroom because of her rotund frame, while our biggest concern with Colin is that he came across as far too self-assured and his wishy-washy celeb status may well see him struggle to inspire a big vote.

The scores on the doors going into week 2 are as follows:

Lisa and Robin – 30
Kimberley and Pasha – 28
Louis and Flavia – 27
Sid and Ola – 26
Denise and James – 25
Colin and Kristina – 23
Richard and Erin – 22
Dani and Vincent – 21
Michael and Natalie – 20
Fern and Artem – 19
Jerry and Anton – 18
Johnny and Iveta – 17
Nicky and Karen – 17
Victoria and Brendan – 16

And this Saturday’s dances look like being the following:

Colin – VW
Lisa – VW
Louis – VW
Fern – VW
Michael – Jive
Denise – Jive
Nicky – CCC
Richard – CCC
Sid – Salsa
Dani – Salsa
Johnny – Foxtrot
Jerry – Foxtrot
Kimberley – Foxtrot
Victoria – Foxtrot

We envisage Victoria, Nicky, Dani and Fern rising, Michael dropping. Johnny may well end up propping up the leaderboard. Bottom spot is probably between him, Jerry and Michael. It will likely boost Johnny’s chances of avoiding the bottom 2 if he indeed ends up bottom of the judges’ leaderboard, Even if he doesn’t we expect a certain sympathy vote to kick in for him given his age and Aliona’s injury.

We can also see Richard avoiding the bottom 2 because he looks sure to produce a very entertaining and vote-winning cha, cha cha – if Erin has any sense she will allow him to really camp it up, as looks the case having just seen Wednesday’s ITT. Jerry certainly looks more vulnerable dancing a foxtrot but we expect the judges to talk her up, and overmark her, as the show surely won’t want to lose a celeb of her stature in week 1.

The one who could find himself in serious danger, and attractive at the odds, has to be Michael at 16-1 with Ladbrokes. His jive looks like being very poor based on ITT footage. Of course, if he is lambasted he may receive a sympathy boost but it’s worth chancing that this is not enough for him to escape the bottom 2.

Fern may well push up a couple of places on the leaderboard on the back of a decent VW. We sense the public have never forgiven her for the gastric band controversy and it is middle-aged women who are Strictly’s voting lifeblood – the very audience who were most annoyed by her deception.

But if she does land in the bottom 2, the dance-off would likely come to Fern’s rescue. The big downside with betting on the SCD elimination market is, unlike X Factor, there is no chance to lay off live in-running if your back falls into the bottom 2 because the dance-off is pre-recorded. Pull your finger out BBC – you’re letting the gambling fraternity down by not showing it live on Saturday.

We doubt they would want Louis or Denise topping the leaderboard in week 1 and they may well mark both of them harshly. With Sid having the tricky-to-score-highly-in salsa, and Lisa not looking that convincing in training footage of her VW, Kimberley appears to be in the box seat to nab top spot.

Let’s hope the high street offers a few more Strictly markets in the days and weeks to come. We would also love to see a Spread quote on how many times Darcy will rhetorically ask, ‘Yah?’ during her post-performance critique.

Apologies with the site maintenance that has taken place over recent days – the site should be fully back online on Thursday.
Rob Furber

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16 Comments

  1. Allan

    Very interesting stuff and congrats on the big prices on Sid. I took 50-1 on big Colin just after he started his dance last week, don’t think he’ll necessarily win but reckon he’s got legs in the comp for a few weeks at least.

    But, I disagree on Pendleton. I think it might be worth a small investment on her to go this week at the 25-1 with boylesports (short as 16-1 elsewhere). She was so bad last week, and despite the olympics feel good factor, I can’t see the public warming to her constant crying. Another rubbish week and she’s in real danger IMO.

    One potential fly in the ointment though is the return of the dance off. With Pendleton being one of the bigger names this year, you would think she might be saved against quite a lot of the other contestants, so looking out for some bottom 2 odds, but haven’t seen any yet.

  2. Rob

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Allan. Teary breakdowns each week will certainly ruin Victoria’s chances & any investment in her has to come with major warning signs attached, hence the Timeform squiggle 🙂 But saw enough potential to suggest she could turn into a real journey contestant this year.
    Her foxtrot looked ok in the training room footage shown on ITT & would expect plenty of positivity from the judges and her to get a healthy enough vote to avoid bottom 2 regardless of where she finds herself on the leaderboard.
    It looks extremely open this year. Just a shame there isn’t better liquidity on Betfair & more markets offered by the high street. Hopefully it will improve.
    Good luck this series & please keep reading & posting 🙂

  3. Rob

    FYI dear readers – WH have some prices up on highest scorer this week.

  4. fiveleaves

    Just spotted that Rob.
    Colin impressed me most in the short vt’s we saw yesterday and could be worth a nibble @14/1

    btw I agree about the openess of the competition this year.
    The one I’d disagree on is Denise.
    I still can’t see her appealing to this audience, even though personally I like her and enjoy her banter with James Jordan on twitter.
    She’s my biggest red for now.

    However I’m with you on Michael. He’s very likely to drop a few places after the 2nd dances and will at the the very least be a decent trade even at the 12/1 he is now.

  5. Rob

    Could be a good shout with Colin. Thought Dani’s price looked tempting also – good fast Latins generally get lower scores than good ballrooms but reckon she has it in her to produce an impressive salsa.

  6. Rob

    Victoria at 25s, & Fern at 50s not the craziest wagers

  7. fiveleaves

    Fern looking very good in the latest training clips

    Vicky very tentative.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00zmqd5

  8. Rob

    Think Victoria looks ok. Reckon if she gets through it without clear error/forgotten steps, they will big her up & almost definitely overscore her.

  9. Tim B

    Rob, slight newbie question here. Do you know what would happen if the top of the leader board was tied? Would William Hill still pay out?

  10. Rob

    Yes, you’ll be paid out Tim but if 2 are tied for top spot, you’ll get half your stake at the odds you took. A 3-way tie, a third of your stake, & so on:

    In a DEAD HEAT the stake money on a selection is divided by the number of runners involved in the dead heat. The full odds are then paid to the divided stake, with the remainder of the stake money being lost.

  11. bruce

    Sorry Allan I can’t have Victoria leaving under any circumstances this week. The Olympic ‘feel good factor’ is still there and tears two weeks in a row wouldn’t be enough. Most of the GBP won’t have seen her documentary or be familiar with her ‘past history’ of being, shall we say, a bit mental.

    Even if her score saw her end up bottom two (and I don’t see this happening at all) she could be saved over a higher scoring personality because of her ‘potential’ and the work ethic the sportpersons are perceived as having on SCD. She would certainly be saved against the elimination favourites like Johnny Ball.

    Non starter for me in the elimination game this week.

    I agree Michael could be in danger and certainly represents value.

    I was quite keen on Kimberley for top scorer before last week so shouldn’t desert her now. I don’t see however why the gushing over Louis from Darcy and Bruno won’t continue and from the training clips I suspect he may end up top scorer.

  12. fiveleaves

    Vicky almost certainly safe this week, but I can’t have her as a longterm contender.
    She looks sick with nerves even in training.

    I agree with you on Louis, bruce.
    He was 9/2 top scorer for this week. No idea what price he is now as I refused the meagre £3.33 they offered me after my tenner was referred to a trader.

  13. fiveleaves

    Michael so bad he was good, unfortunately. Which was always a worry.
    He still turned into a nice trade.
    He touched 3.15 to small money on betfair. I had to settle for 5.5

  14. Rob

    Yep, a shame he wasn’t afforded an earlier slot & they didn’t go to town so much with their comments regarding how funny he looked.

    Managed to get over 200 away laying MV for b2 at 3.23, so at least there was some nice opportunity for those who took the big prices on him to be eliminated, to cover their stake & some.

  15. Allan

    Yep, reckon Pendo is probably safe, still think that was a bit of value! Intrigued as to who is offski, maybe Johnny Ball?

  16. Rob

    Allan – you know it is pre-recorded, right, & we know the result already? b2 Richard & Johnny – Johnny eliminated.
    Pendleton remains an interesting potential journey contestant. Much improved on week 1 & plenty of room for gradual improvement over course of the series – this is the ideal scenario for getting the audience to invest in her more and more.

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