Team ‘Cola’ in contention

Nov 3, 2009 by

Another decent punting week on Strictly with our advice to lay Craig in the bottom 2 and elimination markets reaping dividend, along with the 16s we recommended you snap up on Zoe to be eliminated. We also called Ricky Whittle correctly as the cover bet on the top scorer market, and he put in arguably the best dance of the series with his 39-scoring Quickstep.
As pointed out in an earlier post, the adjustment to the points system in this series gives the dancers lower down on the judges’ leaderboard a better chance of escaping the bottom 2, especially when there are couples tied on points because the differential becomes that much less between top and bottom.
There was an alleged Strictly voting leak in the Daily Star last week claiming Chris Hollins is winning the public vote: http://www.dailystar.co.uk/posts/view/106026/Strictly-John-dancing
It’s an intriguing development and if correct has to mean he is a legitimate challenger for the Strictly crown. Whether his voting numbers hold up is a moot point, as polling figures must be at an all-time low right now, given the X Factor clash. However, if Ola continues with the revealing outfits like last week’s catsuit this certainly should add a few more male votes to team ‘Cola’.

His dancing, both ballroom and Latin, is more or less on a par with Tufnell, and it’ll come down to who wins the head-to-head on the public vote between these 2 when push comes to shove, but at 28-1 in the outright betting, Chris is worth an investment, as we can only see his odds shortening over the next few weeks.
Looking ahead to Saturday, it’s hard to see beyond Ricky Whittle (tango) and Ali Bastian (Viennese Waltz) in the top scorer market and we suggest backing both at Evens and 100-30 respectively.
We saw with Zoe how she got a spike in votes before plummeting back into the bottom 2 last Saturday and we expect the same pattern to emerge this week, with Jade – having to dance the difficult jive – the likely sufferer.
Craig is doing a cha, cha, cha which could end up being panned in front of his home fans in Blackpool. This might enable him to escape the bottom 2 again but after a high profile casualty last week, the sympathy vote could drop, especially if the judges go to town stressing to viewers, ‘This is a dancing competition!!!’
We recommend backing Kelly to be eliminated at 10-11, but it is worth scaling some cover bets on Jade at 16s, Laila at 14s and Natalie at 7s.
Ricky Groves will no doubt do an entertaining salsa, and along with Tufnell and Hollins his strong public support looks set to continue. Laila is having to negotiate a tricky paso, but previous weeks suggest she, too, has a healthy following. With Ali sure to get a leap in votes, where Laila ranks in relation to Natalie is the key.
A Jade/Craig bottom 2 looks the stand-out combo to get stuck into at 8-1. It is also worth backing Laila/Craig at 8-1 and given the possibility of another Houdini Act by Kelly, Jade/Natalie at 25s, Laila/Natalie at 25s and Jade/Laila at 40s should be added to your staking plan.
Rob Furber

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