Super Sub

Aug 8, 2018 by

Super Sub

After the usual summer hiatus, the autumn run of tv betting events is just around the corner, which means the traditional Strictly/X Factor/SPOTY subscription is now officially open, available at the same price as last year of £40.

Regarding Strictly 2018, the BBC has a new celebrity booker and has been making vague assurances it won’t be trawling the depths of z-list reality tv stars among this year’s cast. Shirley, Bruno, Craig and Darcey will return as judges.

15 celebs are said to have been signed up, most likely 8 female and 7 male looking at the roster of pros. There’s no more Brendan Cole or Chloe Hewitt, with 3 new pros drafted in for this series in the shape of Sicilian-born, Italian Latin champion Graziano Di Prima, two-time professional South African Latin champion Johannes Radebe, and 4-time winner of the Italian Dance Championship, Russian-born Luba Mushtuk.

Plenty of celeb names have been appearing in the tabloid rumour mill but we won’t know for sure who’s hitting the dancefloor this year until the BBC Strictly Twitter handle (@bbcstrictly) drip feeds the contestant reveal which may well commence next week, with the red carpet launch slated for Monday August 27.

In terms of X Factor, the first audition show usually turns up on the August bank holiday weekend, so it may well be a September 1 start for the 2018 run, with the live shows commencing towards the end of October.

The main news so far is that Boot Camp has very wisely been culled. Robbie Williams has the Groups, his wife Ayda Field the Overs, Simon Cowell the Girls, and One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson the Boys. There is also a BGT-inspired Golden Buzzer allowing one act in each category to go directly through to Judges’ Houses during the 6-Chair Challenge.

There is info out there regarding the 24 through to Judges’ Houses. Spoiler alert and among the headlines: Brendan Murray, known to ESC followers as Ireland’s entrant in 2017, is among the 6 Boys, and Janice Robinson, formally lead singer of dance group Livin’ Joy, and fondly remembered among 90s house aficionados for the track ‘Dreamer’, is in the Overs:

Scarlett Lee, her of the ‘you’ve been tango’d’ appearance and ousted during the 6CC last year, is back in the mix for a place at the lives, along with Anthony Russell, who was ejected from the show last year prior to Judges’ Houses after admitting taking drugs. Malta’s 2013 Junior ESC winner Gaia Cauchi is also reportedly part of a 5-piece girl group.

There has been some speculation about the Sunday night show possibly being axed though nothing as yet has been confirmed. It has also been reported Sharon Osbourne will be on the panel during the live shows.

Regarding the subscription, for £40 you will receive exclusive weekly investment advice on Strictly and X Factor. It is usually the case with Strictly that after Thursday or Friday’s It Takes Two show has been on, the picture becomes clearer in terms of the weekly elimination markets.

X Factor elimination investments usually come to light once the weekly song choices have been revealed. If the bookmakers play ball, value occasionally turns up earlier in the week. Regardless, if you subscribe you will receive the investment advice first.

The aim will also be to provide an in-running update of where the Strictly elimination value lies on the Saturday night, shortly after the live show has finished. Last year, this included advising subscribers to back Aston for 6th elimination at best available odds. Some of those with the fastest fingers managed to grab 50-1 and bigger, and there was plenty of time to avail yourself of 20-1.

Things will start with the usual pre-lives betting analysis of Strictly 2018 once we know this year’s pairings and the high street bookmakers offer markets. A similar analysis will be offered ahead of the X Factor live shows and, of course, SPOTY 2018. Hopefully there will be some other tv betting/Specials markets that throw up additional value investments along the way to Christmas, which will also be offered as part of the subscription.

The SPOTY market currently considers this a 2-horse race between World Cup Golden Boot winner and England captain Harry Kane, who is 6-5 fav, and Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, who is a best priced 5-2. The sporting year still has a long way to run, however, and other challengers may yet turn up. It is often the case a value top 3 contender emerges after the shortlist is revealed, such as Jonathan Rea who was pinpointed to subscribers last year at 9-4 for a top 3 finish.

Strictly/XF/SPOTY combined have yielded an average profit of +45pts per year. The precise breakdown is as follows:

2014 – +47.2pts
2015 – +72.7pts
2016 – +81.9pts
2017 – +26.1pts
2018 – -2.25pts

Click on the link below to grab a piece of the 2019 action.


  1. James Ross

    Hi Rob

    Looking at the data from previous years, I’ve discovered some trends which may indicate which of the Strictly professionals are in line for a successful series in 2018.

    Backing female professionals in their second series has served me well over the past two years (Joanne & Oti in 2016 and Katya in 2017), and this year sees Amy, Dianne & Nadiya all returning after their 2017 debut. To date, 13 out of the 17 female professionals (76%) who competed in a second series went on to achieve a top five finish in year two. When focusing on the female professionals who were paired with a celebrity aged 42 or younger in year two, the stats improve to 12 out of 13 (92%). Of the 17 female professionals who took part in a second series only one (Iveta) was paired with a celebrity aged older than 42 in both years. So after struggling with Brian Conley & Richard Coles last year, Amy & Dianne are both in line to receive younger partners, and should have a good chance of success this year.

    From 2004 to 2016, at least one professional who scored 36 or higher in that year’s Christmas special went on achieve a top four finish in the following years main series. The professionals who scored 36 or higher in the 2017 Christmas special were Pasha (39), Brendan (37) and Amy (36). So if this streak is to continue for a 14th year, at least one of Pasha or Amy will have to reach the final four in 2018.

    In seven out of the past ten years, a professional who was either the first or second to be eliminated in a series went on to achieve a top four finish in the following series. The first two professionals eliminated in 2017 were Pasha (with Chizzy) and Dianne (with Richard).

    So in summary (if they receive a partner!), I am expecting two from Amy, Dianne & Pasha to make the final in 2018.

    • Rob

      Great stats James – many thanks for sharing. Pasha has also had 3 extremely average celeb partners – Carol Kirkwood, Naga Munchetty and Chizzy Akudolu – since winning with Caroline Flack so is certainly due a stronger celeb partner this year. Let’s see what they do with the pairings.

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