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Saturday 20 September 2014

Bookies using 'c' word with two months to go

Published 15/10/2013 | 05:34

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Tamera Foster, the early favourite to win X Factor.

Sorry, I know it's over two months before the big man squeezes himself down the chimney but the following question could be important: will X Factor produce the number one at Christmas?

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While pondering that you might also like to gather your thoughts on whether Dustin will represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014, and the near blasphemous question of which One Direction member will be the first to leave the group.

In a week when the budget is the burning issue, Paddy Power offers a wonderful array of diversions, even if you're not of the betting fraternity.

It's slightly too early to give Christmas number one odds on individual artists, but that hasn't stopped the Irish bookies speculating on the festive chart topper. Paddy Power offer evens on the possibility of the X Factor winner hitting the top spot when the UK chart is revealed on December 22.

This may seem like a no-brainer worth betting the house on, but beware - the X Factor hasn't produced the Christmas number one since 2010 when Matt Cardle's 'When We Collide' soared to the top.

Two charity records claimed the honour in 2011 and 2012 and you can bet your bottom dollar that others are queuing up with hope of cashing in this Christmas. The bookies probably don't really believe that the X Factor champ will secure No. 1 in a little over two months time and this is reflected in odds of 8/11 for 'Any Other'.

There's a range of other X Factor betting possibilities, including the outright winner, winning judge, top girl, top boy, top group, top over 25, next elimination and even the number of viewers for the final. Tamera Foster leads the betting for outright winner but at this early stage it's likely that this has more to do with the 16-year-old's headline grabbing private life than her singing talent. Nicole Scherzinger is currently the leading judge, with Sharon Osbourne the outsider.

The Eurovision Song Contest is almost seven months away but it too has attracted the attention of Paddy Power. Hopes of an Irish victory are not high with the bookies giving 25/1 on an Irish win in 2014. You get 50/1 on a French winner and 66/1 on the UK entrant lifting the crown. Tempting odds, but recent history would suggest you would get more satisfaction making a little bonfire of your hard-earned cash.

Keith Hanley, the Voice of Ireland winner, is 9/2 favourite to represent the county in Eurovision 2014, with Dustin the Turkey a rank outsider at 90/1. Sinead O'Connor's in there too, at 66/1, but I'd suggest you have a far better chance of winning the Lotto on two consecutive weeks than seeing the controversial singer flying the flag for Ireland in Copenhagen.

Other Paddy Power specials include the first member to leave One Direction (Liam Payne is favourite), the Mercury Prize winner (Laura Mvula leads the way) and the possibility of Robbie Williams touring with Take That in 2014 (5/4).

There are also a bunch of U2 specials now that the band appear to have confirmed a new album in early 2014.

You only get odds of 2/5 on the album hitting number one in Ireland, but a more generous 2/1 on the same thing happening in the US. Similarly, the chances of the best-performing single from the album topping the charts in Ireland by the end of 2014 attract odds of 8/11 but it's 4/1 on the same bet for the US charts.

Of course, the only thing for certain is that, come the end of 2014, it's the bookies who will be smiling.

Gorey Guardian

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