AMERICAN IDOL BETTING
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Ok, so you’re embarrassed to admit you watch American Idol. You tell your buddies that your girlfriend or wife “makes” you watch it with her. You just watch it to make her happy. Yeah yeah yeah. Whatever. Hey, I watch the show and actually enjoy it. But more importantly, it’s become another wagering profit center for me and the only handicapping I need to do is watch the damn show, use a little common sense and a few online tools!
As a matter of fact, the closest thing I have ever seen to a lock in the wagering world was last year when Taylor Hicks won the crown. Sportsbooks were taking high limits and it was like stealing. I actually couldn’t believe they were leaving it on the board. Unlike major sporting events, when you bet on American Idol, in the case of last years Taylor Hicks win for example, your betting on something where the results are in. This is a public opinion show. There are many ways to gauge public opinion on something like this.
Dial Idol (www.dialidol.com) is probably the most well known tool for this purpose, but their are plenty of other polls out there as well which you can use to get a good idea which way the public is voting.
It’s also important to understand the voting audience of American Idol. The “teen vote”, particularly teenage girls, is very strong for example. You also need to pay attention to other media sOurces and websites trying to mess with the results. Votefortheworst.com is one such example. Another example this year, was Howard Stern asking his listeners to vote for Sanjaya. Had Howard Stern still been on regular radio, with his former massive listening audience, he probably could have kept Sanjaya in it until the end.
Speaking of Sanjaya, when a contestant gets eliminated, as a handicapper, you also have to figure out where there votes are going to go. In Sanjayas case, aside from the phony votes, he also had a ton of support from the teenage girl vote we mentioned above. Who are they likely to vote for now??
Lastly, there are distinct patterns in the voting which can lead you to profits. For example, a couple of weeks ago, Haley Scarnato was voted off. I cashed a 5-1 ticket on her being voted off that night. The wager was based on common sense, and knowing the voting patterns of the show. During the course of this years show, she had been in the bottom 3 a few times, and was even made to cry by the judges due to her poor performance one week. The week she got the boot, she probably had the worst performance of all the contestants. Yet she was 5-1 to get the boot while “Lakisha” was the odds on favorite to get the boot. The odds were simply wrong (as was dial idol). Lakisha had never been in the bottom 3 and had actually been one of the favorites to win it all for much of this year.
There may not be a chance to cash in this year, like last years Taylor Hicks lock. But there are a few weeks to go and there can still be some surprises. Let’s take a quick look at the remaining contestants.
Melinda Doolittle – At -120 to win it all, she may not be such a bad bet. She’s clearly the best of the group and has yet to have a bad week. Each week she gets the overwhelming support of the judges and the voting audience.
Jordon Sparks – at +200 there’s hardly any value here. This contestant is only 17, so she does figure to get some of that teenage vote going down the stretch.
Blake Lewis – At +475 there may be some value here. The last few weeks haven’t been great for this kid, but he is very talented. He mixes beat boxing in with his singing and very unique.
Lakisha Jones – She is +1000. For much of this season, she was tied with Melinda Doolittle as the one to beat. The judges couldn’t say enough good things about her. But the last few weeks her performances have slipped as has her support. She even appeared in the bottom 3 last week.
Chris Richardson – At +3300, one of two long shots at this price. His support has been slipping as well. He may pick up some of the Sanjaya vote so this week will be interesting. But all in all, he simply doesn’t match up talent wise with the rest.
Phil Stacey – Another long shot at +3300. He is +145 to be voted off this week. He has appeared in the bottom 3 a few times already which is generally a prelude to getting the boot. Add in the fact that he doesn’t figure to get any of the Sanjaya votes, and he could need a miracle performance this week to stay alive. Before this weeks performances, he’d be my pick to get the boot next.