Sheena McHugh was the standout performer on The Voice last week, and has quickly risen to the head of the betting markets, currently a best-priced 11/26.50+5505.505.50-0.18 second favourite. She highlights the strength-in-depth that the girls have in the current series, and with one blind audition show to go at the time of writing, there’s every chance that we could see some more talented female artists joining the teams.
One of the betting markets available for The Voice is ‘The Gender of the Winner’, or effectively a Boys v Girls competition. In any two-horse race, as it were, there is value in backing the outsider, and in this case the Girls could be a good thing.
There have been some good auditions from male contenders, with the likes of Stevie McCrorie, Clark Carmody, and Howard Rose high in the betting, but there have been some equally good performances from the female contingent, and there’s a very long way to go in the competition. We’ve had a look back over our ante-post selections for the series this year and it came as a little bit of a surprise that they were all female. That was entirely unplanned, and although it may leave us slightly short-handed in one respect, in another it serves to reinforce the fact that the girls should more than hold their own this year. Let’s recap on our portfolio for the series so far:
After the very first blind audition, we advised a speculative punt on Lucy O’Byrne to win the show at a generous 25/126.00+250025.0025.00-0.04 after her opera performance stole the show. She’s now available at a best price of 20/121.00+200020.0020.00-0.05 with William Hill and Betvictor.
The next act we added to our portfolio was Liss Jones after she took the plaudits in week three with her rendition of Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’. Her price has remained steady at 16/117.00+160016.0016.00-0.06 with Skybet and Bet365.
Week four of the blind auditions saw us side with Sharon Murphy as a big outsider at 50/151.00+500050.0050.00-0.02 . A lot of bookies have cut her odds to 25/126.00+250025.0025.00-0.04 but Skybet and Coral are still offering the big prices on a Sharon victory. She could be a dark horse in the competition as far as we’re concerned, and although she could also easily exit at the next stage, she’s worth a small investment at those sort of prices.
The last artist we added to our team to follow for the series was Claudia Rose, who caught our eye in week five of the auditions. She was 12/113.00+120012.0012.00-0.08 with Skybet shortly after the show, but while most firms have shaved her price to 10/111.00+100010.0010.00-0.10 , Skybet have lengthened her odds slightly to 14/115.00+140014.0014.00-0.07 .
We were pleased to see Claudia join up with Rita Ora’s team, as we already backed her to be this year’s winning coach, and along with Ricky, she seems to hold the strongest hand of artists at this stage of the show. Rita has remained steady in the betting, with Skybet offering the best price of 3/14.00+3003.003.00-0.33 , while Ricky has been installed as the early favourite at 9/43.25+2252.252.25-0.44 with Betvictor and Paddy Power .
The Winners Market
If our selections so far bear any significance on how the show will pan out, it looks as though the girls will give the boys a real run for their money in this years competition. Looking at the opposition, the best of the boys so far appear to be:
Stevie’s performance of Kodaline’s ‘All I Want’ is still one of the most memorable auditions of the show so far, and as that was way back in the first blind audition show, that says a great deal about Stevie’s talent. There was a big gamble on him in the week that followed, and any value in backing him as a winner has probably long gone, but he look set to be a leading contender in the weeks to come.
Clark is another of the strong singers on Rita’s team, and if you’re looking to add a male representative to your own portfolio, you could do a lot worse than add Clark into the mix at 9/110.00+9009.009.00-0.11 . He had a great audition, covering Sam Smith’s ‘I’m Not The Only One’, and could easily go all the way. At the relative prices he makes much more appeal than Stevie.
Emmanuel Nwamadi – 12/113.00+120012.0012.00-0.08 with Ladbrokes
Emmanuel makes up a trio of amazing male vocalists who will push the girls all the way throughout series four. His version of ‘The Sweetest Taboo’ by Sade, stood out among the other auditions on the same night as Liss Jones performed, and he gave her a run for her money for performance of the night. He’s got the potential to win the competition, and is another who we wouldn’t put you off backing if you want to hedge your bets a little with one of the strongest male artists.
The Voice UK promises to be an excellent show to follow over the next few months, and it’s handy in this type of programme to have several early bets at big prices – some of which you can lay off at a later stage, and some which you will want to follow through as your acts near the final stages of the competition. At the moment male acts make up four of the top five in the betting, so perhaps the short price on a male winner is understandable. However, seven of the top twelve in the betting are female, and things can swing very quickly in these types of markets. At the moment the price on the girls, in what is effectively a two-horse race, is much too big and is definitely worth a little nibble.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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