X FACTOR ODDS: A COMPLETE GUIDE
Having made megastars of some of its contestants and a few of its judges, X Factor has been a fixture on our TV screens every autumn since 2004. As time has passed, the show has become a crossover success, with X Factor betting becoming hugely popular as bookmakers and bettors alike realise just how well this form of TV show lends itself to wagering. Of course, the X Factor odds on a winner are the most popular market, but there are some interesting secondary markets that also provoke intrigue. In a field with four judge-mentors each assisting four acts, a field of sixteen hopefuls also ensures X Factor odds for elimination are are part and parcel of the overall betting experience on the show.
- The series starts in September of each year, ending in mid-December.
- The winner is usually expected to have a Christmas Number One single.
- The four judges are major figures from the UK music scene.
As we’ve noted, the most important market, and the one with the most betting action, is on betting for the show’s eventual winner. Each week, there is also plenty chance to bet on X Factor next elimination odds. In addition, there are less popular, but nevertheless interesting markets, include the winning “mentor”, which refers to the judge who has guided one of their acts to the win, as well as those focuses on the act that achieves the best result within certain categories: “Best Group”, “Best Girl”, “Best Boy” and “Best Over” (as in over the age of 25) are the usual options.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN BETTING FOR AN X FACTOR WINNER
Since the first series of the show, the bookies’ favourite to win X Factor has been in for a sour disappointment; the ‘favourite’ tag does not always mean the win is in the bag. If you’re the type of bettor who likes to punt on the underdogs, then X Factor final betting could be very beneficial, as the against-the-odds successes of Steve Brookstein, Ben Haenow, and Matt Terry have shown over the years. Additionally, it’s unwise to bet on an obvious “joke” act to be eliminated early on, even if that should be exactly what happens if the show were judged on musical talent alone. Acts such as Diva Fever, Same Difference, and Johnny Robinson have often stayed on long after the judges felt they had outstayed their welcomes, thanks to a mischievous public vote.
It goes without saying that you can make more informed bets on the winner, and have the best chance of assessing X Factor odds on next elimination, by watching the show on a weekly basis. For example, in 2009 it was obvious that bookies’ favourite Joe McElderry had a great chance to win if you tuned in each week – every judge praised his performances to the skies, in some cases even ahead of acts they were mentoring. Furthermore, watching the show can help you understand the dynamic between singers and mentors, which can affect other markets too.
- Judge-mentors can vote to get rid of their rivals’ acts
- Public votes choose two acts to “sing-off” to stay in
- The sing-off can show which acts the public dislikes
When setting their odds for X Factor betting UK bookmakers need to consider a range of different factors (pun not intended). There’s the media reaction to contestants, performances on the live shows, and the results of the previous week’s show, just for starters. The betting sites have to consider all of these issues, and sometimes the evidence from different sources can be contradictory – a performer with a standout showing can still end up in the sing-off, for example. So the X Factor odds on winner and other markets are always a compromise, a best guess rather than a truly evaluated and statistics-driven decision. This can create opportunities for bettors, as the following points indicate:
DON’T BET ON A GROUP
For one reason or another, over more than a decade of the show’s run, groups have found it incredibly difficult to win the show. They may win the judges’ hearts, and often take a lot of the media attention, but just once has a group won – Little Mix, in 2011. JLS finished second, behind Alexandra Burke who they went on to outperform when it came to actually selling singles and albums. One Direction, who have (somehow) gone on to become global megastars, finished third in a series won by the massively famous and celebrated… er… Matt Cardle. So, if you’re going to put money on a group to do anything, consider X Factor odds to be eliminated, rather than to win.
NOT ALL PUBLICITY IS GOOD PUBLICITY
Perhaps Misha B was never going to win – she ended up performing in the same year as Little Mix, who were the year’s standout act by a mile. However, her voice and stage presence marked her out as a potential star. However, she lost huge amounts of public support when the media ran with accusations of her bullying other performers, and from that point on, bettors were only going to get a return if they backed her on X Factor odds for elimination. The scandal blew over with no evidence ever being presented, but Misha was eliminated a week before the final nonetheless.
JUDGE THE SHELF-LIFE OF A “JOKE” CONTESTANT
Wagner. Jedward. Honey G. The list goes on – most years the X Factor winner betting odds on one of the show’s infamous “novelty” contestants will start to narrow around the midpoint of the competition, as the public starts to wonder if their idiosyncratic performances will fire them all the way to the final.
Aside from Steve Brookstein, however, none of these shambolic artists ever actually wins (ouch, but fair, we reckon). In fact, they tend not to make the final as they usually go out a few shows from the end, but the bookies have to take them seriously as long as they stay in. As a result, getting on these acts in the X Factor odds to leave around week seven or eight could be a decent strategy.
Thanks to the show having to pass muster on the drama front as well as the musical front, there is an incentive for the production team to meddle with the show’s format in order to keep things interesting. As a result, even the X Factor favourites in 2018 and other years can never be sure of their position – in 2011, Amelia Lily was eliminated in week one, and then returned to the show to finish third.
Nothing is guaranteed. The eventual winner is not always (and perhaps rarely) actually the best performer, and given that Joe McElderry beat out Olly Murs, they’re not even guaranteed to be the commercial success of their year’s show. Don’t back away from a bet because it goes against the perceived wisdom, because this whole show regularly goes against so-called prevailing trends.
Perhaps more importantly than any of the other tips, it’s essential to remember that there is a certain element of chaos to the way X Factor goes. It’s true that male solo singers seem to do unaccountably well with the voters, and that can be of use in X Factor final betting – Ben Haenow beating Fleur East was a shock neither the bookies nor the public saw coming.
However, none of the above tips are hard and fast rules, because the whole idea of the show lends itself to surprises. If you have an instinct that an act is benefiting from – or utterly lacks – public support, don’t be afraid to back that instinct. Check the internet – here at bettingtips.net of course, but also social media and forums – and trust your judgement. Don’t take risks, because the show can pull the rug from under your feet, but this is one show where your gut instinct can stand you in good stead.