by Mike Hayes - 04/11/2006
With the field of contestants down to just eight, wagering on American Idol has become the fastest growing proposition available to bettors, with a handle equaling that of some prime sports events.
"No other event has been growing as fast as wagering on American Idol. It has turned into a huge betting event with reasonably high limits which we expect to increase further to $20,000 limits as the series reaches its climax," said Simon Noble of Pinnacle Sportsbook. "The action on this year's series is (approximately) five times more than the last installment of the hit show and now compares to the Masters in terms of overall handle."
Noble said bettors favor week-to-week betting opportunities and that as the contest nears the end, wagering on the overall winner will increase. "At the moment, the odds on who will be eliminated next from the show are the most popular and generate intense interest."
Here's a look at the remaining contestants and a look at their chances of being crowned the next American Idol. All odds courtesy of Pinnacle.
CHRIS DAUGHTRY 1.35 to 1 - I just don't get it about this guy. Sure he's got some talent, but he's been a favorite since the beginning but I haven't yet been overwhelmed by his performance. With the odd pattern of voting in recent weeks, +135 seems a bit light in what appears to be a wide-open competition. In fact, I'd rather throw a few bucks and take 100-1 that he's the next to go, even thought that's unlikely as well.
KATHARINE McPHEE 3 to 1 - Although she found herself among the lowest vote getters a couple of weeks ago, this 21-year-old Californian should be in this until the end and has a huge chance to win.
"Katherine remains one of our favorites to win despite finishing in the bottom two a couple of weeks ago when the overall level of voting was low in comparison to previous shows," Noble said.
TAYLOR HICKS 3.6 to 1 - Somebody check this guy's birth certificate. I know the salt-and pepper hair thing can be misleading but he claims to be 29 and as a gambler I'd bet he's closer to 40 than he is to 30. He can sing but dances like a constipated Joe Cocker so I don't think he can win. Hicks hails from Alabama, no pun intended.
KELLIE PICKLER 6.5 to 1 - This is my dark horse to win. She has the voice to go with the looks and the dumb thing is getting a lot of male votes. Kellie is a 19-year-old from North Carolina.
ELLIOT YAMIN 20 to 1 - Has a pretty good voice but lacks the look of an American Idol and will likely depart soon as a result. In fact, he looks a bit like Kevin Covais, don't you think? He's second choice behind Bucky to get the boot this week at 4-1. The 27-year-old is from Virginia.
"Even if you think Elliot would look more at home at a Star Trek convention than in a contest for a major recording contract, remember that the typical voter is young, female and quite often Southern," Noble said.
PARIS BENNETT 20-1 - I don't know what it is about Paris, but as Randy Jackson might say, "It just doesn't do it for me, man." She obviously has talent but the 20-year-old from Georgia never seems to separate herself from the pack - good or bad - which might keep her around for a couple more weeks, but will spell doom in the end.
ACE YOUNG 60 to 1 -- The 26-year-old out of Colorado was at one time one of the favorites to capture the title but has found himself struggling to stay out of the bottom three in recent weeks. Maybe people caught on to the fact that he's trying to achieve the rocker look but sings like Janet Jackson, who he notes on his Idol bio is his favorite female vocalist. Considering his past appeal though, he might be worth a shot at these odds.
BUCKY COVINGTON 100 to 1 - A 28-year-old from North Carolina, Bucky has been the favorite to get the ax the past few weeks but has somehow survived. American Idol no, Goobersville, USA Idol, definitely. This week he is again the overwhelming favorite to get the boot at -141, but I wouldn't bet on him to get tossed just yet. There's a lot of trailer parks in the country (I can't figure out who else is voting for this guy) and he could defy the odds once more.
"Bucky is still 100-1 at Pinnacle Sports despite not finishing in the bottom three last week but it was country which definitely played to his strengths. With the music of Queen as the theme tonight, it is likely to be a different story as another one bites the dust," Noble said.
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