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Brit Awards Betting: Can Mumford and Sons stop Emeli Sande?

Emeli Sande has four nomination but M&S, who have three, are in with a chance

Recommended Bets
Back Mumford and Sons @ 2.111/10 for Best British Group
Back Taylor Swift @ 2.021/1 for Best International Female
 

Not since Sandy Lyle won the Open has a Scot triumphed south of the border as emphatically as Emeli Sande is expected to at the Brits. There are firm favourites in most markets, so can we find some value? The awards take place at the O2 Arena on Wednesday but the Betfair markets close at midnight this Sunday. 

Best British Album
Sande is 1.3130/100 and only moustachioed Marcus Mumford and his Sons 3.3512/5 are within whistling distance. "Our Version of Events" is the year's biggest seller and her rivals speak volumes about a weak 12 months: Alt-J 22.021/1 wouldn't be nominated if they hadn't won the Mercury, while Plan B 22.021/1 makes the list with a film soundtrack. Paloma Faith is 26.025/1 for Fall To Grace. But Mumford and Sons' odds have shortened since the Grammys and they're worth a small investment.

Best British Single
Again a lady with a big voice looks unbeatable. Adele is 1.51/2 with her James Bond theme "Skyfall" and the track is an even shorter price to earn an Oscar in a couple of weeks too. Even James Arthur's "Impossible" 6.86/1 will struggle to stop Adele and Sande won't expect an album/single double for "Next To Me." 

Best British Male
Turn this market upside down and justice be done: the old man from Yorkshire, Richard Hawley, would be 1.321/3 and the young man from Devon, Ben Howard, would be 60.059/1. But the Brits, like life, aren't fair, and Howard looks likely to win. When he plays at the ceremony, there will inevitably be a moment when you could hear a pin drop, so use said caesura to ask yourself: are we so unimaginative that an artist who wants to be the surfy Bon Iver is our best male? After all, last time BI made a decent album, Dubya was president, Sven was Manchester City manager and Howard was probably doing his Duke of Edinburgh Award.   

Best British Female
Say what you like about the males but at least their second favourite hasn't been dead 18 months. The jolly, however, is Emeli Sande 1.121/8 and this will be her second prize of the night.

Best British Group
Boy band who only sing versus boy band who play guitars. Both perform on the night but Mumford and Sons 2.111/10 look well-placed to pip One Direction 2.0421/20 for this. The Mumfs missed out two years ago but, since then, they've topped the charts, met Michelle Obama and jammed with Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Even if "Babel" lacks the bite of "Sigh No More", their Grammy-fuelled momentum makes them value.   
 
Best British Breakthrough
Ed Sheeran scooped this and Best British Male last year, so can Howard do the same? At 5.59/2, the market thinks not, preferring Rita Ora 1.68/13. Jake Bugg's 5.24/1 album reached number one but, although Lightning Bolt caught the Olympic mood, his singles haven't made the impact that Sheeran's "The A Team" did. Ora's album debuted at number one and three singles also went to the top. At the Brits, these things count. 

Best International Group
Persistence and flair can pay off. That's why bluesy Black Keys are 1.261/4. fun. 2.6213/8 won Best New Artist and Best Song at the Grammys last Sunday. The Script 9.08/1 and The Killers 9.08/1 look dull but there might be value in very small stakes on fiery outsiders the Alabama Shakes 14.013/1

Best International Male
It'd be amusing to see Springsteen 2.546/4 win a Mastercard Brit for his banker-baiting Wrecking Ball but, unless the folks who turned him off at Hyde Park are determined to make a conciliatory gesture, not even the Boss can halt Frank Ocean 1.3130/100.

Best International Female
It's confirmed: Taylor Swift is performing, Beyonce is not, and, as anybody who watched the Super Bowl knows, that's not good. Swift is 2.021/1 but Lana Del Rey 1.910/11, who was Best International Breakthrough last year, is preferred by bettors. Her songs are infectious, but are they anything else? Swift won't quench anyone's thirst for authenticity but she's the bet.      


Recommended Bets
Back Mumford and Sons at 3.3512/5 for Best British Album
Back Mumford and Sons @ 2.111/10 for Best British Group
Back Taylor Swift @ 2.021/1 for Best International Female
       

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14 February 2013

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