Britain's Got Talent Betting: BAM and Collabro to fight for the title
Reality TV and variety entertainment fan Mike Norman guides us through the main runners and riders for Saturday's Britain's Got Talent Final and predicts who will be walking away with this year's title...
"You can dutch the pair (splitting your stakes in a way that whoever wins you get the same return) at odds of around [1.46] and I have to say that looks like buying money."
And so we've come to the conclusion of this year's Britain's Got Talent and it doesn't take a genius to work out that Saturday night's final will be fought out by Bars and Melody (BAM) and Collabro.
They are [2.48] and [3.6] respectively in the Winner market, and that makes complete sense. In fact, it makes just as much sense to best work out how we can profit from wagering on these two acts.
Bars and Melody consist of teenage duo Charlie, 15, and Leondre, 13. They performed a rap about bullying at their first audition and arguably received the warmest ovation of any act in the brief history of BGT. They received a standing ovation from all four judges and Mr Nasty himself, Simon Cowell - who to be fair is always kind to kids - pressed his Golden Buzzer.
Golden Buzzer? Yes, that was this year's fantastic addition, allowing each of the judges to put an act that they enjoyed straight through to the live semi-finals.
Unfortunately two of the Golden Buzzer recipients have already fallen foul of being rubbish and are no longer with us. But Bars and Melody most certainly are with us, and as the winner is voted for by the general public then it's difficult to see how they won't prevail.
The young duo's popularity is huge already; they are polite, courteous, cute and perhaps most importantly, extremely talented. They'll need only to perform their anti-bullying audition song - which is a certain future hit by the way - again to wow the judges and audience once more, and they ought to poll most of the votes.
At [2.44] to back they still look a decent price even though they've been matched at a high of [4.8] (and I thought 11/4 on the High Stree was generous!), and if allowed just one wager on Saturday then Bars and Melody would be where I place my money.
But that's not to say that they are the act who I think should win.
For me that honour goes to Collabro who have been sensational so far - well, they've performed two oustanding vocals to date if that means anything.
Significantly, the quintet appeared on the very first audtion show this year, just like Paul Potts did, just like Susan Boyle did, and just like Jonathan and Charlotte did.
What I'm trying to say is that there are some very good judges - just like myself - at ITV and it appears a deliberate ploy to show the best act on the very first show, thus enabling the public to whip up a storm about how good they are and allow plenty of time to gather momentum.
It worked with Potts, but both Boyle, and Jonahtan and Charlotte would eventually finish runner-up on finals night, which serves as a warning that the best act doesn't always win. The public vote for the act that they like most on the night, not the act that has the most talent and long term future. I mean, come on, what are Ashleigh and Pudsey up to these days?
So while I believe Collabro have the more talent and will have the more successful future, I'm wary that Bars and Melody will prove more popular on the night.
Having said that, I wouldn't stop anyone having a punt on Collabro at [3.6]. I'm 99% confident that this is a two horse race so good luck to you whichever of the favourites you decide to back.
And talking of two horse races, when you get odds of [2.44] and [3.6] about both runners then surely there's a simple way to profit. Well yes there is - you can dutch the pair (splitting your stakes in a way that whoever wins you get the same return) at odds of around [1.46] and I have to say that looks like buying money.
As I've said for the past few years, Britain's Got Talent is a goldmine for favourite backers and one of the front two in the market will prevail this year also.
The rest of the acts in Saturday's final are performing for a podium finish only, which is good news for us as we can also Wager in the Top 3 market.
We can exclude Jack Pack ([3.4]), who are a tad boring, unappealing, and besides, Collabro are the boyband this year meaning we won't get two of them finishing in the top three.
You can make a case for magician/illusionist Darcy Oake ([2.82]) but his type of act just doesn't go down well with enough voters to make an impact. Having said that, Oake is the best magician this show has ever seen, though that's not saying much when you consider even Wayne Rooney would have stood a chance in previous shows - his magic trick being to make his ability disappear every time there's a big tournament on the horizon!
So that just leaves Lucy Kay ([2.6]), wildcard recipient John Clegg ([7.2]), and Amanda Holden's Golden Buzzer act Paddy and Nico ([8.0]).
Actually, let's re-phrase that. So that just leaves Lucy Kay and wildcard recipient John Clegg.
Clegg is a very talented impressionist but backing such acts is very risky indeed. He deserves his place in the final and I'm sure he'll do well but it's best we keep it safe and back Kay. She's a stunning vocalist who have overcome a lot of adversity in her life to be where she is now.
A good performance should see her claim third spot. Until next year.
Dutch Bars and Melody and Collabro to Win @ [1.45] (best bet)
Back Bars and Melody to Win @ [2.48]
Back Lucy Kay for Top 3 @ [2.6]