The internet has gone into a frenzy ever since the contestants for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing was announced. Max Liu takes an early look at the betting...
"There's a clump of mid-market contestants, headed up by Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell 10/1 who's looking for a new challenge just months after his triumphant return to rowing in the boat race."
Autumn truly is the season of specials betting and in recent years no event has captured the imagination quite like Strictly Come Dancing. The BBC show returns for its 17th series and the excitement is already under way following last week's announcement of this year's contestants.
The judging panel will have a slightly different look to is this time after Darcey Bussell stepped down to be replaced by Motsi Mabuse. She will join Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli on the panel. Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will continue to host the show.
Footballers, comedians, YouTubers, soap stars and more will be hitting the dance floor this time and betting markets are already taking shape.
Alex Scott leads the pre-event betting
Football pundit Alex Scott is the early favourite at 5/1. The former-Arsenal and England full-back was nimble on the football field and bettors might be tempted to think her athleticism will stand her in good stead here.
Her nearest rivals in the betting so far are ex-Corrie star Catherine Tyldesley 6/1, Jamie Laing 7/1, Karmim Zeroual 8/1, Saffron Barker 8/1 and Emma Barton 9/1 (Honey from Eastenders).
Then there's a clump of mid-market contestants, headed up by Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell 10/1 who's looking for a new challenge just months after his triumphant return to rowing in the boat race. Comedian Chris Ramsey 12/1, Dev Griffin 12/1 and Michelle Visage 14/1 follow.
Calamity on the dancefloor?
As for the other ex-footballer among the contestants, it's to be hoped David James 16/1 can avoid the kind of blunders that occasionally blotted his career. The ex-England goalkeeper is near the bottom of the market, along with fellow outsiders Emma Wymouth 16/1, Anneka Rice 16/1, Will Bayley 25/1 and BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell 33/1.
Of course, Strictly is all about surprises. It wasn't difficult to image that last year's winner Stacey Dooley would be a good dancer, there have been plenty of contestants over the years who have stunned viewers and judges with their moves. Make sure you read this site for Strictly betting tips throughout the series.