Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas Number 1 - X Factor Single - First Listen;

Special Bets just listened to the X Factor single... Nizlopi backers can sleep a little easier tonight - as its a

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X Factor - Voting Update - Kate Thornton Announces The Vote Is Close;

KT Says "just 2% between all 3 contestants" and follows up with "the order has changed 3 times during the show"

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X Factor Final - Preview 17/12 - The Trouble With Being Favourite;

It just HAS to be Shayne says the Manchester Evening News and they're not the only ones... almost every media organisation is telling the nation this evening that Shayne's the favourite to win tonight. This can be a problematic - who remembers John McCririck telling the nation Celebrity Big Brother
contestant Kenzie was a "Dead Cert" - Kenzie fans were not driven to the phone in droves, and the Happy Monday's Bez won 54% of the vote.

Current To Win Betfair Odds - Shayne 1.55 Journey South 3.8 Andy 10

X Factor - 6.40 - 8.10pm Xtra Factor - 8.10 - 9.10 Results Show (format below) 9.10 - 10.10pm

Order Of Play - Each contestant will sing 3 times, including a Christmas song in keeping with the season. Journey South will start, followed by Andy and then Shayne, repeat and repeat again. Is that significant? Being last is considered to be an advantage (although given each contestant is singing 3 times the impact of that should be diminished). Is Shayne last because he needs a little help? We'll see - The "This Morning" Poll, 12/12 had Journey South with quite a lead...

Song Choices;

Shayne - If you're not the one - (Daniel Beddingfield)
When A Child Is Born - (Traditional)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Made Famous by Judy Garland)

Andy - Oh Holy Night, When A Man Loves A Woman, Me & Mrs Jones.

Journey South - Happy Xmas (War Is Over), Let It Be, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

We reckon Journey South have the best song choices here on balance. Popular songs we've heard them sing well. JS's "cheese swerve" singing the John Lennon number is another smart Simon Cowell move we think and another opportunity to absorb some of the emotion surrounding Lennon's 25 year anniversary.

We think that Shayne Ward will sing well, and will impress vocally (he soundchecked well)
but we're concerned that these songs are rather dull and chosen to win older demographic votes which will put him in more direct competition with what we think are JS and Andy's fanbase.

Andy's Song choices are perfect in our view apart from "Oh Holy Night" which we commented on here; "When a Man Loves A Woman" and "Me And Mrs Jones" are his show stoppers.

We're having trouble making a definitive call on who might win tonight, but think that Journey South and Shayne's odds should be much closer and would be backing Andy at these levels.
Results Show Format;

9.20pm -Third placed finalist voted off
9.30pm -Top two sing their favourite song or is it the single "That's My Goal"?
10pm -Winner Announced

Friday, December 16, 2005

X Factor Preview - Andy's Christmas Song....

Each X Factor contestant has to sing a Christmas song on this week's show. Special Bets just listened to the soundcheck of Andy's song choice "Oh Holy Night" - and...well... let's cut to the chase - this was an awful dirge.. Special Bets thinks that this is a corny choice, fit only to be parodied (last seen performed by Southpark's Eric Cartman).

Andy is way behind in the public vote. This won't help him catch up. At least Cartman was amusing...

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Christmas Number One - JCB Song Web Traffic Goes "Crazy` Thursday..

Nizlopi's domain experienced a dramatic surge in traffic on Thursday versus Wednesday. As reported here, Nizlopi will be #1 THIS week, ahead of Westlife, Robbie Williams etc.. this has generated a lot of free publicity for the duo. Their "reach" was up a massive 75% on Thurday over Wednesday. For perspective, that's the same reach statistic as currently... - home of the Crazy Frog - Mental!!

Current odds at Paddy Power;

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Top TV Program Market - Introducing A Very Special New Guest Expert to Special Bets;

Special Bets is proud to announce the inaugural guest spot of "specials" expert "AgainstTheCrowd".
A Special bettor for many years, AgainstTheCrowd's recent tipping of Maria Lawson to be eliminated from X Factor (at odds of 40/1!) and Carol Thatcher to win "I'm A Celebrity" (12/1) earned him the acclaim of the Racing Post.


Those of you who find the lack of a bet on Christmas Day difficult to handle are in luck this year. Bookmakers are taking bets on the ‘Top TV Programme ’ the show that has the highest UK Viewing figures on Christmas Day Settled in accordance with BARB UK.

contenders are the ‘soaps’ Eastenders and Coronation Street..& the Dr. Who Christmas Special "Christmas Invasion"

Paddy Power are running a comprehensive book and are best priced on 2 of the main contenders. I feel Dr.Who - 'Christmas Invasion' at 9/2 is the best value at present. It has the combination of a seasonal theme, a new Dr. Who, and relatively weak schedule opposition in ‘Millionaire ‘Celebrity Special’.

Add to that, good viewing figures in its spring season and the fact that at heart, every generation loves it we could have a runaway success.

The professionals have already moved in on Eastenders which has a genuine favourite’s chance at odds on with the same firm. The major ITV soap Coronation Street is
thus available at a generous looking and biggest available 9/4.

Those looking for a shock might consider the ‘other soap’ Emmerdale at 33/1 or Only Fools’ spin off ‘The Green Green Grass’ at bigger odds…

Click here; for the top TV market.

Good Luck!


Paddy Power have a huge selection of Special Bets, our favourite is "Cruise The Daddy" full selection available here;

Today At Special Bets;

Today we'll preview the X Factor final (this will be added to going into Saturday so do check back). We'll have a few comments on the UK Christmas number one single market and look forward to a new political market - “Next Lib Dem Leader” as Lib Dem heavyweights sharpen the knives over struggling leader Charles Kennedy who appears likely to be David Cameron's first victim.
If you're a politics “Wonk” Mike Smithson's excellent politicalbetting is a great place to read the news, digest Mike's cool charts, hang out with your fellow "Wonks" and chat - Special Bets however will alert readers to specific trading opportunities as we see them arise so if that's more your style register for political updates using the alert system below.
Best, Special Bets.

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UK Christmas Number 1 - Media Realises Nizlopi Will Be #1 This Week;

In articles here, here, and here the media have started reporting that Nizlopi's top showing in Monday's "midweeks" - means they's be #1 in the pre-Christmas chart - the sort of publicity that's likely to grow and the only way this song can challenge the X Factor machine...

Current odds at Paddy Power;

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Daily Mirror Exposes "Reality TV Betting Fraud" With Cooperation From Betfair;

Today's Mirror carries the following
on its online edition;

14 December 2005
Exclusive By Andy Lines A BETTING scam that raked in a fortune from reality TV shows like the X Factor has been smashed. Investigators swooped after becoming suspicious of a string of huge wagers being put on winners minutes before they were announced live on television. It is believed punters were tipped off by text from a BT worker with access to phone vote totals for the programmes. A five-man gang scooped £105,000 in fraudulent wagers with unsuspecting online firm Betfair. One friend of the mob said: "The guys knew they could not lose. It is corrupt. At first it was small amounts but they were caught out when they got greedier." Betfair called police after busting the sting, which also involved shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and Hell's Kitchen. The gang made £30,000 on the X Factor alone with bets on contestants battling it out before judges Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne. A Betfair spokesman said: "We have no hesitation contacting police when people may be betting fraudulently."

Readers of Special Bets will know from our archived posts that "insider trading" is something we've often discussed and analysed. We believe that it is a big positive for Specials Betting to see Betfair and the Police apparently taking this problem seriously... watch this space for updates on this story..

On I'm A Celebrity Insider Trading;

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas #1 - BBC/HMV confirm Nizlopi likely to be # 1 in the singles chart this week;

The BBC online appear to confirm our information on the UK singles midweeks in this article (quoting HMV) that Nizlopi are indeed likely to be #1 this week, outselling Westlife.

Current odds at Paddy Power;

X Factor - Popular Web Forum "leaks" Alleged Voting Figures.

Special Bets has no interest in being a medium to transmit rumours, however the following was quite publically written on a popular web forum so we feel the need to report that;

"x factor votes percentage for sat 10 dec , journey south 39% shane 30% andy 16% brenda 15% they were mistakenly put on itv x factor website for about 10 minutes ill add that i never seen it but heard second hand so use stats to bet at your own risk"

Special Bets is fully aware that there are various "facts" floating around. Feel free to provide feedback on these statistics emailing

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Christmas #1 - Update - Nizlopi Single Sales Indicate a #1 chart position, Web Traffic Doubles;

Yesterday's Nizlopi's JCB single sales on (Monday) indicate that they are the top selling UK single thus far this week indicating a high likelihood they will be number one this week - the week before Christmas. Further, webtraffic on doubled yesterday. Momentum is clearly aggressively moving in the right direction....

Current odds at Paddy Power;

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas # 1 Market - Nizlopi - Top of Amazon, HMV, Top Of The Pops; helpfully have a link with which Special Bets can track CD single sales (relative to other singles) of a track "Hot 100 CD Singles" here;

Regular "link clickers" will observe that at least one of Nizlopi's two single formats have been top of this list (previously on the pre release list) of late. Both formats will count toward the Christmas chart next week and this looks promising for this week's pre Chrismas chart.

HMV have a similar function here; - which concurs with the Amazon findings currently...

As do Woolworths here;

Special Bets just watched the Nizlopi duo on 11/12 TOTP. With their shoes off, Nizlopi treated the TOTP crowd to perhaps their first ever performance from an asthmatic beat-boxing cellist. Lead singer Luke Concannon had the bemused crowd clapping along for the end section - a memorable performance. Only Simon Cowell and the Japanese/German empire of Sony/BMG Music can stop the British JCB boys to the UK Christmas #1 Chart now...
Current Christmas # 1 Betfair Odds - Nizlopi 4.6 X Factor Winner 1.5
Bet in the Betfair Betting Exchange. Click here!

Here's a story about how Sony/BMG have been wooing CD buyers of late;

Here's the updated web traffic report for ;

Current odds at Paddy Power;

X Factor - Latest This Morning Poll Results - 12/12

We will keep a track of this poll in the way we did with the "I'm a Celeb" polls as they proved so useful. There will be comparative data as well as any perspective we feel useful - such as the context that the poll was conducted in - ie the show's bias that day etc. Telephone poll results in reverse order;

Andy 20%
Shayne 32%
Journey South 48%

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