X Factor Week 1 Betting Post-Mortem

I lost a couple of hundred pounds when Nicolo was the first to be eliminated from this year’s final stages of X Factor. I had backed FYD, John Adeleye and Belle Amie for that dubious distinction.

I would have won just over £1,000 had FYD gone first rather than been the second to be eliminated, but I don’t feel too hard done by. The fact that three judges opted to keep headline-grabbing Katie in, thus avoid the need for a decision based on public opinion, suggests to me that FYD had the edge over their rival in that poll. I reckon the boy band were 14th of 16 in the phone vote.

There are some useful betting lessons to learn on the weekly elimination market. Firstly, many of the rumours, including the running order, turned out not to be entirely accurate. This didn’t affect my bets, which still had early slots. Nonetheless, it brought home that betting before the Saturday live show is riskier than betting during it.

Secondly, even betting during the first weekend show has to be carefully managed. I felt reasonably confident of my bets as the Saturday show was being broadcast, believing that Belle Amie’s performance had been disastrous, whilst FYD and John were hardly persuasive.

Katie’s performance also lacked spark, but she was also not helped by Treyc’s comment near the end of the Saturday show that both Katie and Cher had not received her wildcard re-entry in a friendly way. X-Factor is ultimately a popularity contest, after all.

For further proof of this, I felt Nicolo’s eccentricity would see him safely through the early rounds, but performing in sunglasses throughout ‘Let’s Dance’ and then folding his arms once he had taken them off during judges’ comments meant that he never connected at all with the watching audience.

Don’t stop looking at the betting market on Saturday night, even though it’s busiest then. There is still some value to be had just before and during the Sunday show.

On Betfair, I was getting 27-1 about FYD to be eliminated first before the phone lines closed – great odds in the circumstances. And whilst the same company was not offering odds on the sing-off as they did last year, both Boylesports and Betfred were. Given the need for producers to keep the controversial Katie in, the 4-5 initially offered in a two-horse race was a good bet.

My colleague here at sofabet will offer his thoughts on the previous weekend’s show and performances in a regular column of ‘Midweek refleXions’ in a few days, whilst I’ll be back next weekend to offer my thoughts on the Week 2 elimination market.

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