If you want a bet on the TV show then compare the Strictly Come Dancing odds from the top bookmakers using the betting table below. You may also claim free bets.
Strictly Come Dancing Betting Odds – To Win
To Win SCD; Best odds bold; Place: Win Only.
Strictly Come Dancing history & clues to profit from the SCD odds
If anyone had told you a few years ago that in excess of eight million people, young and old, would be glued to their television sets on a Saturday night watching a programme featuring less than adept celebrities attempting to master the lost arts of ballroom and Latin dancing you would not have put money on it, but millions have now become hooked and many are enjoying a punt on Strictly Come Dancing betting.
The show was the brainchild of Fenia Vardanis and developed by the BBC. First screened in May 2004, Strictly Come Dancing was an instant hit. The very first programme attracted an audience of well over four million. That number had doubled by the end of the first competition. Viewers had strong opinions on who would be successful in the show and bookmakers quickly fulfilled the demand for betting on Strictly Come Dancing.
Hosted by cringe-inducing Bruce Forsyth and glam blonde Tess Daly, the show is screened on BBC1 in peak time on a Saturday evening in the autumn to Christmas period. Amazingly, people did not just stay in to watch it, but invited their friends to come and watch it with them. Rather than dispute who would be the likely winner, many chose to profit from their opinions by placing a wager on their favourite dancers.
Just in case the Strictly phenomenon has somehow escaped you, the show is intrinsically a talent contest in which one celebrity competitor together with their professional dancing partner is eliminated each week. There is an interactive element of the show which is incredibly important and makes SCD betting much more compelling. By voting for your favourite you can help improve their chances of staying in the show.
While the once venerable judges, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and, until the 2009 competition, Arlene Phillips provide 50% of the input on who will stay in the show, the other half is decided by the viewers phoning in to vote for the celebrity of their choice. Sadly, in 2009, the extremely knowledgeable and entertaining but ageing Arlene was replaced by the more youthful but relatively clueless and notoriously inarticulate Alesha Dixon, winner of the 2008 series. Alesha was supplemented by the occasional input of ballet star, Darcey Bussell, who at least had an in depth knowledge of dance and something comprehensible to say about competitors’ performances. Bussell soon become a permanent fixture.
The judges’ scores and the public’s vote is added together and the two couples with the lowest combined scores face the dreaded ‘dance off’ in a later programme on the same evening. The two couples with the lowest scores then repeat their routines in a head to head after which the judges vote to decide who should be saved to fight (or dance) another day. Strictly Come Dancing betting can be a seriously stressful experience if your selection is in the lowest two.
If this all sounds rather mundane well yes, actually it is. But if you look at the volumes being wagered on SCD, there’s a good reason why bookmakers are taking this show seriously and its direct competition, the X Factor, which is usually screened on ITV at the same time on Saturday evenings.
Strictly Come Dancing betting has become big business for bookmakers as contestants’ odds are adjusted on the quality of their performance each week. The colossal popularity of the show leads to contestants becoming high profile targets of the tabloids too. Mark Ramprakash, the cricket star who triumphed in 2006 had his extra marital exploits unceremoniously exposed following his popularity in the show. We can only wonder if he rues the day he decided to take part.
Former BBC reporter, John Sergeant became a sensation in 2008. His utterly inept performances so endeared him to the viewing public that he was repeatedly saved by the viewers’ vote from having to experience the almost certain death of the dance off. His entertainment value resulting in relative dancing ‘talents’ being exposed to the 50 percent fatality rate of the dance off and ejected from the show. He knew his limitations, as did his dancing partner Kristina Rihanoff and he obviously had not put money on himself in the Strictly Come Dancing betting. After surviving, thanks to massive public support, for many weeks beyond his dance ability sell by date, he ultimately retired himself from the show after week nine of the thirteen week competition. He said it was to prevent more talented dancers being unfairly voted out of SCD. The better informed knew that the real reason was he was contracted to be lecturing on a cruise ship in the not so distant future as he hadn’t allowed for his longevity in the show caused by the overwhelming public support.
If you were placing a bet on what element of society would vote on the show you might reasonably think that it was mainly women picking up the ‘dog and bone’ to vote for their favourite male celebrities, giving male contestants a significant advantage. Apparently not. Either men are voting away on the quiet or women are supporting their female role models in numbers too. How else would newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, actress Jill Halfpenny and singer Alesha Dixon have succeeded? Kara Tointon, a former Eastenders soap star, kept the female winning trend going with victory in 2010.
The surprise 2009 victor, BBC sports correspondent Chris Hollins ‘the hobbit’, was a fascinating phenomenon. He started far from favourite in the odds but presumably managed to win over both men and women when it came to the public vote. Whatever his dancing talents, he consistently came across as ‘Mr Likeable’ in the all important interviews. Hollins also had the advantage of being partnered by the extremely popular and often scantily clad Ola Jordan. That might have helped to secure a decent percentage of the male vote. When he won the series, Hollins was almost apologetic, well aware that his dancing talents (excluding the Charleston) were simply not comparable to those of some of his fellow competitors.
Hollins was lucky. One time favourite in the 2009 Strictly Come Dancing betting and the universally acknowledged greater all round dancing talent, actor Ricky Whittle, fouled the pitch by getting arrested for allegedly assaulting a photographer after a nightclub session not long before the final. He also tended to appear slightly arrogant in interviews.
In 2011 the young and handsome drummer from pop group McFly, Harry Judd prevailed. He had natural ability but it certainly did not detract that he started an unknown and ended up with an army of adoring women that had his vote-line number on speed-dial as they were glued to their TV and his every move. Judd was not the early betting favourite of that series, as Jason Donovan had been viewed a ‘good thing’ by punters in the first few shows. Donovan had gone odds-on before being usurped by the burgeoning Judd and his professional dance partner Aliona. Donovan ended up finishing a distant third place while squeaky Scouse actress Chelsee Healey came an honourable second to the well educated, articulate, thinking girl’s eye-candy Judd. Interestingly it was a good year for the nice young men of pop group McFly (named after Marty McFly, the lead character played by Michael J Fox from the excellent film Back To The Future) as bandmate Dougie Poynter landed the Im A Celebrity Betting odds in the 2011 jungle Reality TV show.
2012 was a big year for the UK’s Olympians and silver-medal winning gymnast Louis Smith represented those athletes on that year’s show. He was favourite from the start and his odds followed a downward curve all the way. He won the contest from Denise Van Outen, who was not popular with the voting public, and Kimberley Walsh from Girls Aloud. Walsh came over as a sweet and attractive girl and nothing like Cheryl Cole at all. We can not imagine Walsh ever being convicted of assault and given community service. It must have helped heartthrob Louis’ chances that he had a big female following but nobody could deny his dance talent. He was subsequently awarded an MBE but we don’t know if that was for his jive, his gymnastic triumph or because the Queen fancied him.
If you are tempted to have a bet on SCD, you’ve certainly got a lot more to consider than the dance talents of your selection. It is also a popularity contest and a competition in which contestants are regularly forced to withdraw through injury. Whatever system of selection you prefer, having a wager on the Strictly Come Dancing betting odds has got to make sense, after all if you are sad enough you will be watching it anyway!