Last updated March 1st, 2016
The celebrities have only taken to the dance floor once but there are already some major movers in the Strictly Come Dancing betting. We identify the ones to watch if you want to pick the winner and have food for thought on the first money-making opportunity – who might be the first out.
Strictly fans will know that it is often celebrities who are not at the bottom of the leaderboard after the judges’ scores that find themselves in danger after the viewers’ vote. It tends to be those in the lower/middle region that are not especially entertaining or popular with the public.
Deborah Meaden (12/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral) is more likely to go than her price suggests. She is perhaps the least popular dragon in the TV show Dragons’ Den and has made a pretty poor job of pitching her personality in Strictly so far. Who is going to support a notoriously unforgiving businesswoman claiming to have pots of money and with minimal dancing talent?
Deborah’s graceless plod down the stairs on the opening night when partnerships were announced was ominous. Dressed in dragon-green, she had to be pulled around like a train wagon when she went wrong in her tango to Abba’s ‘Money, Money, Money.’ But it wasn’t nearly as bad as Craig Revel Horwood and everyone else expected. Her score of 24 left her in joint eighth place.
This week she attempts the cha cha (the last dance for a number of celebs in the last series) but she will not be at the bottom of the leaderboard. Others, including the favourite to go, golfer Tony Jackin (best at 6/5 Ladbrokes, William Hill) and broadcaster Vanessa Feltz (4/1 Coral, SkyBet), look certain to be worse. The comedic skill of Deborah’s partner, Robin Windsor, is a concern but if the routine is lacklustre, she could prove decent investment value to be first out.
What about the Strictly Come Dancing Winner betting?
Former Coronation Street star, Natalie Gumede, was the 2/1 favourite in the Strictly betting long before anyone had been seen on the dance floor. She originally wanted to be a dancer and has had plenty of dance training, but not in ballroom.
She can certainly act. She received the British Soap Award for Best Villain in 2013. She played a truly horrific character rather too convincingly.
Natalie was in second place after her cha cha but Strictly is not just about dancing talent. At least 50% of it is a popularity contest and she has a mountain to climb on the PR front.
Her pairing with Artem Chigvintsev, the former winner and master choreographer, has to be a positive but his efforts will be wasted if she remotely echoes her Corrie character.
She has already given Artem grief for being late for dance practice. She will have to work on her interview technique with Tess and Zoe if she is to stand a chance of lifting the glitterball. Her first appearance on It Takes Two would not have won her many fans. She is one favourite who is definitely best avoided.
The big mover in the market after the first dance was Abbey Clancy, the model and TV presenter who is best known for being footballer Peter Crouch’s wife. She is less well known for forming the girl band, Genie Queen, in her teenage years. We can hope for some musicality.
Before she hit the dance floor she was available at 12/1. Her stunning waltz with the new Slovenian Strictly professional, Aljaz Skorjanec, resulted in a massive price change. She became the 4/1 second favourite in the SCD odds after they headed the leaderboard with a score of 32.
Personality wise, she seems more likeable than the average WAG (but that’s not saying much) and tries to present a less than glamorous lifestyle. She compared herself to ‘a sack of spuds’ in training. Aljaz (whom she is trying to persuade to try modelling) needed a translation.
Her next performance will be interesting. Abbey is perfectly shaped for ballroom but long legs are not ideal for Latin dances. If she manages to cope with learning a Latin routine in just one week and can cope with her nerves out of hold she is worth a bet as Top Woman (best at 10/3 Ladbrokes) at the very least.
The only other women worth watching are the singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor (12/1), breakfast TV presenter Susanna Reid (6/1) and the Countdown maths queen Rachel Riley (12/1).
Sophie has the advantage of Strictly veteran, Brendan Cole, to help her and was endearingly honest about her nerves “I was petrified but I didn’t throw up.” Her stylish waltz left her sharing third place on the leaderboard with Susanna and actor, Patrick Robinson (25/1) from Casualty.
Susanna’s lively personality and energy gained her praise for her jive and her Strictly debutant partner, Kevin Clifton, has humour too. They both score in the all important popularity stakes and have to be considered.
Hollyoaks bad boy, actor Ashley Taylor-Dawson was the 7/2 second favourite in the Strictly betting before he danced the jive that left him in seventh place on the leaderboard. He has now drifted to 6/1 but is definitely not a lost cause.
He has the help of the canny, ultra-competitive Ola Jordan who has guided lesser talents to victory in the past. Unlike Natalie, Ashley comes across as a decent human being with little in common with his screen character.
Like Abbey, Ashley has been in a band and a more successful one. That has to be an advantage and he should have no problems getting into character for the dances that demand it. He received positive comments for his timing but his footwork was described as ‘feral’ by Craig. Ola will be able to work on that. He is currently too short-priced to be of interest as Top Man but could be a potential winner.
Whilst Hollyoaks has 1.2 million viewers, Casualty is enjoyed by over 5 million people every week. That statistic alone has to put Patrick Robinson in with half a chance. Fortunately he not only plays Ash, a likeable, compassionate character but, as his opening score suggests, he can dance too.
He is pushing 50 and an old knee injury was irritated by the demands of his action-packed jive. His new professional partner, Anya Garni (who has managed to get an infected toe herself) needs to factor in his physical limitations or he might end up finding himself in a real hospital.
If the first dance is any indicator, the only way to profit from the other male celebs is in the Strictly Elimination betting.
SCD Betting Tips Verdict
At this early stage our strongest advice is not to touch the Strictly betting favourite, Natalie Gumede (7/4), with a barge pole. Abbey Clancy (4/1) and Ashley Taylor-Dawson (6/1) currently look to be much stronger contenders. So these are the three bets we advise placing prior to this weekend’s show:
- ASHLEY TAYLOR-DAWSON (best at 6/1 Coral, Betfred, William Hill) is our selection to win the entire competition as his partner is possibly the best in the business, with a significant following of her own.
- ABBEY CLANCY to be Top Woman at 100/30 with Ladbrokes.
- If you would like a value longshot in the first round Strictly Elimination betting, then the old dragon DEBORAH MEADEN (12/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral) might prove a sound business investment.
Fiona Derek is our Reality TV and horse racing expert. The only time you won’t find her riding or mucking out a racehorse is when she is watching Reality TV or racing on the box.