The past 10 days has seen an extraordinary amount of column inches devoted to betting practices and corruption. It's been a sad period for cricket but nevertheless there is some more betting-related news that is bound to cheer us up! Paul Weller has become the clear favourite to take tomorrow's Mercury Prize with his odds being chopped from 20/1 to 10/1 by William Hill which is, if I calculate correctly, 200 times more likely (via The Guardian).
Bookmakers William Hill said that this represents "biggest turnaround in music betting for the last 40 years", which is perhaps not that impressive when you consider how much music betting goes on. Spokesman Rupert Adams said that it all happened very quickly, especially in the Birmingham area. If anyone has any clue why this might be, let me know.
"In no way are we suggesting that this surge in bets reflects anything untoward in the Mercury camp. The change in odds is not a comment on the integrity of the judges. Our feeling is a consensus has built that Weller is likely to be handed the award because it could well be his last chance to win it."
Not quite suspect, but far from welcome, I'd imagine.
The odds at William Hill are now (roughly) as follows. There are other bookmakers available though, like Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, The Betting Shop and...well, you know, loads more.
Paul Weller 1/10
The XX 7/4
Wild Beasts 5/1
Laura Marling 7/1
Mumford and Sons 8/1
I Am Kloot 10/1
Biffy Clyro 16/1
Corinne Bailey Rae 25/1
Dizzee Rascal 33/1
Kit Downes Trio 33/1
Certainly worth a punt on Wild Beasts at those odds. 1/10 is an absolutely ridiculous price for something like this, no? You'll also get MUCH better odds elsewhere, by the way.
Main photo by Mattis Folkestad for NRK P3