Love it or loathe it, the X Factor still averages 10 million viewers per show and it's become a real-life betting event with punters who know that Reality TV, offering an exceptional opportunity to pocket cash...you just have to recognise patterns. Created by Simon Cowell, the show began in September 2004 and has since aired annually from August/September through to December. It's ITV's number 1 entertainment programme and since 2007 has been fronted by Dermot O'Leary with judges including current crop Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger, Tulisa Contostavlos and Gary Barlow, plus Kelly Rowland, Danni Minogue, Cheryl Cole and Sharon Osborne in the past.
2013 marks the 10th anniversary of the series that has delivered James Arthur and Steve Brookstein; Leona Lewis and Leon Jackson amongst others. Fact is, sensible betting on the X Factor can deliver profits for both the experienced punter and the inexperienced who simply love the show.
Betting on the X Factor is all about mixing the right ingredients. Watching the show regularly, researching previous winners, working through what makes an act popular/unpopular and understanding that the show is heavily manipulated in varying ways through out each series drives a certain pattern of events that can often be predicted. Then we need to know what markets are available to place a bet on and finally highlight the most appropriate bookmakers who offer the best X Factor prices, but also the most attractive free bet account opening offers.
In terms of free bets, Paddy Power lead the way currently with a jaw dropping market leading £250 Paddy Power free bet promotion for new customers and another X Factor stalwart, Bet365, whose coverage of the show is excellent, offers a highly competitive new account promotion for X Factor fans.
So let's start with research. Wikipedia carries an amazing amount of detailed information about the overall series and each individual competition year. In-depth data about Series 1 (2004) through Series 9 (2012) is all accessible including act details, voting results and voting percentages. You can also find out about the mentors and what categories have traditionally fared better in terms of providing the winning acts i.e. the Boys, Girls, Groups or Over 28s. Pay particular attention to act running orders as well. Fact is you never see the acts make a public draw for their singing spot in the show and that's for a very good reason. The Production Team know they can manipulate the number of votes an act receives by where they are placed in the show's running order. Last spot is recognised as the saver spot by the show's acts and we can seize upon this from a betting perspective with in-play betting.
Then it's a case of staying close to the written media. There are many articles in the press during the week, covering exactly what all the contestants are doing with themselves. Newspapers, Gossip Magazines and Showbiz websites will highlight who is behaving and who is getting attention for all the wrong reasons. So is it any real surprise when those with limited singing ability like Rylan Clark, Wagner and Jedward get to Week 7/8 of the competition. Of course not, it's exactly what the show's Production Team actually want and exactly what we can seize upon to make guaranteed profit when 'against the odds' these acts stay in the competition.
So what markets are there to physically stake our money on? Naturally every bookmaker provides a Winner market where you can place your cash on who will win the show outright. Bets can be placed prior to the Live Finals where naturally you'll get better odds or through out the series. It's also important to distinguish that all markets offered tend to go in-play, meaning that you can physically place a bet during the show itself. You can also bet on what Category will produce the winning act. Worthy of note is the fact that despite producing One Direction and JLS; a Male Group has never won the X Factor. That is something that Simon Cowell will want to put right in the near future.
In terms of weekly markets, Stan James offers real value - especially when you use their free bet promotion which gives a free £10/€10 bet. That's a nice introduction to those who are new to X Factor betting. You can place a bet on who will be in the Bottom Two, who will be Eliminated and which category will produce the eliminated act on any particular week.
A great tactic we use is to wait until all the acts have performed on Saturday evening. Then place a bet on who will be in the Bottom Two and for those who are really confident a straight selection in the Elimination market is possible. Naturally it's better in terms of maximising knowledge to place these bets after the act running order has become evident. Then during the Sunday Results Show wait till the eliminated acts have been announced and have a bet in the Elimination market. At this point use all the information you have about running order, an acts core voting base and work through who the judges (and the Production Team) are logically going to want to eliminate. Deadlock scenarios are becoming increasingly frequent so the ultimate knowledge is understanding who has the biggest voting base to keep them in the competition. Our word of advise is to remember one core statement during the length of each series. X Factor is a popularity contest, not a singing competition!
Naturally these tactics necessitate the need for in-play live in show betting. Bet Fred offers a great combination of hard to beat in play software platform which is particularly user friendly in tandem with a great BetFred account opening offer. So you are briefed and ready to go. Use the resources available here and remember to have fun and the very best of luck!