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American Idol has been the top rated show on television for many years in a row now, and this year has been no different. Although numbers are down from past years, Idol is still being watched by dozens of millions of people every week. As the show has grown, so to has the gambling associated with Idol.
The past couple of year’s, online sports books have offered odds on which contestant will win the Idol competition. The odds makers have not done a good job in recent years setting the odds, with several long shots from the top twelve eventually pulling off big upsets.
This year, the betting will begin soon as the top twenty-four contestants were revealed on Wednesday. Officially, the betting will not begin until the top twelve are announced, but already gamblers are starting to find their favorites.
“I have picked the winner the past two years,” said Las Vegas resident Barbara Feller. “Each year, the singer I chose was a long shot, so I just put a small bet in, and both years, I ended up going back to the sports book after the show ended and collected my winnings. It was a good feeling.”
A few seasons ago, Kris Allen began the live shows as the long shot of all the contestants at 60-1. Those who believed in Allen were paid nicely as he eliminated the favorites one by one until he reached the point where he was a fan favorite. With each passing week, Allen’s odds were shortened by the sports books, but that did not matter for those who took a chance early.
Last year, a similar, but not as extreme, situation occurred. Lee DeWyze came into the live shows as the quiet, shy performer, and left the competition as the latest American Idol. DeWyze held odds of 12-1 through much of the competition, and his odds also shortened as the finale grew closer each week.