Wednesday, May 20, 2009

American Idol - Kris Allen Pulls Ahead - Favorite to Win?

For the first time this season, Kris Allen is now favored by the major online gambling sites. Was America so moved by his performance of "No Boundaries," or might I have been right in stating that the state of the competition actually favored him before last night's performance?

Before the finale last night, you could have bet 100 dollars on Kris Allen and stood to win 300 if he won. In the hours after the finale, you had to bet 170 just to win 100! Now I'll go on record as saying that last night's performance looked to be a wash to me. If you liked Adam before this, you probably still like him - no matter how awful his performance of Kara's song was. And can we take a quick second and discuss that? Is Kara really a worse song writer than the fledgling millions who produced such classics as "This is My Now!" and "Whatever that David Cook Song is Called About the Time of His Life That is Also Doug's Wedding Song?" Isn't she world famous specifically for her ability to write songs? Consider my mind blown by the junior-high-ishness of that song.

As I was saying - Adam lovers have no reason to stop loving him. He didn't deliver any new "wow" moments either, though, since the format of the finale is such self-indulgent fluff on the behalf of the AI producers. Yes, all season long we have been DYING to see what Simon Fueller would have Kris and Adam sing!!! The finale is almost set up so that America will not change its opinion of the contestants - and as I wrote in my first post about AI - this actually may have favored Kris.

So in the hours after the finale, it went from you having to bet 350 to win 100 on Adam to win to being able to bet 100 to win 200. This is a monumental change. I think we can comfortably say that the betting sites are far more likely to have insider information moving the lines than not. Either that, or folks with inside information bet so heavily on Kris that the lines moved incredibly quickly. For those of you new to gambling, casinos and bookies will change the odds on a specific bet if traffic is very heavy to one side. They do this to protect themselves from insiders betting too heavily, and to entice people to take the other side of the bet to insulate themselves from losing too heavily on a given outcome. Last night bettors turned out in such force that prominent sports betting site WSEX froze any betting on AI because it felt overexposed. The overwhelming majority of these bettors supported Kris Allen.

So is Kris a lock now? By no means. I can't speak in such absolute terms in good faith. But instead of having a 25-30% chance like the public perceived just yesterday, it now looks as though he has a 60-65% chance to win. Here's to hoping he makes me look like a prophet!

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