|Bookies agree that Ruben 'Teddy Bear of Love' Stoddard is the favorite to beat Clay 'Country Boy' Aiken in the second 'American Idol' pop competition.|
Michael Maerz of Intertops.com, who has been offering odds since the competition started, says that Aiken was the favorite at the beginning, but the Luther Vandross-styled soul man with the smooth demeanour has led the way ever since. 'We were pretty glad that Kimberley (Locke) was voted off. She was a 10-1 underdog.' Intertops has accepted nearly 5,000 bets on the show - 'though not as many as last year', claims Maerz.
Ruben is listed as a 10-to-13 bet, while Clay is listed as 10-to-11.
Jamie Shea, sportsbook director for Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, worked up some odds exclusively for MTVNews.com, also putting the numbers in Ruben's favour, listing the heavyweight singer at 5-to-7 odds and Clay at 6-to-5.
Ex-'NSYNC/Backstreet Boys manager Lou Pearlman, no stranger to taking risks himself, commented, 'It depends what you're looking for. It's apples and oranges. If it was up to me I'd give them a tie.'
The winner will be announced Wednesday.