William Hill offer odds on UK music prize
By abigail
In the UK William Hill’s online site is inviting music fans to place their bets on the outcome of one of the most coveted music awards. The shortlist of nominees for this year’s Mercury Music Prize, an award given to each year’s best album according to industry insiders, are being offered at a range of odds, fo visitors to the site to take a punt on.

The winner will be announced in two weeks, and leading up to the big event, outsider Liverpudlian band The Zutons, have just had their odds slashed as bookie’s recognise their growing popularity. The Mercury award makes for an interesting betting option for gamblers who like risk, as it is renowned for often producing surprising results. There is no obvious winner this year, as all nominees count as strong contenders.

Leading the pack as joint favourites are The Streets and Franz Ferdinand, who have remained favourites since the nominees were announced. Both these bands are currently offered at 5-2. The Zutons are now offered next at 11-2, followed by Amy Winehouse at 13-2, Snow Patrol and Keane both at 8-1 and then Joss Stone and Belle and Sebastian offered at 12-1. Following them are Jamelia and Basement Jaxx both at 14-1 and Ty and Robert Wyatt at the bottom of the list at 25-1.

A spokesperson for William Hill released a statement explaining the recent shortening of The Zutons odds, and their approach to placing on the Mercury Music Prize in general: “Due to the nature of the Mercury Prize it’s never unusual for a dark horse to have the odds dramatically shortened. As bookmakers we have to make well known acts the favourites – for example The Streets are having a run of success at the moment with their number one single – but we also know that it’s often the acts with the longer odds that may win it, so The Zutons could just do it this year.”

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