MUSIC fan Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look at the betting for the forthcoming Brit Awards.
BRIT Awards | Wednesday | ITV1
Twenty years ago the BRIT Awards was pitched as a battle between Blur and Oasis, this year it's Ed Sheeran v Sam Smith. Where did it all go wrong eh?! That pair will be dominating my thinking when approaching BRIT betting.
Smith leads the way with five nominations, but it's Sheeran who dominates the odds as he's market leader in the coveted Best Album and Best Male categories.
That seems fair when you analyse the stats. Sheeran's ‘X' album spent 11 weeks at No.1 on the Album Charts while Smith's ‘In The Lonely Hour' managed just four. ‘X' was also the biggest-selling album of 2014.
A cursory glance at this week's chart sees Sam Smith at No.2 with Ginger Ed one position behind. Phenomenal when you consider both these 33's were released in the first half of last year.
At the last count ‘X' had sold 1.7 million copies in the UK (nope, I haven't bought it) and after hitting No.1 in the USA has also sold over a million copies there. World domination? Not far off it!
Smith is certainly giving him a run for his money though. ‘In The Lonely Hour' has sold 1.2 million over here (nope, I haven't bought it) and a staggering 1.3 million in the USA (more than ‘X').
Crucially Smith's stronger success in the US may curry favour here. Earlier this month he won four Grammy Awards (the Champions League to the Brit Awards' FA Cup if we're honest) while Sheeran left empty-handed. The Brits panel, always wishing to be seen as on the ball, might just have that in the back of their minds.
As mentioned above, Sheeran deserves to be odds-on favourite in the two markets I've mentioned, but the lure of Smith's stronger international appeal might just send one of those big awards in his direction.
I'll back ‘In The Lonely Hour' for Best Album at 11/4 with BetVictor and Smith as Best Male at 2/1 with the same firm.