Trend points to Royal Blood or Jungle for 2014 Mercury Prize

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Some might say that attempting to second-guess one of the most mysterious panels of award judges in the music industry is a fool’s errand, but as always the Mercury Music Prize throws up some very attractive odds on potential winners.

The 2014 edition doesn’t disappoint and there’s potentially a simple pattern which could lead punters to a handsome profit, rather than going on pure conjecture or personal music taste.

Singer/songwriter James Blake and his album Overgrown represented a somewhat surprise recipient of the 2013 award, much to the delight of those who backed the London-based electronic music maestro.

Nearly 12 months on and another singer/songwriter sits atop the betting with Ladbrokes in the form of experimental triphop artist FKA Twigs at 5/2.

Her debut album LP1 is has received similarly acclaim to Blake, though the Gloucestershire native’s chances are slightly blunted by the Mercury panel’s recent resistance to crowning solo acts two years running.

Since Radio 6 Music stalwarts Elbow claimed the 2008 prize, the award’s receivers have switched between band and standalone artist and this year the pendulum swings back towards the collective over the individual.

This would spell bad news also for the likes of Damon Albarn’s Everyday Robots at 20/1, despite widespread clamour for the three-time nominee to finally land one.

Better tidings though for blues-rock/garage-rock duo Royal Blood at 5/1. The Sussex exports were an amp-melting success at festivals such as Tee in the Park this summer playing numbers from their self-titled debut studio album.

Meanwhile modern soul music collective Jungle, deserve plenty of attention at 10/1.

Interestingly, the Hammersmith natives, who also have their self-titled debut album nominated, attended the sister school of the north-London grammar which 2013 winner Blake did.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.