Stand-in partners have a dreadful record on the current series of Strictly Come Dancing, but punters would be better backing Denise Van Outen for overall victory now that her price has drifted, rather than fearing the worst.
Denise has slumped to 11/4 to win the show following the news that partner James Jordan will be absent in week five as he has to rest an ankle injury.
James tripped up a step outside the studio before the start of the last live show, but performed through the pain barrier to secure the highest score of the night with 35 points.
However, his ankle has continued to swell and so Denise has been practicing with Ian Waite instead, who has previously reached finals with Denise Lewis and Zoe Ball.
The doubts over Denise’s chances may have been heightened by the fact that both Johnny Ball and Sid Owen have been eliminated this series after their first live performance with a replacement partner.
She should have nothing to worry about in this regard given her superior dance ability, but if James is sidelined for a more extended period, this could prove a problem.
Fellow professional Aliona Vilani suffered a similar injury earlier in the series and was told to take a month off.
The good news is that James’ ankle is not fractured and it is unlikely that he will be sidelined for this long.
He is certainly due some luck after a troubled series. Firstly he suffered an eye problem, then he broke his nose when rehearsing for a group dance and then his wife Ola was told that her mother back in Poland had suffered a heart attack.
Punters fancying Denise to struggle can get 66/1 that she is the lowest points scorer in week six, which is not totally out of the question.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.