Brit bookies taking bets on top holiday game

Online gambling site announces odds for the Christmas top slot; Need for Speed the current fave.

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Paddy Power Bookmakers, an online odds-making and betting service in the United Kingdom, has today published a list of odds on "contestants" to top the UK holiday sales charts.

The favourite this year is EA's Need for Speed Carbon with odds of 8-to-13. If the title become the best-seller, that would make for a hat trick of number one grabs. In 2005, Need for Speed Most Wanted was top of the charts, and in 2004 it was Need for Speed Underground 2.

Second favourite from Paddy Power is another EA game, FIFA 07, with odds of 4-to-1. In this week's Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) charts, the game knocked the highly anticipated Xbox 360 title Gears of War off the top slot after only one week.

Gears of War is a 10-to-1 shot, along with Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas, and Sierra's Eragon. Other possibilities for the number one slot include Nintendo's Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess at 33-to-1, Activision's Guitar Hero II at 25-to-1, and THQ's Bratz: Forever Diamondz at 80-to-1.

Paddy Power marketing manager Sharon McHugh said, "We take a lot of money on Christmas specials and this is a popular market with the customers every year. Very often a game like Superman will do well, if the movie has done well, so Eragon could be a bestseller if the box office does well and the kids like it enough to buy the game."

For those feeling lucky, an outside bet would be Eidos Interactive's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Party Edition, which is at 250-to-1 .

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