Who will win the Booker Prize?

The bookies' view: Late betting puts 'The Glass Room' in the frame
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The Independent Culture

A late gamble on Simon Mawer to win the Man Booker Prize has seen his book, The Glass Room backed from 14/1 outsider to 7/2 second favourite with William Hill.

"All the early money was for Hilary Mantel and after the short-list was announced over 75 per cent of the bets placed had been for her to win, but over the weekend there was significant support for Simon Mawer, forcing his odds right down from being the complete outsider to become clear second favourite," said Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe.

However Hilary Mantel's odds have again been shortened for Man Booker glory, according to Ladbrokes.

Her novel Wolf Hall is 8/13, from 4/6, after a succession of price cuts in consecutive days - the novel was 10/11 going into the final weekend before being backed through 8/11 and 4/6 into the present price.

With bookies reporting the vast majority of all wagers being placed on Mantel, it makes the book the most popular for Booker gamblers in the award's history.

Ladbrokes spokesman, Nick Weinberg, said: "It'll be a huge surprise if Hilary Mantel fails to collect the gong. She has dominated the market ever since the short list was announced."

Whether Booker judges follow the same logic as the bookies will become clear when the winner is revealed at a dinner in London's Guildhall tomorrow evening.