Bookmaker Paddy Power has backed the formidable force of EA's Need for Speed to claim this year's Christmas number one, with fellow EA title FIFA 08 tipped to finish in second place.
Despite its release in September, Paddy Power gives 4/1 odds on Microsoft's Halo 3 capturing the title, well ahead of Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 and The Simpsons Game with odds of 10/1 and 12/1 respectively. Bizarrely, Rockstar's Manhunt 2 is given odds of 14/1, the same as Nintendo's Super Mario Galaxy, despite the fact that the title has been banned in the UK by the BBFC. Titles feeling hard done by are likely to include Sega's Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games and LucasArts' Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, both of which have odds of 50/1.
Surprise inclusions include EA's Medal of Honor: Airborne at 25/1, Namco Bandai's Time Crisis 4 at 50/1 and Koei's Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War, which also boasts odds of 50/1.
Full list of odds at source: