‘Dancing with the Stars’ week 6 predictions update: Are we underestimating James Hinchcliffe?

Last week on “Dancing with the Stars” the remaining nine contestants performed dances to commemorate their most memorable years, and it was certainly memorable for race car driver James Hinchcliffe, who got his best score ever (29 out of 30 from the judges, including two perfect 10s), topped the leaderboard for the second time, and significantly outscored gymnast Laurie Hernandez, who dropped to the middle of the pack for the first time. But Hinchcliffe’s ascent in the standings isn’t reflected in our latest racetrack odds, which are derived from the picks of our predictions contest entrants who have been betting on the results all season. See the current standings below (week-to-week changes are in italics), and check out our complete racetrack odds for Monday night.

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1. Laurie Hernandez — 1/4 (last week: 1st place with 2/11 odds)
2. Calvin Johnson — 16/1 (last week: 2nd place with 14/1 odds)
3. Marilu Henner — 18/1 (last week: 4th place with 28/1 odds)
4. James Hinchcliffe — 22/1 (last week: 3rd place with 25/1 odds)
5. Ryan Lochte — 40/1 (last week: 8th place with 100/1 odds)
6. Terra Jole — 100/1 (last week: 5th place with 100/1 odds)
7. Jana Kramer — 100/1 (last week: 6th place with 100/1 odds)
8. Amber Rose — 100/1 (last week: 7th place with 100/1 odds)
9. Maureen McCormick (last week: 9th place with 100/1 odds)

Hernandez remains in our top spot, though her odds have slipped a bit. After her shortfall last Monday she’s down from 2/11 odds to 1/4 odds, though that still gives her a significant advantage against the rest of the field.

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Football player Calvin Johnson remains the second most likely to win despite finishing in a four-way tie for last place in the judges’ scores on “Most Memorable Year” night. His odds dip slightly, though: from 14/1 down to 16/1.

Actress Marilu Henner gave her highest-scoring performance yet last week, and as a result she’s one of the greatest gainers in our predictions, rising from fourth to third place with a major uptick in her odds from 28/1 up to 18/1.

But why has Henner risen in our predictions while Hinchcliffe remains an underdog? Despite being the judges’ favorite last week — and our readers agree he gave the best performance — Hinchcliffe is actually down to fourth place, with his odds improving only slightly (25/1 up to 22/1). If our users are skeptical about an auto racer winning the Mirror Ball Trophy, they should remember that Helio Castroneves had the same background when he won season five.

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So what gives? Are our game players just being stubborn, or are they right that Hinchcliffe won’t go as far as his judges’ scores currently indicate?

Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts throughout the week, just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Our racetrack odds change as you make your predictions, just as they do when you bet on the Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes and more. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the season of “Dancing with the Stars” in our reality TV forum.

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