BRING on the fun! Eurovision fan Chris Ogle (@ChrisORhino) shares his best bets for this year's contest.
Eurovision | Saturday 22nd May 2021, 20:00 | BBC
Betting on Eurovision was once upon a time consigned to novelty status, but has boomed into one of the most active markets outside of sport.
At the point of writing with just over a week to go until the show, over £2m has been matched on Betfair with that number expected to reach over £10m on finals night.
So if you want to be part of the action, where should your money go? We’ll run through the big 8 in the market in current betting order as well as some selected others and give you the low down.
Key points to know
- The voting is split in two. First is the jurys. This trends to be where more traditionally classy songs score points. Songs playing it safer will do better with the jurys, and is also where you get your crazy political voting (Romania, Moldova, Cyprus, Greece I’m looking at you). Televote is a truer reflection on what is a crowd pleaser and will give points to songs that are something different but enjoyable. Keiino for Norway in 2019 famously did horrendously with the jurys but stormed the televote to jump most of the pack into 5th place.
- The market is swingy. Very swingy. We have already had 8 different favourites to this point and can reasonably expect one or two more market surges before it’s all done.
- Contrary to popular belief to many in the UK, you still have to be a good song to win. Creativity, catchiness and the ability to please a crowd are all a must have to win. Staging can transform an also ran into favouritism.
France – Barabara Pravi – Voila – 9/2 fav
- Beautiful simple staging.
- Superb live voice.
- Jurys very likely to love it.
- Excellent back to lay, feels very likely to trade shorter when favourable jury voting comes in.
- Feels like a favourite by default after a few rehearsal mishaps by other market protagonists.
- Likely to get reeled in by something in the 2nd half of voting by the televote.
Verdict – There was plenty 8-10/1 available a few weeks ago and nothing has really changed. For me the value is gone but would have no objections to holding some 9/2 with the view to laying 5/2 or thereabouts in running towards the end of the jury vote.
Malta – Destiny – Je Me Casse – 5/1 2nd Fav
- Radio friendly.
- Likely double appeal with jurys and televote (not an easy thing to achieve).
- Been in top 3 of most fan polls for the past 6 weeks.
- Great live voice.
- Initial rehearsal has been a disappointment.
- Market been slow to react to how much staging improvement needed for the live show.
- Song has been overhyped.
Verdict – Unless later rehearsals can fix some of the live staging issues quickly, this has the potential of becoming another Occidentalis Karma. (Ante Post odds on fav for most of 2017 market before poor staging killed it). It would be no surprise to see this going off either 2/1 if they can fix the staging, or 12/1 if they don’t. Either way, I’ll be against it.
Switzerland – Gjon’s Tears – Tout L’Univers – 7/1
- Dominated polls for past 2 months.
- Fantastic live singing voice.
- Worries that he would be sat behind his piano (a la 2019 winner) not come to pass and has worked hard on staging.
- Is probably the best song in the competition and could create a moment on finals night.
- Wouldn’t really call him a showman. Probably at his most comfortable sitting behind the piano but pushing outside of comfort zone to try for the win.
- Similar in feel to the previous winner and following winners tend to have a very different vibe.
Verdict – This was my pick in March at 5/1 and I don’t understand the drift. He will deliver live, other market leaders are slipping up and looks a very juicy price. If I could have only one pick, this would be it.
Italy – Maneskin – Zitti E Buoni – 15/2
- A genuinely good rock song and nothing much similar to it in the competition (very useful).
- Momentum in their favour with airplay on the increase across Europe.
- Should put on a great show live judging by rehearsals.
- Possibly too niche to scoop enough points to win.
- Price as short as has been for most of the run up.
Verdict – You could understand the circumstances to lead this to becoming winner, and in hindsight it may seem obvious (especially the individuality and creativity they have) but another that now feels at the skinny end of pricing so will look elsewhere.
Iceland – Daði Freyr (Daði & Gagnamagnið) – 10 Years – 8/1
- No one has worked harder to court favour on social with regular YouTube performances of previous winners.
- Very likeable band and catchy song.
- Live performance assured.
- Dance routine has viral potential.
- Readily available at 20/1 up until last week, what has changed here? Rehearsals were solid but no surprises here.
- Hasn't topped any significant poll on the run up.
Verdict – I would be delighted to see this win, even if it wouldn’t be great for my pocket. The gut feeling here is that this will be a solid performer on the night but there should be a few to beat it in.
Bulgaria – Victoria – Growing Up Is Getting Old – 11/1
- Was favourite many moons ago when the song was first released and for me is still the 2nd best song in the show.
- Rehearsals have looked special and the possibility of creating a Eurovision moment.
- Has never been hugely well received and it is likely needing some of the big hitters to miss the mark.
- Probably more likely to do well with jurys than televote as narrative of the song is one of the easiest to follow. WIll the public vote for it though?
Verdict – Personal opinion is that this is hugely classy and deserves to be in the running for the crown. Overall Europe wide opinion leaves me cooler so will have to leave out of my picks.
Cyprus – Elena Tsagrinou – El Diablo – 20/1
- The best of the traditional dance tracks this year with great staging.
- Doubts about live singing gone as she smashed rehearsal.
- Should make a big impact in the final if the draw works out.
- Has a decent amount of polling deficit to overturn against market leaders.
- A few similar genre tracks to it in the final so possibility of some vote splitting.
Verdict – A track that made a good impression first time around and has continued to deliver over time. The amount of ground this will have to make up however may just be too much. Expect a decent showing however.
Ukraine – Go_A – Shum – 40/1
- The most ‘out there’ track in the competition wins top marks for originality.
- Importantly for a niche track, it still delivers on quality.
- Almost uniform approval despite being a non conventional dance track.
- Staging and performance looks great in rehearsal.
- Won the ‘wife’ vote. Especially surprising as I thought she would hate it.
- It’s a massive wild card and any result from 1st to 20th wouldn’t be a surprise.
- Jurys likely to bomb it.
Verdict – Available at triple digits a few weeks ago, there is still each way potential at the price and would be an advocate if you want to chance something at bigger odds.
Russia – Manizha – Russian Woman – 66/1
- Another wild card rap mash up that delivers on quality.
- Staging overall positive.
- Russia routinely outperforms online polls.
- It’s a grower, and with most of Europe hearing it for the first time on finals night, will it have enough time to grow on voters?
Verdict – At 66/1, I couldn’t begrudge anyone looking for some each way value. And considering the Russian powerhouses ability to ‘find votes’, you could see this sneaking a place at big odds.
Sweden – Tusse – Voices – 66/1
- Melodifestivalen is a notoriously tough process to qualify from and Sweden almost uniformly delivers a solid result on the night.
- Polled reasonably well.
- For me, the most overrated song in the contest.
- Staging a mess, rehearsals not up to speed.
Verdict – Already holding 5/2 to be outside the top 10, I’d be more than happy to top up at even money that this is the case. 12/1 for the win a month ago, the wheels are quickly falling off this one.
Norway – Tix – Fallen Angel – 150/1
- Comfortably won Norwegian selection process.
- Great message in song (anti bullying).
- This song absolutely relies on it’s back story. The music video perfectly demonstrates this. The staging has failed to replicate.
- Market reacted accordingly and drifted from 25/1 to 150/1 now.
Verdict – No track relies on its messaging behind the song more than this. In the Norwegian final, it got the full backstory message across so when the song was delivered it all clicked. On Eurovision finals night, Tix doen’t have this luxury and as a consequence, the message doesn’t hit. A massive shame and opportunity missed.
San Marino – Adrenalina – Senhit (possibly featuring Flo Rida) – 66/1
- When the track first landed, it made a massive impression on the whole Eurovision community quickly jumping to single figures in betting odds. Many viewers will get that first time impression on finals night.
- Flo Rida could add a familiarity / wow factor.
- Flo Rida doesn’t appear to be taking the competition seriously and at time of writing 1 week before the competition, he is judging a bikini competition in Miami instead of rehearsing.
- Live show performance is a shade off the music video.
- The track hasn’t aged great.
Verdict – Back in March I put this up at 40/1 and truth be told I’m a fair bit cooler on the track than I was back then. We’re still not sure if Flo Rida will show up and if he does, it could still be a late springer. Even so, events and polling haven’t really been kind to the track and probably has too much to do now.
Eurovision 2021 – Back Switzerland (7/1 each-way William Hill)
Eurovision 2021 – Back Ukraine (40/1 each-wayWilliam Hill)
Eurovision 2021 – Back France at 9/2 with a lay back order at 5/2 (Betfair Exchange)
Eurovision 2021 – Lay Sweden Top 10 (1/1 Betfair Exchange)
Eurovision 2021 – Back Ukraine Top 10 (5/4 Betfair Exchang)
Eurovision 2021 – Back Russia Top 10 (5/4 Betfair Exchang)
Eurovision 2021 – Switzerland (5/1 each-way William Hill) – now 7/1
Eurovision 2021 – San Marino (40/1 each-way William Hill) – now 66/1
Eurovision 2021 – Serbia (500/1 Betfair Exchange) – unmoved
Eurovision 2021 – Azerbaijan top-10 finish (4/1 Betfair Exchange) – unmoved
Eurovision 2021 – Romania top-10 finish (2/1 Betfair Exchange) – now 4/1
Eurovision 2021 – Greece top-10 finish (9/4 Betfair Exchange) – now 8/11
Eurovision 2021 – Serbia top-10 finish (20/1 Betfair Exchange) – now 10/1
Eurovision 2021 – Lay Sweden top-10 finish (2/5 Betfair Exchange) – now 1/1
Eurovision 2021 – Estonia to qualify from the semi-final (2/1 SBK) – now 7/4
Eurovision 2021 – Ireland to qualify from the semi-final (2/1 SBK) – now 13/8
Eurovision 2021 – Serbia to qualify from the semi-final (9/10 Betfair Exchange) – now 2/9