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Semi 2: Three bets to consider

by | May 11, 2017

Semi 2: Three bets to consider

by | May 11, 2017 | 2017 ESC General, Eurovision

all images © eurovision.tv; all odds correct at time of writing

So how was your Tuesday night? Did all your personal favourites qualify and, perhaps more importantly, did you make a bit of money with your bets? Of course, some of the betting markets – like the semi-final winner – will only be settled once the full results are presented in the early hours of Sunday morning. But in the meantime, let’s turn our attention to tonight’s second semi-final and some of the betting options you might want to consider if you have a few currency units floating around your online account!

As always, Oddschecker provides a good overview of the available markets here, and if you’re new to the concept of betting odds and what it all means, our good friends at Sofabet can explain everything right here.

Over to Martin’s thoughts, then:

Armed and dangerous

Israel to finish in the top 3 of the semi-final

There’s almost no point in looking at the “to win semi 2” market, as Bulgaria is far and away the favourite; the best available price for Kristian Kostov at the time of writing was 1.73, with the nearest contenders in the 9s and 10s. Of course, there very much is a point if you don’t believe “Beautiful Mess” will be tonight’s semi winner. But I do – it’s jury-friendly and televoter-friendly in equal measure. So let’s consider the “top 3” market instead. This is a tougher one to read, as entries have a habit of popping up into the semi-final podium places without that necessarily being any indication of great success in the final, as anyone from Paradise Oskar to Ira Losco will tell you. Factors that are diluted in the final, like the immediately surrounding songs, the composition of the voting countries and the running order, can be magnified in the unforgiving arena of the semi-final.

Last year, a bouncy up-tempo number from Belgium surprised many by finishing third in its semi-final from last place in the running order, and I can see IMRI from Israel achieving exactly the same thing tonight. “I Feel Alive” has enough real-world relevance to score well enough with the juries, and televoters will be desperate for a bit of fun after slogging their way through the teenage angst of Bulgaria, the telenovela drama of Estonia and whatever the hell Lithuania is. If you agree, Betfair Exchange will give you odds of 3.23 for a top three finish for Israel. Alternatively, you could take an each-way bet on IMRI to win the semi-final with one of the bookmakers who will pay out for the first three places, such as Coral (odds of 17 at time of writing).

Laying down my armour, packing up my case

Denmark to fail to qualify

While all of my betting suggestions are just that – suggestions – I’d like to make it especially clear that I don’t think this one will happen, as our escgo! prediction post will show. But there are signs that Denmark is by no means as clear a qualifier as the market thinks, and I’m surprised you can get NQ odds as generous as 5.5 (SkyBet). The country is on a losing streak, failing to qualify by some distance in each of the last two years, and tonight Anja will deliver a highly competent but not especially likeable performance of an identikit staging that might remind viewers too much of something they’ve seen many times before. I still think the solid quality of the composition will shine through in the end, but it wouldn’t shock me if Denmark ended up by the wayside for the third year in a row.

Whether you buy into this theory or not, it’s always fun to dabble in the non-qualification market – I’m tempted by the generous prices on the likes of Austria and Serbia too, for example. All you need is a rogue Jacques Houdek to bludgeon his way to a final ticket and suddenly things start looking dicey for several of his competitors.

Lights out

Lithuania to finish last in the semi-final

Yes, Lithuania has diaspora in some of the televoting countries. Yes, they tend to overperform in semi-finals. Yes, Fusedmarc are competing against “Spirit Of The Night” with its 47 key changes. But come on. “Rain Of Revolution” is the longest, loudest three minutes to disgrace the Eurovision stage in many a year. Surely it can’t come anywhere but dead last tonight? Odds of 3.28 (Betfair Exchange) are available if you agree.

Where will you be placing your money for tonight’s show? Let us know!

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