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Five interesting bets for tonight’s Eurovision final

by | May 13, 2017

Five interesting bets for tonight’s Eurovision final

by | May 13, 2017 | 2017 ESC General, Eurovision

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

Tonight is the grand final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest! And while we all choose to celebrate the contest in different ways – voting sheets, flags, country-themed snacks and drinks, life-size cardboard cutouts of Jacques Houdek – there’s an entire sub-culture of fandom dedicated to betting on the competition. When re-watching old contests, you’ll often hear commentators talking about who the British or Irish bookmakers think will be the winner, as they were the only ones offering odds in those days. In this internet age, however, the winner is just the start of it – there’s a whole range of betting markets dedicated to all kinds of outcomes, from which countries will reach the top 5 or the top 10, right through to regional champions (e.g. the top Nordic nation), the number of 12 points a country will receive, or head-to-heads between two specific entries.

To help you navigate this complex landscape of betting opportunities, our resident gambler Martin has selected five bets you might want to consider ahead of tonight’s show. Needless to say, these are suggestions only – your bank balance may go up as well as down, and escgo! can provide no guarantee of future performance, as much as we’d love to.

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:

Portugal to beat Italy

You all know your way around the winner market (and can draw your own conclusions anyway), so I’m going to focus on some of the more specific markets in this post. For example, head-to-heads are always a good way of playing it safe if you think Country X will definitely finish ahead of Country Y regardless of where they end up on the scoreboard in respect of the other entries.

Take the hot contenders for the win tonight, for instance. The betting markets are satisfied that it’s a three-way fight between long-term favourite Francesco Gabbani from Italy, the man with the momentum, Portugal’s Salvador Sobral, and young upstart Kristian Kostov from Bulgaria. I think it’s entirely plausible that any of those countries could win – indeed, if I had to pick a favourite right now it might just be Bulgaria, but maybe that’s because my brain refuses to accept the concept of Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest in the first place. (What next, Finland triumphing with a masked heavy metal band?) Alternatively, the fans and the markets could be completely wrong and we’ll see a total outsider stealing a march on the field, especially if there’s a big jury/televoting disparity like last year. So why not focus on the individual battles instead? In this case, I think Salvador’s narrative, his jury-friendliness and his ability to nail a more convincing performance when it counts all add up to Portugal finishing ahead of Italy on the scoreboard tonight. Odds of 2.0 (Bet365) are available if you agree – and you’ll win your bet regardless of whether Portugal and Italy finish 1st and 2nd or 24th and 25th!

ARMRI


Israel to finish in the top 10

Last year, Belgium’s Laura Tesoro barged her way to qualification from the last spot in her semi-final, was placed first in the final running order and still snuck into the top 10 thanks to a persuasive up-tempo performance. I think that’s exactly what IMRI from Israel offers this year, and while Laura’s song was probably more jury-friendly, this is the kind of year where the top three might suck up a lot of the points (hello 2015!) leaving things to get a bit more random in the mid-table area. Moreover, IMRI’s opening number is immediately followed by three less impactful performances all with a white-and-blue staging theme, which should make him stand out even more in hindsight. If I’m being completely honest, I feel like he probably will end up more towards the middle of the final scoreboard, but with odds in the 7s with most bookmakers and as much as 8.5 in places (e.g. MarathonBet), I think a top 10 punt on Israel constitutes a value bet at this stage.

Austria to finish last

Speaking of those early performers in white on a blue background… OK, let’s be honest here, we all know it’s probably going to be Spain and Germany battling it out for last place tonight. But I think their songs have at least as much quality to them as the Austrian composition, and they benefit from a much better position in the running order. If Manel Navarro in particular pulls out a vaguely charming performance and Levina from Germany keeps that engaging smile on her face, someone else will have to finish last, so why not Nathan Trent? We know from two years ago that friendless Austria are perfectly capable of propping up the table, and “Running On Air” is insubstantial enough that it could easily fall through the gaps with juries and televoters alike. More to the point, the odds of 29.0 (SkyBet) are extremely tempting. (It’ll probably still be Spain though.)

Show me a jury that can resist a good “jusqu’à ce que”


France to receive at least one jury 12

Here’s a brilliantly niche bet that Bet365 are currently offering at a price of 2.62. Last year illustrated just how wildly all-over-the-place the jury votes can be. Bear in mind that a jury is just five people in a room, each ranking the songs in full regardless of how much or little attention they’ve actually been paying attention to them all. Strange things can happen, in other words. Last year, jury 12s went to artists as varied as Barei, Joe & Jake and the Georgian band with the long name, none of whom made much of an impact on the overall scoreboard. So why shouldn’t “Requiem”, the kind of wannabe-classy song juries ought to love, come away with at least one top mark tonight?

I should point out that Bet365 have all kinds of interesting markets available. If you’re not convinced by Alma’s chances, how about Belgium to finish 6th or lower at current odds of 2.0? The bookmakers cater for all kinds of specific outcomes these days, so there are opportunities to be had left, right and centre. As if to prove it, here’s my final suggestion:

The juries and the televoting to agree on the winner

In the wake of Måns/Il Volo and the three-way Sergey/Dami/Jamala split last year, we’ve got used to the idea of the juries and the televoters disagreeing on the winner. But it’s not actually all that common – let’s not forget that they were happy to agree on Conchita, Emmelie de Forest and Loreen as the deserving champions in the three preceding years, after all. So what if you disagree with my above assessment of the tough fight we’re going to have on our hands tonight? Maybe you think Italy will sweep up the jury and public votes just like the markets have been assuming all season long (until this week); maybe you think “Beautiful Mess” is a jury magnet and the public will fall for Kristian Kostov’s camera tricks and angsty Bieber charms; maybe you just think yodelling is the hot trend of 2017 and we’re all fools for not having realised it sooner. Whatever your theory, bwin will give you odds of 2.0 if you think the jury favourite and the televoting favourite will be one and the same this year.

Beautiful bets

And that’s all from my series of betting posts on ESC 2017. I hope I’ve been able to give you a bit of extra insight and guidance (and that I haven’t misled you too horrendously along the way). Wherever you place your money for tonight and whatever you’re doing for the show itself, I hope you have a profitable and enjoyable evening!

Who will you be betting on for tonight’s grand final? Let us know!

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