Daniel Gould will update the site regularly with the latest details of what he has been betting on in the run-up to the Eurovision Song Contest. Here he continues by looking at the qualification odds in the second semi-final. His article on semi-final 1 can be found here.
The beauty of betting on Eurovision is that bookmakers can occasionally get it completely wrong in initially pricing it up. But in my opinion, they have been largely accurate on semi-final 2, with only one or two exceptions.
The key to this semi is its relative strength in depth as opposed to the first one. Arguably, there are 14 songs here that if individually swapped with a song from semi 1, would qualify in that far weaker heat. But only ten of those 14 will go through here.
It’s therefore easier to start with the non-qualifiers. In my opinion, the three no-hopers are Slovenia, Netherlands and Switzerland. Few friends, old-fashioned songs and poor draws, the bookmakers have rightly priced these as their outsiders.
My idea of the others which will fail to qualify are Lithuania, Ukraine, Cyprus and Bulgaria, although I wouldn’t rule any of them out completely in a tight semi. Again, the bookmakers have been pretty pessimistic here with one exception.
I managed to get 4.13 on Ukraine not qualifying initially, although it’s not so attractive at the now best-priced 2.38 with Betfair. This is a song which takes too long to get going, and just as it does, fades to an anti-climax.
So, what opportunities of the other ten? The standard feels remarkably level and therefore hard to guage, but one country chronically under-rated was Georgia.
Odds better than Evens, up to 2.2, were available for this strong ballad being performed second last, with plenty of friends voting in this semi. That was well worth taking and even the current 1.62 with Boylesports remains attractive.
Elsewhere the one certain qualifier is Turkey, with an excellent song, a plum draw and loads of friends. The 1.22 I was able to get could be compared to finding money in the street, and I suggest the same of the 1.2 currently on offer with Boylesports.
I have slight qualms with each of the others and am not sure they represent much value at tight odds in these circumstances, apart from Romania at 1.5 with Betfair. This song has immediate appeal and should be safe despite its best of voting friends being in the other semi.
Given the more competitive nature of this semi, caution is the watchword, and news of performances in rehearsals from next Sunday onwards will be crucial. The next two articles on the site this week, a continuation of the top tips series, will offer advice on how to follow these blogs and subsequent moves in the betting market.