Today I will write three posts, the first concentrating on some specials markets, the second on the top 10 market and the third on the win market. Regular readers will know that looking outside the traditionally most popular outright betting is often a more interesting hunting ground, as I indicated in one of my top ten tips articles for betting on Eurovision before the 2010 contest.
The top 10 market is one I have tended to concentrate on in the last few years. Betting that an act either finishes inside the top 10 on the final scoreboard or outside it doesn’t have to be an exact science. Whether the country finishes first to tenth, or below tenth, gives you the same result either way. It can also be a nice way of having an interest in songs that you wouldn’t go for to win or finish last.
But to begin with I will start from the bottom up with a look at that last place market.
The 2009 return of national juries in having 50% of the say in each country has made life harder for punters in some respects because their tastes are less easy to gage. There are only five members of each jury, so those people hold an inordinate amount of voting power. They tend to spread their points more widely than televoters too.
Since 2009, the countries finishing last have been Finland, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Each have been bottom six in the jury vote and are relatively lacking in voting allies. Having watched the jury rehearsal last night here in Baku, there were two countries that stood out in terms of how disappointing their performance was. It would be a surprise to see them judged above the bottom six on that evidence alone. They are also relatively friendless.
They are France and the United Kingdom. Both were notably off-key for significant parts of their songs. Painfully so at times. At least Engelbert Humperdinck had some sympathetic staging for the UK. France’s Anggun has the distracting element of gymnastics going on around her from her backing dancers. The whole effect is as messy visually as it is vocally.
There are reasons for thinking that other acts that are ‘competing’ for last place are more likely to avoid that fate. Hungary’s ‘Sound of Our Hearts’ is actually a decent enough song that will admittedly get completely lost on the Eurovision stage tonight from number two in the running order. Hungary has to rely on a few minor voting allies (such as Serbia) and juries to raise it from the bottom, and I think that will be enough.
Elsewhere, Lithuania and Albania have allies and excellent performances in front of the juries last night to lift them. Because the song itself is rather weak, I’m not predicting great things for Malta like some, but with a good draw for the upbeat ‘This Is Our Night’ and a memorable performance to match, I don’t see Kurt Calleja in last place either. He delivered for the juries last night.
Others at 25/1 or under comprise Macedonia, Bosnia, Estonia and Moldova. Voting allies and strong performances from all last night mean they are unlikely last place candidates. So that leaves us with France at 7/2 with bwin or bet365. It’s not very patriotic of me to be backing the UK in this market, but there’s just too much value in the 25/1 with Boylesports.
There is an argument that there will be some sympathy for Engelbert based on his name and reputation. That will only get him so far based on his performance last night. Two other standout bets on a poor finish for the UK are 6/1 with Stan James on a finishing position in the bottom six, and 13/8 that the total score for ‘Love Will Set you Free’ will be under 89 points also with Stan James. That’s outstandingly good value.