Wednesday, May 07, 2014

So, just who will win Eurovision?

I took Betfair's offer of a £50 profit. That was due to The Netherlands odds dropping like a stone after last night's Semi Final and the news dawning on punters that the track was doing extremely well in some European charts already. I had a range of bets that would have given me £500 or so with a win for The Netherlands but for the other Top 10 likely entries I would just get a few pounds in most cases.

Now quite how the maths works I am really not sure but I am now guaranteed £4 profit or so whoever wins and the other £46 I have reinvested in a few nations. If they win, great. If not, no loss.

I have looked again at a few and, whilst Armenia and Sweden are still out in front I am beginning to think that it will be someone else who wins. They'll do well for sure but these are my possible winners (and what I win on top of the £4 whoever wins) :

United Kingdom £72.50
The Netherlands £176
Hungary £75
Denmark £125
Azerbaijan £150
Spain £240
Romania £380
Slovenia £2000

In reverse order, my justification for these choices:

Slovenia was just irresistible at those odds! They may not even make it through the second Semi Final but it's a pretty song and a nice flute always goes down well. If they do get through then watch those odds plummet. maybe not as far as The Netherlands but they will fall.

Romania are little fancied but their two experienced singers are well used to Eurovision and they have a good song that I am sure will get some good consistent votes across the board. On a night when there is no clear 12 pointer I feel they could do better than their lowly odds predict.

Spain have the excellent Ruth Lorenzo and, despite their odds going out over the last week, I still think she has a chance if she can pull off a really impressive performance on the night of what is definitely a good song.

Azerbaijan have seen their odds drift right out from being Top 5 to outside the Top 10 now. They have always done well, though, ad this year will be no exception in my view. I can only imagine there has been some rehearsal problems that we've not see that have caused the drift as the song itself seems good ad the singer good too. It may, I suppose, be a political thing as I believe Azerbaijan are seen as close to Russia. I don't know whether Armenia are too but I am guessing not or their odds would have suffered more by now. You do have to feel sorry for the Russian twins, now regarded as having no chance at all. I never did think the song was any good but they've lost votes of countries that might have helped them before.

Denmark do have one of the most commercial numbers and I am sure they will get lots of support and people voting for them too. Their odds have remained pretty static since the books opened really. It would be unusual for them to win twice but it has happened before and watch the odds shorten once people start to hear more of their song.

Hungary are the one country I could say I am expecting to win out of all of them. Without the desperate, scary and slightly worrying video to distract us the song itself is strong and memorable. Hungary haven't, I don't think, won and haven't offended anyone recently. They are quit a good half-way house between East and West Europe, even close to the Balkans so have quite a few political things going for them too.

The Netherlands do have a superb track. Is it what is likely to win Eurovision? I would have said not but it is one of those that sneak up in the voting when everyone gives it good points. If there are Alison Krauss fans in the various panels then it may even pick up some douze points. If I had been more certain of it winning I would have left the bets as they were as I stood to win over £500 but I am not. I'll still get a good return though!

And then there's my own country, United Kingdom. Molly really is an unknown but it is a popular track from what I can make out from various commentators across European blogs and stations. It is too clichéd though, for my liking, and that is why I suspect that it will not quit make it. Obviously, a small wager was necessary, though, as I would have kicked myself had it actually managed to win after all!

The two favourites remain Armenia and Sweden. Armenia's is a good song but the drama of the video performance hasn't been reproduced yet by the chap with silly name (MP3). He could still pull it off by a particularly good performance on the night but his odds are drifting out and I see him falling at the end. Sweden has a lovely and talented singer but there is just a touch of blandness there. Lots of panel members will vote for it but they'll find something else for the big points. This is a dead cert for second place in my view, not first.

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