Eurovision Week Tips
Eurovision week is upon us! It's been a long and eventful ride, but the main events are still to come. We've heard the songs, the rehearsals, and all the associated reaction - and now that there has been a bit of time for consideration the betting markets have settled down a bit. While the early birds have already caught a lot of the big value opportunities, there will still be a lot of potential value to be found this week.
This is the time that a lot of people look to get most of their bets on, so I thought I'd share a run down of out top Eurovision week tips. In this article I will discuss some general advice for this year's betting as well as including some specific tips. So let's dive in...
Check Out the Secondary Markets
If you look around the betting sites you will see that in addition to the winner and qualification markets, there are a multitude of secondary markets available. Here are some of the big ones:
Top 3/4/5/10 (place markets)
Head to Head
Best Balkan/Baltic/Nordic Country
Origin of Winner (North Europe / East Europe etc.)
Route of Winner (Semi 1 / Semi 2 / Direct to Final)
The place markets are interesting, as you will often find 'safe' selections with low variability will be fairly short in these markets compared to their position in the outright win market, which will more favour high variability selections
It's worth noting that some of these are 'derivative markets', which means that their selections are a combination of selections from the main markets. This means that you can often infer what the prices should be using the main market prices.
Tip: Top Nordic Country - Finland @ 7.0 on SkyBet
This is an interesting market. I was originally going to tip Iceland here, which you could get as long as 3.8 before rehearsals, but their odds have since crashed in to below evens. Sweden is the traditional 'safe' choice, but with the quality of contenders it is unlikely to make it. This leaves the door for a highly variable entry to steal the crown. Denmark is a no-hoper and Norway is probably too far off the pace, but a Finish rock entry fits the bill nicely.
Beware of the Hype Train
Eurovision is one of those betting markets that is very opinion driven. There is more data out there than ever, and the amount of money matched has been increasing over the years, but as with any market that is emotive and has an outcome based on a public vote the odds don't always follow the logic.
The favourite in the Eurovision market is rarely good value throughout the season, as we generally see it change hands depending on who is the flavour of the month. Although this is less true in Eurovision week itself, you should still be very wary of odds that are very short unless there is good evidence to back them up. Especially dangerous are selections that snowball a justified market move into a landslide.
Tip: Not to Qualify - San Marino @ 4.5 on SkyBet
This got a lot of hype early in the season when FloRida got announced as an artist, which dragged their win odds down to 20/1 with some bookies. The market has since settled down, but some people may be underestimating the variability of this entry - it could do very well, but as it's looking like FloRida will not be present (#NoRida) there is also a reasonable chance that it completely tanks.
Uncertainty is Good
When betting on an event that comes once a year there can be a tendency to bet on the 'safe' options, but these are often the hardest to find value on. In general, the higher the uncertainty of an outcome, the harder it is to accurately asses the probability, and so the better chance there is for value.
We saw all of the rehearsals last week, but with all the restrictions there is still much less to go than in previous years, both in terms of how the final production will look, and in how it will be received. This makes for an exciting contest, and a betting markets full of opportunity. So if you've got a hunch on a less talked about selection, and you find decent odds, then you may well be onto something.
Tip: Top 10 - The Netherlands @ 21 on Unibet
Portugal top 10 or Ukraine top 5 would have been a good shout for this tip last week (as you could find them at 8.0 and 7.5 respectively), but the market seems to have cottoned on to those now. The Netherlands, however, also has song that has potential to pick up a decent number of jury points with its jury friendly themes and production, but there seems to be much less excitement for it in the market. It is undoubtedly much more of a risk than Ukraine or Portugal, but at these odds and with a good draw at 23 (more on the impact of the draw later) this is not one to pass up.
Check the Running Order
The order in which the contestants perform is very important in Eurovision. This is probably worthy of an article by itself, but in general the later you perform the more points you are likely to pick up points. This is because the later performers stick in peoples mind more when it comes to voting - and this affects both the televoters and the juries.
You would have to go back to 2003 to find the last time we had a winner that performed before slot 10, and with the order being largely chosen by the producer in recent years (as opposed to a random draw previously) this trend is exacerbated, as they are likely to give the less engaging songs the worse slots.
(if you want to find out more aspects that affect performance check out our quiz here)
The running order for the semi-finals has been decided here, but the running order for the grand final will be released after the second semi-final, so be prepared for a fair bit of odds movement to take advantage of on Thursday night. All that we know so far is the half that the 'big 5' will perform in, and that The Netherlands will perform in slot 23 (they got a random allocation as the host).
Tip: Head to Head - Germany to beat UK @ 1.57 on Paddy Power
Neither Germany nor the UK are songs that are expected to do particularly well, but ignoring the draw I would still give Germany a decent edge. The half that 'big 5' are to perform in was drawn randomly yesterday, with Germany being given a second half draw and the UK a first half draw. This is a big deal, giving the producer the opportunity to give the UK the death slot at number 2, and allowing Germany to pick up points much more easily. The UK were even matched at odds-on yesterday to come in last place, and while I think that is too short, I think that they are highly likely to lose out to Germany.
Don't be too Eager
If you think you've got a great selection you don't have to jump on the first betting site and take whatever odds are there. Shop around and compare the odds. Lots of the bookies' odds are compared here, and you can find our recommendations for the best bookies here.
If the odds don't feel as long as you were expecting, or there are a lot of sites with the same odds then don't be afraid to wait a bit for them to move, or decide on another bet altogether. Having said this however, on the occasions where there is one bookie with significantly longer odds that the others then that is a good indication that you should snap those odds up before it's too late.
Tip: To Qualify - Romania @ 1.8 on Unibet
I've been considering Romania for a while, but it was very highly valued by the market before rehearsals, so I could never justify a bet with such short odds. I may be going against the grain here as their rehearsal was very disappointing, but there has been a very large drift in the odds, and while I think it will probably struggle in the final, I would still expect it to qualify. There will likely be similar opportunities on your favourite selections still to come for the eagle-eyed punter.
Betting in-play is big money in Eurovision, particularly on the Exchanges (you can read more about Exchanges here). Generally about half of the money matched on the Eurovision final on the Betfair Exchange happens after the final has started.
The odds move significantly during the and semi-final and grand final performances and voting, which makes a great opportunity for trading. As with all market moves they can be an over-reaction or under-reaction to events as that unfold, so if you look out for these you can find some great value.
The dynamic nature of in-play makes it impossible to give an exact tip for this one, I can give some more specific advice.
Tip: once the voting starts the early leader may shorten, but is often less likely to win.
The jury results are announced first, and the order in which the countries reveal their vote is determined by the producer for maximum excitement - so expect the lead to change hands. Also there is historically no correlation between the jury and televote scores meaning that it's still all to play for in the second half of the voting.
So those are my tips for betting in Eurovision Week. I can't guarantee that these selections are bankers, but I'm confident that I've given you some good advice and some great value here that could well pay off. Good Luck!
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