National Finals on 19th February Odds Preview
Updated: Feb 19, 2022
As there's so many NFs this week with betting markets I'm going to post a wee bit about each one in one piece.
Subwoolfer are odds on (roughly 1.75) and while they have picked up streams and seem the obvious choice, being just odds on is about right. There is a huge problem that without knowing who they are and we don't get any emotional connection through the masks. They also never went through a heat so completely unknown voting potential. We don't know who they are yet....
Elsie Bay got the last spot in the running order (albeit just after Subwoolfer) but this needs to be far better at storytelling to be in the mix and may be too high brow for the Norwegian web voters. 6s with Coolbet is value but it also is gambling that the staging concept improves.
Outside the top two I was impressed by North Kid live, so they are a legit third favourite as I see it. Less so was I with Sofie Fjellvang who didn't connect vocally or emotionally with Made Of Glass, and thankfully the atrociously written Hammer of Thor (how did Elsie Bay write her entry and this) should be dead opening the show.
The one wildcard I've moved up is Maria Mohn. I have seen some interest in Maria coming through and I gather she is very liked to the Norwegian population. Can imagine getting a top 4 placing and from there could get some head to head support unlike Jorn last year. If you have pennies spare to 33-1 with Unibet might be up your street.
A fascinating NF. Ochman is priced well odds on and the crash to get Poland touching single figures in the outright market was 100% his doing. Song is good, not great, but he is a superstar and the country knows it. Should he find new levels on Saturday, which the song needs, then this should win at a canter and possibly take Poland to shortening towards Italy.
However the 2nd favourite, Daria with Paranoia, is a good punt for those thinking a shock is on the cards. This has been out a while and is a huge radio hit (13 million YouTube views....). 4s with Smarkets may not be dumb, but the show is half jury which one expects to follow the narrative to select the favourite.
The only other headline here is the fully sign language Unmute available at long odds. I name this because while not expected to do well if anything was going to come from left field there is nothing more left field than this. However there are more conventional choices that Poland one assumes would not want to leave behind this year. This is a country that would quite like an ESC victory, despite so many previous failures.
Dora returns with 14 songs going for one spot. Favourite is a previous 2nd and 3rd place act Mia Negovetic, and if 'Forgive Me' doesn't take the crown then I can't think what will. Vastly superior to her previous two attempts, this is an unashamedly Swedish try and recreating 'Husavik' and it does it very well. Yes, I have a musical theatre bias so treat my thoughts with caution but the 3.5 (CroBet) is a steal if any Croatian fans are reading.
The absolutely absurd list of names in the Sammarinese selection got the nation in to around 30s on the Betfair exchange but the low budget of all the heats this week has pushed that back up into three figures. While I don't think San Marino can ever mobilise enough voting support to win (commentators curse no doubt) keep an eye on this to make the market do some crazy swings if they do pick someone bigger than the nation itself.
Remember that they may get some love from a show held in Italy too, especially if the hosts draw early.
It is a shame that the brief hiatus of Malta song for Europe to X Factor didn't update the country's style of music. More than ever does the Maltese selection feel retro and cheap and huge reworking will be needed for any winner here to be competitive in May. Expect to see the winner on a flight to Sweden before March comes.
I haven't had much chance to review these in detail but the market hasn't seen anything to cause Slovenia to shorten. One I'll not be checking beforehand as Melfest will take much of my time this week.
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