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Our 5 Tips For Semi Final One

Here’s our top 5 bets to place for Semi Final One

5. Albania Not to Qualify (3.25 with Bet365)

Albania’s artist Roneja Hajati has had a rough week of results and the feedback from them, causing a price drift on the exchanges from 1.2 to over 1.45 to qualify. This has changed from the Albanian National Final powerful performance and moving away from powerful black to pink and blue weakens the USP of this number and of Roneja as an artist.

Now this should qualify - and there are enough Albanian points available from televote in some of the competing countries, but it is on shaky ground and Latvia immediately after are in sync with their performance. This is shaky.

4. Norway to finish top 3 (1.65 @ Bwin)

Subwoofer have a slick number with a great draw and in such a gentle and frankly rather monotone Semi Final this comes into a big burst of joy when we most need it. It may struggle for jury and televote scores in the final but in this company it should do well and a position between 2nd to 4th is anticipated.

3. Ukraine to win (1.53 @ William Hill)

We all know why Ukraine are so short but given how poor the quality of this field is compared to the Grand Final the odds of 1.53 represent excellent value on Ukraine compared to the 1.72 for Saturday night. This is early in the draw but surrounded by absolute cannon fodder and while we may question the jury score for the final, there is little else in this show worthy of scoring better with the jurors.

Should be a comfortable Tuesday night victory before the real fun begins.

2. Denmark to qualify (5.7 @ Betfair Exchange)

It’s easy to go through the list and find doubtful qualifiers, with many underperforming or having at-risk vocals (Switzerland and Austria) having drifted, but it is a harder game to pick an outsider and say they can steal a spot from something more likely. Iceland could, but at double the price I will pick out Denmark as a surprise qualifier. The routine hasn’t changed from MGP and is vocally safe and when others around are faltering this could stumble through with a 70+30 split.

1. Portugal not to qualify (8 @ Bet365)

After Salvador Sobral's success in 2017, Portugal were not required to qualify the following year. We don't know then how Isaura's ballad in 2018 would have fared in the semi finals, but we do know it finished dead last on the Saturday - being bookended in the running order by the much-adored Alexander Rybak of Norway and the stage-invaded SuRie of the UK would certainly have taken attention away from what was already a fairly nondescript song. Portugal are considered to be certain qualifiers by many this year, hence the long NQ odds, but I worry that the position in the running order may hinder them once more. Standing between a quirky Moldovan entry and a more upbeat Croatian, I feel there's a decent chance of the window to impress the audience being too narrow for MARO, and the televote falling away. It's a long shot certainly, but 8 feels like excellent value here.

Enjoy the show!

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