The 5 Eurovision Betting Markets We Want To See
The BetEurovision team have taken a break for a week while the National Final season has finished, and Azerbaijan has finally ended our wait to get to the end of the line, and have our 40 songs.
We’ve had a look at our book and our thoughts from previous years to bring to you the top 5 betting markets that we would love to see the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest have.
1: Handicap Head-to-Head matchups
In the final few days before the Eurovision Song Contest final it is common to see the bookies run head-to-head matchups as a way of generating some extra revenue. These allow punters to go against the bookies if they feel the bookies have overvalued the chances of one particular song, and undervalued the one paired against it.
There was value last year for example when the Scandinavian bookies, pitching in on the whole Efendi/Tix love drama, priced up Tix as the outsider in this head-to-head despite the obvious televote appeal of ‘Fallen Angel’ regionally.
We would like this to go one step further. Rather than a pure head-to-head these could be handicapped against each other, meaning a wider variety of songs could go head-to-head. For example in this year’s contest you could have a matchup of Italy vs France - but each of them priced at 5/6 and with France starting with a…maybe 300 point advantage? This would be good for classic rivalries (Sweden vs. Norway, UK vs. Ireland, Portugal vs. Spain) that no matter how perceived the songs are for strength you could manufacture an even head-to-head battle to draw in punters.
2: Best Ballad / Best Up-tempo song etc.
We often see the bookies, as April turns to May, opening up a wide section of odds based on different regions. Best Balkan, Best Baltic, Best Eastern Europe and ideas such as that. These geographical designations are easy to do but they also offer very little betting interest in certain years - we’ve had a Baltic market with a 1/10 favourite before, a Best Scandinavian market where Tooji was the best competition to Loreen, and so on.
Instead, a more interesting market would be one based on song style. Simple templates could be to have best rock song, best up-tempo, best ballad and so on. This would be more nuanced and rather than fighting country for country in a region you are looking at selecting which song in that style would place highest.
Sure, this would be a subjective thing and different bookies may class different songs as ballads or not, for example, but this is the type of market that should actually generate interest for gamblers to use their skill and have a tighter voting market than some of the geographical ones end up becoming.
3: A Jury vs Televote market
As rehearsals kick in, usually that is the time that the bookies open up markets on who will win the jury and televote. As the voting systems are different between the two it is very possible in modern Eurovision for the jury, televote, and overall winners to all be different - as was the case in 2016 and 2019.
However, I wonder if this can be split head-to-head for each country. I would love a market to bet on to predict if Italy or Sweden would accumulate more points from the jury or the televote. Quite often it can be anticipated which songs will do well with each constituency - Switzerland with Gjon’s Tears was always likely to favour the jury, and Måneskin the televote, but sometimes there can be shocks to where the points come from (who would have had San Marino feat. Flo Rida as a jury pick?) and with those shocks there’s potential for betting value. Jury/televote is more nuanced than up-tempo or ballad after all.
4: Predicting the 12 points from each country's televote.
It is common for the UK and Scandinavian bookmakers to offer odds on who will get the 12 points from the UK and Denmark, Norway, Sweden respectively. This has been a successful market for us previously having tipped The Roop to get the UK 12 points last year despite being ranked mid-table in last year's show. This was due to the combination of being very much what the UK public expect from Eurovision plus the diaspora voting. However it would be great to see these markets pop out to other nations in the future.
Of course, it is important that this happens in countries that have large and robust voting systems (big 5 stand out as good candidates) but it becomes a real test of skill/stats versus the bookmakers to assess local trends, diaspora, styles of music that do well in each location. Both bookie and punter should be able to get value out of such a market and the fascinating local insight will I assume be of interest to the local media in each country as they report on Grand Final morning.
5: A Eurovision Each-Way exchange market
The Eurovision Song Contest has 40 different countries taking part and as such is a difficult battleground to predict the winner. Betting each-way, especially on those with medium to long odds, can be a shrewd investment. As a general rule we recommend the casual punter to bet each-way more as the performances become better known from now until May 14th. We have a guide on how each-way betting works here, and a decent number of the high street bookies offer it currently.
In other events with a large number of participants, betting exchanges often offer an each-way market in addition to the winner market - paying out in the same way as the bookies do. Horse racing and golf are common examples, where each selection will be at slightly different odds on the two markets allowing punters to pick and choose where to invest. While these each-way markets generally see less volume of money pouring into them than the equivalent winner market, they would be a very fitting to a offering with the field of 40 that we have taking part, especially with pre-show volatility that Eurovision betting often has. This is especially true with many songs from this year’s show that feel very top 4, but perhaps without the obvious push to win (Sweden and Poland can be described as that at the current time).
Place betting is a very large part of the Eurovision exchanges today, with high volumes being traded in top 4, top 5 and top 10 markets during the show build-up. It seems therefore an anomaly that Eurovision does not have this each-way today. It may take a few years before an each-way exchange generates the type of trading interest that makes it a heavy trading part of the Eurovision exchange, but there is no reason why it wouldn’t be successful.
What do you think? What betting markets would you like to see in Eurovision? Comment below or on social media to see what others think!