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Trading on Eurovision

Have you ever had a bet that shortens in to the event, maybe becoming the favourite, only to eventually get pipped at the post? If you listen to our podcast you will know that this happens to @bensvision often. If you feel that you may be in the same boat, then trading may be the answer.

What is Trading?

Trading is a type betting strategy that consists of backing and laying the same selection at different times, with the aim of locking in a profit (or favourable position) before the event.

The most efficient ways to trade is to use betting exchanges. If you are not familiar with betting exchanges, then you may want to check out our article that explains how they work as well as the advantages/disadvantages of using them here.

As an example, this year's current favourite (Ukraine) has already been matched on the Betfair Exchange winner market as long as 60.0 and as short as 2.02. This means that any lucky punter who was able to bet even just £1 at the longest odds could have already locked in a guaranteed £29 profit before the contest has even started.

An ideal trade on Ukraine could have already netted a guaranteed £29 profit from a £1 risk on the 2022 ESC

Obviously it is very difficult to pick the exact top and bottom of the market, but if you can even just correctly predict when the odds are going to go up or down more often than not, then you will be able to profit through trading. You can think of the above example as like cash-out (which we discussed have here), but Exchange trading is much more flexible in terms of when you can exit the market, how you manage your position across runners, and generally gives you better value. In a way we are treating the betting market like a stock market (but with fewer intangibles).

Why Eurovision is Good to Trade on

We have shown a theoretically lucrative trade on one runner, but if you look at the odds graphs of the winner market over time you will see that significant profits could already have been locked in on each of the runners this season, many for relatively low risk. The Eurovision winner market is, in many ways, a perfect market for trading because:

  • It has high volumes and liquidity over an extended period of time - there is a relatively large amount of money available to bet on at low over-rounds.

  • It has high volatility - the odds move significantly over time for multiple runners

These qualities mean that you should be able to get a fair market price on any of the runners at any point in time, and so there will be multiple opportunities to trade in and out of the market at different prices gaining more profit each time (or losses if you choose incorrectly).

Events to Look Out For

A lot of Eurovision trading is about predicting the general consensus before it has properly formed. This requires having your finger on the pulse and ear to the ground. Here are some the key events to look out for when anticipating odds moves during the season (social media is the place to be for many of these):

  • Artists reveals

  • Song releases (these often come through leaks)

  • National selection performances

  • National selection result reveals

  • Fan poll announcements

  • Eurovision party/tour performances

  • Media coverage

  • Rehearsals

  • Semi final performances

  • In-Play during the Final - there is so much to unpack during the Final that it deserves its own article

I hesitate to go back to the Ukraine example as there are much more serious political and humanitarian issues going on there, but this year Ukraine is an excellent example of how different events cause movement in the betting odds.

Ukraine Eurovision betting odds
We can see how different events have caused movements in the betting odds for Ukraine over the course of the 2022 season (the odds are calculated as the first matched odds on that day on the Betfair Exchange)

Where to Trade

There are two betting exchanges that you should consider when it comes to Eurovision trading - Betfair and Smarkets. These both match huge amounts of volume each season, but have slightly different advantages/disadvantages.

Smarkets - this has a lower base rate of commission than Betfair at 2% (compared to 5%). Smarkets also is generally best for secondary markets - it has a wider variety, puts them up earlier, and they usually have more money available in them. This makes Smarkets a better option for most betting, but for trading we actually mostly stick to Betfair because...

Betfair - The big advantage of using Betfair for trading is that it has the most active market - in the sense that if you put money up you are more likely to get it matched. In Smarkets this is not the case because most of the market is other people who just want to put money into the market rather than take yours (mostly Smarkets themselves it seems). Another advantage of Betfair is that the over-rounds are generally slightly smaller.

Conclusion: If you just want to take the money available in the market use Smarkets, but if you want to put up money for others to take then use Betfair.

Also for trading I would specifically focus on the winner market. It is worth keeping an eye on the other available markets if you have time, but trading opportunities in those are much more limited as liquidity is much lower. For example, you may invest heavily on one song to win a Semi Final and find that the market doesn't have enough money in it to fully balance your book - even though you got a good deal when you were placing your bets.

So, there you have is a summary of our key insight and advice on Eurovision trading based on our knowledge and experience so far. Hopefully it is useful for you, and if you have any questions then feel free to reach out. We may look to publish some posts with more specific advice or covering some of there areas in more detail in the future.

We also know that there are bigger and more experienced Eurovision traders out there, so if you would also like to share your knowledge or experiences then please get in touch.

Anyway - here is the current Eurovision favourite to sign us off...

Gamble responsibly: BeGambleAware

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