7th May 2022
Ante post bets:
- France top 10 finish 6/5 Paddy Power (nap)
- Sweden outright 11/2 William Hill (4 places), each-way
- Norway outright 50/1 Bet 365 (4 places), very small each-way
- Accumulator with Paddy Power that pays 5.29/1 for Ukraine, Italy and Sweden to finish top 5 and Norway, UK, Spain and France to finish top 10 - Paddy let you multi selections in these markets
2022 might not be a year to get too heavily involved in Eurovision from a punting perspective, owing to the political situation in Ukraine, but it won’t stop regular Eurovision punters getting involved on a lesser scale nevertheless.
We could be looking at a situation whereby Ukraine hoover up televotes and won’t even need a particularly high jury score to win the competition. They are 8/13 in the outright market, though, as the political angle, coupled with a song that would have top 10 claims anyway in all honesty, has seen their price go one way since the Russian invasion.
Sweden have a rich history in the competition and have put together a classy entry that gives them each-way claims, while Norway send one of the novelty acts, Subwoolfer, whose song Give That Wolf A Banana could fare well on the televote, ala their 2019 entry Keiino.
France have produced a much-improved effort this year, which has a tribal feel and will be of interest to anyone who liked Ukraine’s Shun last year. They have bagged a draw in the first half, which might dent their winning chance, but the captivating tune could give them a strong top 10 chance.
12th May 2022
Semi-final 2 bets:
- Czech Republic top 3 finish SF2 5/4 (nap)
- Czech Republic to win SF 2 - 33/1 Betfred, really, small fun bet for a few quid here as Sweden should win....but 33/1 for Czech is big if they do well on the televote and you never know
- 'to qualify from SF2' acca on Czech Republic, Cyprus, Malta, San Marino, Finland & Azerbaijan - pays 14/1 with Paddy Power - again, really small stakes here, literally just a few quid for a fun bet if watching the show
There weren't many surprises in terms of qualification from the first semi-final on Tuesday evening. Ukraine, Norway, Greece, Netherlands and Portugal looked bankers to progress. All obliged, though there wasn't a way in punting wise to that semi as their qualification odds were all so slim (the quintet combined paid something pathetic like 1.09/1 to qualify with Paddy Power).
Tonight we have the second semi-final (8pm start, BBC Three and Iplayer for those in the UK) so I've tried to find another way in. It's not easy!
The favourites to win SF2 are Eurovision experts Sweden, and I don't think you can argue with that given their rich history in the competition. This doesn't look a particularly strong semi final and it would take something to go majorly wrong on the night for Cornelia Jakobs not to win this semi with Hold Me Closer, a classy entry which is second-last on in the running order.
It hasn't all been plain sailing for Sweden in rehearsals, though. That is quite uncharacteristic for them, as the Scandinavians usually refine their act so much during Melodifestivalen (Swedish National selection) that it is good to go - and often win - by the time they get to Eurovision.
Some of the earlier staging issues (camera cuts not polished and problems with the wired mic at one point) will hopefully be ironed out and with a bit of luck Sweden (who we've backed for Saturday's final) will bag a second half draw for the grand final when their name is pulled out after the conclusion of tonight's semi. Progression seems a formality.
A lot of the big hitters this year have bagged draws in the first-half of the grand final running order, so there is real mileage in an entry such as Sweden, or maybe even UK, to capitalise and exploit a slot late in the show, should they be put on towards the end by the show's producers.
In terms of tonight, anyway, there is is no value in backing Sweden even to win the semi (odds of 1/3).
In terms of the pick of the remainder tonight, the country I feel is most underrated in the betting, perhaps owing to their historical performance in the competition, is CZECH REPUBLIC. We Are Domi, headed by Czech singer Dominika, who met her two Norwegian bandmates (Casper and Benjamin) when they studied together at Leeds College of Music in the UK, have produced a real catchy electro-pop entry, Lights Off, which was one of the best studio songs released for this year's competition in my opinion.
The song has a catchy beat, nice staging, and the producers have put them on last of all tonight, right before the phonelines open, so I wouldn't be surprised to see them finish in the top three of the televote. How high they will finish in the Jury vote (based on a dress rehearsal performance yesterday the public haven't seen) I don't know, but if someone wants a bit of fun for tonight, I've chucked a few quid on them to win this semi at 33/1 and its a potential angle in. There aren't options to go EW in the 'to win SF2' market, sadly, as that would have been a lovely bet at 33/1 I would have got in the car to drive to a shop for, and we may be peeing in the proverbial wind in taking on Sweden with any bets tonight, but We Are Domi are not a 33/1 chance when Poland (solid, but far from spectacular) are 7/2 second favs and it is then 25/1 the field - so strong is Sweden's dominance in this market.
It's a shame there aren't many other side markets for SF2 - like a 'televote vote winner' allowing EW bets in this semi, or any match ups, but those sorts of markets are released for the grand final (this Saturday) itself rather than for the semis, which most of the general public won't even be aware of.
In terms of tonight's other qualification bankers, along with the aforementioned duo I'd say there is only really Poland that also look certain to qualify in my opinion. They are on towards the end of the night and have a solid male ballad that will pick up Jury support.
Finland are represented by the Rasmus (oh ohhhhhh, yes, that Rasmus, who waited in the shadows), but they have been handed the opening slot in tonight's running order so the 1/4 for them to qualify is hardly tempting for a single. Malta and Cyprus have a couple of pleasant entries that have been handed middle draws and sees them priced up like they are on the borderline to qualify (they may well get 'lost' in the middle of tonight's show).
Contrary to the market, however, Serbia and Australia do nothing for me this year.
Pet Shop Boys fans will be picking up the phones for Georgia, while you can see San Marino, who flopped so badly with Adrenalina (ft. Flo Rida) 12 months ago, have taken plenty of inspiration from last year's winner's, Italy, with their rock song, Stripper. That one features a singer gyrating on a bull at one point and could be a real 'marmite' entry for viewers. It is 10/11 to qualify, but it could be a case of scraping in via the ninth or tenth qualification spots if they attract enough support to go through on the basis that the performance is, at least memorable.
As I say, I haven't got heavily stuck into anything betting wise for the semi tonight. Gone are the days of me having £800 on Finland to qualify and waiting for the Betfred cashier to phone it through to head office, lol, probably wondering if I was for real. Tonight I've had a couple of quid, for a fun bet only, on Czech to win this semi (I don't really expect them to beat Sweden but the odds are just wrong. If getting involved, please note, however, the semi final scores are not released until Saturday night after the conclusion of the main final, so you won't have your bet settled tonight, when all they announce is the 10 qualifiers at the end of the show).
The other bet, for the craic, and, again, we are talking literally a couple of quid with Paddy Power, who let you multi up qualification picks in tonight's semi, is on Czech Republic, Cyprus, Malta, San Marino, Finland and Azerbaijan to qualify - its a bit of a long shot when several of those look borderline to qualify, but I'll be watching the whole show and like a few quid to have something to cheer..... so there we go.
When we know the draw for the final I'll be having some bigger bets on the final, and will add below....
EDIT: just found Grosvenor Sports, who I believe use the Kambi trading platform used by the likes of 888 and 32 Red, are offering 5/4 on Czech Republic top three finish in SF2 tonight. I’d had a good bet on that - just what I was looking for but couldn’t find any such prices on Oddschecker earlier. The SF result won’t be announced until after the main final on Saturday, though.
New Grand Final Bets
- United Kingdom to finish best of the 'big five' 5/6 Paddy Power
- United Kingdom top five finish 4/9 Coral
- Greece top Balkan 5/6 Bet 365
There weren't any major surprises in SF2 last night with the three bankers (Sweden, Czech Republic and Poland) going through. The strobe lighting for Czech Republic looked great. They now open tomorrow’s Grand Final.
You’d have to feel a bit of sympathy for San Marino, who turned in one of the most entertaining performances of the night with Stripper, but didn’t progress. C’est la vie!
In terms of the Final, we have four live ante posts: an EW bet on Sweden, a small EW on Norway, a bet on France to finish top 10 and an acca on various top 5/10 finishes.
I’m disappointed with the draws for France (6) and Norway (7) as you’d prefer to be later on in the running order like Sweden (20). There are 25 songs in total. However, that’s the hand both have been dealt and we’ll have to see how they fare.
Ukraine have shortened up into 1/3 in the outright betting and, as suggested previously, there’s a good chance this year’s competition is a foregone conclusion due to political reasons. They could dominate the televote. I’d rather have bets in the side markets for the Final instead.
The act which has really gathered momentum this year is UNITED KINGDOM and the 5/6 for them to finish best of the big five looks appealing, especially since main dangers Italy continue to drift in the betting and were handed a first-half draw.
Spain and France are viable top 10 contenders but could also be held back by their draws, while Germany will do well to finish on the left-hand side of the leaderboard.
United Kingdom look to be top three/four contenders, by contrast, and by betting in this market we’re taking Ukraine and Sweden out of the equation.
The UK entry, Space Man, looks great on stage and Sam Ryder hits some ridiculously high notes. The BBC have used a music promoter to promote this track across Europe before the competition reached Turin and Ryder has an army of TikTok followers who have, like the Eurovision community, been lapping it up.
Brexit certainly didn’t help the UK in the past but this year, politically, it is possible we may be viewed a bit more favorably for supporting Ukraine after the invasion - UK-supplied missiles have been used to take out Russian tanks, for example. But let’s not get too political.
The song is good, memorable, and a draw in 22 - last on of the ‘big hitters’ this year, cannot be a negative. I think we will finish top five, hopefully best of the ‘big five’ and maybe even win (or at least be to the fore in) the Jury vote (6/4 favs but Sweden are a danger).
Of the novelty acts, Moldova were qualifiers from SF1 and will get televotes, but even if Ukraine are hoovering up 12 points from many countries on the televote, you’d like to think Norway are still going to be getting 10s and 8s in behind, even from their iffy draw, and they remain the best ‘fun’ entry for me.
The likes of Paddy Power and Coral are pricing up a variety of specials for the Final in terms of countries finishing top three, five or 10 etc, so I’ll be nibbling bits of those if I can get on, and may add some to the bet list up until kick off tomorrow.
I’ve got a few roll ups on GREECE to be top Balkan at 5/6. The Serbian entry has shortened up after qualifying from SF2 last night but the lady sitting around a washing up bowl did absolutely nothing for me.
The Greece song sounds like a typical Greek entry for Eurovision - polished, pleasant and not one you’d skip on the CD in the car. However, it is probably one of those likely to be scrapping it out for 10th or so, rather than being a realistic win contender. That may still suffice to collect in the top Balkan market unless Serbia is lapped up by televoters.
RE the ante posts sent previously, Norway are out to 66/1 (4 places) and Sweden out to 7/1 (4 places) in the outright market and France are now 7/2 for a top 10 finish with Betfred. France hasn’t caught on as I hoped, it seems, and we have an iffy bet there due to the draw, but Sweden are solid top four contenders. Norway may be more likely top 10 rather than EW contenders, but a big televote score would put them in the mix and I’ve not given up hope. With regards to the acca, France look the problem leg now they’ve drifted.
New Grand Final Bets
- United Kingdom to score over 4.5 x 12 points from Jury voting 1/2 Sporting Bet
- United Kingdom to win Jury vote 7/4 Bet 365
That’s our lot this year! Good luck all.