Eurovision 2016 – Semi Final 1

It’s Eurovision time again and this years show looks a lot tougher to call than last year. In 2015 most of us could see, from an early stage, that Sweden would be hard to beat, Russia were their biggest challenger and that Italy had a solid song.

This year the current favourite is Russia, they’ve gone down the commercial pop route and it would be no surprise to see it winning. They have a large diaspora and that was in evidence last year. My issue with the song as a betting proposition is the price. In what seems a much more competitive year with no standout contender, I’m not inclined to be a backer at sub 3.00. If needs be I can always balance my book on Saturday as I cannot see it going off at below 2.00.

In tonight’s first semi final, I think it’s safe to assume that five of the ten qualification spots will be taken by Malta, Hungary, Russia, Armenia and Iceland. I also belive it’s safe to assume that San Marino and Montenegro won’t be qualifying.

That leaves us with The Netherlands, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Croatia, Greece, Finland, Czech Republic, Bosnia and Estonia to concertrate on from a betting point of view.

My first bet will be Czech Republic Not To Qualify/Lay them To Qualify. I don’t see how this song can be a 1.2x shot to make it through to Saturday’s final. It’s sandwiched between Russia and Cyprus which will effectivly memory hole it. There’s npthing ‘wrong’ with the song I just have it priced up around the 2.00 mark to qualify. They’ve entered the contest four times previously and on each occasion they have failed to make the final. Their voting allies from previous semi-finals have been Israel, Poland, Macedonia, Slovenia and Germany, none of which are in this semi-final and therefore they can’t vote for them. In the past they’ve picked up pointd form San Marino, Croatia and Malta who are all in this semi-final but I don’t see them countires scorign this song highly. Their saving grace may be picking up votes from Russia and Hungary, however with all these ifs and buts I don’t think they qualify 80% of the time.

My second bet is to back Malta in the outright market. I think that Walking on Water offers some value at 23.0 with Coral or 28.0 on Betfair Exchange.

I think that this song is a certain qualifier for the final and the odds reflect that. At the moment I’m trying to back a few songs against Russia and this is one that I think should be shorter in the betting.

The other song I want to take out of this semi-final and back for my win book is Iceland. Greta Salome has some Loreen, 2012 winner, styling going on with an engaing backdrop in a similar style to that of Swededn’s winning entry from last year. If “Hear Them Calling” was the Swedish entry it would be sub 20.0 int he betting. With the Nordic countires looking particularly weak this year I think there’s some traction to be had with this song.

  • LAY CZECH REPUBLIC TO QUALIFY AT 1.2x (Betfair Exchange)
  • BACK MALTA TO WIN EUROVISION AT 23.0 (Coral) or 28.0 (Betfair Exchange)
  • BACK ICELAND TO WIN EUROVISION AT 101.0 (Bet Victor/Betfred) or 130.0 (Betfair Exchange)


  1. Is it an oversight or have you forgotten that Austria are in the first semi yet you failed to mention!

      • Glad to see Austria doing well in the first semi. Have your views changed in terms of the finals for Austria?

        • My views have chnaged in terms of song quality, however if Nadine Beiler was only able to finish 18/24 with a better song and performance in 2011, I struggle to see this one making the left hand side of the board

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