Eurovision 2017 | Semi Final One

It’s here again a week of cheesy music, campness and more importantly betting. We start with a very competitive semi-final one, in which there are a number of voting blocs which in theory should negate the advantages that some may have received if the draw has panned out differently.

One of those countries that could have its usual balance of neighbouring votes, count for less is Sweden. In recent years they’ve sent out some excellent songs, courtesy of Melodifestivalen however this years entry doesn’t match up to the likes of Loreen’s Euphoria (2010 winner), Mans Zelmerlow’s Heroes (2015 winner) or even Sanna Nielsen’s Undo which finished third in 2014. I personally don’t even think Robin Bengtsson’s “I can’t go on” was the best song at Melfest this year, Wiktoria’s As I Lay me Down would’ve been my preferred entry. Or even Lisa Ajax, just to see if she was actually allowed to use the word “fuck” in the final.

Not only do I feel that Sweden have a weaker song that they usually do, they are also singing first in this semi-final. With seventeen more songs to follow many of which will be more memorable I can see them massively underperforming in regards to market expectations.

I also don’t think that they’ll be in the top three when it comes to the jury votes, which means it’s very unlikely they’ll win this semi-final when coupled with the fact their neighbourly voting advantage has been somewhat negated.

At the prices they’re there to be opposed.

Lay Sweden To Qualify at 1.04 (Betfair Exchange)
*This means that you would be backing them not to qualify at odds of 26.00 (25/1) less commission*

Belgium is dirge! The song isn’t performed well, it’s not very jury friendly and it has limited friends in this semi-final. This is another song that has to be opposed at odds-on, especially as it comes from an early draw, five. I don’t see how this song can be odds-on to qualify as I have it borderline at best.

Lay Belgium To Qualify at 1.4x (Betfair Exchange)

I love the Moldovan entry by Sunset Project, who represented their nation in 2010. You will probably know the sax man part of the Run Away. Hey Mamma is a song that I’ve had on repeat for a few weeks now, and I’d love to see it in the final. However at the prices it is another that has to be taken on. Moldova has failed to qualify for the last three years and have no allies in this heat. The song isn’t jury friendly and that’s the final nail in the coffin for me.

I would however advise everybody to listen to the song and watch the video.

Lay Moldova To Qualify at 1.3x (Betfair Exchange)

My final lay is of the second favourite to win the whole contest. I don’t see how Portugal can be so short. The song is jury friendly, yet it’s sung in a language that hardly anybody speaks. They’ve failed to qualify for the final since 2010 and their refusal to sing in English really does hurt them. On the plus side they have Spain to give them some points. On the downside, the song isn’t very memorable, their staging is poor, the singer is camera shy and unable to connect to the audience. It’s going to need a massive jury score, to overcome its lack of public votes.

Lay Portugal To Qualify at 1.06 (Betfair Exchange)

Australia reminds me a lot of Azerbaijan in the years that they first entered the competition. Azerbaijan became a bit of a power house finishing 8th, 3rd and 5th before finally winning in 2011, this was then followed up with a 4th and 2nd placed finishes. Azerbaijan was desperate to win the show and threw large sums of money into their acts. Not only did they have well written and performed songs, they also put the work in on the staging. Remember it’s The EuroVISION Song Contest, and the benefits of great visuals shouldn’t be underestimated, as all X Factor bettors will tell you.

Australia’s tactic seems to be ‘lets win the jury vote’. They know that if they can do that they will go very close to winning. They showed this last year when they finished 2nd, losing by 23 points overall after finishing 4th in the public vote. Dami won the jury vote by a landslide last year, with 320 points, her closest challenger was the Ukraine on 211 points. Under the 2015 rules Australia would’ve won the contest, however due to the rule change last year they had to settle for the silver medal. It may be a blessing this year that there’s no Russian entry to ‘steal’ public votes as was the case when Serget Lazarev won the public vote in Stockholm, but was only 5th with 130 points in the Jury vote.

As things stand I think Australia are a great each-way bet at 51.00 with Bet365, who are paying ¼ the odds and 4 places.

Back Australia To Win Eurovision Outright at 51.00 each-way (Bet365)

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