As the first semifinal looms, we take a look at the state of play with bookmakers before the live shows kick off.
The past few days have seen some dramatic movements in the odds for outright winner, although still, nothing manages to touch Russia’s Sergey. Punters will currently be lucky to double their money on a Russian win, with some bookies offering odds shorter than evens. Russia is alone amongst tonight’s semifinalists in making the top five of the bookies’ favourites list.
Conversely, Big-Fiver Amir has drifted for France, just hanging on to a third place around lengthened decimal odds of 6-8, shunted downwards by a rocketing Ukraine. Jamala, coming from almost nowhere, has not quite challenged Russia for the favourite spot yet, and has not quite reached the odds France enjoyed some days ago, but is still attracting a huge amount of confidence on odds of 4-6.
Sweden and Australia seem comfortable in fourth and fifth place respectively, Australia having slipped slightly from a strong third place at the beginning of the rehearsal weeks.
It is only in sixth and seventh place that we find two more of tonight’s entries from the first live show; Armenia and Malta look fairly secure as qualifiers, if their odds are anything to go by. The Netherlands join them a little way down in tenth place, still attracting odds as long as 70, separated by Israel – looking good for Thursday’s show – and a bolstered United Kingdom, which enjoyed a swift rise into the higher placings following some strong rehearsals over the past few days.
Qualification records under threat
Much further down the list, Greece may have cause to worry, as the country languishes on dismal odds of up to 700 – perhaps surprising for a country with a 100% semifinal qualification record. A glance at the odds for semifinal qualification confirms that bookies and punters expect a Greek struggle to pass. Likewise, Azerbaijan’s unblemished record may be threatened, with Samra’s odds teetering on the dangerous edge between semifinal success and failure. On the other hand, the Czech Republic looks likely to enjoy its first ever Eurovision final, with quite healthy odds for Gabriela.
San Marino, whilst still lurking in the doldrums, is now challenged for last place by Slovenia and Switzerland, which may give comfort to Serhat’s team as they go into the first show lifted slightly from the bottom of the tank!
Given the current standing, the pooled bookmakers appear to predict the following successful finalists from tonight’s show:
- Czech Republic
- Austria / Bosnia and Herzegovina / Estonia vying for tenth place