After the first day of rehearsals in Kyiv, Sweden and Portugal have consolidated their already strong positions in the bookmakers’ odds.
The two countries both saw their first outings on stage today, with Robin Bengtsson impressing enough to retain odds as low as 6/1 (Betbright), and third place across bookies on average.
But perhaps more noteworthy is Portugal, which retains confident odds of around 12/1, despite the fact that Salvador Sobral was unable to attend due to health reasons. Instead, his sister Luísa completed the rehearsal, and seems to have inspired just as much betting confidence in the song as her brother.
Of the first-day rehearsers, Australia, Belgium and Azerbaijan also occupy strong positions in the bookies’ tables, currently ranking 6th, 7th and 8th on average across the boards, making the first half of the semifinal one with a relatively high proportion of songs expected to do well.
The leader of the race is still Italy, however, which enjoys some very short odds for a song at this stage. An Italian win would not even double your stake at the time of writing, a position that few favourites have boasted nearly two weeks from the final. For many, it still seems like a one-horse race. Italy is to rehearse for the first time on Friday 5th May.
In second place, comes the current big favourite from the second semifinal: Bulgaria. Some distance behind Italy’s Francesco, Kristian Kristov vies with Sweden’s Robin on very similar odds, with just a slightest of edges.
Yodelling Romania is a strong outsider from the second semifinal in 9th place, whilst automatic finalist France is enjoying some confidence as the bookies’ 10th favourite.
Confounding the polls?
San Marino is currently lagging at the back of the pack, although a surprise win from the principality would net you 750 times your stake with Stan James. After a year of surprise results, perhaps stranger things have happened.