Estonia edges past Norway tonight to snatch a very narrow second favourite position behind Israel.
Norway feels the pressure on both sides right now, as Cyprus also draws ever closer to similar odds. In fact, the Cypriot rise represents a real threat to both Norway and Estonia, with odds as short as 6/1 on Eleni to win with “Fuego”.
Three of the above countries, of course, are fresh in the minds of fans tonight, after a day of dress rehearsals for the first semifinal. Tomorrow’s show will be the first big test for Israel, Estonia and Cyprus; Norway’s comes on Thursday, with Alexander’s live performance in the second semifinal. If successful, shortening odds may well push both Estonia and Cyprus ahead of Norway’s first TV outing.
Beyond the leaders of the pack
France holds its own today, sitting a short way back from the fighting trio of Estonia, Norway and Cyprus. The country is waging its own mini battle with Czech Republic for fifth favourite position, with both hovering around 10/1 – 12/1 with most outlets. Next is Bulgaria on odds of 12/1 and above, and below that, the numbers drop sharply into 20/1 and longer.
- Czech Republic
Semifinal one qualification
So how are the collective bookies’ predictions for tomorrow’s qualifiers? This has the potential to be one of the most exciting finishes ever, with the bottom few songs changing position almost daily. Tonight, the top ten stands as follows:
- Czech Republic
Switzerland rises to become the challenger in 11th this evening, having won over more betting confidence over the course of the day.
Semifinal two qualification
There has been a little less movement in the favourites to qualify from the second live show on Thursday. Moldova switches places with Ukraine to become third most likely qualifier, continuing a very lucky week for the delegation. Otherwise, the top ten countries are the same, with just minor position changes. Tonight, this is how the it looks:
Russia is still just held off in 11th position by Latvia.
Can the bookies do it again in the semis?
Tuesday evening sees the first live show, and first test of the odds against the actual outcomes of the contest. It is worth bearing in mind that last year, bookmakers predicted an impressive tally of nine out of ten of the qualifiers from both the first and second semifinals.
Can they do it again? Or could 2018 be the year punters’ predictions are turned on their head? Fans will get their first clues tomorrow night.