It was close, but no cigar for the bookies tonight, who got seven out of ten qualifiers correct in the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
As decent as the tally seems, it is nonetheless two songs fewer than the odds predicted for the same show in 2017 and 2016. Albania, Finland and Ireland won tickets for the final from long odds. Expected finalists Greece, Armenia and Belgium – all predicted top ten placings in the collective odds – were unlucky.
The signs point to a somewhat less predictable year than recent contests, although with the top six qualification predictions making it through, perhaps luck is still on the side of bookies with the higher-table placings.
Cyprus favourite, Norway second
As expected, odds to win the contest were mixed up at the top as tonight’s show went on. Israel slides into longer odds of around 5/1, now in third place behind Norway in second. Cyprus rides a wave of support as the firm favourite with best odds of 3/1 or less. Further down, Lithuania jumps to odds of 14/1 with some bookies, following an emotional performance in the arena.
Expect plenty of moving and shaking over the coming days. But for now, the top ten odds to win are as follows:
- Czech Republic
Dress rehearsals for the second semifinal begin tomorrow. Will Alexander Rybak continue to be the sole representative of that show in the top seven? Or will others begin to stand out of the pack?