Cyprus is odds on favourite to be a first-time winner in tonight’s Eurovision Song Contest final with Eleni Foureira and “Fuego”.
Cyprus shot up the favourites table as a former long shot early this week. Since then, she has held on to a commanding lead, seeing off competition including former favourite from Israel, Netta Barzilai. Netta’s “TOY” had drifted slightly after her semifinal performance, but she returns to a strong silver place in the pre-final odds.
The dramatic mover of the past days, however, is Ireland. From previous odds as long as 200/1, Ryan O’Shaughnessy now finds himself on single figure prices, and third favourite to win. As Ireland’s first finalist since 2013, he has attracted huge punter confidence since passing to the final in Tuesday night’s broadcast. His presence in the top trio means that all three 2018 frontrunners proceed from the first semifinal.
A little further behind, France and Lithuania look to be good outsiders on odds around 16/1 and 20/1 respectively – attractive prices for each way and place only betters. Sweden is a close sixth, while Italy and Germany have both seen some movement today, settling into slightly longer seventh and eighth favourite positions.
Whatever happened to…
Estonia sits at ninth position in the pre-final favourites, having looked like a challenger for the lead at one point earlier this week.
Likewise, Norway’s Alexander Rybak topped the odds at one point, looking secure in the top three favourites for much of the rehearsal period. Following semifinal success, however, odds on the country began to slide, and he has battled to remain in the top ten since Thursday evening. Currently, he wards off Moldova in a battle to cling to the final tenth position. Can he defy the drift and bounce back to the top three tonight?
Australia, Bulgaria, and Czech Republic all formerly enjoyed top three favourite positions, but have lengthened significantly over Eurovision fortnight. All three lie outside the top ten right before tonight’s show. But could they make a comeback in the vote?
Here is the pre-final snapshot of odds to win this evening’s contest (correct at time of writing – odds may shift before curtain up, particularly below third):
- Czech Republic
Will one of the top fifteen take the prize, or could we see a rank outsider win tonight?
A pinch of salt
Of course, favourites don’t always win. Odds are predictions, with betters driving prices up and down by staking money on expected and preferred outcomes. These reasons are not always dispassionate and logical – national pride can motivate individuals to place bets as much as logical prediction. And just like fan predictions, the odds often miss the mark!
That said, they can be extraordinarily close to the final outcome, and have certainly been good indicators in recent contests. But with bookmakers predicting fewer semifinal qualifiers in 2018 than in previous years, could this be the year of the big surprise?