The Eurovision Song Contest betting has kicked off in true style with a hive of activity at William Hill as the qualifier round heat is due to take place in Istanbul tomorrow night. 22 countries will be competing for 10 places in the final and a mixed bag of performances has sparked a betting frenzy.
William Hill's spokeswoman Jennie Prest said: “Everyone is talking about Estonia, they have an ethnic sort of song that was popular last year with Belgiums surprise second and plenty of people are tipping them to qualify, although at the moment they are keeping their powder dry about their chances if they do make the final”.
Estonia are now 11-10 to qualify, where as a poor performance from Monaco has seen her chances of still being here for Saturday's show drift to 7-2.
Jennie added: “This is the first time they have had a qualifying show, and the betting on it was a little cautious at first – but today it's gone mad! It has certainly created more interest and if it carrys on like this it could be chaos tomorrow! The betting to win outright is a little quieter, but I'm sure that will change by the weekend!”
Confidence in Greece is also waining after the semis rehearsal, they are now 1-12 to qualify and drift back out to 7-2 to win, although they are still favourites.
In the win book a gamble on Sweden (one UK punter could win nearly 5000 euros) has seen them trimmed to 8-1 to win, and a stunning performance from Cyprus has seen her cut to 10-1.
Bets to qualify for Saturday's final:
1-8 Cyprus, Serbia & Montenegro
4-7 Bosnia & Herzegovina
4-6 Albania, Finland
8-11 The Netherlands
11-10 Estonia (from 9-4)
6-4 Belarus, Israel, Lithuania
7-4 Latvia, Slovenia
9-4 Croatia, Macedonia, Switzerland
7-2 Monaco (prices also available for countries not to qualify)
Bets to win the Eurovision Song Contest:
7-2 Greece (from 11-4)
5-1 Ukraine, 8-1 Sweden (from 9)
10-1 Cyprus (from 12), Germany
12-1 Serbia & Montenegro, Ireland
14-1 Russia, Turkey
20-1 Malta, United Kingdom
25-1 Finland, Iceland, Spain
33-1 Norway, Poland, Romania
40-1 Albania, Belarus, Estonia, France, The Netherlands
50-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia
66-1 Andorra, Croatia, Monaco
80-1 Macedonia, Switzerland
100-1 Austria, Portugal