Bookies’ Roundup: Belgium catapulted into top five as UK continues climb

by Richard West-Soley 8,156 views

The bookies’ favourites list is eight songs smaller after last night’s Eurovision Song Contest semifinal. But fewer songs equates to more dramatic movements in the odds, as Saturday’s date with fate draws ever closer.

The first, tiny cracks may be showing in Italy’s armour, as odds drift ever so slightly from their super-short peak last week. Now, successful semifinalist Portugal creeps ever closer, right behind Francesco Gabbani on odds just above evens with some bookies. Bulgaria is a very distant third place challenger on odds of around 12/1 overall.

Shooting stars

Fresh from a nail-biting final envelope episode, Belgium enjoys a catapult ride right back into the top five. Blanche, left to the very end to learn her (happy) fate, now sits in fourth favourite position on odds as low as 16/1. Right behind her is Sweden’s Robin, now secure for Saturday’s final, and no stranger to the top five favourites. However, he has enjoyed higher; “I Can’t Go On” has steadily drifted from short odds of around 7/1 at the beginning of last week to as much as 25/1 now.

One of the past few days’ success stories is the UK. Lucie has been nipping at Sweden’s heels all day, at certain points nabbing the fifth favourite position. Tonight, “Never Give Up On You” is sitting pretty as sixth favourite.

Below her, Romania, Armenia, Netherlands and France are holding their own and familiar countries in the top ten. France seems to have recovered after a brief lengthening of odds for Alma recently.

But just outside the first ten, we have another shooting star: Moldova, which successfully passed through the first semifinal last night, and rises like a Phoenix from the lower recesses of the favourites tables. From odds of up to 300/1 at the start of rehearsals, the chances for “Hey Mamma” now cluster around a slashed 40/1.

Australia and Azerbaijan are the most marked sinkers, now at 14th and 15th favourite; this comes despite having passed through to the final yesterday.

Semifinal 2 to Qualify

Odds on countries to be amongst the lucky ten from tomorrow’s semi are currently as follows:

  1. Bulgaria
  2. Romania
  3. Netherlands
  4. Estonia
  5. Denmark
  6. Hungary
  7. Israel
  8. Austria
  9. Norway
  10. Belarus
  11. Serbia
  12. Croatia
  13. FYR Macedonia
  14. Switzerland
  15. Ireland
  16. Malta
  17. Lithuania
  18. San Marino

Last night, the bookies predicted nine out of ten qualifiers. Will they be so accurate this time round? A clean sweep would be awful news for FYR Macedonia, which has already failed to qualify in the four previous contests; bad news for Ireland, which stayed in the semifinal on its last three consecutive attempts; and very disappointing for Switzerland, which has failed to qualify for the last two years in a row. However, Belarus looks set to scrape through in tenth position, and break a two-year absence from the final.

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