Australia soars as bookies bag eight out of ten

by Richard West-Soley 6,040 views

Australia is employing “Zero Gravity” to soar up behind the top three favourites to win after a night of shocks and delights in the first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.

After a flawless performance in the first show of the week, odds on Kate Miller-Heidke have shortened to as little as 6 (Boyle Sports). The advance of “Zero Gravity” pushes France into fifth, with Azerbaijan just dropping out of the top five to Kate’s former sixth position in the aggregated odds.

Iceland’s place in the top ten has also been strengthened after Hatari made Saturday’s final as expected. The group is still attracting a good deal of confidence, neck and neck with Thursday’s hopeful Switzerland on decimal odds as low as 9 (Spread EX).

Bookies go one better than 2018

In the end, the bookies went one better than their combined predictions for last year’s semifinal, snagging eight of the successful finalists in their shake-up. Before the show, punter confidence had placed Hungary and Belgium into the probable top ten. In the event, Belarus and San Marino were the lucky two, coming from a 14th and 15th position across the bookies respectively.

Despite the surprises, the reasonable level of success cements the place of bookies as a useful – if blunt – instrument in predicting contest performance. With an eye on last night’s results, here is the current leaderboard in “To Qualify” markets for tomorrow’s show:

1. Sweden
2. Netherlands
3. Russia
4. Azerbaijan
5. Switzerland
6. Malta
7. Norway
8. North Macedonia
9. Armenia
10. Denmark

As has happened previously between markets, the favourite to win is pipped to the top as most likely to qualify!

Second semifinalists continue to lead

It is three of these acts from Thursday’s show that continue as frontrunners in the win markets. The Netherlands appear unmoveable in first place, with Duncan Laurence on evens – or shorter – to take the prize. Sweden is a currently a more distant challenger in second place, and it is still possible to grab odds of 5 on a John Lundvik victory. Russia struggles to keep pace in the forward three right now, with odds of up to 10.

Will the bookies go close with their predictions again? What might the big surprises be? With the jury rehearsal of the second semifinal just around the corner, expect more moving and shaking before the day is done.