With a few tantalising hours to go to the final, the great Eurovision guessing game reaches its frenzied zenith. With punters – casual and otherwise – throwing their money behind their tips for the top, the bookies’ pre-contest favourites gives us a hazy glimpse into our future.
The bookies do have form, to be fair. In 2021, for example, aggregated odds predicted both the winner, Italy, and second-placed France. In all, four of their top five were correct, with only Malta slipping outside, and Iceland into the magic circle.
That said, odds can sometimes feel like a bit of a blunt instrument. This year’s bookmaker predictions for semifinal qualification took a tumble on previous years’ performances, missing two or three out of each set of ten.
So what might our very near future hold? Here are the rankings as collected by OddsChecker on Eurovision morning:
Ukraine holds on to its long-standing favourite position, on very short odds of around 1.3. Kalush Orchestra and Stefania look to be galloping quite a way ahead of the rest of the pack, with nearest challenger, the UK’s Sam Ryder, having closed in on odds of around 7. The unveiling of Space Man was met with plenty of positivity back in March, and Sam enjoyed odds in the mid-top ten for some time. But he’s proven to be the grower of Torino, and confidence has gradually propelled him to number two. Can Sam provide UK fans with some long-absent excitement on the left-hand side of the scoreboard?
The bookmakers definitely think so.
Right behind Sam, though, is Sweden, snapping at his heels on odds of around 8. Cornelia Jakobs had enjoyed punter confidence for some time already, but edged up further following her successful semifinal appearance on Thursday, guaranteeing a nail-biting night for Swedish fans, too.
A little further back, Spain and Italy are walking in lockstep just outside the top three. Italy had enjoyed the second favourite position for some time, but began to drift slightly this week, slipping to third, and now occupying fifth position behind Spain’s Chanel.
Beyond the Top Five
Odds are quite clearly zoned beyond the top five. Positions 5-10 are classic outside favourites, all on similar odds of 50-80, and would provide lucky punters with a decent profit in the event of an upset. Immediately beyond Norway, odds shoot up dramatically, with Moldova in 11th favourite position on odds around 150.
Have the bookies got it right this year? Let us know what you think in the comments. And, above all, have a wonderful Eurovision night.