A New Eurovision Dawn

Apr 10, 2014 by

A New Eurovision Dawn

You may have noticed a lack of Eurovision 2014 betting advice so far here. There is a simple reason for this. The bookmakers are largely refusing to play ball and the few prices issued have mostly been disappointingly under-priced, especially in terms of the two semi-finals and ‘to qualify’ odds.

This site was the first of its kind to be set up. The idea since day one has been to provide expert analysis of the tv betting markets with a view to pinpointing ‘value’. What you have read here over the last 6 years provides the foundation of my own successful trading. Writing the articles helps to clarify my thoughts and shape my investments.

Looking to the future, it has become an increasing concern that rather than providing a service for fellow investors in tv markets, the free-to-view information read here and on other tv betting sites has actually resulted in value being eroded away, and it would be better for everyone if we returned to a situation pre-2009 when it was all kept behind closed doors.

Bookmakers have certainly become a lot more savvy, and cautious, when they issue their Eurovision prices (along with other major tv betting markets), the odds get cut much more quickly these days, and it is far harder to get a decent-sized bet down at the advertised prices.

The heady days of Greece, from the pimp slot, to win semi-final 1 at ESC 2011 – advised here at 50-1 e/w – seem a lifetime ago now, and with bookmakers swift to close or severely restrict profitable accounts, life as a punter specialising in tv betting markets has become much tougher, with 80% of my own investments forced onto Betfair.

This year the aim with Eurovision 2014 is to bring you something new. Every single betting recommendation you read here will come with a point value in the same style of Tom Segal’s Pricewise column in the Racing Post: 2pt win, 1pt e/w, etc.

The point value is entirely down to you but the value of that point must remain constant across all bets struck to enable an accurate profit/loss figure to be generated at the end of the competition.

As a for instance, if the advice here is 1pt e/w UK on the Outright at 16-1 a quarter the odds first 4 with bet365, given ‘to qualify’ and ‘not to qualify’ semi-final odds are much shorter, you might also read here, say, 8pt win Switzerland at 5-4 to qualify from semi-final 2 with Paddy Power.

If the UK ends up out of the first 4 in the final, that would equal -2pts
If Switzerland qualifies from semi-final 2 that would equal +10pts
This would give an overall profit/loss figure of +8pts

Regardless of whether that pt is treated as £1, £10, £20, £50… whatever, the above calculation remains correct. Come the end of the competition, all these investments will be totted up producing a clear +/- figure on ESC 2014 trading.

During the rehearsal period in Copenhagen, the aim will be to offer at least one betting recommendation per day, although if there is nothing that leaps out the advice will be ‘no bet’.  The price recommended will be the price available online at the time the article is posted.

Rehearsal reports will be smaller than previous years as my priority in attending Eurovision is to focus on trading and turning a profit. From my perch in the press centre, rest assured you will be getting an invaluable, insider’s view on this year’s Contest, none more so than when it comes to the pivotal jury performances on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, prior to the live tv broadcasts of the 2 semi-finals and the grand final.

This year, certainly far more so than the previous 4 Contests covered here, you sense the staging of the songs, the live vocal performances, and the running order in the grand final are going to have a bigger impact on the result.

Eurovision 2014 has the feel of a fragile eco-system. There is such weakness among this year’s field that you can envisage these variables helping propel some songs, and ensuring others plummet.

Looking at the betting as of today, and the information we have at our disposal as of today, it is a real struggle to pick out a single entry with any level of confidence to finish in the top 4. It is the same story with the top 10 market, while semi-final ‘to qualify/not to qualify’ assessments are similarly shrouded in mystery.

When uncertainty is your overriding emotion, markets are best left alone, which brings us to today’s first betting recommendation of Eurovision 2014… no bet. Patience is the byword at the moment as we await a wider cross-section of prices offered by the high street.

The next article here will follow Sunday’s Eurovision concert in London where hopefully a few more clues will be garnered.

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9 Comments

  1. Ben Gray

    Hi Rob, thanks for this. I understand that betting on Eurovision is getting more and more difficult since bookmakers have realised just how many people out there are willing to take advantage of them when it comes to an event that, at least in the UK and Ireland, seems really off the radar, irrelevant and not worth doing any significant research into. It seems many bookies prefer to just follow Betfair’s lead, while at the same time being extra cautious about drifting favourites, (Silent Storm.)

    I think, as a reader of your site, I understand that giving betting advice is important, but I would personally take greater value in detailed impressions of the rehearsals – since all of us are totally unable to see how it looks and sounds on screen until we go in-play, and I know that I will have some specific questions pertaining to those aspects that I cannot glean from footage taken inside the arena.

    Best of luck and keep up the good work!

    • Rob

      Thanks for posting, Ben. Rest assured, you will still be able to read rehearsal reports here.

      In previous years reporting live, I have found myself becoming increasingly exhausted during the rehearsal period & the write ups taking up too much of my time.

      So, come the 2nd week and the key semi-finals and grand final I was worn out which isn’t ideal when my main goal is investing in the ESC markets and turning a profit.

      The aim will be shorter rehearsal notes, but hopefully no less useful to readers. Thankfully, it is a less gruelling schedule this year with a rest day 🙂

  2. Tim B

    This week’s ESC Tips podcast is here, although it won’t let me post the link for some reason. I had the same problem on sofabet as well!

  3. geoff

    I feel your pain this year rob,the value and bookmakers refusal to play ball has left me having to change tactics a bit this year, usually by now i have a massive ammount of bets already down,but this time ive just been taking it slow and 80 percent of my money will go down after rehearsals.
    I respect your decision to post up bets with advised stake, its a brave move and shows clearly your top picks and is good for proving results.
    Really enjoy your work keep doing your thing 🙂

    • Rob

      More odds starting to appear now, Geoff, but it is very much a waiting game this year & I think your approach is a shrewd one.

      To me, this feels like a year when rehearsals will matter even more than usual.

  4. Rob

    ‘to finish last’ markets now added on Betfair for both semis and the final.

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