Bookies Playing With Fire

May 19, 2010 by

The ESC first round of rehearsals have been in full swing this week in Oslo ahead of next week’s semi-finals and final. It has been noticeable how the slower, ballad-type tunes have generally been sounding a lot better than the upbeat, more lively songs.
One of the few exceptions was Moldova who put in an excellent practice run. We still think it has a great chance of making the top 3 in semi-final one. Iceland and Albania were slightly disappointing but still have solid each-way claims also. The first run through confirmed that Belgium’s Tom Dice is an excellent singer but the doubt remains with him that his acoustic tune may not be Eurovision enough to be roundly embraced by televoters.
Among the far stronger heat of semi final two, the shining light was Sweden’s Anna Bergendahl singing ‘This Is My Life’.

She has a charming stage presence and an immaculate voice in our humble view. In semi-final 2 betting Sweden are still over-priced at 22-1 each-way with Stan James and 30-1 each-way in the Outright betting with Boylesports. Safura sang Azerbaijan’s ‘Drip Drop’ far better than we expected and she has been backed into very restrictive odds. We’re still not sure she is a good thing but she clearly has very solid claims.
We also thought Feminnem stood out singing Croatia‘s entry, and at this moment offer the most solid each-way value in semi-final 2 betting at 12-1 with Boylesports.

Turkey would appear to have some sound issues to work on but they should be able to iron those out and look good value also at 12-1 each-way in semi-final 2 with Boylesports, and 50-1 on the Outright each-way with Boylesports.
The biggest disappointment was Denmark. Their song, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem to suit the venue, and lacks the same impact as it did in qualifying. They could still turn things round so don’t go laying off all your potential winnings just yet but after rehearsal one Denmark is no longer a top 5 contender in our view and have been usurped by both Turkey and Romania, the latter looking a steal at 40-1 each-way with Coral in semi-final 2.

While their performance would be better served by making it even more fun – with greater interplay between the two singers – Paula Selling can really hit a high note and if nothing else she deserves to be commended for her fantastic catsuit. Coral are certainly playing with fire, pardon the pun, by dangling 80-1 each-way a quarter the odds first 4 Romania in their Outright market.
Given this latest development regarding Denmark and Norway’s poor draw in the final we also think Sweden are decent value at 5-2 in bwin‘s Scandinavian 3-way market (vs Denmark and Norway) and 3-1 with Stan James in its 5-way contest (vs Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Finland). But it may be wiser, and certainly a lot safer, to hold off on placing these bets until Anna is safely through and Sweden’s position in the final is known, though prices are likely to shorten.
Rob Furber

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