Smash Into Georgia To Rock ESC Leaderboard

May 13, 2011 by

It’s ESC 2011 Eve and for tv betting fans it doesn’t get any bigger than this. We have our 20 qualifiers from the semis, the final draw is known, now it’s time to dissect it all and hone in on the value betting opportunities out there. Far too many to list here but here are the headlines:
Last night’s draw was not good for many of the fancied nations, especially Bosnia which has the dreaded 2 spot and is followed by Denmark in 3 which also doesn’t help its cause.
The light pop tunes are clustered together in 6, 7 and 8 with the best dance tune in the competition (Hungary) immediately preceding these in 5. This cannot be a positive for any of them.
If anything, the draw now looks even better for France. It also looks good for the UK, surrounded by the twee Swiss entry and the madness of Moldova. Blue’s biggest boyband pin up rivals, Sweden and Russia come before them at 7 and 10, given them the chance to outshine them.
Looking at the latter part of the draw it certainly isn’t ideal for Azerbaijan to now be surrounded by two excellent female balladeers in Austria and Slovenia, though the endearing quality of this male/female combo probably remains intact and we still see Azerbaijan as a very solid bet to finish top 4.
Our main interest is now drawn to Georgia and Serbia, performing last and second last on the night. The positives for Georgia are considerable. To briefly list them: there are only 4 countries with more voting friends in the final than Georgia. It stands alone in the contest as the one genuine rock tune. Being last  to perform is an even greater advantage than it already was given the genre of the song enabling it to leap out even more at televoters. The lead singer is superb and nailed the vocal in the semi final. The staging is evocative and powerful. In conclusion, 66-1 e/w with William Hill looks a huge price.
Serbia is also well performed and has a niche all of its own in being a throwback to a bygone age of Eurovision. It’s a little bit Austin Powers and certainly has a unique charm. Serbia also rates 3rd in the final in respect of voting friends. 125-1 e/w with bet365 is definitely over-priced and like Georgia we could see this trading a lot shorter if, like Georgia, it gets some decent scores early on, which looks a distinct possibility.
It goes without saying Georgia and Serbia both look very solid bets to finish top 10, and will be worth backing on Betfair’s top 5 market as well.
The same goes for Austria. While it lacks voting friends in this year’s final – ranking plum last in fact – for us Nadine Beiler completely stole the show in last night’s second semi final with a powerhouse vocal. Regardless of the possible slight negative that it is followed by Azerbaijan and Slovenia, it still has a nice late draw at 18 and looks worth backing at a best price of 30 on Betfair currently to win, to finish top 5, top 10 and at 10-1 to finish top 4 with bwin.
Also possibly in its favour is that we sense there has been a directive sent out to juries to support countries who lack diaspora. And as a returning nation we expect a further boost for Austria.
France could yet be a runaway winner and we are not keen to take it on and would rather have it as a green. Given the system they are using this year, there remains a possibility that France may lag behind early on. So there could exist an opportunity to back France at much bigger odds than currently quoted in-running. But will it win? We’re still uncertain and would rather seek value elsewhere.
Rob Furber

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  1. Rich

    “Given the system they are using this year, there remains a possibility that France may lag behind early on. So there could exist an opportunity to back France at much bigger odds than currently quoted in-running.”

    Tell us more… how is this going to work?

  2. Andy

    You can’t go wrong with a proper Rock anthem in the Eurovision so will follow your tip and have a bit of Georgia. Fingers crossed!

  3. Rob

    Hi Rich,
    For the first time they are going to number-crunch the historical voting data to try and ensure a close leaderboard. 50 per cent of the vote is decided tonight when all 25 nations perform in front of the juries. These results will be thrown together with the vote patterns from previous ESCs and an order of juries – announcing their results – will be calculated based on that. So if France has won, it is conceivable it may score poorly in early jury voting, and thus the price will drift.
    You can check out each country’s top 10 friends visiting this site:

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