Stick With Solo Female Ballads For Early ESC Qualifying Value

Apr 3, 2012 by

Stick With Solo Female Ballads For Early ESC Qualifying Value

With tv betting, as with any form of betting, it is hugely important to have a grasp of value and factor this into your bets. In assessing a market your eye for value should be drawn to those prices that are wrong and we certainly see some glaring errors in pricing in the early ESC semi-final ‘to qualify’ and ‘not to qualify’ prices issued online.
Of course, ‘value’ does not equate to a guaranteed winning bet, but it puts you in the best possible position to profit in the long run, especially with the added platform of Betfair to act as a laying medium if the prices move in your favour, which they should do more times than not if you’ve got a shrewd handle on value.
Albania at Evens to qualify from semi-final 1 with SportingBet strikes us as one of the best value qualifying bets ahead of the rehearsals. With Rona Nishliu singing ‘Suus’ one thing you are virtually guaranteed is an outstanding live vocal. We thought the original of this song was incredibly powerful and moving but it over-ran beyond 4 minutes. Our main concern was whether the studio boffins could produce the same sort of drama and emotive quality cutting the song to 3 minutes but in our view they have pulled it off, and this is comfortably the stand-out solo female ballad in semi-final 1:

An early draw in 5 may not be ideal, but following on from the lyrically-challenged and extremely forgettable Latvian tune, Rona has a chance to shine, ‘Suus’ giving her the platform to showcase her outstanding vocal range, and we can only hope the drama of this song is further boosted by clever staging.
Albania takes high rank in semi-final 1 in terms of voting strength – fourth on our figures – which should offset the early draw, while we can see juries absolutely loving this tune. We have seen them score well sung quality solo female ballads highly in recent years, and ‘Suus’ looks poised to take the jury plaudits ahead of Belgium and Finland in this semi.
In semi-final 2, the best value qualifying punt at this early juncture has to be Croatia at Evens with bet365. It’s a similar story to Albania in semi-final 1. ‘Nebo’ is a quality solo female ballad, and Nina Badric is a highly competent live performer. Croatia ranks 4th in this semi by way of voting friends, and the 10 draw in the second half of this semi is a little extra boost. It could be argued the similar Slovenian song preceding it, could cancel it out a little bit but our view is, it is better to be the latter song when two similar style tunes follow one another like this and Nina has the chance to make a stronger impression:

With Serbia, Macedonia, Portugal, Slovenia, Estonia and Bosnia all vying for jury appeal with similar ballads, Croatia certainly has competition on its hands to stand out, but we think it can hold its own and grab a decent jury score to add to what should be a reasonable televote.
Slovenia is rated a best price of 8-13 to qualify, yet Croatia has a stronger vote base in semi 2, has the better draw position and it’s hard to see Nina Badric being trumped by Eva Boto vocally. Not only that but the Slovenian song may not be rated as highly by juries as some think given it sounds suspiciously similar to the ESC 2007 winner, Serbia’s ‘Molitva’. In comparison, given everything in Croatia’s favour, Evens definitely looks on the big side.
By way of non-qualifying value, we are struggling to see why Belarus is rated a best price of 1-2 with bet365 to qualify. It strikes us as a very average rock-lite tune, and from what we’ve heard online we’re unconvinced by the live vocal. The lead singer is a telegenic guy which is something in its favour but its draw of 5 in semi-final 2 isn’t the best and we’re unconvinced it has enough quality to really stand out. We doubt juries will rate it that highly and in terms of voting allies it only ranks 9th on our figures. All in all, we can’t see how this adds up to a 1-2 shot, and would suggest trying to lay it at those odds on Betfair, or, even better value, back it not to qualify at 3.2 with Unibet.
Rob Furber

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