Time To Snap Up The Early Eurovision Value

Mar 16, 2011 by

And so the dust has started to settle on the ESC markets after yesterday’s semi-finals draw, and placing of the 5 automatic qualifiers in the final.
After last year’s magnificent result for EntertainmentOdds followers, the pressure is on to produce a similarly profitable result this year. The beauty of the ESC is the different markets you can bet on courtesy of Betfair and opportunity to win money on the event without actually picking the winner. But seeing as we managed to tip Germany at 14s last year – not to mention also tipping 2nd and 3rd Turkey (50-1) and Romania (80-1) e/w – this first ESC post of 2011 will focus on the value e/w bets on the Outright market.
Top of the list has to be Bosnia‘s entry ‘Love In Rewind’ sung by Dino Merlin. It has proved a big success on YouTube already clocking over 900,000 hits, and for us this tune has a special charm all of its own, enabling it to stand out in this field, aided by the wonderful charisma Dino Merlin brings to the stage. At a widely-available 12-1 e/w first 4, we see this as the stand-out value as of now.
Next up has to be perennial challenger Azerbaijan who have managed to come up with a delightfully light and fluffy tune this year called ‘Running Scared’ that perfectly complements the male/female combo who sing it. Much like Bosnia it has some solid and reliable supporters among diaspora nations, and it’s hard to see this not going very close this year given a decent final draw. ‘Drip Drop’ managed 5th from a terrible draw last year, not to mention a pretty sub-standard vocal by Safura and poor choreography. We think this song is as strong, if not stronger, and among the two best ballads in this year’s competition. ESC fans also have previous in supporting nicely executed male/female numbers – Romania being the classic example from last year. Again, at 12-1 e/w first 4 this is a solid betting proposition, and has to form part of the AP portfolio.
A song that leapt out at us on first listen, and has only sounded better on the official video version since, is Hungary (a best-priced 16-1 e/w). Kati Wolf’s ‘What About My Dreams’ is anthemic and strikes us as the perfect uptempo ESC pop tune, with a storming dance beat and terrific climax when the backing singers join in to produce a euphoric chorus. It has to negotiate a very tough first semi-final jam-packed with ESC superpowers, and we can only hope at this stage that Kati’s live vocal is up to the task – some YouTube footage casts doubt over this – but the song is so strong it is worth taking the risk, and the semi-final draw has been kind with Kati performing 15th of 19.
Looking at the other front runners in the market, we are happy to leave France alone at current prices as it doesn’t have a great final draw in 11. To stand a better chance this pop-opera tune required a late draw. As it is, it is in danger of being lost on the night, more so because it is followed by the only other vaguely classical tune in the competition, Italy.
We also see plenty of reason to sit tight and not back the other 3 songs at the head of the market in Norway, Sweden and Estonia. They could all go well with the televote but we’d expect them to suffer among juries. Also, at their respective odds, they are simply not worth backing until they have negotiated the semi-finals and we know where they are drawn in the final. If any of them get lucky with the ideal, late draw things will obviously need to be re-assessed.
As for Lena defending her crown for Germany, there is no getting away from the fact she is an incredibly endearing performer and she will receive enormous home support. A final draw of 16 is decent too, but we cannot escape the feeling we had on first hearing ‘Taken By A Stranger’ that it is no ‘Satellite’, too leftfield, and while likely to be appreciated by juries will fare less well with televoters.
As for the UK, it’s our best entry in many a year, and ticks a lot of Eurovision boxes. It also has a reasonable enough final draw of 14. How well it is performed live is going to be key but given Blue’s existing fan base across Europe, and all the promotional work they are putting in ahead of the final, they could do very well. It is worth keeping green though the high street e/w odds currently offered aren’t especially generous. The UK can currently be backed at over 12-1 on Betfair and it would be a song to look at backing to finish in the top 10 or top 5.
Keep an eye out for future posts, next up looking at some of the dark horses in this year’s competition that could belie their odds. We’ll leave you for now with our idea of this year’s best song. Whether it wins or not will depend on many other factors some of which remain unknown at this stage.
Rob Furber

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  1. zoomraker

    you keep saying ‘a widely-available 12-1 e/w first 4’ for all your picks.

    where exactly, none of the acts you mention are bigger than 3/1 in the Betfair top 4 market.

  2. Rob

    Hi zoomraker,
    When this was posted (March 16) the quoted prices were available with the high st bookies. All odds quoted are correct at time of the post. If you go to oddschecker, Bosnia is still available at e/w first 4 with blue sq, stan james and 888sport. 12s is also still available e/w first 4 with those 3 firms on Azerbaijan. And you can get 16s ew first 4 with Skybet on Hungary still.

  3. zoomraker

    thanks for reply,

    when I went to oddschecker it only showed Betfair prices for some reason!

  4. zoomraker

    just had another look at odds checker it is only showing Betfair top 4 Market.

    Bosnia is available for 12s in winner market with high st firms.

    The link you’ve put up is to the winner market.


  5. Rob

    With those firms quoted above, zoomraker, you can back at those odds e/w first 4.

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