We Love Belarus (As A Qualification Bet)

Apr 18, 2011 by

Putting ESC semi-final 2 under the spotlight we can see many more value betting opportunities in terms of qualifying/non-qualifying compared to semi-final 1.
In the last ESC post we highlighted how big a boost voting friends in each semi-final can be to a nation’s overall chance of qualifying, and the dangers of an early draw. With this in mind there appear to be 2 stand out songs which not only rank highly in this semi in respect of voting allies, but also have decent, late draws.
First up comes Bulgaria, which ranks 4th in semi 2 for voting friends. We wrote about Bulgaria in an earlier post as a possible interesting outsider. The market disagrees as it’s currently available to back at 280 on Betfair. Regardless of that, Poli Geneva has a great voice, is an excellent performer, and her song ‘Na Inat’ has a touch of quality about it. It’s hard to see juries not giving this mid tempo rock tune a decent points tally while a solid enough televote looks assured.
Bulgaria is drawn 10, immediately after the halfway break, and nicely positioned between Cyprus’s ballad and Macedonia’s very poor effort. It is a best price of 4-5 in the high street but can currently be backed at odds against on Betfair which definitely appeals as value.
The other stand-out ‘to qualify‘ proposition has to be Belarus. Ranked 5th in semi 2 in respect of voting allies in this semi, it has the added boost of being drawn 16. It seems to be a song that has stayed under most people’s radar but it certainly has a big, booming chorus that should enable it to leap out at televoters, and compared to Latvia that immediately follows it, it screams qualifier. Anastasia Vinnikova is a bit of a looker too, which will add to the visual appeal on stage in Dusseldorf, and apparently it is going to go big with its staging effects. Victor Chandler initially offered 10-1 on Belarus qualifying which was a massive rick. Still available to back at 4-1 with Victor Chandler and Paddy Power it remains excellent value.
The four songs in this semi we think represent stand out lays in Betfair’s To Qualify market are Ukraine, Slovakia, Latvia and Netherlands. Ukraine resides at a lowly 14th in this semi with regard voting allies and has to contend with being drawn 6th. And like Slovakia (19th and last by way of voting friends and drawn 5) is a hugely forgettable ballad that simply doesn’t go anywhere. Slovakia may be boosted by having the attractive Twiins singing their entry but qualification still looks unlikely.
The choice is either to back Ukraine at 11-10 with Skybet not to qualify, or lay it on Betfair under 2; and Slovakia at 4-6 not to qualify with Skybet or lay it on Betfair up to 2.5.
The Netherlands song has been commended by many ESC fans but with a lowly ranking of 16th in terms of voting friends in this semi, and a poor draw of 3, it also looks solid lay material at anything up to 2.7 on Betfair. It’s a mid tempo song that will disappear into the background like wallpaper.
While Latvia has a good draw of 17, this is about the only thing in the song’s favour. It’s dull and uninteresting and in such a competitive semi we expect it to comfortably miss out on the top 10 and rate it a cracking lay at anything up to 2.3 on Betfair.
The other three entries worthy of mention here are Ireland, Israel and Romania. Jedward have the pimp slot which will boost their televote but we still think they may struggle to qualify. Israel has Dana International returning and it’s a crowd-pleasing tune but again, this is a borderline qualifier and doesn’t offer any stand-out value.
For a huge shock, which would almost be on a par with Turkey not qualifying from semi 1, we reckon Romania is also worth laying to qualify. A draw of 14 is reasonable enough but sandwiched between Maja Keuc’s quality ballad for Slovenia and the instant pop appeal of Getter Jaani singing ‘Rockefeller Street’ we think Romania will be lost and forgotten. The song ‘Change’ is repetitive, dull and has the sort of chorus you imagine playing on constant loop in musical hell. Despite being rated 2nd in this semi in respect of voting allies, their loyalty is going to be stretched to breaking point supporting this dreadfully monochrome tune, and this has to be worth laying at anything up to 1.3 on Betfair given the limited downside, or backing at 7-2 with Skybet not to qualify.
EntertainmentOdds semi-final 2 recommendations:
Romania not to qualify 7-2 (Skybet)
Ukraine not to qualify 11-10 (Skybet)
Slovakia not to qualify 4-6 (Skybet)
Lay Latvia to qualify on Betfair up to 2.3
Lay Netherlands to qualify on Betfair up to 2.7
Back Bulgaria to qualify on Betfair at 2.1 or bigger
Back Belarus to qualify 4-1 (Victor Chandler, Paddy Power)

Rob Furber

Related Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *