Sequined jacket dusted off and expectations set to low, you’re ready for the Eurovision Song Contest.
The 2021 edition of the annual cheese-fest takes place in Rotterdam, thanks to Duncan Laurence’s victory for the Netherlands in 2019 – the 2020 edition was wiped out by Covid.
The qualification campaign is well underway, and there was a huge shock when the Republic of Ireland – prolific Eurovision winners – were voted out in the semi-final with Lesley Roy failing to capture the hearts of the judges. Australia also failed to qualify for the final, not aided by the fact that their semi-final showcase had to be performed by video link due to travel restrictions.
You’ll be delighted to hear that the UK are sworn through to the final thanks to their place in the so-called ‘Big Five’ alongside France, Germany, Spain and Italy – surprisingly, this stance has remained even after the Brexit debacle.
So you can cheer on the UK representative, James Newman, from the comfort of your armchair if you wish, and watch on with resigned horror as he scores nil points regardless of the quality of his performance.
It can only be Eurovision, can’t it….
Can You Bet On Eurovision?
You’ll have to do a bit of searching, but the vast majority of mainstream bookmakers do offer Eurovision betting odds on an annual basis.
You can bet on the country that you think will win, or alternatively there are lots of different sub markets to explore if you want to uncover different avenues of potential value.
You can access prices for a Top 3/5/10 and so on finish, you can wager on specific geographical markets – Top Scandinavian country, Top Baltic etc – and you can even vote for who you think will come last….in 2021, the UK are 2/1 favourites for this dubious accolade.
Where Can I Find Eurovision Betting Odds?
As mentioned, all of the leading bookmakers – you know the names by now – carry betting odds for Eurovision.
Indeed, many firms have some of those sub-markets outlined above, and will even let you place each way punts on the main Eurovision Song Contest winner – you could bank a consolation prize or speculate on a long odds outsider with four places being played.
Depending on your bookie, you may need to search high and low on their site/app to find their Eurovision odds.
These prices are typically found behind the ‘Specials’, ‘TV’ or ‘Novelty’ tabs, so have a scout around to see if your bookie will allow you to place a flutter or two.
Who is Favourite for Eurovision?
Continental European countries seem to have ousted Scandinavia as the powerhouses of Eurovision in recent years, and so it’s not a shock to see a number of these heading the market for this year’s contest.
Italy have been installed as the betting favourites at 3/1, and they are closely followed by Mediterranean brethren Malta at 10/3.
France haven’t won Eurovision since 1977, believe it or not, and their 2021 entry is a 4/1 chance to finally right that situation.
Others fancied in the market include Switzerland, Ukraine and Iceland, while the UK are considered a veritable 400/1 outsider. Good luck, James!
Who to Watch
Here’s an interesting fact – only one Eurovision winner of the past 12 years has sung their entry in their native tongue and not English.
The Italian entry, while well fancied, will be delivered in their native language by pomp rock outfit Maneskin, and the weight of history suggests they can be swerved as a consequence.
Perhaps the more appealing option for punters is the Maltese entry, which will be performed by Destiny. She’s got a belting voice, and interestingly won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest back in 2015. Given that they tend not to have any political enemies, Malta could be the smartest bet of all.
The French entry has previous Eurovision pedigree too. Barbara Pravi wrote the song that won the 2020 Junior Eurovision, and she’s even penned tracks for the likes of Will Smith’s son Jaden. Her entry ‘Voila’ is a bouncy little number, so France could be another betting option.
Here’s a quick note about San Marino. The tiny republic, which has a population of around 35,000 people, is hardly a powerhouse of….well, anything, but they have roped in Flo Rida – who has sold more than 80 million downloads worldwide – to perform on their track alongside Senhit. Opening at 250/1 to win Eurovision 2021, they’re now into 33/1 to win the whole thing.
Now that would be a fairytale story that not even the Eurovision Song Contest has seen before….