Over the past few years, Eurovision have taken a major interest in the betting odds for the Eurovision Song Contest. Reason enough for us to keep an eye out for the bookmakers and what they think!
Until the contest arrives, we’ll be providing you with a weekly update of what the bookmakers see as likely winners in Tel Aviv. We’ll be posting these articles every week, on either Tuesday or Wednesday. This way we’ll be able to include the effect of chart performances on Fridays, as well as preview parties such as Eurovision in Concert and the London Eurovision Party taking place over the weekend.
How do these work?
Now, before we kick off with our baseline measurement, we need to look at how these odds work. Basically, the lower your odds, the higher the chance of victory.
A quick example: Currently, the Netherlands are noted as big favourites to win. They have odds of 3/1. That means that for ever €1 you bet, you win an extra €3 if Duncan Laurence does indeed win. Contrary to those odds are the odds for Montenegro. D-Moll find themselves in last place at the moment, with odds of 250/1. If D-Moll were to win Eurovision 2019, you’d get €250 for every €1 you bet.
Shortening and drifting
Bookmakers are out there to make a profit. That’s why the more likely events will pay out less than something rather unlikely. It’s important to note that bookmakers don’t just decide how to rate each song. They respond to what is happening. The flow of money is key here. If a lot of people start putting money on Cyprus to win, it will start shortening – once again, when people bet, it’s looking like a more likely event, so the odds drop. At the same time, if the money flow stops, odds will start to drift, as it seems less people believe in a certain event.
Obviously, betting agencies don’t just look at their own screens. They will always keep an eye out for the other bookmakers. They will then follow the trend, to make sure their own balance is fine. When looking at other factors, they will also take into account how the country has performed at Eurovision. That’s why you’re more likely to see Russia and Sweden up there than Montenegro and North Macedonia.
For our analysis of the betting odds, we’ll be looking at the odds provided by EurovisionWorld. We will use fractional statistics for the posts.
Our baseline measurement
As we’ll be looking at the changes over the next few weeks, it’s important to determine our starting point. For that, we’ll list the 41 entries and see how they’re doing below. We’ll highlight some of the interesting cases from the national final season here as well. Countries are ranked by the shortest and longest odds available.
For this, we have used the available odds on EurovisionWorld.com.
|Country||Shortest odds||Longest odds|
|1. The Netherlands||2/1||9/4|
|20. North Macedonia||24/1||80/1|
|22. Czech Republic||24/1||125/1|
|23. United Kingdom||49/1||125/1|
|39. San Marino||100/1||300/1|
Analysing the baseline measurement
Now we’ve established our first ranking, we need to look at the things that stand out. It’s good to also take into account the rankings submitted to the MyEurovisionScoreboard app, which you can read more about here.
The Netherlands are leading the pack currently. Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade” is the clear favourite. He took over the position from Russia after the song release and his first live performances did not harm his position, but strengthened it. He’s also the number one in the MyEurovisionScoreboard app.
Following The Netherlands, we currently see Russia. For most of the national final season, Russia were the runaway favourites for victory. Sergey Lazarev was the main reason behind their position. As soon as “Scream” was released, Russia’s odds started to drift. It might be fair to assume that most of the money going towards a Russian victory was placed before the actual song release. It will therefore be interesting to see what’s going to happen the next couple of weeks.
Completing the top five are three more male acts. Like Russia, Sweden are always high up and this year is no exception. John Lundvik’s “Too Late For Love” is the third favourite to win. Previous years suggest that staging will also not be an issue for Sweden, so they’ll be heading to Tel Aviv as one of the main favourites.
Both Sweden and Russia fail to make the top five on the My Eurovision Scoreboard app. #4 and #5 with the odds however do make that top five: Switzerland and Italy. After years of misfortune, Switzerland’s Luca Hänni is looking at bringing the contest to the alpine country for the first time since 1989. Since returning in 2011, Italy have also been a favourite many times. Except for Emma and Francesca Michielin, they always made it to the top ten at Eurovision, sending local hits coming from Sanremo. “Soldi” by Mahmood is another clear example of that strategy, as it’s going down well with fans and bookmakers.
Obviously, there will be viewers preferring a female vocal or performance. With the top five with bookmakers consisting of men only, we need to look out for the female vote.
The highest ranked female at the moment is Tamta. Cyprus’ entrant for Tel Aviv is ranked sixth, close to Italy’s Mahmood. If she however fails to pick up the vote, Malta, Greece and Armenia are also looking like dark horses. Perhaps a group containing a female singer, Norway, may also be in with a shot.
For a baseline measurement, basically ‘the point zero’ of this series, we’ve now explored most of the top ten. In these series, we’ll be looking at the effect of performances and other factors when things change after the weekend.
So… stay tuned as we take a look next week, when we will hopefully see songs charting and doing well on Spotify. You can read more about that here.