Editorials & Opinion

Analysing 12 years of Eurovision odds: Is the contest becoming more predictable?

Take a journey down memory lane with us as we look back at the odds from Helsinki 2007 all the way through to Lisbon 2018!

๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Moscow 2009

Next, we look back at the odds ahead of the 2009 contest. These odds were recorded from Paddy Power on April 7th, 39 days before the final on May 16th.

RankOddsCountryEntryEurovision
Placing
16/4๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด NorwayAlexander Rybak – Fairytale1st
29/2๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท GreeceSakis Rouvas – This Is Our Night7th
38/1๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท TurkeyHadise – Dรผm Tek Tek4th
48/1๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช MontenegroAndrea Demiroviฤ‡ – Just Get Out Of My LifeSF (11th)
510/1๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ AzerbaijanAySel and Arash – Always3rd
612/1๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช SwedenMalena Ernman – La Voix21st
714/1๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น MaltaChiara – What If We?22nd
818/1๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomJade Ewen – It’s My Time5th
925/1๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช EstoniaUrban Symphony – Rรคndajad6th
1025/1๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฆ Bosnia & HerzegovinaRegina – Bistra Voda9th
1125/1๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FrancePatricia Kaas – Et S’il Fallait Le Faire8th
1225/1๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ SpainSoraya – La Noche Es Para Mรญ (The Night Is For Me)24th
1325/1๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ RussiaAnastasiya Prikhodko – Mamo11th
1433/1๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ FinlandWaldo’s People – Lose Control25th
1533/1๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ IcelandYohanna – Is It True?2nd

Analysis

  • The winning entry was placed 1st in the odds.
  • 60% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the odds.
  • 67% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the odds.

Norway were clear favourites in 2009 with only Greece considered any sort of real opposition. Indeed, Norway went on to secure a record-breaking victory. On the other hand, Greece slightly underperformed against expectations. The main talking point here is Montenegro‘s failure to qualify. The country had yet to qualify as an independent nation but Andrea Demiroviฤ‡ was one of the most fancied entries of the year. However, performing first in her semi-final could have played a significant part in Montenegro agonisingly missing out on the first qualification by one place.

Yohanna of Iceland was the breakthrough success of the contest, placing a strong second despite being fancied as a mid-table finalist at best. On the other hand, Sweden‘s Malena Ernman and Malta‘s star artist Chiara didn’t live up to expectations and finished in the bottom 5 of the final. Nevertheless, overall the odds predicted 2009 much better than 2007 and 2008. Was this due to the implementation of the jury vote? Perhaps it was a result of Eurovision becoming an increasingly bigger deal on the Internet with more information more easily obtainable? Maybe we will find some answers as we continue our journey.

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Oslo 2010

Next, we look back at the odds ahead of the 2010 contest. These odds were recorded from William Hill on May 6th, 23 days before the final on May 29th. Only the top 10 ranked countries were recorded in this instance.

RankOddsCountryEntryEurovision
Placing
15/2๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช GermanyLena – Satellite1st
25/2๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ AzerbaijanSafura – Drip Drop5th
38/1๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ DenmarkChanรฉe & N’evergreen – In A Moment Like This4th
48/1๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ IsraelHarel Skaat – Milim14th
514/1๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ ArmeniaEva Rivas – Apricot Stone7th
616/1๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท CroatiaFeminnem – Lako Je SveSF (13th)
720/1๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด NorwayDidrik Solli-Tangen – My Heart Is Yours20th
822/1๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช SwedenAnna Bergendahl – This Is My LifeSF (11th)
925/1๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช IrelandNiamh Kavanagh – It’s For You23rd
1028/1๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท GreeceGiorgos Alkaios and Friends – OPA8th

Analysis

  • The winning entry was placed 1st in the odds.
  • 60% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the odds.
  • 50% of the eventual top 10 at Eurovision placed inside the top 10 of the odds.

Germany and Azerbaijan were clear betting leaders in 2010. The former matched that expectation by taking the victory. Azerbaijan may have been able to put up a close fight but was drawn to open the show whereas Lena performed four songs from the end. Two outsiders completed the top three with Turkey and Romania not fancied at all prior to the contest. We also saw two key favourites fromCroatia and Sweden fail to qualify for the final.

Furthermore, there was an under-performance from returning Eurovision winner Niamh Kavanagh for Ireland. When factoring in this result, plus Croatia’s returning artist Feminnem and Sweden’s returning winner Charlotte Perrelli in 2008 who both also failed to live up to their odds, it does seem that there is a tendency for returning artists to be over-predicted by betting odds. Both Sakis Rouvas and Chiara would also fit this pattern in 2009.

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Dรผsseldorf 2011

Now it’s time to look back at the odds ahead of the 2011 contest. These odds were recorded from Paddy Power on April 24th, 20 days before the final on May 14th.

RankOddsCountryEntryEurovision
Placing
14/1๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท FranceAmaury Vassili – Sognu15th
213/2๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช EstoniaGetter Jaani – Rockefeller Street24th
37/1๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United KingdomBlue – I Can11th
48/1๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ HungaryKati Wolf – What About My Dreams?22nd
510/1๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช SwedenEric Saade – Popular3rd
610/1๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฆ Bosnia & HerzegovinaDino Merlin – Love In Rewind6th
712/1๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ AzerbaijanEll & Nikki – Running Scared1st
812/1๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด NorwayStella Mwangi – Haba HabaSF (17th)
912/1๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช GermanyLena – Taken By A Stranger10th
1020/1๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ RussiaAlexej Vorobjov – Get You16th
1120/1๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช IrelandJedward – Lipstick8th
1220/1๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ DenmarkA Friend In London – New Tomorrow5th
1333/1๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น ItalyRaphael Gualazzi – Madness Of Love2nd
1440/1๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด RomaniaHotel FM – Change17th
1540/1๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ PolandMagdalena Tul – JestemSF (19th)

Analysis

  • The winning entry was placed 7th in the odds.
  • 20% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the odds.
  • 60% of the eventual top 15 at Eurovision placed inside the top 15 of the odds.

2011 is often deemed to be one of the most open contests in the recent decade and the statistics certainly prove this. Only Sweden lived up to the pre-contest odds of being a contender. Whereas the other countries amongst the top 5 favourites all failed to make the top 10. While Estonia and Hungary failing to break out of the bottom 5 in the final would’ve shocked many bookmakers, Norway‘s failure to qualify by some distance is the ultimate overestimation in the odds this time around.

Going against recent patterns, Germany‘s returning winner Lena was the 9th favourite to win and finished 10th. We have already discovered that returning artists tend to be over-predicted. However, with Lena returning immediately after her first appearance, perhaps the hype around her wasn’t quite as significant as it would’ve been if she returned a few years later on. Furthermore, fans probably realised that two wins in a row for the same artist do seem quite an unlikely outcome.

Our journey down memory lane continues on the next page…

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