Roy the Boy takes a final look at 2018's Eurovision Song Contest final and tips Italy to finish in the top 5 acts.
Once again the betting on the Eurovision Song Contest has been manic. Make no mistake, this is no ordinary ‘novelty’ or ‘specials’ market. By Thursday afternoon, over three million had been traded on the win market on Betfair; by the close of business on Saturday, it could top ten million.
No really, even traditional bookmakers are not afraid to take a bet as they do some significant turnover. OK, claims by ‘Rupert’ at William Hill that a “win for Israel will cost us a small fortune” is a piss-take but, trust me, you can get on.
So who is going to win? Israel were as short as 6/4 in March but their quirky singer did not impress in the semi-finals (her ‘official video’ is much better) and she had been knocked-out to 9/2 by Wednesday. She is now back in to 7/2. The Norwegian act also failed miserably on stage. Those that liked its video had been scrambling to back the Scandinavian song at a top-priced 4/1 on Wednesday. There are now bundles of 25/1 available.
It is Cyprus, whose song is actually sung by Greek solo artist Eleni Foureira, that has been smashed into favouritism. The 31-year-old has been done for pennies at 350 on Betfair. With the firms plenty of 66/1 was available just a fortnight ago, 20’s disappeared on Monday and the 4’s vanished on Wednesday. At the time of writing, they are queued up to back her at 2.46 on Betfair. Those punters should have headed to Betfred and backed her at 6/4, but I’m not going to preach to the stupid.
Ultimately it’s hard to not be impressed with the avalanche of money for Cyprus. Similarly you have to take heed of the price-drift of Norway. Israel looked a penalty-kick six weeks ago but their quirky singer could be the epitome of Marmite ... loved by camp voters, loathed by the ‘professional juries’. So it’s time to find a kipper that can fall into a prominent finish at a big price.
Portugal bucked a trend last year by becoming a rare winner with a song that was not sung in English. That makes France of interest but they go on stage relatively early in the running order, 13th, and so instead I'll take a punt on Italy. Their male duo may look like they have been dragged through a hedge backwards and you will have no idea what they are singing about (if it were not for subtitles) but it has some ‘clap-along-ability’ which voters seem to like. Best of all they perform 25th of the 26 scheduled acts and that should be worth a heap of votes.
Italy to finish in the Top 5 @ 5/2 with Ladbrokes