Betting on Eurovision: How to make money

Eurovision is very much a European-only affair. Well, Australia also participate in it, as do the likes of Israel, so maybe it’s not completely European but either way, it’s about 97% European!
And despite these geographical limitations, it’s the largest and most popular music contest on the planet. Most countries go out believing they have a genuine chance of winning it, while some are more concerned about what is referred to as ‘tactical voting’ – rewarding ‘allies’ with plenty of points and snubbing so-called rivals. It all makes for great TV even when the country we’re supporting aren’t boasting Eurovision odds that suggest they can be crowned champs.

Of course, having a favorite song and trying to predict who will be King (or Queen) of Eurovision for betting purposes are two very different things. Here we’ll look at winning betting techniques and which factors you should consider and which you should disregard. Just watching Eurovision is entertaining enough but unearthing some good value Eurovision odds makes it twice as compelling.

The basics of wagering on Eurovision

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This isn’t like preparing to bet on a horse race, where form and ‘conditions’ are the be-all-and-end-all. Yes, the previous performances of a particular country over the years isn’t a factor to disregard but it’s actually more about the singer themselves. Are they likeable? Are they talented? Do they embrace the spirit of Eurovision or do they take themselves too seriously?
Don’t focus too much on whether you personally like the song or not. That’s not what it’s about. Think about how everyone else might view them.
There’s no foolproof secret to success when betting on Eurovision. Analysis of past winners helps as does an understanding of trends in terms of the type of performances that tend to win. Overly dramatic and camp performances haven’t fared so well of late so look out for the songs that actually sound nice and have catchy tunes.

Odds on the Eurovision winner and other considerations

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Conspiracy theorists will tell you that voting is all political rather than being based on who countries believe has the best song. Others believe that recent results show that it’s not so much about the country where a particular singer is from as what the singer is all about. Not just musically, but as regards behavior, appearance and attitude. So think about that when betting.

As ever, bookmakers tend to be on the money in terms of working out every contestant’s genuine chances so make sure you have a nice and early look at the Eurovision odds as soon as they come out so you can get your head round who might be in real contention. Remember however that the odds might change based on public opinion, media coverage or even performances in rehearsal, so keep an eye on the changing prices. One thing worth remembering is that in the national heats, contestants performing towards the end of the show tend to be more successful.

The performing order at Eurovision

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Most people don’t know this but there’s a bit of a science to the running order at Eurovision. Ultimately, the organizers want a great show which in turn brings greater exposure and consequently TV viewers and sponsors. So, in the name of variety, they’ll have a faster-paced song followed by a slower love song (or vice-versa) rather than two lovey-dovey songs in a row.

An interesting element is that going back to 2002, every version of Eurovision has had a theme to it. Not that keeping to the theme is necessarily a recipe for success, or that not keeping to it means you can’t win, so maybe don’t pay too much attention to that.

What you should pay attention to are the past winners. Trends in Eurovision exist just like they do in anything else but it’s worth paying more attention to recent winners than those from 20 years ago. Here are the last ten.

Winning Country Song and Artist
The Netherlands – 2019 Arcade by Duncan Laurence
Israel – 2019 Toy by Netta
Portugal – 2018 Amar pelos dois by Salvador Sobral
Ukraine – 2017 1994 by Jamala
Sweden – 2016 Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw
Austria – 2015 Rise Like A Phoenix by Conchita Wurst
Denmark – 2014 Only Teardrops by Emmelie de Forest
Sweden – 2013 Euphoria by Loreen
Azerbaijan – 2012 Running Scared by Ell & Nikki
Germany – 2011 Satellite by Lena
Norway – 2010 Fairytale by Alexander Rybak

Why are Australia in it and should you back them?

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For the Eurovision novice, some things about it simply won’t make any sense. Top of the tree in terms of confusing stuff is why Australia are in it. After all, the distance between Europe and their mainland is a ‘mere’ 8,700 miles. More to the point, there’s very little recent history or cultural similarities to explain why they should be in it.

The reason is that they were invited to take part in it as a one-off back in 2015 as a way of helping to celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary. The reasoning behind that was quite simply that Eurovision is extremely popular in Australia with millions of viewers tuning in, despite the fact that it’s on in the middle of the night over there. That once-in-a-lifetime invitation was controversial enough but that’s nothing in comparison to them being invited back for every edition since 2015. Hardcore fans have made their feelings about it known to everyone.

On debut they finished in fifth and the unthinkable almost happened a year later when they finished as runners-up. Sadly for fans of Australia’s Eurovision entries, that’s as good as it got. The year after that it was ninth and then it was 20th. So maybe they peaked a few years ago and we shouldn’t expect too much from them going forward.

Cracking Eurovision doesn’t require any sort of musical talent, much less a background in it. Just study some trends, make some observations about the contestants and follow our tips that you’ve just finished reading!