All eyes and bets on the Eurovision: What are the odds?

Mr Green Sportsbook Ireland

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Traditionally, the Eurovision Song Contest is actually not strictly European. Israel – hosting this year’s competition, Morocco and believe it or not Australia- a major contender and potential qualifier, are all participating. This singular event, once the world’s biggest live event, saw a 204 million viewership for at least one of the three shows in 2016 while 186 million watched in 2018 alone. Who would have thought that a small contest that started in 1956 with only seven participating countries could spring this behemoth of entertainment?

The contest is a melting pot of rivalry, salacious gossip, glamour, extravagance but most of all it exemplifies good camaraderie and the peoples’ shared love of music. Outside, silence reigns supreme on the night of the finals, tumbleweeds blow across streets, supermarkets emptied of beer and everyone is rooting for their country of choice from grandparents to small children. At the very last lap, when the going is not good and the home county is not going to make it, odds on the next best or having a good and seasoned ear for the best contender increases chances of winning alongside the winners themselves.

So who are the best contenders to bet on and what sort of strategies should you use for betting on Eurovision? Mr Green Eurovision odds will point you in the right direction to start betting and get the ball rolling. This paves the way for an intense fun-packed night with friends and family bolstered by the possibility of a serious win, no singing necessary.

Eurovision betting, an overview

Eurovision betting, an overview

Eurovision aficionados will tell you that you have to study the themes, listen to past entries and study past trends, see the performances as works of art in their own right and research the lyrics and artist to be included in the total evaluation. Basically, become a Eurovision scholar. Most likely, you’ll already lean toward your own choices with more academic criteria; the love of a particular culture, a voice, a look that you like and you discard the ones based on weakness in content, talent or image.

Google searches have managed to quite accurately predict the losing countries in the past, if not the actual winners, thanks to an intrinsic interest in the artist. So having a look at search hits per participant might give you an idea of the odds. The emotions conveyed in the song can be powerful; a winning entry may not be based on voice talent alone but on image and meaning too. Trends are notoriously hard to predict with fewer special effects and more substance but that doesn’t go to say just because there were fewer the last few years doesn’t mean there will be nothing impressive in coming years. However, it isn’t ultimately the showiness that wins and trends have in fact moved away from the spectacular, favouring instead the simplicity of the song itself.

Odds for the Eurovision, look to the bookies

Odds for the Eurovision, look to the bookies

At the end of the day, personal beliefs or politics hold no place in predictions. Recent winners have shown that a song that tends to convey the universal zeitgeist rather than a performance that pulls out all the stops is far more likely to win. The similarity of shared human emotion and experience along with a personal or unique take on a common theme are pretty sure to get the top spots. A relatable topic, a singer with a good voice, excellent composition of the song, these are all pretty good vote indicators and better for bets.

Having a good idea of the odds before you place a bet is a fairly standard step, so perusing the bookies’ predictions is the sensible way to go. There are a few factors to consider before betting with some criteria or “science” to be applied which often has less to do with the song itself and more to do with voting trends. For example, the last entry in the national qualifications tends to win more points than previous entries and it stays that way until the semi-finals. Nothing is set in stone, however, as even when the event order is finalised in the semi-finals, there can be more changes right up to the final itself.

Eurovision running order

Eurovision running order

Everything is done for a reason, no less at the Eurovision where organisers make sure that each song gets the attention it deserves. This is done through the artful distancing of different types of songs from each other so that slower ones and ballads are put in between the upbeat and high energy songs making the flow eclectic enough to keep interest high. This way, the songs get the right slot they require to guarantee full appreciation and the variation in style keeps audiences engaged and focused resulting in higher ratings.

As there has always been a theme since 2002 you could be tempted to go down the route of identifying the songs that are in some way connected to this. The reality though points to an entirely different story as most of the entries to the Eurovision aren’t actually related. You can take a more sure-fire approach by looking at past winners.

Year Country Song & Artist
2019 The Netherlands Duncan Laurence: Arcade
2018 Israel Netta: Toy
2017 Portugal Salvador Sobral: Amar pelos dois
2016 Ukraine Jamala: 1994
2015 Sweden Måns Zelmerlöw: Heroes
2014 Austria Conchita Wurst: Rise Like A Phoenix
2013 Denmark Emmelie de Forest: Only Teardrops
2012 Sweden Loreen: Euphoria
2011 Azerbaijan Ell & Nikki: Running Scared
2010 Germany Lena: Satellite
2009 Norway Alexander Rybak: Fairytale

Eurovision is not exclusive to Europe

The buzz on Oz

We previously mentioned that Eurovision is not exclusive to Europe with relatively unjustified exceptions often driven by a loyal fandom and enthusiastic bid for participation. This has certainly been the case for Australia as it has always been an avid follower of Eurovision, most likely due to its ex-colonial history and relationship to the UK since its inception. Their bid for participation was in fact so strong that they were invited to take part in 2015 for the 60th anniversary of the contest. Since then they have entered every year with some very impressive acts. Needless to say, their participation has caused rifts with the more stalwart fan as it is a fair way from Europe or the continents. It would be interesting to see politics moving aside for content which in this case is music, a language that everyone understands.

Moving back through to the odds, Australia continues to take over the stage with a very powerful presence and with their debut performance, they arrived the fifth place. Since then though they haven’t done so well and in the last two years, they have finished way down the line at ninth and 20th.

The crux of it all is that whatever method you use to place your best bet on your Eurovision hopeful should be informed by a mix of research, a look at the bookies and some intuition. If you’re on the mark, you’ll be well on your way to acing a win at the most famous contest in the world.