Eurovision Odds: Sweden, Russia and Denmark the Early Favorites

Not all countries have selected their 2012 Eurovision contestant, but that hasn’t stopped betting agencies from handicapping this year’s race. Fifteen leading agencies in Britain currently have Sweden’s Loreen listed as the odds-on favorite with her song “Euphoria.” A number of agencies had already listed her at or near the top in recent weeks. On March 3, after the Swedish semi-finals were complete, the bookmakers at Betfred listed her as the 5/1 favorite to win Eurovision. They slashed their odds to 5/2 after her victory at Melodifestivalen last night. 188Bet has her odds even lower at 2/1.

Running a close second—or perhaps walking slowly with the assistance of their canes—are Russia’s singing grandmothers Buranovskiye Babhushki with “Party for Everybody.” Most agencies have them down at 6/1. Denmark’s Soluna Samay—who recently spoke to Wiwi about her song “Should’ve Known Better”—sits in third position with her odds hovering around 10/1 with a number of agencies. Serbia’s Zelko Joksimovic and Ireland’s Jedward round out the top five candidates. Malta, Montenegro and F.Y.R. Macedonia currently seem like the least likely to win.

Here are the current standings with odds from five agencies via oddschecker.com. You’ll want to review them with a pinch of salt. As we know from previous Eurovision Song Contests, the bookies have a tendency to back acts early, only to watch them fizzle as the competition approaches. This time last year, the bookies had Europe convinced that Norway’s Stella Mwangi and France’s Amaury Vassili would battle it out for the top spot. She didn’t even make the final, and he ended up placing 15th. Lesson learned.