Eurovision 2018 odds: Israel’s Netta Barzilai is the new favourite to win


On Saturday evening Sweden chose its Eurovision 2018 song and Norway followed moments later. But ultimately it was Israel’s Netta Barzilai — whose song leaked online ahead of its scheduled Sunday release — that had the biggest impact on the betting odds.

Since we last checked in on the Eurovision 2018 betting odds on March 9, the “Toy” singer has narrowed from ninth position all the way to first. Her odds fell from as high as 20/1 then to 3/1 this morning. It’s a phenomenal shift built on the quality of the song and strong fan reaction to the track overnight. In so many ways the song seems to balance the trend of authenticity — this is Netta’s true outré and original style — with this year’s desperate need for something poppy and catchy. Netta gets it.

The Oriental / Mizrachi sound takes centre stage here, providing a fantastic core around which Netta can improvise. The song is mainly in English, although you can hear plenty of words in Hebrew, such as: “Ani Lo Buba” (I’m not a puppet). This diva isn’t attached to strings — she’s pulling ’em!

As the #MeToo movement helps women find their voice, Netta is using hers to sing of empowerment with some in-your-face lyrics: “Wonder woman don’t you ever forget, you’re divine and he’s about to regret….I’m not your toy, you stupid boy”.

Israel’s sharp rise pushes them past previous favourites Bulgaria, who will release their track “Bones” on Monday morning. Bulgaria will deliver a dark and mysterious number — marked by their recent stamp of polish and quality — which may well narrow on Israel after its official release. Time will tell.

Sweden stays steady in sixth position, even as its odds have narrowed slightly with some betting agencies following Benjamin Ingrosso’s win.

Norway has moved from 20th favourite ahead of the final to 18th this morning, with odds as low as 20/1 and and high as 40/1. While Alexander Rybak’s “How to Write a Song” was clearly loved by the Norwegian audience, it’s not clear how well it will translate internationally. It’s among the most divisive tracks of the year on social media, with many suggesting that Norwegians voted for sentimental reasons that other Europeans will not feel as strongly.

Are you excited by Israel’s rise? Do you think that the bookies’ forecast is right? And who is underrated and overrated? Let us know in the comments box below.

Eurovision 2018 betting odds (11 March 2018)

Read more about the Eurovision 2018 betting odds