A handful of betting agencies — BoyleSports, SportingBet, PaddyPower and Betfair, among others, have released their first set of odds for who will win Semi-Final 1 of Eurovision 2016.
It should come as no surprise that grand final favourite Sergey Lazarev leads the way here as well. The Russian star is the bookies’ clear favourite to win the semi, with his odds at 4/11 at BoyleSports and 2/5 at PaddyPower.
If anyone is going to steal his thunder (and lightning), the bookies think it is Armenia’s Iveta Mukuchyan. They have her down as second favourite, with odds of 4/1 at BoyleSports.
Iveta has had to shorten her planned press tour as a result of geopolitical tensions in the Caucuses, but her live performance at the Moscow Eurovision Party has the bookies convinced of her abilities. Will her next live performance — during her first rehearsal in the Globen — take her even higher?
Malta’s Ira Losco is third overall, with odds of 7/1 at BoyleSports. However, a number of betting agencies including SportingBet and PaddyPower, actually have her listed as their second favourite to win.
The “Walk on Water” singer has routinely dazzled at the pre-show events. Malta has ambition, so we except massive staging.
At the moment San Marino, Moldova and Montenegro are seen as the countries least likely to win this semi-final.
Semi-final 1 betting odds: Who will win?
Semi-final 1: Odds to qualify
Those are, of course, the odds to win Semi-Final 1. The bookies run a separate table for who will actually qualify.
At the moment PaddyPower believe the following 10 acts are the most likely to make it through: Russia, Malta, Armenia, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Cyprus, The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Iceland.
They think Estonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Greece, Austria, Finland, Moldova, San Marino and Montenegro are likely to miss out on the final.
The bookies’ odds shouldn’t be taken as doctrine — they often get it wrong. However, if they are correct, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Greece will fail to make the final for the first time in their history at Eurovision.
Do you agree with the bookies Top 10 acts to qualify? Who do you think is the most underrated and overrated? Let us know in the comments box below!