In our most recent Eurovision 2018 odds post, published on March 11, the key takeaway was that Israel’s Netta Barzilai had climbed to the top. With her sassy head shakes, colourful video and a chicken cluck heard round the world, she’d distanced herself from the field to become the new favourite. One week later the Eurovision Oddschecker site still has Israel sitting pretty at the top, with her odds hovering around 7/4 at major betting agencies like Ladbrokes. The same betting agency has Elina from Estonia and Mikolas Josef from the Czech Republic sitting well back in second with odds of 7/1.
After that the odds widen quite substantially. But thankfully for Laura Groeseneken — the part-time IKEA merchandiser who performs under the name Sennek — there are also some substantial changes taking place there too.
The “A Matter of Time” singer has seen her odds shorten drastically. On March 13 the betting agencies had her down as eighth favourite with odds between 16/1 and 20/1. Today she’s shortened to between 12/1 and 14/1, which has helped her leapfrog past The Netherlands, Sweden, Bulgaria and Australia.
Her song “A Matter of Time” continues Belgium’s recent trend of pop songs with a dark and mysterious edge. As with Loïc and Blanche, Sennek delivers something that straddles pop and art. Her tune has drawn comparisons to Bond anthems and Conchita Wurst’s “Rise Like a Phoenix.” And her music video has earned plaudits for its cinematic feel and some very memorable shots from an emptied swimming pool.
Writing on the “A Matter of Time” lyrics post, Joey N said: “Amazingly retro! It reminds me of what UK bands like Portishead and Moloko were doing in the 90s. Love it! I can almost picture it as a James Bond theme as well.” Igal was as effusive: “Simply put – this is simply the best song of the entire field. I always wish that singers pronounced their English better, but this is close (unlike some of the motifying English of some artists, e.g., the Russian anger, yikes!!). Belgium’s song is terrific!!!!”
Eurovision 2018: Odds to Win grand final
Bulgaria: Still a Top 5 favourite
Belgium’s rise coincides with Bulgaria’s fall.
Prior to the release of Equinox’s song “Bones”, Bulgaria was the pre-contest favourite, riding a wave of hype owing to their strong finishes over the past two years and their very clear ambitions to win.
On March 11, the night before they revealed their song, the group had fallen to second favourites behind Israel’s Netta with odds of 7/1 at most agencies. That put them in a very close race with Estonia and Czech Republic for that second favourite spot.
Following the release of their dark and atmospheric song “Bones” the group fell in the odds only to bounce back to second shortly thereafter. But it seems the bookies have finally settled on their thoughts and once again have downgraded the group to fifth favourites with odds between 12/1 and 17/1.
This may reflect the fact their song will require on-point staging to reach its full potential. There is a fine line between Halloween and haute couture. Thus far the group have nailed it with their pre-contest promotion and styling. They’ll need to continue to tow the line carefully, but assuming they can do the same in Lisbon, they will no doubt challenge for a top spot.
Where do you stand on all of this? Have your favourites changed? And do you think that Belgium is once again a dark horse to take it all? Let us know in the comments box below.