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Eurovision 2015: Final Betting Preview

So after a gruelling two-week endurance payday has finally arrived. For some of us, this journey started in December, but if you’ve only just joined the Eurovision 2015 betting frenzy, here’s a brief outline of some of the positions I have taken.

Slovenia kick off the show, and some months ago, they were considered a dark horse winner. The headphones and air-violinist from their national final have stayed, and since then, Maraaya’s momentum has waned. My position has been to lay Slovenia in the Top Balkan market available at Betfair.

France have sent their default old fashioned chanson to Vienna, but from slot 2 in the running order, it’ll struggle to attract enough televotes to keep it outside of the bottom-5. Lisa Angell’s vocals are strong, so it might just miss out on bottom spot; plus there are far worse songs to aim for. No bet.

Nadav Guedj’s Golden Boy has infected Eurovision. Other than Italy or Sweden, Israel are the most anticipated act in this year’s contest. Usually these upbeat party songs go nowhere, but in a Contest bereft of fun, even from the three hosts, Israel shouldn’t be ruled out for a top-10 slot. Back top-10 @ 2.62 with Boylesports.

I have always maintained that a song about an argument wouldn’t win Eurovision. The question for Estonia is, can they win Top Baltic? Again, I say no. I have laid Estonia in the Top-Baltic market on Betfair and recommend the same. Having said that, the quality of the song and staging package is fantastic, so top-10 should also be guaranteed.

Credit where’s it’s due, Bianca & Alex delivered a solid jury performance last night and did everything possible they could to avoid last place. Will it be enough? Well ask yourself, what musical expert would vote for this travesty of a song? The United Kingdom will be in the running for last place. Betfair have circa 4.0 available. Otherwise, the even money available at Boylesports for the UK to be the worst Big-5 nation looks like great value.

Armenia and Lithuania are filler songs teeing up slots 8-12, but with plenty of diaspora, they should finish around the 13th-18th mark. No bet.

Another highly anticipated entry next. Bojana had a rough jury rehearsal last night which must have damaged her already slim chances at hitting top-10. Bojana is this year’s Hera Bjork, but unlike the Icelandic, the Serbian is aided by a massive voting bloc. My play will be to lay Serbia Top-10 & Top-Balkan in running at Betfair.

Debrah raised her game during last night’s jury rehearsal, and in turn, positioned Norway to claim one of the top-5 or 6 jury spots. Hopefully that’ll be enough to see Norway in the top-10 who are currently trading circa 1.56 on Betfair.

Måns Zelmerlöw was solid for Sweden. Nothing changed. Aftonbladet’s Tobbe Ek thought Måns had given only 75% effort. I couldn’t tell the difference, but judging by the voting order published today, Sweden are in the reckoning. It looks like Russia could attract the early 12s in tonight’s voting, so Sweden might drift to a value price in-running. My advice is, if you haven’t backed Sweden, the value might arrive in play.

Cyprus will struggle being wedged between Sweden and Australia in slot 11. John probably got top-3 in semi-final 2, but I think juries who appreciated the Cypriot song will send their classy, down tempo votes to either Norway, Latvia or Italy. Having previously backed Cyprus for top-10, I have now revised my position.

Australia are this year’s beard. Who knows how well they’ll do. Can Guy split the Swedish vote? Personally, I think the Aussies are destined for a 5th-10th placed finish, but high enough to encourage them to return again next year. I’ll be laying top-3 on Betfair.

Loïc Nottet has charted across Europe and Belgium were the most backed country in the outright market yesterday. Can this avant-garde masterpiece overcome the derivative Swedish package? My own view is that Loïc will be this year’s Margaret Berger: the fine, edgy song that comes fourth. The value on Belgium has gone, so I can’t recommend a bet.

This year’s hosts, Austria, could make a claim for top-10, provided Europe is in a forgiving mood after waiting 20-minutes for the first song. The hosts invariably get some love, and being an authentic rock group avec Kings of Leon influences, they should attract enough points to push for a 9th-12th placing.

I’m less confident about Greece, however. For the first time during my two week stay in Vienna, One Last Breath has looked and sounded tired and should be well below some of the more sophisticated ballads in the lineup. Greece should expect to finish 15th-20th. Lay top-10 on Betfair.

Another run of filler songs now from Montenegro, Germany and Poland. At least two of those has a chance of finishing last. There has been talk of Montenegro being Top-Balkan given the Željko connection. It might very well finish second highest, so the 17.0s is value at BetVictor if my later pick doesn’t land.

As I tweeted last night, it’s likely Aminata came top-4 in last night’s jury vote. Latvia have a fantastic running order slot and should standout after a run of four passé slowies. Top-Baltic and Top-10 are my main plays, in addition to trading off a decent green at 3-figure odds. You can lay Estona Top-Baltic at Betfair, or back Latvia Top-Baltic 3.0 at BetVictor. Top-10 is circa 1.6 on the exchange.

The moving narrative for Romania’s song deserves top-10 on its own. The fact Voltaj perform it against a stunning backdrop makes it an even stronger top-10 back, especially when you factor in their ginormous diaspora. There are three standout bets here:

Back Romania Top-10: 3.75 at PaddyPower
Back Romania Top-Balkan: 6.0 at BetVictor
Back Romania +160.5 Handicap: 9.0 (down from 15.0) at BET365

Edurne finally gave a worthy performance last night, but the general consensus is that Spain’s entry is too flimsy to make the top-10. Spain lacks friends, and unlike Italy’s Grande Amore, Amanecer isn’t particularly accessible to non-Spanish viewers. I have already laid top-10 on Betfair.

Hungary’s Boggie looks isolated from 22nd slot with Wars for Nothing. This is another song that falls into my last place reckoning. The 17.0 available at Boylesports does appeal.

Nina Sublati didn’t give her finest performance last night, and with Azerbaijan and Russia to follow, Georgia might be forgotten by non-Eastern voters. Plus you have to recognise that a dominant female will struggle in the televote. No bet.

Azerbaijan’s song is stunning in its studio version. The staging also looks spectacular. However, Elnur does have a tendency to over sing Hour of the Wolf. Azerbaijan might do well in certain quarters, but the value lies in laying top-10 at Betfair.

Today’s voting order points to Russia not winning, though it also suggests a few early 12-points being awarded from friendly nations. Polina didn’t give her best performance during last night’s jury rehearsal, so she’ll have to deliver a virtuoso performance tonight to overcome last night’s jury lag. Lay short on Betfair after first batch of 12-points.

This year has missed a good, side-splitting jury rehearsal f*ck up. Last night, Albania’s Elhaida delivered an excruciatingly painful rendition of I’m Alive. I think there are one or two corpses able to perform I’m Alive with greater assurance.

If people haven’t turned off their televisions during Elhaida’s crowing, they’ll get to enjoy this year’s showstopper from Italy. I’m 99% certain that Italy topped the jury vote last night and I fully expect televoters to get behind Il Volo tonight. The crowd didn’t stop roaring during Grande Amore last night – it was the song they were looking forward to most. The voting order suggests a good spread of high points for Italy from regional/ballad-loving nations, so in my opinion, Sweden haven’t got this Contest sewn up just yet.

The EBU arrange the voting order based on last night’s jury scores and televoting from the semi-finals. As Italy didn’t take part in the semi-finals, the EBU have no metrics to predict their televote. I see Italy performing much stronger in the East and Balkans, in addition to attracting support from Il Divo’s western stomping grounds. Italy are politically neutral, whereas one might expect Sweden to lose a bit of support in the East, much like Sanna did last year.

As you can tell, I’m getting behind Italy for the win. I’m green on all of the contenders, so whatever happens tonight, I will come away with profit. For me though, there’s one song this year that stands above the rest; that song is Grande Amore.

Just for fun, here’s my top-5:

  1. Italy
  2. Sweden
  3. Russia
  4. Belgium
  5. Latvia

Enjoy the show and make sure you bet responsibly. Oh, and don’t forget to VOTE ITALY!

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About Gavster

ESCtips Owner   I’m a qualified designer and dedicate a lot of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.


  1. 1. Sweden
    2. Russia
    3. Belgium

    I hope for your sake, Gav, that it’s not a case of Grande Fatigue for Italy in slot 27. Best of luck to all!

  2. Stephen Colville

    My final top 3 :

    1. Belgium
    2. Russia
    3. Sweden

  3. My prediction

    1 Sweden
    2 Italy
    3 Australia
    4 Russia
    5 Belgium
    6 Norway
    7 Estonia
    8 Slovenia
    9 Romania
    10 Latvia
    11 Georgia
    12 Cyprus
    13 Azerbaijan
    14 Israel
    15 Spain
    16 Greece
    17 Lithuania
    18 Serbia
    19 Germany
    20 Austria
    21 France
    22 Armenia
    23 Montenegro
    24 United Kingdom
    25 Albania
    26 Poland
    27 Hungary

  4. Sound advice there, some of which has made me consider taking a second look at my five “bets to consider” over at escgo (http://www.escgo.com/2015/05/23/esc-2015-grand-final-five-bets-to-consider/), but I’ll hold fire for the time being… bring on the carnage of the show itself! 🙂 Hope you and the rest of the desk have a successful night!

  5. My TOP 10 prediction:

    01. SWEDEN (gold)
    02. BELGIUM (silver)
    03. RUSSIA (bronze)
    04. LATVIA (3rd runner-up)
    05. AUSTRALIA (4th runner-up)
    06. Estonia
    07. Georgia
    08. Norway
    09. Israel
    10. Italy

  6. Thanks Gav as ever for all your work this year,and thankyou for letting me write the Sanremo article earlier in the year.I havent been as engaged as much as usual due to work being so hectic.However the first bets i placed this year were Italy at 51s with Paddypower.I dont think their odds compiler had looked at the Sanremo lineup.I fully respect Sweden.I think Russia is fantastic,and looks amazing.Belgium just works so well and is a cracking performance.Latvia im very pleased for.Estonia a retro classic.However for me Italy are winning this.They took the roof off the Ariston,something i havent seen before.They werent even well known in Italy,yet annihilated the televote against other stunning songs/performers.
    So for me 1 Italy 2 Belgium 3 Sweden 4 Russia 5 Estonia 6 Latvia.

    Last year many people on here picked out Austria,some others The Netherlands at huge prices.Both camps thought the others wrong.It turned out both sets of people were right,and landed huge value by sharing that experience.I think this year is very very hard.Some of us will be wrong,some right,but i think by sharing that experience over the season we all secured some knockout value in the markets that make the job a lot easier.Best of luck to everyone,and enjoy the show.

  7. 1. Russia
    2. Sweden
    3. Estonia

    4. Australia
    5. Latvia
    6. Belgium
    7. Italy
    8. Georgia
    9. Romania
    10. Israel

  8. Thanks for the articles and advice Gav! For what it’s worth, this is my Top 27:

    1. Sweden
    2. Russia
    3. Belgium
    4. Italy
    5. Latvia
    6. Australia
    7. Estonia
    8. Norway
    9. Georgia
    10. Romania
    11. Israel
    12. Serbia
    13. Slovenia
    14. Greece
    15. Spain
    16. Azerbaijan
    17. Cyprus
    18. Austria
    19. Armenia
    20. Hungary
    21. Lithuania
    22. Montenegro
    23. Germany
    24. Albania
    25. France
    26. Poland
    27. United Kingdom

  9. For me:

    1. Sweden(with a little gap to 2nd)
    2. Belgium
    3. Russia
    4. Australia

    Outside bet – Montenegro Top 10 @ 10/1

    Last place – France

    • Iv taken Montenegro top 10 as well beanie at @12s (and the handicap).To my ears its the only song in D minor,and thats the most popular chord in ESC.Plus i like it and needed an excuse to back it and thats all i can come up with.

      • Haha great. I have also backed Montenegro at various markets since I earned a nice amount when qualified and still have some faith in Knez. Best outside bet imo.

        • Good luck to us then! I think that while a number of other songs squabble with others for the same votes, Adio has the Zeljko ballad lovers vote cornered, which is a not insignificant demographic both in the balkans and the balkan diaspora (which dont have a huge amount of representation this year.)

  10. 1. Sweden
    2. Russia
    3. Italy
    4. Belgium
    5. Norway
    6. Belgium
    7. Estonia
    8. Latvia
    9. Serbia
    10. Azerbaijan

    Last is a toss up between France, UK and Poland. And Albania….??

  11. I dont agree that Cyprus came top 3 in the semi, Its only being put where it is in the running order as a stop gap probably because they only snuck through the semi. Unless It was Sweden or Belgium that snuck through.

  12. It’s the excitement….I included Belgium twice!! (but not at the top..)….4th goes to Belgium, and 6th to the Aussies!!

  13. lol, put mine in the wrong thread so report here

    good analysis Gav. i have some of them and will carefully consider the others. i’m not that confident on Italy. i have them but more of a covering bet. i sort of agree with everything you say about them, its just the nagging doubt:

    here is how i think it will finish:
    1. Sweden
    2. Russia
    3. Belgium
    4. Italy

    but if any of the ones below Sweden take the title i’d be happier.

    • my mad last minute bets are to take Belgium +30.5 @26 with bet365 (2pts)
      and Hungary Top 10 @10.5 BF (2pts)

      i might just finish with a last place bet but can’t decide who yet

  14. Estonia all the way…..
    Lump on and get your voting..

  15. Gavster, thanks for all the detailed insight. Much appreciated. In March I put bets on Sweden, Russia and Italy to win and nothing has happened to dissuade me that one of these will come up. I’m currently leaning towards Sweden, particularly the way the voting result order is organised, as you say. I’ve got Latvia and Cyprus top 10. I’m confident in Latvia but not Cyprus. Still I’m confident of ending slightly up with the bookies (first time ever) unless the wife insists I put money on a UK win for her. Musically, for me the outstanding songs and talents at this year’s contest are Latvia and Belgium and I hope these do well whatever the financial outcome.

  16. Black 'n' Blue15

    Thanks for the brilliant as usual analysis Gav, I’ve been taking a betting sabbatical this year just so I can enjoy the show without having to think about Winnings, Losses etc!. Anyhow, I think were in for a terrific nail-biter of a Finale. Much like last year, the perceived contenders have been swept either side of the 15-20 bracket where our winner is often found, which is I suppose what the producer decided running order is designed to create; a TV Spectacle. Unlike with Conchita, I don’t feel confident in any one character per say, stealing the show, a Voting sequence a la 2011 is likely, considering that much like back then, no one song stood out, and most of the favorites were confined to the first half. My gut feeling for whatever reason, is that Sweden will flop; they have several higher quality entries for company, but look, if they win, they win. I’ll cheer for whoever collects the Glass trophy tonight even if said winner is The Zelmerlow!. Anyway, here it goes…

    Top Half

    1. Russia
    2. Latvia
    3. Norway
    4. Belgium
    5. Cyprus
    6. Armenia
    7. Sweden
    8. Romania
    9. Israel
    10. Slovenia
    11. Serbia
    12. Montenegro
    13. Italy
    14. Georgia

    Enjoy the show everyone 🙂

  17. Pimps top 4

    1 sweden
    2 russia
    3 estonia
    4 italy

    Good luck to everyone tonight

  18. I’ve come to terms with the strong possibility of Sweden winning, which involved a lot of cursing under my breath while trying to get to sleep last night. I’m watching at home tonight with my Mum and will see what she says, what my Twitter full of non-ESC fans say, and what the market says and change my positions accordingly in running, which may involve a cash out if necessary.

    Until then, Hope Never Dies. (Tim, your awful puns are annoyingly infectious.)

    1: Australia
    2: Sweden
    3: Russia
    4: Belgium
    5: Italy

    Good luck to all, thanks to the wonderful Italy fanboy, Gav, for great coverage and to everyone on this wonderful site for the spirited discussions.

  19. Hi everyone!

    YYYYIIIIPPPPIIIIEEEE! Tonight is finally the night: the grand final of the 60th Eurovision Song Contest 2015 live from Vienna!

    If it’s up to me, the scoreboard may look like this tonight:

    01. Italy
    02. Azerbaijan
    03. Greece
    04. Russia
    05. Spain
    06. Serbia
    07. Montenegro
    08. Sweden
    09. Norway
    10. Lithuania
    11. Estonia
    12. Austria
    13. Australia
    14. Albania
    15. Slovenia
    16. France
    17. Romania
    18. Cyprus
    19. Georgia
    20. Armenia
    21. Hungary
    22. Germany
    23. United Kingdom
    24. Poland
    25. Israel
    26. Latvia
    27. Belgium

    In this final, I’ll most likely vote for Albania, Azerbaijan, Greece, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Spain and Sweden

    Of course I wish all participants the best of luck, but a victory for Belgium or Latvia would disappoint me deeply.

    I also think it’s still a pity that the songs of Denmark, Iceland, Malta, Portugal, San Marino, Czech Republic, FYR Macedonia, Belarus and Switzerland didn’t qualify to the final! 🙁 Imo, some of these countries deserved a place in the final more than the entries from Armenia, Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Poland, and Slovenia. But unfortunately I can’t change that. And next year there is another year and therefore new opportunities.

    For your information my top 40 of the Eurovision Song Contest Vienna 2015:

    40. Finland
    39. Belgium
    38. Latvia
    37. Moldova
    36. Israel
    35. Poland
    34. United Kingdom
    33. Germany
    32. Hungary
    31. Netherlands
    30. Armenia
    29. Denmark
    28. Georgia
    27. Ireland
    26. Cyprus
    25. FYR Macedonia
    24. Belarus
    23. Romania
    22. Switzerland
    21. France
    20. Slovenia
    19. Albania
    18. Australia
    17. Austria
    16. Iceland
    15. Czech Republic
    14. Portugal
    13. Estonia
    12. Lithuania
    11. Malta
    10. Norway
    09. San Marino
    08. Sweden
    07. Montenegro
    06. Serbia
    05. Spain
    04. Russia
    03. Greece
    02. Azerbaijan
    01. Italy

    Lots of luck to all participants! Do your best and enjoy your moment on stage! Winning is always (a little bit) important, but especially to prove yourself. Don’t forget that all of you are actually already a winner because you have won the right to represent your country at the biggest, most acclaimed, most popular music festival in the world! May the best win! And eventually quality always comes floating to the surface, isn’ it?!

    I’d like to wish everyone who will be watching and will be listening all over the world, lots of listening and viewing pleasure tonight! Enjoy the show, the spectacle, the atmosphere, the magic …!

  20. Here are my results:

    1. RUssia
    2. Sweden
    3. Australia
    4. Latvia
    5. Italy
    6. Belgium
    7. Romania
    8. Israel
    9. Cyprus

    Don’t know the 10th but guess it will be a battle between Estonia, Norway, Montenegro, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Slovenia and Spain.

  21. 1. Russia
    2. Sweden
    3. Latvia
    4. Australia
    5. Italy
    6. Spain
    7. Norway
    8. Belgium

  22. Great coverage again this year Gav. Well done. I Have made Sweden green as much as it killed me to do so. I really hope it doesn’t win. Top 5 for me in order.
    1 Russia
    2 Sweden
    3 Italy
    4 Belgium
    5 Latvia
    I Think this could be a year where the winner doesn’t win either the televote or jury vote.
    Best of luck all

  23. sweden

    good luck all

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