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Eurovision 2016: Semi-Final 1 Preview

So with over a week of rehearsals behind us, we’re now at the business end of our five-month Eurovision betting journey. Tonight we’ll get our first 10 semi-final qualifiers and 10 first/second half slots drawn during the post-show press conference. Russia drawing first half could shake up the market a little.

The mist is beginning to clear having seen three live-show rehearsals. Even so, there are still several nations with borderline qualification status that makes backing or laying incredibly difficult.

Now the fun bit – trying to find 10 qualifiers from this tricky semi-final and unearthing some value:

  • Russia
  • Armenia
  • Netherlands
  • Iceland
  • Czech Republic
  • Cyprus
  • Malta
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Hungary
  • Azerbaijan

In terms of betting value, I think Bosnia & Herzegovina are the best price for qualification, and being amongst friends, they should be through in 7th-9th. At circa 1.25 this afternoon, Iceland did represent value. There is some value in the top-3 market given how much of a step forward Greta’s song has taken. Running order is on their side, though Douwe Bob may also be in contention for top-3 if the televote marries up with the anticipated high jury score. It’s should be one of those two with Russia and Armenia taking the other podium places.




Azerbaijan, on the other hand, are playing with numbers, to quote last year’s Irish entry. It’s likely Azerbaijan’s price will drift out to over evens in-running, so laying odds-on and backing after the drift could be a wise play. The UK-centric Betfair market is always fast to react to a dodgy vocal performance. I have Azerbaijan just sneaking through, but if Samra does miss out, who would take her place:

I think Austria is too dated to appeal, though I fully expect the market to shorten in-play. Croatia could make it through on the back of Nina’s much improved jury-rehearsal performance last night, though I’m not expecting a strong enough televote. Greece could just save their 100% qualification record if their diaspora turns up to vote – they’re not the worst in this semi, but the numbers aren’t in their favour. Estonia would be the favoured backup qualifier in order to maintain the ‘four qualifiers from the last six’ rule.

The last place market is also of interest with the current Betfair leader, San Marino, offering great lay potential. Any one of the forgettable songs from Montenegro, Moldova and Finland are in the running for this accolade; the latter is 8/1+!

I hope you all enjoy the show which is packed full of the usual self-deprecating Swedish humour, as well as an off-key snippet of Amir’s rehearsal. Good luck all! I hope you all have a very profitable night. If you haven’t got betting accounts yet, you can sign up for some here.

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About Gavster

Owner & Chief Editor   I’m a qualified designer and the official geek in the crew, dedicating most of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.

10 comments

  1. Croatia song is boring, singer has no charisma, and song is very similar with svedish song Uncover by Zara Larsson.

  2. Pretty much agree with everything said here. Croatia or Greece could bump Azerbaijan out, but the top nine are safe.
    I am starting to feel the love for Iceland, but gonna stick to my Iceland to NQ bets. If Greta fails, it’s already a successful year for me.
    Good luck to everyone.

  3. I can only pick 6 definite Qs

    Russia
    Iceland
    Armenia
    Malta
    Cyprus
    Netherlands

    and I pick these as last 4 but have no confidence really – shit year – shit SF

    Bosnia
    Greece
    Czech Rep
    Hungary

  4. My final predicted qualifiers for tonight are the same as Gav’s, except I’m going to call Croatia through simply on having a better song, and have Azerbaijan as their first back-up.

  5. Gavster, I’m with you on this. The only real doubt is the 10th qualifier. I have gone with Azerbaijan with Croatia as my next preferred choice if it fails.

    There was an interesting comment from the ESC Xtra live feed from the press room that the Russian performance is too ‘Soviet’ for Western Jury tastes. I know what the guy means. The dancers and the music just feel a bit too totalitarian and I’m becoming slightly more convinced that its not going to win the final and that Urkaine or Sweden are better bets.

  6. 10 to Q in some vague order

    Russia
    Netherlands
    Armenia
    Iceland
    Czech Republic
    Malta
    Bosnia
    Cyprus
    Estonia
    Croatia

  7. I pretty much got the same 10, I’m sure on 9 of them but Azerbaijan and Estonia I’m still unsure which. Because Azer are in such danger I think they will “get” a few votes to sneak them over the line from certain countries….*cough* Malta, San Marino *cough*

  8. Fairly sure of 7 Russia, Armenia, Cyprus, Iceland, Malta, Czech Republic, Netherlands. Not sure of the following 3 Croatia, Estonia and Bosnia. The Czechs still to come top 3 for me. Shock non qualifier to be Netherlands if there is a shock.

  9. I had a great pleasure watching the rehearsals in the press center for the 1st time and sharing the table with the Four Horsemen of Betting Apocalypse. It was a roller-coaster experience with some time needed to climb and then just a non-stop crazy ride till yesterday evening. I’m now back home as initially planned and already looking forward to the next year (somewhere in the East I believe). Good luck to everyone tonight!

  10. Good luck everyone!

    Russia
    Armenia
    Malta
    Iceland
    Netherlands
    Czech Republic
    Cyprus
    Greece
    Austria
    Estonia

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