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Eurovision 2017 – Final Betting Preview

So here we are at the final already and what a final it has turned out to be. From what was a very low bar, we’ve somehow stumbled across a decent lineup of songs, barring one or two cringe moments. Here’s our country-by-country analysis:

Israel kicks off the final in the Laura Tesoro memorial slot; however, I’m not anticipating a repeat of last year’s 10th place given the Tooji crossover and stronger upbeat entries on offer later in the running order. No bet advised.

Poland probably did well on the televote in semi-final 1, but in sending Kasia out in second, the producers are trying to quell such support and prevent a Polish incursion into the top-10. Given the strength at the top this year, I rather suspect the producers will be successful.

Back in 2011, Belarus finished eight-points shy of last place with Butterflies, which was, admittedly, quite a horrific tune. It was the Georgian 12-points that saved their blushes and that might come into play again this year. It’s not an outcome I’m willing to take on, so no bet recommended.

Likewise, the rather anodyne Austria may also struggle in this gradual shifting up the gears to this year’s favourites. Austria doesn’t boast a solid televote and I think Running On Air is quite thin and forgettable in this 26-strong lineup. Also, it didn’t help that Nathan was below par at last night’s jury rehearsal. 21.0 each way is available for last place at Ladbrokes.

Then comes the first bit of quality and one of only a few songs from the east capable of hitting top-10. Artsvik has been friendless on the markets since Tuesday’s first semi-final, but Fly With Me is eastern jury bait and Armenian/eastern diaspora should help secure a top-10. Iveta finished 7th last year thanks to stronger televote support. With Russia out, Armenia will be near top of the list for ex-USSR votes. Bet Armenia top-10 circa 1.6 on Betfair.

The hype around OG3NE since their first rehearsal was deafening, yet the excitement dissipated following Thursday’s semi-final outing. Light & Shadows underwhelmed, and despite the trio’s stellar vocals, it’s difficult to make a case for top-10, so the value has been to lay the Netherlands on Betfair, which may prove to be the case again today.

For Moldova, however, it’s conceivable they were top-3 in the semi-final, or at least top-3 of the televote. Hey Mamma is a distinctive visual package, as well as being an incredibly catchy song; and while Moldova tend to just fall short of top-10, they are well capable of landing it this time given there’s room for 2-3 ex-USSR nations. Bet Moldova top-10 in-play in the hope that odds drift after the first few jury scores.

Hungary are also capable of landing a top-10 finish with their diaspora-pleasing song and narrative. Joci Papai’s Origo is authentic and extremely well performed, but I think the rapping segment has held back their odds for top-10. It’s a bit borderline, so like Moldova, I recommend backing in-play value, as their big points will emerge from the televote, which is announced after the juries.

Occidentali’s Karma has sort of lost it’s edge. Gabbani’s PR machine has ground to a halt and Italy’s win chances have started to lengthen. The consensus was that Italy would always struggle to top the jury scores, and with Portugal and Bulgaria both assumed to have won their respective semis, momentum has started to shift along with a flurry of hotels being booked up in Lisbon and Sofia. Gabbani’s slot in the running order isn’t ideal, and having viewed two full rehearsals, it feels like Denmark and Portugal outclass the 34-year old. In fact, it’s almost as if Gabbani is Salvador’s warm-up act. I was Italy’s biggest fan before rehearsals, but Francesco has become increasingly erratic and inconsistent, so what was a 2nd-3rd with the juries, now feels more like 3rd-5th… Sergey territory. Sergey drifted to over 10s once a third of the jury scores had been announced last year; the same could conceivably happen this year. However, if you think Italy can still do it, it’s worth signing up to Coral and taking their promotional odds of 40/1 for an Italian victory.

Anja may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but she makes it so easy to stand out to juries with her gold, winner’s staging and virtuoso vocal. And as mentioned above, Denmark steals a lot of the limelight from Gabbani and leads nicely into the current market leader from Portugal. One can’t help but lose track of time when watching Salvador perform Amar Pelos Dois. It’s this year’s Common Linnets in terms of its delicate melody and enchanting staging. Surprisingly, Salvador is topping the iTunes downloads, as well as leading Google Trends metrics by a considerable margin. It seems Europe has connected with this kooky guy from Lisbon without the deteriorating health sympathy card being played, though it appears the ‘man with the broken heart‘ narrative is now catching on. If you have Portugal as a loser, you need to make it a winner!

Azerbaijan comes after a break, so Portugal has time to sink in and become the sofa talking point. The late first half running order slot doesn’t automatically suggest Dihaj did well in the semi-final; think of it as an inoffensive, credible entry that poses no risk to the market leaders. My position on an Azeri top-10 is fairly neutral: I can’t rule them in or out, but I’m leaning more towards them just missing out in 12th-15th.

The same could be said for Croatia and Australia, yet Croatia might be Graham Norton’s annual ‘dark horse’ tip, which usually sends the British-led betting markets into meltdown. It’ll be Croatia or Romania. The position here is to oppose top-5 and top-10 on Betfair should Jacques be tipped by Norton. Australia could be in serious danger of losing to the UK this year given the anonymous nature of Don’t Come Easy. Isaiah did well in front of the national juries last night, but being sandwiched between Croatia and Greece is far from ideal. The Australia vs UK match bet at BET365 might be the best way to oppose Australia.

Demy and her backing singers put on another good show last night, and while This Is Love was never considered to be a jury song, Greece at least didn’t embarrass themselves. This should still delight the Greek diaspora, but I feel Romania will suck any neutral, non-diaspora support their way. Greek bangers do have a habit of landing top-10 and the circa 6/1 odds do look generous, yet could get longer during the jury score announcement.

Spain did nothing to prevent a potential last place. The last section of the song continues to cause Manel problems and I can’t see any motivation for people to pick up their phones and vote.

Norway’s JOWST can’t stop smiling since qualification and he looks much more at ease. I was tempted to back last place, but can see Norway receiving enough jury love to swerve well clear of it. I see Norway placing 17th-22nd.

Lucie delivered a solid performance for the United Kingdom last night. The juries should recognise what is a stellar vocal and fantastic visual portrayal of the song from this experienced, West End singer. This was the year the BBC delegated the staging concept to the record company, and you can really tell the difference compared to previous years when it was a case of what was lying around in the BBC props department. What that means for the UK tonight is anyone’s guess. Is a top-10 on the cards, or are we kidding ourselves again? Either way, the UK’s song is good enough that punters could get overly excited during the show, causing a sudden price contraction and providing short-term trading opportunities. Ladbrokes are also offering a massive 25/1 for the UK to get ‘nil-points’ from at least one nation. #FreeMoney!

Hovig has been a revelation for Cyprus, improving what was quite a standard G:son composition to one of this year’s best visual performances. Nevertheless, I’m not sure that propels Cyprus to the dizzy heights of the top 10, but they should expect a better result than in 2015 and 2016.

Now for some each-way value in the outright from what looks like a very dangerous song from Romania. Yodel It won’t score as low with the juries as Poland did last year, and with a large diaspora-led televote topped up with neutral party-song support, there’s a chance Ilinca and Alex could land a podium finish. 40/1 each-way to 4-places is worth a punt at BET365. The more solid bet has to be top-10, which is available circa 1.5 on the high street and Betfair exchange. They could sing this song backwards and it would still land a top-10!

Germany are another contender for last place given the blandness of Levina’s song. Even with some slight jury support, it’s difficult to see this 50-shades of grey escaping beyond 23rd. Spain gets the nod for last place ahead of this, but we’re probably talking about 5-points  dividing them.

Ukraine also looks very flat on screen. Even with regional support, it’ll be difficult for the hosts to land a top-10 this year. Somewhere around 15th would be deserving.

Blanche now wears more makeup to conceal her nerves, but the mask slips for the final chorus when she powers into the big ending segment, which she still stumbles over. It’s a million times better than last week, though the jury and televote for Belgium could still be hampered. Top-10 is likely. Top-4 is ambitious.

Sweden have been friendless on the markets since Robin’s semi-final outing. The presentation feels cold and clinical, though Robin should still attract enough jury and televote support to secure a respectable top-10 finish.

Kristian was always an interesting prospect for Bulgaria. The market has only just come around to the win potential of Beautiful Mess. It’s almost certain Bulgaria won semi-final 2 with Romania close behind. In tonight’s final, the great quandary is who the juries and televoters group around. Will they be enchanted by Portugal or will they be taken by Bulgaria’s commercial relevance and vocal ability. I tend to think Portugal will attract the most love from international juries, as warmth and heart tends to win over slick calculation. Having said that, 25th in the running order is ideal and with many European viewers tuning in for the first time, Bulgaria packs a huge punch just before the voting lines open. Straddling the Balkan and Eastern voting blocs could be crucial. As could any Russian influence with jurors, given the headlines that Moscow-born Kristian winning would generate.

France is an opportunity missed. The staging is like an advert for Google Maps and the dizzying backdrop swallows Alma’s delicate frame. The package is aimless and opposing top-10 looks to be the best play here.

So that’s the country-by-country rundown. Now for predicting who will lift the trophy later…

Based on Google metrics, iTunes take up and potential jury scores, I think Portugal is in pole position for the win. I expect Bulgaria to be close behind with a fading Italy also slotting into the top-4. The other country making the top-4 is wide open; maybe Belgium if their support doesn’t drop off too much. In my opinion, the real top-4 gatecrasher is Romania who will attract all sorts of Eurovision-party votes across Europe, on top of their vast diaspora. Armenia is also in play and 80/1 to 4-places is generous at BET365.

My book is fairly balanced, so I’m OK with any of the three market leaders taking the win, but my expectation is for Portugal to lift the trophy tonight.

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. My top 10 of the grand final:

    1. Portugal
    2. Bulgaria
    3. Belgium
    4. Italy
    5. Armenia
    6. Sweden
    7. Moldova
    8. Romania
    9. Croatia
    10. Norway

    Portugal. I think it will be both jury and televote winner. Someone in the comments described Salvador as “singing Jesus”.
    Bulgaria. Big support from Balkan countries. Could win if they bribed the juries. I hope that is not the case.
    Belgium. This is the dark horse of this year. Very popular on iTunes and Spotify.
    Italy. To me it was always overrated and I think juries will find it too amateurish.
    Armenia. Huge diaspora. When Armenia sends a good song they always finish in the top 10.
    Sweden. One of the Nordic countries always ends in the top 10. Very radio-friendly song. Slick performance. Sexy male singer.
    Moldova. It was my favorite song from the very begining. There’s always a place for a fun song in the top 10.
    Romania. Low jury score but huge televote should be enough for top 10.
    Croatia. 13th position must mean it did very well in the semi. Reminds me of Serbia 2015 which also finished in the top 10.
    Norway. Very radio-friendly and good-feel song.

  2. Agree with a lot of that Gav and good to see I’m not alone on a potential Austria last place. Have to say, I don’t think Romania has a chance of each way, but apart from that, I can see all of that happening.
    My top 10 prediction-
    3. BELGIUM
    4. SWEDEN
    5. UK
    6. ITALY
    7. ARMENIA
    8. MOLDOVA
    9. ROMANIA
    10. CROATIA

    I’m green on all contenders barring Italy, which I’ll consider during jury voting if there’s value.
    Best of luck everyone.

  3. I can’t disagree with Gavs top 4. Stats point to a Portugal win so I have to go with them in my prediction to win. My gut says it doesn’t win and has since it won national final when I layed it. I have it a manageable red at the moment. Bulgaria had been my winner from the minute Russia pulled out and is my only decent green. Italy has been red since it won sanremo and will remain so. No bottle or sense has lead me to reduce the red I originally had on it. Belgium best song in the contest by a mile in my opinion and would have won with a decent singer. Haven’t been as clued in to rehearsals this year as the last few years and my book shows it. Lesson has been learnt for future years.
    1 Portugal
    2 Bulgaria
    3 Italy
    4 Belgium
    Also bet of the year for me is Portugal to beat Italy @evens on bet365 at time of posting.

  4. I have Portugal, Italy and Bulgaria contending for the win, with Portugal the most likely – as the momentum seems to be with Salvador

    Belgium top 5.

    Other top 5 contenders are Romania, Croatia, Moldova and Sweden.

    Other top 10 contenders are Armenia, Hungary and The Netherlands and UK

    Gav, I agree with your analysis of Blanche’s failings yet for some inexplicable reason Belgium stay afloat. It is hard to oppose top 5

    I agree with Montell on Croatia – it probably got 13th slot for a reason. This is the Dami, Loic and Sanna slot. Logic says the juries ought to have totally shunned this, but I don’t think they have entirely.

    Hard evidence from running orders and semi final video viewings suggests that both Sweden and Armenia both had a bad night on Tuesday.

    Sweden look like they are being used as filler between Belgium and Bulgaria, but ironically the late slot may help Robin to recover from some of the harm done by his starting position in the semi. I can’t totally rule out top 5 although my hunch is the remaining top 5 slot will go to one of the fun/novelty songs Moldova, Croatia or Romania. Moldova have the best performance but the hard numbers appear to support one of the other two.

    When I saw Armenia on Tuesday I was actually very disappointed following all the hype from a number of experienced commentators. But as you say, Gav, a jury top 10 plus diaspora support alone puts Armenia in top 10 contention.

    Finally UK – I have it about 4th -8th with juries but (once you factor in the fun and diaspora songs) no higher than 15th on the televote. Still that should equate to a left hand side and potential top 10 finish. If Lucie ends up lower than 16th overall then maybe the ‘we wont do well because of Brexit/no on likes us’ crowd are right after all.

  5. Τhe night has come!!! All those months of thinking and listening and talking has come to an end. Personally i feel happy that the contest starts in more or less 3 hours and we are not yet sure about the winner, even though we had a clear favourite for almost three months.

    Like most of you i believe that Portugal is gonna be the winner and i feel very happy that my bet on the favourite or co-favourite of the night (2.92 Ita- 2.96 Por at the moment) was bought when it had 7.3% chance of winning the contest. I will go as well with the singing Jesus who’s surrounded by his students and followers who are gathered in a small forrest outside an ancient city away from the ‘Roman’ oppression…The message is stronger by the one of the human race that is trying to stand up on its feet again and definitely more stronger than the superhero who kneels when the storm is coming.

    My Top-3 goes like that

    1. Portugal
    2. Italy
    3. Bulgaria

    I expect all of them to have a score at the 575-525 area and have a huge margin from the rest of the field.

    4. Belgium. I admire the way that a 17 year old girl found the courage to bounce back and give her fight when everyone was against her. Her fragility and weakness gave her tons of sympathy and empathy and she’s gonna land somewhere in the 350-400 points area.

    5. Armenia. I still believe that running order is not that important for them. They have diaspora, allies and some orphan russian votes going their way.

    If that is the final Top-5 my betting year will be the most successful of all times. And for bragging rights my prediction for the rest of the final rankings.

    6. Sweden
    7. Romania
    8. Azerbaijan
    9. Croatia
    10. Israel
    11. France
    12. Moldova
    13. Hungary
    14. Poland
    15. UK
    16. Cyprus
    17. Denmark
    18. Greece
    19. Netherlands
    20. Australia
    21. Belarus
    22. Ukraine
    23. Norway
    24. Spain
    25. Germany
    26. Austria

    Austria has 9/49 last places, 5 of them coming with 0 points. It has also a weak running order and i think the fewer views of everyone. I made my bet @41 so there’s more value than Spain or Germany.

    Good luck to everybody.

  6. Don’t like full predictions, cause it’s about the odds, but my thoughts below. Got quite only early value on Portugal and Italy, covered with a bit of Bulgaria. Hoping Portugal (biggest bet) will do it tonigh. Got the mentioned Austria last place too, but not available for these price anymore.

    My thoughts:

    Portugal’s magic and momentum is in front and should be enough to bring it home. I think Italy might ‘flop’ at the juries, and will not top the televote. The package is too choatic, doesn’t have the same feeling as the NF for me (the 3:00 cut + big stage + backings + Francesco overdoing).

    Bulgaria’s (Russia) diaspora might get close and is a worry. But I think the song and staging is too cold to get enough 10’s and 12’s from the televote. Still the jury vote might be dangerously good.

    Really don’t know what to think of Belgium anymore. Love the studio version, but live it’s still simply too awkward and underwhelming in my eyes.. The support for her seems more like pity support/votes to me, but i’m not touching anything regarding Belgium. If she pulls of a great result I wouldn’t mind, the SONG deserves it.

    I believe in a top 10 for the UK. Lucie turns a meh-song into a emotional, goosebump package. The drop in UK odds seems justified for once… Don’t get why it’s on thesame odd as France, which seems totally underwhelming…

    My surpise (fun)bet of this year: Norway best Scandinavian @ 17 (WH, @15 at 365 and others). I see big unexpected jury potential. It’s a great package of a modern song, nothing even close to being simular to this song in the contest. Producers, mordern artists and DJ’s must surely like this… Even if this turns out the televote is a big doubt, but with Sweden being too cheesy and plastic and Denmark forgettable in this running order, it’s a nice longshot.

    Good luck everyone 🙂

  7. Great that you didn’t publish my post. but hey, keep your “are also offering a massive 25/1 for the UK to get ‘nil-points’ from at least one nation. #FreeMoney!” even though that bet is on UK not to score a single point from ALL countries voting. So finish dead last with 0 points.

  8. 1. Portugal
    2. Bulgaria
    3. Italy
    4. Belgium
    5. United Kingdom

    Thanks Gav for all the hard work and good luck to everyone tonight! 😀

  9. Main bets are Hungary top 10, Norway top 15 and Cyprus top 10/15. The first two have performed above my expectations on downloads/online videos and are fairly unique in this contest. The latter is a bet purely on price – its well sung, well staged, and has a good draw so the odds look far too generous.

    Top 4 for what its worth:

    1. Italy
    2. Bulgaria
    3. Portugal
    4. Belgium

  10. 1 Bulgaria
    2 Portugal
    3 Italy
    4 Sweden
    5 Belgium

    Good luck for tonight

  11. My top 5:

    1. Portugal
    2. Italy
    3. Sweden
    4. Belgium
    5. Bulgaria

    Sweden has always been underrated in MF and SF1. Finally he gets a break out of the previous poor early positions, which not only will improve his performance but also impact Bulgaria…

    Italy being surrounded by Hungary and Moldova has hurt their chances. The staging really has let them down compared to San Remo. The backup singers and visual backdrop detract from the package…

    Portugal are in prime position which is the more effective with an ensuing break. The staging and intimate setting enhance the song as well.

    Bulgaria feels cold. The cartoon squiggles, the boy-look, grey monotone, feel like forced and much more impersonal than Sweden. Eastern Europe will be voting for this though.

    Good luck tonight everyone!

  12. let’s get radical – ROMANIA will win!

  13. Good bets for tonight in my opinion:

    Greece vs Cyprus.
    Cyprus @3.25, William Hill

    Worst finishing position in the final – Nordic countries.
    Denmark @3.00, Unibet, 32Red, 888Sport

    Position in Final Clasification
    Sweden 5-10 @2.25, Unibet, 32Red, 888Sport

    Top 10 Finish in Final
    Azerbaijan – No @1.72, Unibet, 32Red, 888Sport

  14. I’m glad (or relieved) to read that I have almost all the bets on that are suggested by Gav here, even including the UK > OZ one. One where I differ a little is Greece in the Top 10. I think this year’s song is so weak that it will get really behind on jury votes, and won’t be able to recover this by a higher televoting. It should get the diaspora votes of course, but I don’t see it getting much more than that. The uptempo songs that Greece has sent in the past received quite some love from the locals (at least in my country), but this year’s song is so generic, that I guess that disappears, reducing Greece’s maximum potential on West-European televoting from 5-6 to the 2-3 points range.

    For The Netherlands, I never really liked the song but they can sing it so well, that it should get some jury love. As the quality of the song itself also matters for the jurors, I think bottom half of the Top 10 on jury side should be the maximum, after which it might drop in the same way as Douwe Bob did in 2016, having it ending somewhere around 12-15.

    Have fun tonight!

  15. Catriona colville

    Prediction :

    1. Italy
    2. Bulgaria
    3. Portugal
    4. Belgium
    5. Sweden

    I have all 3 potential winners covered, but stand to gain the most from Bulgaria, even though it is my least favourite. My heart is with Salvador. This could be one the most tense voting periods in history. Or we were wrong for the last 2 weeks and Italy just romps it.

  16. I agree that Italy has faded somewhat, but I still expect it to do quite well. It’s a shame, but if anyone deserves to take it over Francesco, it’s Salvador. It ticks the Classy/Timeless box of my winner’s criteria hugely, with a bucketload of personality to boot and the possible narrative of his health sneaking in there somewhere with perhaps some less tasteful national commentators. The opening camera shot says it all, here’s just hoping there’s as few inaudible/trumpety bits as possible. 46 years and the circus has never rolled into Lisbon. Time for that to change.

    I definitely have a feeling the UK might do a little bit better than we think tonight though. The pyro big note camera shot gives me slight Everest vibes. The BBC have touched greatness this year and this should finally give them a great platform on which to build. Beyond my top 3 is mostly guesswork but for the fun of it:

    1: Portugal
    2: Bulgaria
    3: Italy
    4: Belgium
    5: Armenia
    6: Romania
    7: UK
    8: Greece
    9: Moldova
    10: Hungary

    I’ve largely stayed out of betting this year, but I have a modest 3 figure win on Portugal hoping to be boosted by a nice back to lay on Lucie in play so I’m pretty chill this year which is a welcome relief from this time last year.

    Thanks to Gav and everyone else for a fun year. Enjoy the show!

  17. Thanks to Gav for running this site, all the articles, the chatroom, the podcasts, comment section. I didn’t have time to get involved with the discussions this year but I made sure I didn’t miss the articles or the podcasts. Looking forward to next year.

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