Join in the Eurovision fun with Sports.net's Bingo and Sweepstake Kit.
How the Bookies See it:
- Winner: Italy 10/11, Portugal 7/4, Bulgaria 12/1, Sweden 14/1, Belgium 16/1 - BetVictor
- UK Finishing Position: 9th to 12th 5/2, 5th to 8th 3/1, 13th to 16th 7/2, 17th to 20th 7/2, 1st to 4th 12/1 - Paddy Power
- Top Scandinavian - Sweden 1/12, Denmark 11/2, Norway 25/1 - Boylesports
- Italy - Italy’s entry, Occidentali’s Karma by Francesco Gabbani, has a catchy tune and will feature a dancing ape on stage alongside the singer. It has been the pre-contest favourite for months and already received a lot of press coverage across Europe.
- Portugal - Amar Pelos Dois is a hauntingly beautiful, well-written number performed by a man who can sing with emotional depth. It’s not against Eurovision rules, it’s just rare.
- Bulgaria - Beautiful Mess, sung by 17-year-old TV talent show star Kristian Kostov, is either a bland ballad or a classic fistclencher, depending on personal opinion. It is expected to challenge for top spot.
- Belgium - Teenager Blanche has a strong voice and her song City Lights has a pleasing, poppy sound which lives longer in the memory than most of the other entries, but the staging is a little dull.
- Sweden - Robin Bengtsson is looking to continue Sweden’s fine tradition of Eurovision success and I Can’t Go On has a nice and cheesy Eurovision feel to it, complete with a performance delivered on treadmills.
- United Kingdom - Lucie Jones’ hit Never Give Up On You is very much like many of the UK’s recent entries, in that it is sung well enough and is not the worst melody, but it’s also nothing special and probably won’t score many points, especially in the first Eurovision Song Contest since the vote for Brexit.
- Selected Others - Moldova’s Sunstroke Project sailed through their semi-final with Hey Mamma!, an appealing tune featuring synchronised toe-tapping from the band members and some great saxophone work from Eurovision icon Sergey Stepanov. Romania also have a gimmick which could see them do well with Ilinca and Alex Florea’s Yodel It!, while Armenia’s Fly With Me has shot up the betting after an impressive semi-final performance. Croatia's Jacques Houdek is also worth watching - a great talent who blends pop and opera as he sings a strange duet with himself that has a hint of Let It Go about it.
Italy have been firm favourites with the bookies throughout the build-up to the contest and stand a good chance of ending a winning drought stretching back to 1990, although the odds-on price available with most firms is a real turn-off, especially in this day and age of political or geographical voting, where most countries end up just giving points to their neighbours regardless of the quality of their song and the ‘big five’ don’t usually receive much support.
A smarter punt might be on Portugal, who have rocketed up the list of favourites following a sensational semi-final performance from Salvador Sobral. He is eccentric enough to appeal to Eurovision fans whilst still delivering an old-fashioned tearjerker which is unlike any of the other songs in the contest. Croatia's entry also stands out as being different in a good way, with odds of around 50/1.
For real value, though, there could be a temptation to go for Moldova at 100/1 with Bet365, with each-way terms of 1/4 on a place in the top four. Some of the YouTube videos of ‘Epic Sax Guy’ have racked up over 34 million hits since Sunstroke Project last represented Moldova in 2010 and his return could push them into the top few spots.
- Sports.net’s top tips: Portugal to win at 7/4 - Bet365, Moldova to finish in the top five at 4/1 - Paddy Power
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.