Eurovision 2021 Betting Preview & Tips

BRING on the fun! Eurovision fan Chris (@ChrisORhino) shares his best bets for this year’s contest.

Eurovision | Saturday 22nd May 2021, 20:00 | BBC

With just under two months to go until Eurovision 2021, now is the prime time to sniff out the value in the betting markets before the money comes and the true levels are found.

To save you the headache of listening to any songs, here is my full run down of all 40 countries, their chances, and potential bets for both the semi finals and final.

Albania – Anxhela Peristeri – Karma

Betting Odds – 900/1

Verdict – An easy one to eliminate from your enquiries first up, an attempt to go for a the power ballad falls well short of the mark required. Unlikely to make it through the semi finals.

Prediction – Eliminated in semis.

Australia – Montaigne – Technicolor

Betting Odds – 300/1

Verdict – There’s no denying the vocal ability of Montaigne and she will surely have the stage presence to pull off something special. Unfortunately this clubby pop beat is instantly forgettable without any distinct hook, and will do well to qualify for the final.

Prediction – Eliminated in semis.

Austria – Vincent Bueno – Amen

Betting Odds – 300/1

Verdict – As likable as Vincent is, this song is another that will be forgotten in the running order. Polling poorly in the early numbers it lacks any real quality to attract anything more than a smattering of praise. I hope he does better than I am expecting, but not one to challenge for me.

Prediction – Finalist outside of top 15.

Azerbaijan – Efendi – Mata Hari

Betting Odds – 130/1

Verdict – The first real challenger at a massive price, and incidentally, my pick of those in triple digits or above. Picking up huge airtime numbers in Eastern Europe, this ethnic dance bop is a track which is sure to do well on the televote, providing it can secure a safe passage to the final and land a decent draw.

Unlike some of the other market protagonists, there is very little to go wrong as far as the transfer from recording studio to live. Currently available at around 4/1 to be top ten on the big night looks a value play and one to include in your portfolios.

Prediction – 7th

Belgium – Hooverphonic – The Wrong Place

Betting Odds – 130/1

Verdict – Dark and mysterious, you can’t fault Belgium’s originality, going with a meandering piece more suited for niche radio than the Eurovision stage. The track just doesn’t have enough to it for wide popularity and I can’t picture the track being performed on stage capturing anyone’s attention for the first time, despite of reasonably good early polling numbers.

Probably has enough to make the final, but that will be it.

Prediction – Finalist outside of top 15.

Bulgaria – Victoria – Growing Up Is Getting Old

Betting Odds – 12/1

Verdict – The Eurovision fans loves Victoria, and loves her music. A beautifully delicate voice is a sharp contrast to the majority of what you will see in this final and has already proven her ability to sing the track live as demonstrated early March on Bulgarian national TV.

She arguably had a stronger song choice lined up for 2021 but opted for the track she felt would have the most impact to her and presenting on stage. If she can portray that magic from the music video on stage, she is a live runner.

Her biggest issue will be the televote. Juries will undoubtedly love her, but she is competing for similar market share with the star of this years show, Gjon’s Tears from Switzerland. All early polls have him taking the vote from her, and don’t see enough reason at her price to take a chance at relatively short odds. I hope I’m proven wrong as this undoubtedly has all the class to win.

Prediction – 6th.

Croatia – Albina – Tick-Tock

Betting Odds – 160/1

Verdict – A decent quality boppy dance track that on it’s own fares quite well as a standalone piece. However, in a dance heavy lineup for 2021, this is likely to get buried in the running order with others with much more memorable experiences. One thing recent Eurovisions have shown us, is that vanilla tracks will get sunk. This is one.

Prediction – Finalist outside of top 15.

Cyprus – Elini Tsagrinou – El Diablo

Betting Odds – 30/1

Verdict – Sticking with the boppy theme, Cyprus give us the example on how to produce Eurovision dance in 2021. Instantly catchy, and wouldn’t sound out of place on the radio coming from the likes of Lady Gaga. Sitting in the same half of the semi final draw as Croatia, you would expect this to qualify however there are some reservations.

The vocals on the track are heavily produced and questions remain as to how this will translate with incorporating a dance routine. Also worth noting the free 12 points from Greece will help in a close run contest, but the potential for this track feels more on the downside come the live shows. Omit for now.

Prediction – 12th

Czech Republic – Benny Cristo – Omaga

Betting Odds – 700/1

Verdict – A recurring theme with the outsiders this year, this isn’t a ‘bad’ song, it’s just boring. A toothless dance track pretending to have a vibe it doesn’t have.

Prediction – Eliminated in semis.

Denmark – Fyr & Flamme – Øve Os På Hinanden

Betting Odds – 420/1

Verdict – Imagine an entry that would finish 21st in Eurovision in 1987. You’ve just imagined Denmark’s entry for 2021. Not boring, just bad. No hoper.

Prediction – Eliminated in semis.

Estonia – Uku Suviste – The Lucky One

Betting Odds – 700/1

Verdict – Considering this is right of the bottom of the betting odds, it really isn’t that bad. A sort of uplifting power ballad that’s pretty decent and should fair well enough translating to the live shows. Especially so as we know Uku has to the goods to deliver a live performance.

Currently around 2/1 to qualify from the semi, that is fair enough considering it will have some neighbourly voting and is in the semi with plenty dead wood at the bottom end.

Prediction – Finalist outside of top 15.

Finland – Dark Channel – Blind Side

Betting Odds – 40/1

Verdict – Finland has decided to stick to what they’re good at. From the country that has the highest number of metal bands per person on earth, and a winning history with metal, it’s not entirely surprising they’re gone metal again with Blind Side.

Make no mistake, this has a really catchy hook in the chorus and is sure to make an impression with both televoting specifically. Only Italy has anything like it in the competition, and should navigate the semi with ease before putting in a strong performance in the final. Sadly for metal fans, the market leaders have some stunning tracks that will be hard to topple, but look good for a top ten finish.

Prediction 9th. 

France – Barbara Pravi – Voila

Betting Odds – 7/1 

Verdict – France’s recent record in the contest is not good. Expect that to change with Barbara Pravi’s magnificent ‘Voila’. An atmospheric journey through a woman’s inner thoughts battling her demons builds to it’s dramatic crescendo.

Absolutely in the top 3 as far as musical talent is concerned, dripping with all of the French je ne sais quoi as Thierry Henry sitting in a bath of garlic. She can sing live, the staging (if the French national final is anything to go by) will be simple but powerful and memorable.

Possible problems include no French language winner since the 80’s and a potential lack of mainstream appeal. I would say the latter is a bigger worry than the former as there hasn’t been a really great French language song for many years. She deserves a great result, and if the draw works out, she may just get one.

Prediction – 3rd

Georgia – Tornike Kapiani – You

Betting Odds – 880/1 

Verdict – Bit of a gamble gone wrong here for me. You can see what they’re tried to do, stripping everything back to just Tornike and his vocals (which are quality). The problem is, when the song isn’t very good, it’s exacerbated by the lack of distractions.

Prediction – Eliminated in semis.

Germany – Jendrik – I Don’t Feel Hate

Betting Odds – 400/1

Verdict – I’m not even sure how you are even meant to describe the composition of this song. A goofy two genre mess that doesn’t remotely work. Lucky to be part of the Eurovision power 5 countries or else this wouldn’t make it out the semi.

Prediction – Finalist outside of top 15.

Greece – Stefania – Last Dance

Betting Odds – 50/1

Verdict – A return to form from Greece as they send young Stefania with a radio friendly bop. Sure to be popular with the televote along with their automatic 12 point headstart from Cyprus.

A lot will hang on the staging as to whether this is able to stand out against the other dance tracks to challenge for the win, but early polling is very positive, surprisingly topping one of the big forum votes. Jury vote is going to be a lot tougher and ultimately where this could fall short. Certainly wouldn’t put you off at a big price, or the 9/4 to be top 10.

Prediction – 8th

Iceland: Daði og Gagnamagnið – 10 Years

Betting Odds 20/1

Verdict – If you’re looking for a feel good, smile on your face song with broad appeal with both juries and televote, then here’s your pick. Dadi from Iceland will be high on many people’s list with a song about his 10 year relationship with his wife.

If you’re not used to Dadi as I’m sure many of you won’t be, he and his backing band (made up of friends and family) all dress in geeky tracksuits doing a comical but easy to follow dance routine whilst playing their funky house.

Catchy, memorable and a unique song genre are all strong traits for a decent showing. Early polling was a little cool but one that could definitely gather steam as May approaches. If I was picking the winner, it would be in my top 5. Sadly I don’t rule the world.

Prediction – 12th. 

Ireland – Lesley Roy – Maps

Betting Odds – 300/1

Verdict – After their dominance of the 90’s, Ireland have been a shell of their former self in recent years. Although they will be unlikely to challenge the top 10 this year, this is a way better track than the betting odds indicate.

A galloping upbeat toe tapper with a video that looks like one of those adverts you’d see from the Irish tourist board, Lesley Roy has delivered an upbeat and high energy performance that Ireland can hold it’s head up high with. Early playtime remains relatively low, but so does negative reception to it.

At 2/1 to qualify from the semi, it would have to dislodge the much inferior Australian, Israeli or Slovenian entry and that feels like a possible way in.

Prediction – Finalist outside of top 15. 

Israel – Eden Alene -Set Me Free

Betting Odds – 220/1

Verdict – Having listened to this track half a dozen times or so now, I’ve come to the conclusion that the composition of the song doesn’t quite work, and I find myself waiting for it to end rather than enjoying it. There is talk in the camp about rejigging the track before finals night which it probably needs, but realistically won’t be a challenger, and could even be a shock semi final exit.

Prediction – Finalist outside of top 15. 

Italy: Måneskin – Zitti e buoni

Betting Odds – 11/1

Verdict – The Italian selection process is notoriously tough to secure a spot on, and in turn is producing a quality entry each year. This year, a refreshing dose of hard rock comes to the table from Maneskin. You’d be forgiven to be jolted once it kicks in after the relative uniformity and serenity of the other 2021 entrants, but it is quality.

Instantly memorable, a good enough track to win votes from non rock fans and likely to have wide appeal on both juries and televote. The question is, does 11/1 fully factor in the appeal? For such a short price, early pan European polling has been cool, play numbers remain lowish and there are too many risks at this stage to consider taking the short price.

It will be interesting to tack momentum on the run up to May, but for now, it will have to remain on the back burner.

Prediction 11th.

Latvia: Samanta Tīna – The Moon Is Rising

Betting Odds – 500/1

Verdict – A grimey rap number isn’t your typical Eurovision winner, but if recent Eurovisions have shown anything, is that originality counts. Sadly for Samanta, considering the edge her production team is going for, it barely makes an impact and is forgotten as quickly as it is listened to.

Prediction – Semi Final Exit 

Lithuania – The Roop – Discoteque

Betting Odds – 20/1

Verdict – Sticking with Eastern European originality, The Roop show Latvia how it’s done. Once you have made it out the ‘WTF is this’ phase during the first minute of the song, you’re sucked in. And once you’re in, you’re in. A mesmerizing dance routine makes the video stand out, and will be easy to replicate on stage.

Careful with how much you listen to it as it will get burned in your brain, unable to hum anything else for a good hour after you’ve had a dabble. Many boxes being ticked here to reach the shortlist, with only some very high class opposition at the top end of the market keeping me from including in my selections.

Prediction – 5th 

Malta – Destiny – Je Me Casse

Betting Odds – 4/1 Fav

Verdict – Despite only being 18, Destiny is a veteran of the TV singing show world. Aged 12, she ran away with Junior Eurovision (yes, it’s a thing), and some of you may remember her appearing on Britain’s Got Talent aged 15 singing ‘Think’ by Aretha Franklin. She’s been a backing singer for Israel at Eurovision when she was 16, and last year, won her passage to Eurovision by winning the Maltese X-Factor.

So why all the fuss? Well if you haven’t checked out some of her back catalogue, it’s worth a listen. A booming, crystal clear voice, with a breathtaking range, she sings like a woman twice her age. Je Me Casse is the perfect accompaniment to her voice and contains all the quality to challenge for the win.

So what are the downsides? Despite the rave critic reviews, airplay remains only OK, and some have rightly criticised the break in the song for heading into a weird jazz novelty where a more mainstream drop would have done the trick. Juries will undoubtedly love it and could have the lead heading into the televote, but could get reeled in in the 2nd half of voting.

Have a listen, make your own mind up, but the 4/1 has all of the hype fully factored in, so would have to leave out of my picks.

Prediction – 4th

Moldova – Sugar – Natalia Gordienko

Betting Odds – 60/1

Verdict – A real love it or hate it banger from Moldova next. Lyrically, the song doesn’t really make much sense, it plays like it needs another minute to naturally develop, but boy does it have a sick drop. If the video is anything to go by, we can expect some sickly sweet staging, and some dancing ice cream cones.

Truth be told, this is one of my favourites, but given the lack of love elsewhere, the major doubt over the ability to pull this off live, and juries certain to dislike it, it’ll have to stay on the cool side for punting purposes. It deserves better though.

Prediction – 13th

Netherlands: Jeangu Macrooy – Birth Of A New Age

Betting Odds – 500/1

Verdict – Well you can’t fault the defending champs for lack of originality. A Caribbean vibe from the Surinamese Dutchman is very distinctive, but lacks the quality to make an impact.

Prediction – Eliminated in Semis.

North Macedonia – Vasil – Here I Stand

Betting Odds – 300/1

Verdict – A forgettable orchestra based power ballad that lacks any real originality or memorability. Even after 4 listens, I still look at it and think ‘which one is that again?’. Instantly forgettable.

Prediction – Eliminated in Semis. 

Norway – Tix – Fallen Star

Betting Odds – 33/1

Verdict – As with Moldova, this is another of my favourites that sadly has a lot of elements going against it. On the surface, it’s a bit of a 90’s slushie throwback but the track is very catchy and definitely improves with further listens.

Tix also pulled off the improbable of dislodging the very popular KEiiNO as the Norwegian entrant in the home vote. As much as I would love to see this do well, the track hasn’t been widely well received, and is getting lost on early polling as well as limited streaming play.

Should navigate the semi OK, before finishing mid pack in the final.

Prediction 14th.

Poland – Rafal – The Ride

Betting Odds – 500/1

Verdict – Think of ‘Blinding Lights’ by the Weekend. Then imagine a copycat done with 7% of the talent. Not remotely good enough.

Prediction – Eliminated in Semis.

Portugal – The Black Mamba – Love is On My SIde

Betting Odds – 300/1

Verdict – A sleepy ballad that doesn’t really go anywhere and will have big trouble making it out of the semi. No love from streams or polls, and comfortably chalked up as an also ran.

Prediction – Eliminated in Semis.

Romania – Roxen – Amnesia

Betting Odds – 66/1

Verdict – This has the potential to be a real sleeper at a massive price. An atmospheric grower that gets better with each listen. Enough meaning in the lyrics to sit well with the juries, enough uniqueness and quality in the track to be popular with televote and a strong staging team are all reasons to be positive.

A major negative is the amount of production on her voice. The Eurovision stage is not the place to hide if your voice needs significant autotune and there is the suspicion this will not translate to a live performance. However, at the price, that is fully factored in.

Prediction 10th

Russia – Manizha – Russian Woman

Betting Odds – 45/1

Verdict – If it’s something unique you’re looking to bet, then look no further than Russias entry. A slavic folk / hip hop mash up which has been hitting a lot of headlines in Eastern Europe and causing controversy in her home country. A pro womens rights / LGBT song is an uneasy partner for Russia, with it’s most repressive laws for gays in the Euvovision umbrella.

Focussing on it purely from a punting perspective, this controversy is not a bad thing. Ukraine famously won with a song about the occupation of Russia, despite it being the most ‘disliked’ video on Youtube of all the entrants. Russia 2021 has a similar feel. Huge playtime, comfortably the most views, and also the most dislikes. As a friend of mine once said, you can’t vote for the songs you dislike, so dislikes don’t count.

The song itself is definitely a grower, and wil take a listen or two to get used to is. But it is good, and with strong neighbourly voting and the rallying of the Eurovision heavy LGBT community, it could surprise on the night.

Prediction 8th.

San Marino – Adrenalina – Senhit featuring Flo Rida

Betting Odds – 40/1

Verdict – Yes you read correctly, Flo RIda has collaborated on this year’s San Marino Eurovision entry. To put this into a footballing perspective, this is a bit like when Socrates signed for Garforth Town.

San Marino always struggles with Eurovision, mainly due to the lack of talent pool to pick from with only 30,000 or so residents. But with a year to prepare for this event, the creative team have concocted something special.

An absolute banger using Eritrean musical instruments to create a bop with arabic undertones. Flo RIda makes his appearance 2/3rd of the way through with his little rap section definitely adds to the overall quality of the track. It’s still to be determined whether he will actually appear in Rotterdam, and much of the Sammarinese hopes will hang on that. But if he does, 40/1 is far too big.

Prediction 2nd. 

Serbia – Hurricane – Loco Loco

Betting Odds – 500/1

Verdict – For a 500/1 outsider, this is a really decent dance track. Hurricane are a 3 piece girl group who have gone with a toe tapper with just a hint of Eastern flair. Currently sitting in the top 5 of most streamed songs in March, regular top 15 in polling and mainstream radio appeal, the price doesn’t really make any sense.

I would be a strong advocate of taking the near even money to qualify from the semi, the 20/1 to be top 10 on the big night and at least hold a bit of the 500s for outright, with the opportunity to trade back out.

Prediction 11th

Slovenia – Ana Soclic – Amen

Betting Odds – 300/1

Verdict – Back to another power ballad from Slovenia, which to give Ana her credit, is well sung. This would fall into the more archetypical song category you would expect from Eurovision, but because of that, it lacks any standout qualities and could well miss the cut for the final.

Prediction – Finalist outside of top 15. 

Spain – Blas Cantó – Voy a quedarme

Betting Odds – 500/1

Verdict – Spain have played it safe in 2021 going for a pleasant but underwhelming ballad from Blas Canto. Gets it’s bye into the final from representing one of the big 5 countries but will find itself among those battling for the wooden spoon.

Prediction – Last.

Sweden – Tusse – Voices

Betting Odds – 12/1

Verdict – The sheer competitiveness of the Melodifestivalen (the Swedish selection process) makes Sweden the automatic favourites in the long term advance markets before a song has been selected. The 2021 choice from Tusse is about as weak a selection you can find from such a process.

Yes Tusse has a great voice, and as usual, the Swedes bring a radio friendly crowd pleasing song to the show. But it lacks the real star quality of previous Swedish winners, and is comfortably discarded against some of the strength in depth from the 2021 competition.

Currently 5/2 to miss a top 10 spot, this feels like nap material to hold heading into May.

Prediction – Finalist outside of top 15.

Switzerland: Gjon’s Tears – Tout l’Univers

Betting Odds 5/1

Verdict – Wow time. Gjon (pronounced John) has produced a little bit of magic which is already being touted as an all time Eurovision classic. It begins slowly and quietly, with almost whisper voices, all the while building to an ever crescendoing set of choruses.

The video is stunning, and whilst this shouldn’t be taken as a factor for a live show, he will have the same production team behind him as 2019 winner Duncan Lawrence. Polling like a champ, universal critical praise and proven evidence that his live voice is every bit as good as his studio voice leaves D’jon’s Tears set to land the 2021 crown.

Although 5/1 may seem short, you could fully expect to see this be closer to 7/4 or thereabouts on the night. Potential risks include being sung in French (no French winner since the 80’s) and being another slower paced song not having the same impact after the 2019 Netherlands win.

Having said that, I can’t see how you could have it any bigger than this price, and you know you are going to be holding a premium ticket live runner on the night.

Prediction – WINNER

Ukraine – Go_A – Shum

Betting Odds – 130/1

Verdict – Nothing quite says Eurovision like a techno rave, sung in Russian populated by a flute backing track. On paper it makes absolutely no sense, but you know what, it’s actually pretty good. Getting a load of love over in the Eastern half of the continent, a mountain of airplay and the potential to stage something spectacular, makes it a live runner at monster odds.

Ultimately, there will be a few to beat it home as it wont have wide enough appeal to win, but expect it to score well, and maybe bag a top 10 slot.

Prediction – 12th

United Kingdom – James Newman – Embers

Betting Odds – 200/1

Verdict – In a post Brexit world, it’s hard to envisage us being the toast of Europe for quite a while. As it turns out, James Newman has possibly benefitted from the year long delay to get his crack as the 2021 entry is undeniably stronger than the proposed entry for 2020.

The general feeling is that if this was submitted from another country then a top 10 would be on the cards. But it’s not, so it will definitely beat a few in, but Eurovision glory will have to wait another year at least.

Prediction – 18th 

Best Bets

Eurovision 2021 –  Switzerland (5/1 each-way William Hill)

Eurovision 2021 –  San Marino (40/1 each-way William Hill)

Eurovision 2021 –  Serbia (600/1 each-way Betfair Exchange)

Eurovision 2021 –  Azerbaijan top-10 finish (4/1 Betfair Exchange)

Eurovision 2021 –  Romania top-10 finish (2/1 Betfair Exchange)

Eurovision 2021 –  Greece top-10 finish (9/4 Betfair Exchange)

Eurovision 2021 –  Serbia top-10 finish (20/1 Betfair Exchange)

Eurovision 2021 –  Lay Sweden top-10 finish (2/5 Betfair Exchange)

Eurovision 2021 –  Estonia to qualify from the semi-final (2/1 SBK)

Eurovision 2021 –  Ireland to qualify from the semi-final (2/1 SBK)

Eurovision 2021 –  Serbia to qualify from the semi-final (9/10 Betfair Exchange)