Eurovision odds: Best Bets for the first semi-final on Tuesday

Our Eurovision number crunchers have weighed up the odds on the first semi-final - here's Andrew Cunneen's best bets for it


Eurovision 2023 – Semi Final 1 Best Bets

Sweden to Win Semi-Final #1
Value Bet: Serbia to Win Semi-Final #1
Netherlands to Qualify
Ireland to Qualify

Here we go – get your Eurovision bingo cards ready, it’s time for the manic May moment once again as a load of far-older-than-they-should-be-for-the-carry-on-of-them hopefuls aim to launch their nation to the forefront of a Spotify playlist for a month and send them into debt due to the hosting costs of the following year.

And I understand a lot of you are cynical when it comes to this stuff. Well, I’m here to tell you that I’m Irish, and therefore it’s the one thing I hold onto, as we’re record holders in this competition, winning a wild seven times.

We’ve actually put Johnny Logan in a freeze and we’re hoping to thaw him out each year for the next twenty in order to maintain the status quo.

But a lot of people seem to think that the Eurovision is either random or political. Look, it can definitely be the latter but it’s far from the former.

I’m here to guide you through the key indicators of who’ll make it through the first semi-final on Tuesday night – and tell you whether Ireland have a hop in hell or not.

Spoiler alert: We might.

Sweden to Win Semi-Final #1

I completely understand why Finland are the favourite to win this semi-final, and why they’re near-favourites to win the competition outright.

But Loreen is a big enough name to overcome the voting changes to the semi-final because she’s the winner of a previous edition with one of the catchiest tunes in the history of the competition.

Yes, the televote now stands for everything in the semis rather than the jury-led voting which is why there’s disparity in the prices, but getting an established name back should help them overcome.

Carola’s 1983 appearance certainly aided her winning the 1991 edition of this competition and I expect the same here.

Serbia to Win Semi-Final #1

While Sweden’s entry is a safer play in semi-final 1, at the prices, Serbia is worth a nibble too.

They’re this long in the betting because of where they’re placed in the running order, but I will point out that their production/melody is the most striking of all the entries on night one.

Luke Black might strike you as a bloke from east London by name, but his piercing Serbian stare reminds you well that you’re far from home, as he lays out on a bed of ice surrounded by monsters.

For the price, take a punt here.

Netherlands to Qualify

The Netherlands won the thing in 2019 because they sang in English – a key element to success based on historical trends.

The contest was cancelled in 2020; they brought in an odd Tongan dialect into the mishap in 2021, and then sang in Dutch last year.

Going back to basics, combined with singing second-to-last in the running order should favour them massively.

Fourteen of the first twenty-four acts performing in last year’s semi-final missed out. Short memories and all that, eh?

Ireland to Qualify

Oh here he goes, now.

No, honestly – bear with me for now.

Of the odds-against nations who aren’t directly following Sweden here, it’s worth noting that Ireland are on latest and given the price, it’s good enough for me.

That, and the fact that when I listen to the song, I immediately hear the familiar structure of U2’s ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ could well resonate with a global audience.

Eurovision 2023 – Semi Final 1 Best Bets

Sweden to Win Semi-Final #1
Value Bet: Serbia to Win Semi-Final #1
Netherlands to Qualify
Ireland to Qualify

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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