Eurovision Semi-Final 1 Betting Tips: Croatia 7/4 to win

 | 6th May | 

5 mins read

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With the grand finale of Eurovision looming on the horizon, anticipation is at an all-time high for what promises to be one of the most closely-contested competitions in recent years. As the probability margins between this year’s top frontrunners narrow to a hair's breadth, the excitement is palpable.

As we approach the semi-finals, showbiz specialist Kayley Cornelius takes a look at this year’s frontrunners …

Eurovision Semi Final 1 Betting Tips

  •  Croatia to win 7/4

A surprising start as Croatia emerges as the frontrunner heading into the semi-finals, marking a notable departure for a nation that has historically grappled to secure victory in the song contest. Croatia, one of the few countries yet to clinch the coveted title, has faced persistent challenges in qualification. It wasn't until last year that they made their breakthrough onto the leaderboard, clinching the 13th spot. Naturally, the odds shouldn’t be in their favour, so, what has changed?  

Representing Croatia this year is ‘Baby Lasagna’, who appears to have hit the mark with Eurovision fans with his song ‘Rim Tim Tagi Dim’. The track draws elements of rock, rap, metal and is heavily reminiscent of 2021 winners, Måneskin, who have gone on to be one of the most successful and renowned Eurovision acts of recent years. Taking inspiration from what is proven to be successful could be a smart move from Croatia and could lead them to their first Eurovision victory if Baby Lasagna can deliver a strong performance on Tuesday night.

Switzerland @ 100/30 

Following very closely behind Croatia is Switzerland, who were leading the way in the betting markets until early last week. This year’s representative, Nemo, completely contrasts Baby Lasagna as the popstar’s competition song ‘The Code’ tells the story of Nemo's realisation of being non-binary and plays on binary computer code, and has proved to be hugely popular with Eurovision fans so far.

The probability margin between Croatia and Switzerland has remained exceedingly narrow since the markets first opened, and tomorrow evening may well unveil a definitive frontrunner. It appears to be shaping up as a showdown between rock and pop in Malmo, determining who will ultimately seize that Eurovision win.

Ukraine @ 4/1

This year's Ukrainian entry to Eurovision is the melodic song "Maria & Teresa" by long-time collaborators Jerry Heil and alyona alyona. Together, they represent a new generation of original Ukrainian artists mixing different genres and styles, like pop, hip-hop, RnB, and traditional Ukrainian folk. In Ukraine, singer Jerry Heil is known for her distinctive singing style and witty songs, and rapper alyona alyona has been hailed for her versatile flow and relatable lyrics. 

While Ukraine showcases a lot of talent and I believe they will get high-scores from the judges, without a strong stage presence to go alongside their performance, I’m unsure that the same support will be reciprocated by the viewers at home and we could see their odds be shortened tomorrow night. 

Italy @ 5/1

Italy holds a strong track-record when it comes to Eurovision and will prove a tough competition for any act looking to land within the top 5. Despite not winning the contest since 2021, Italy have not ranked any lower than 6th place in recent years and look on track to land within the top 5 again this year with this year’s representative Angelina Mango. Her entry to the competition ‘La Noia’ has been a hit amongst Eurovision fans, and since the end of what looked to be a promising round of rehearsals, we have witnessed the odds for Italy be boosted.

While it’s looking unlikely that Angelina will be able to replicate the same success as Måneskin, with the gap between Ukraine and Italy so small, there’s a strong potential Italy could still rank within the top 3. 

Netherlands @ 10/1

The Netherlands have yo-yoed up and down the betting markets since they opened – starting in joint 7th position alongside Sweden and Iceland, this year’s representative, Joost Klein, managed to boost the odds for his country with his techno hit ‘Europa’, and peaked in the betting markets when he was positioned in 3rd place narrowly behind Croatia and Switzerland. 

However, it all started to go pear-shaped for Joost Klein after snippets from the first rehearsals were released online where the singer’s vocals were heavily criticised, and many fans were left confused by what to actually expect from Joost’s upcoming performance as there were no major giveaways. 

While Joost may have strong support from the fans at home, many are now starting to question how well the judges will score his unique offering, which has contributed to his odds dwindling over the course of last week. 

I don’t think this is entirely game over for the Netherlands  just yet — Joost has been open throughout the competition that he was going to keep his performance a surprise and seems to be going for the element of surprise tactic which is a massive risk to play, and tomorrow night I think we’ll see if it’s going to work in his favour or not, so they’re definitely ones to keep your eye on.

Do I think the Netherlands have what it takes to win? At this rate, unfortunately not. However, if Joost manages to pull off a set of amazing performances this week that live up to viewers expectations, I definitely believe he has a strong chance of ranking within the top 3.

What about the United Kingdom?

When Olly Alexander, the lead singer of Years & Years, was revealed as the UK's Eurovision representative during last year's Strictly Come Dancing, optimism soared for a potential victory. His song "Dizzy" initially garnered significant favouritism in the competition, however, as the main event draws near, his odds have dwindled, now standing at 50/1, on par with Greece. 

Sam Ryder remains the UK's most successful recent entrant, achieving second place in 2022 with his song "Space Man." The last time the UK claimed victory in Eurovision was in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves' hit "Love Shine a Light."

While the UK may not be on track for a victory this year, we are expected to rank amongst the top 10 which is a significant improvement on last year’s second to last result.

Eurovision Betting tips from Betfred Insights.

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