BetsfactEur – Semi Final One
The world wakes to fantastic news – Betsfactor is back for a Eurovision Week Special. The one article that the globe anticipates is the annual guide to the 26 songs, that’s back on Saturday so you can enjoy the contest with all the quirky things to look out for, plus superb analysis on how each song is likely to do in the voting.
Firstly, a disclaimer – I would say my knowledge of Eurovision is patchy, I couldn’t tell you exactly who votes for who, but I’ve tried to incorporate that information in the Betsfactor MegaMatrix, a computer compiled numerical opinion database, where I have scored elements such as staging, song, betting, likely judge reaction, odds and so on. That said, I did pretty well last year and correctly predicted the winner (wow!) – and in previous years I’ve not done too badly.
In this article I’ll give you my views on Tuesday’s first semi final. In my view there are eight clear qualifiers and then perm any two from four. I won’t sit on the fence – I will name the ten I think I will qualify!
This site likes to talk about value – for friends who don’t understand this, sometimes a bet is great value even though you think the chance of it happening is still relatively slim. Like buying a £2 T Shirt from Primark. Even if it only lasts for five weeks, it’s a good value bet. If a bet is 10.0 (so you make 10 times your initial stake), but I think there’s a 25% chance of it happening, that bet is still good value, since on average 1 in 4 times you’d make 10 times your money. Throughout the week I will highlight prices that I think are good value. Just because they are good value doesn’t mean I think they are likely to happen.
One of the things that Betsfactor is known for globally is our original, patented “Traffic lights” system. Delegations from EIGHT countries will erupt in joy this afternoon and sleep easy tonight as I have rated them GREEN and sailing through to the final. FOUR are AMBER – where I think it depends on the night how they do, and FOUR are RED – which means they might as well go home and plan for 2014.
A far more entertaining guide will be written for the final on Saturday – this guide is more for the punters amongst us, who are already familiar with the songs.
Austria – RED – Mediocre song, mediocre staging, mediocre vocal. A surprisingly muted way to kick off the show. Maybe the number of ballads means this has to start, so Slovenia can shake things up.
Estonia – RED – Don’t like the effects behind her. This is just an average ballad.
Slovenia – AMBER – I like this song and think it’ll look good on the recaps, they seem to have some allies votes. However vocally I’m not convinced, the dancers are rather like her vocals. 97% of the time spot on. 97% of the time. This should not be ruled out, but at the time of writing on the Betsfactor Megamatrix it’s ranked 12th, it certainly shouldn’t be ranked 17th by the market.
Croatia – GREEN – Sailing through and I would rank this as “outperform” expectations. Not looked at the final yet, but 6.4 for the Top Ten is interesting.
Denmark – GREEN – I think this is priced correctly for the final. Great staging, loads of great pyro and glitter that says “winner” before she’s won. Remind me to write an article one day on “The Supremes” and this song….
Russia – GREEN – Through – Eurovision by numbers.
Ulkraine – GREEN – It’s the dress that I think gets this one through. Rather than the song, which is weak.
Netherlands – GREEN – This is one that is up for some debate. Not a fan of her on stage, nor does this country have loads of allies (I think!), but the vocal and difference with the song will be good enough for the juries. The Betsfactor Megamatrix ranks this 8th, so tread carefully. In my view 1.2 is poor value and shouldn’t be touched. This should be circa 1.7/1.8.
Montenegro – AMBER – I am sticking my neck out and saying this will qualify, but this is in the AMBER zone. I have big reservations about the lighting for this song, but the spacesuits are great, her vocal is great and this song is distinctive enough to get some jury love. I put some cash down, then changed my mind after seeing the staging and would say 2.6 is marginally overpricing it. Marginally.
Lithuniana – RED – Bye bye now. There is little positive to say about this song. It’s not dire, but nothing sets it apart.
Belarus – GREEN – Another song where there are some fence sitters at present. I think this is through. The discoball gives memory for televoters. It reminds me of some Greece and Cyprus entries from the last few years – short dresses, energy that thing that Daniel at the superb Sofabet calls “Ethnopop”. These type of entries have scrapped into the final in the last few years and I think this will follow suit. 1.42 looks a tiny bit expensive.
Moldova – AMBER – There is a key Betsfactor reason why I have serious reservations about this performance. See if you can spot it! However, the Betsfactor Megamatrix places this 10th, so I have to yield to the spreadsheet. This is one country that I would handle with extreme caution. I think 1.22 is far too expensive and I wouldn’t touch this at anything less than evens (2.0). It’s in the Amber Zone and the Betsfactor Megamatrix places this 10th, by a whisker ahead of Belgium. So I’ll say this makes it, but if this doesn’t qualify I won’t be too shocked.
Ireland – GREEN – This is all pretty dire, but with everything about it “adequate”, plenty of friends voting in this semi and only a couple of red flags, it’s through.
Cyprus – RED – At least they are saving their money for their economy. It’s not just the staging, the song’s weak as well….
Belguim – AMBER – This is a decent song, but I have reservations about the guy’s charisma on stage. I’m not a fan of this trend this year for the words to be on the screen like some sort of confusing karaoke competition. I think the bland staging has just pushed this to the wrong side of the “qualifying” line. More gimmicks might have saved this. the Megamatrix says “11th”, so 2.94 looks nice value.
Serbia – GREEN – It’s just the new costumes isn’t it. They look a bit “adult” in a bad way. Vocals are fine, it’s a nice Eurovisiony way to end the show and a wealth of friends suggest that this is going through – but I suspect will burn out for the final.
Let’s have some fun with the Betsfactor Bank. This is an official Betsfactor Tip:
Lithuania NOT to qualify – 1.57 (Sky Bet) +2 Points.