Apr 22, 2021
Apr 22, 2021

Eurovision Song Contest 2021: Betting preview

Who are the favourites to win Eurovision 2021?

How will Eurovision 2021 work?

Eurovision betting: Things to consider

Eurovision Song Contest 2021: Betting preview

After being cancelled last year, the Eurovision Song Contest is returning in 2021 with the Netherlands as host. As an event that often proves popular with bettors, here’s everything you need to know ahead of this year’s contest, including the favourites to keep an eye out for and what to bear in mind for Eurovision betting.

Dates: May 18 (Semi-final 1), May 20 (Semi-final 2), and May 22, 2021 (Final)

Venue: Rotterdam Ahoy, Netherlands

What is the Eurovision Song Contest?

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual music competition organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which is contested by European countries (plus Australia since 2015). Entering countries must submit a song specifically written for the contest which is no greater than three minutes in length, in a bid for it to be crowned the year’s best song.

Eurovision is comprised of two semi-finals that are traditionally held on the Tuesday and Thursday during the week of the contest, before the final which is staged on the Saturday evening.

In the final, all participating countries (including those who failed to qualify from the semi-finals) submit two sets of points: one decided by a professional jury and one that tallies votes from viewers watching at home. Both sets award 12 points to their favourite song, 10 to their second favourite song, and eight to one to their third through to 10th favourite song respectively.

The final results are announced with a spokesperson for each country listing the jury points, before the televote points are collated and revealed at the end to determine the overall winner.

How will Eurovision 2021 work?

Traditionally, the country that wins Eurovision hosts it the following year. The 2020 contest was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning the Netherlands will stage it on this occasion after Duncan Laurence won in 2019 with his song Arcade. The EBU stated that while countries were permitted to enter the same artist as last year, they could not enter the same song.

COVID-19 considerations are still impacting this year’s contest. The EBU have stated that it will be hosted under ‘Scenario B’, meaning the Rotterdam Ahoy arena will be filled with no more than 80% of total possible spectators and entering artists can stage their performance virtually if desired or required.

39 countries have entered Eurovision 2021, of which 33 will compete in the two semi-finals both offering 10 places in the final. The other six countries – host nation the Netherlands and the ‘Big Five’ (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK) – are granted automatic final spots to comprise a total of 26 finalists on May 22.

Eurovision 2021: Who are the favourites?





Destiny - Je me casse



Barbara Pravi - Voila



Gjon's Tears - Tout l'Univers



Maneskin - Zitti e buoni



Victoria - Growing Up Is Getting Old



Daði og Gagnamagnið - 10 Years



Tusse - Voices



Tix - Fallen Angel


The betting market is led by three contenders that the odds are struggling to separate. Malta’s (5.200*) entry is the swing-influenced Je me casse by 18-year-old Destiny, who has previously enjoyed Eurovision success by winning the Junior contest in 2015 and may be familiar to those in the UK after appearing on Britain’s Got Talent two years later.

Bulgaria were the favourites to win last year's contest before it was cancelled.

Her vocal style has been compared to “Lizzo and Christina Aguilera rolled into one”, while the song itself is described as “a catchy and upbeat tribute to unreserved female empowerment”.

After penning the song that won Junior Eurovision last year, Barbara Pravi is taking to the stage this time round for France (5.220*) with Voila. The song won their national selection competition in emphatic fashion, and in a similar vein the “proudly French” tune documents the struggles of a young woman attempting to find her place in society.

Gjon’s Tears is representing Switzerland (5.540*) with the dramatic Tout l'Univers, a song encompassing a potentially recurring theme among this year’s entries of attempting to spread love during difficult times. The 22-year-old is already somewhat well-known elsewhere in Europe, having previously topped the charts in Albania with his 2018 single Babi.

Trailing closely behind is rock band Maneskin with Zitti e buoni for Italy (7.590*). The four-piece shot to fame in their home nation after appearing on X Factor in 2017 and have since enjoyed two number one albums and six top 10 singles. Their unique and pounding entry features a rap sequence from lead singer Damiano David and is perhaps the most favoured rock-themed entry at the contest since Lordi’s Hard Rock Hallelujah won for Finland in 2006.

Other songs to keep an eye out for include Bulgaria (10.530*) with Victoria’s Growing Up Is Getting Old. Victoria was the outright favourite to win last year’s contest before it was cancelled, and while as mentioned she has had to change her song, the dream pop number has been praised for its powerful topic of mental health issues among young people.

Eurovision 2021 betting: Things to consider

Due to a combination of the voting rules, annual change in performers, and alleged politically motivated favouritism cited as capable of influencing the results, bettors often have to ignore several metrics that would be habitually considered in sports betting when making Eurovision predictions.

Recent results suggest that voters prefer tunes down the more melancholic end of the scale.

For instance, historical data is largely irrelevant. Indeed, Ireland have won the contest a record seven times but failed to qualify for the final in but all one of their last six attempts, whereas the UK have finished in the top three on 22 occasions, but have not achieved this feat since 2002.

Instead, it is more proficient to analyse which types of song often breed Eurovision success. While songs must be written specifically for the contest, they are allowed to be commercially released from September 1 of the previous year, meaning there is incentive to ensure that it builds hype and momentum across the continent.

As a consequence, quite often a song will do well simply if it is already popular. In 2019, Italy finished as runners-up with Mahmood’s Soldi – notably before the contest, it had charted in other countries such as Croatia and Switzerland and racked up over 45 million streams on Spotify.

Recent results also suggest that voters prefer tunes down the more melancholic end of the scale. A study deemed that of the 14 winners between 2006 and 2019, nine could be broadly deemed “sadder than the average song”, and appropriately the same number were performed in a minor key.

This trend has not gone unnoticed among entries, and the songs in 2018 and 2019 were rated as 30% sadder on average than those in the final a decade before.

The last six Eurovision winners all closed with odds of 4.000 or less at Pinnacle.

With this in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that high-tempo Europop-style entries are ill-advised. During the last decade, the song with the fastest BPM in the final went on to finish in the bottom two on four occasions.

As mentioned, you also need to consider the regional voting blocs capable of influencing the results independently of these factors. Countries with close political and/or geographical ties have been frequently inclined to give each other points, meaning the televote results can often be palpably difficult to those decided by the juries.

A study determined that between 1997 and 2017, the most consistent voting blocs were between the following countries:

  • Albania, Cyprus, and Greece
  • Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine
  • Belgium and the Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Turkey, and Serbia
  • Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden
  • Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
  • Ireland, Malta, and the UK
  • Moldova and Romania

Lastly, it is also worth simply noting that in recent years, countries predicted to do well at Eurovision have done so. The last six winners all closed with odds of 4.000 or less at Pinnacle, while in 2019 the Netherlands topped the scoreboard as predicted and the next three favourites (Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland) all finished within the top five.

Who do you think will win Eurovision 2021? Check out the latest odds for our Eurovision markets with Pinnacle.

Odds subject to change

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