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Betting on Eurovision

Since 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest has lit up our screens and radios every single May. The tournament is the longest-running annual international televised musical competition in the world and is one of the world's longest running television programmes. 52 Countries have entered the competition in it's history with 27 of those being the outright winner of that years tournament. Switzerland and Lys Assia won the original contest with the song "Refrain". Who will win this years tournament and who will make the Grand Final?

How does Eurovision work?

To understand the methods behind Eurovision betting, you must have at least an incline of how Eurovision works as the competition. Eurovision is split into three shows, two semi-finals and one final. The European Broadcasting Union organises the competition and one act will represent their country every year. Each country has until March to pick their song and artist, the methods of which are different in every country, some countries have their own contests to determine the outright winner for their own country. All chosen participants then compete at the Eurovision Song Contest, which is held every May.

Traditionally, the first of the semi-finals takes place on Tuesday Evening with the second taking place on Thursday Evening before a Grand Final which takes place on Saturday night and determines the outright winner of the competition. Every country outside of the 'Big Five' broadcasting countries and the host nation will battle it out in the semi-finals before being joined by the Big Five in the final. For this season, Eurovision odds for the top five are typically lower than expected until the final line-up is concluded.

The rules for the tournament are as follows

  • Songs must be 100% original and no more than 3 minutes in length
  • Lead vocals must be performed live
  • No more than six performers may be on the stage during one performance.

After all countries have performed their songs, a judging panel in each country will give points out to their top 10 acts. These points are tallied up to accumulate the country's votes. During this time, fans around the world will be voting for their favourite acts and the 10 countries with the most votes will be given a points total from that country, similar to the judges' votes.

Eurovision Betting Markets

Eurovision Outright Winner Betting

The main betting market for Eurovision is of course, the outright winner market where odds for each country to win the Eurovision Song Contest are shown. These will vary at different times of the competition with the Big Five often taking high spots in the betting due to their guaranteed entry into the Grand Final. However, once the songs are announced and bookies have had a chance to listen to the music, you often find the betting odds for these countries significantly shifts. What time would be recommend you place this bet? In our opinion, this bet should only be placed after all acts have been announced and you have an opportunity to judge the music.

Eurovision Final Qualification Betting

Perhaps the easiest market to bet on is the qualification betting for the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, odds for this market will be significantly lower as typically half of the field qualifies for the next round of the competition, so if the likes of Sweden produce a semi-decent song, you know it's virtually guaranteed that they'll qualify while smaller countries tend to struggle and are best to avoid for bets. However, with that being said, if you believe that the best song at the Eurovision Song Contest is from a smaller country, you could find fantastic betting odds for that bet.

Eurovision Host City Betting

When a nation wins Eurovision, they have to choose a city in that nation to host the competition. If you're in a smaller country, it is highly likely that the capital city will play host to the event. However, countries such as the UK, France, Italy and more, may choose some of their secondary cities to host the music contest. For example, for the 2023 event, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield were all nominated to host the event with Liverpool being victorious and hosting the competition.

Eurovision 2023 Betting

As it stands, we currently don't know all of the acts for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. However, the current favourite are 2022 winners Ukraine, who with the betting odds are given a 20%+ chance of winning the tournament with the likes of Italy and United Kingdom just behind. The current issues between Russia and Ukraine mean that Russia will be banned from taking part in the contest and will likely sway the public vote in Ukraine's favour, giving them the best chance of victory in the bookmakers eyes.

The 2023 competition will be held in Liverpool due to host nation Ukraine being unable to host the event. As the UK finished second, winning the Jury vote, they fell short in the Televoting and ended up losing out to Ukraine who came from 90 points behind to win the tournament with the largest share of Televoting points in history with only 11 nations failing to give them full points and their lowest score being a 7. Their closest competitiors the UK, recieved less than 7 points from 15 countries, meaning that Ukraine could have won with just 28 points from the Jury.

Eurovision Betting: History of Winners

15 countries have won the Eurovision Song Contest more than once in their history. Find all nations that have won the competition multiple times with their details below.

Number of Wins Nation Last Win
7 Ireland 1996
6 Sweden 2015
5 Netherlands 2019
5 United Kingdom 1997
5 Luxembourg 1983
5 France 1977
4 Israel 2018
3 Ukraine 2022
3 Italy 2021
3 Denmark 2013
3 Norway 2009
2 Austria 2014
2 Germany 2010
2 Switzerland 1988
2 Spain 1969

It may come as a massive surprise to many that Ireland sit at the top of the outright winners board. They haven't won the competition since winning four in five years between 1992 and 1996 and are often closer to the bottom of our Eurovision odds now instead of at the top. However, as we learned from the United Kingdom in 2022, things can change very quickly, as the UK went from nil points in 2021 to second place behind Ukraine in 2022 with Sam Ryder.

Eurovision Betting FAQs

Who are the big five in Eurovision?

The Big Five in Eurovision are France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. This is down to the size of the broadcasting agency rather than their performance in the music tournament, meaning, this should in no way influence your bets.

Are Australia in Eurovision?

Yes. Australia are taking part in Eurovision. Despite Australia being outside of the European Broadcasting Area, the ORF permitted Australia an entry in the 2015 contest as the SBS released "Tonight Again" by Guy Sebastian. For the 60th Anniversary, they were invited as a "gesture of goodwill" and have been consistent at the tournament since due to their popularity.

What are UK odds for Eurovision 2023?

The United Kingdom typically underperform at every Eurovision but they nearly always sit near of the top of the betting odds ahead of the tournament, before the acts were announced the UK sat at 7/1 to win the competition which seems fair given the performance of Sam Ryder and the fact that Liverpool is the host city. However, no host nation has ever won the Eurovision Song Contest in it's history.

Where can I watch and bet on the Eurovision Song Contest?

The Eurovision Song Contest can be viewed on the BBC platform for all three nights of action. If you're looking to bet on the competition as you watch, you can do so at BetUK.

Who won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest?

Kalush Orchestra were the winners of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest representing the country Ukraine. Sam Ryder represented the UK and finished second behind Kalush Orchestra who went on to finish with 631 points, the second highest total in history behind Salvador Sobral with 'Amar Pelos Dios'.