In the last couple of days we have seen polls from the Press Centre confirm most of the bookmakers’ odds on the first semi-final, but as we review the odds on qualification from the second semi-final, it’s clear that here there is a big difference between the polls and where the money is going. Once again we have used the bookmakers’ odds on qualification from the semis and converted them to a probability factor.
In the second semi-final, four songs are already home and dry, based on the bookmakers odds, Norway has a 91% chance of qualifying (up 3% on a week ago), Georgia is also 91% (up 5%), Azerbaijan is 89% certain (up 6%) and Greece is 88% (up 4%). It would be a major shock if these countries do not fill four of the six slots on Thursday night, as no song with a probability of more than 75% has lost out in the semi, although Sweden came very close in 2008.
After that things get a lot more complicated, as nine countries can make a case for filling the other six slots. Best placed is Malta on 71% (up 3%) and San Marino looking to qualify for the first time on 68% (also up 3%). Support for Israel has dropped to 65% (down 2%) but they are still the 7th most likely qualifier, just ahead of Finland on 61% (unchanged). These four countries look the most likely to make the cut.
The last two slots are wide open. Bulgaria has climbed 5% since rehearsals started and now stand on 58%. Armenia has slipped 6% to 57% and now shares 10th place with Albania who are also on 57%, down 2%. Iceland is on 52%, up 1%. Just below these countries, Romania is on 41% (down 2%) and Switzerland on 40% after dropping a significant 7%. It may be somewhat surprising to see Romania ranked so low, given their previous 100% qualification record and the fact that they are the last country to perform in the Thursday show.
If you are looking for an outsider to qualify, that may make you a bit of money, three countries look to be out of the race at this stage, based on the odds. Hungary are on 32% (down 5%) while Macedonia and Latvia are both on 19%, both down 2%.
There is no question that this is a far more open semi-final than he first show on Tuesday night and it’s highly likely that there will be a shock or two on the night.
Guest Author Keith Mills of AKOE