This is an excellent semi-final, unfortunately it doesn’t provide many betting opportunities. Year on year Eurovision is becoming more like men’s tennis. A decade ago you could’ve looked at this semi and priced up five of the field in the 1.0x range, but would’ve been able to back them at 1.1x to 1.3x. The market is so much shrewder now due to the amount of trading that’s getting done throughout the national finals stage.

Romania

Although there’s less opportunities to be had at this stage, it doesn’t mean there’s no bets. On A Sunday, by Ester Peony is a song my numbers highlighted as underrated.

Even in a very strong year and in a strong semi-final there’s something about this entry that stands out. Reports suggest that Ester was vocally excellent last night and the staging worked well. Personally I like the lyrics, they’re memorable to the casual viewer along with a solid background beat.

The staging features a giant clock and shades of blue (runs at York today, back it). Ester is flanked by two backing dancers, coupled with the interesting visual it makes a compelling watch.

The concerns with the act would be the that it’s on early in a show, 6th, with a number of stand out acts to follow. However it’s main rivals in the qualification market, Armenia and Denmark, are on 1st and 7th. My ratings suggest that Romania offer a superior package to either of those and should be ahead of them inthe betting.

History & Diaspora

Since Romania first entered Eurovision in 1993, they’ve only failed to qualify on three occasions. Their debut year, 1996 and 2018. They’re a country with a large diaspora. Being in a semi-final with Moldova will always be helpful to them. However what is potentially more useful is having Italy and Germany voting in this semi. Both of those countries have large Romanian communities. Having The UK voting in this semi-final is also an added bonus, with a fair sized Romanian population and no Polish act to hoover up the votes, I’d imagine Romania will do well in the scoring.

At odds-against, I’m involved tonight. I expect all of you to pick up your phones and give Ester some votes.

BACK ROMANIA TO QUALIFY @ 2.25