PredictWise Blog

Eurovision Finals - Live

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7:00 PM: Sorry to get the UK's hope up; only 2 of my 10 did not finish in the top 10! But, stoked that Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands performed to expectations. And, nice to Armenia hang in there, even if they never really regained their mojo after their semi-final round. Russia's reasonably high finish was more political than anything else ... it was getting really testy in that arena whenever anything from Russia was mentioned. Until next year ...

6:20 PM: Happy to see top three going into finals finish as top three, but Austria did leapfrog Sweden!

6:17 PM: It is going to be Austria, the Netherlands, and Sweden ...

6:14 PM: Only Netherlands and Sweden are still alive after 25 of 37 votes ... it is Austria's to lose still ...

6:03 PM: Wow!!! Sweden gave their top points to Austria ... good sports!

5:58 PM: Voting is 1/3 through and Austria and Sweden are in a tight fight for the top spot ... 75% says it is one of them! 44% for Austria and 31% for Sweden ...

5:48 PM: Voting is finally being released and crowd had to be reminded not to boo Russia ...

5:22 PM: Still voting, but the market is getting more and confident ... Betfair almost to 50% that Austria will win this one ...

5:09 PM: Here are the updated likelihoods, post-finals ... Austria goes into the voting at 39% to Sweden's 24%, and the Netherlands 13%.

4:57 PM: Netherlands was good, but not great. Going into the final competitor we have Austria at 36%, Sweden at 26%, and Netherlands at 13%. The UK is up now at 6% ...

4:45 PM: Final contenders are about to take the stage and Austria is still in the lead with 32% and Sweden with 25%. The Netherlands at 16% is up next though and the UK at 5% is last ...

4:18 PM: Everything is holding petty steady as we wait for the last of the big five in about 20 minutes ...

4:11 PM: Sweden did well, but not well enough to get that lead back from Austria. Current forecast is Austria at 34% and Sweden at 26%. The Netherlands and UK are the 24th and 26th competitors respectively (out of 26). So still waiting on them ...

4:05 PM: It is 4:05 PM in New York City, USA or 10:05 PM in Copenhagen, Denmark and I am now blogging live for the rest of the Eurovision competition. Halfway through tonight's finals there is some serious movement in the likelihoods of victory. With Armenia and Austria both already finished the crowd has spoken - Austria rocked and Armenia flopped. Austria is now at 34% likelihood for victory with Armenia down to 3%. Sweden is singing now ...


Eurovision Finals

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There has been an impressive amount of movement over the last week as the world (or is it Europe?) watched 20 of the 26 finalists compete their way through the semi-finals.

1) Three competitors shined in the semi-finals: Sweden moved from 21% to 25% likely to win the contest. Sanna Nielsen's Undo has 1.2 million YouTube views, nearly 400,000 coming since the first semi-finals. Austria and Netherlands are the more exciting story. Austria has shot from 2% to 21% after Conchita Wurst's Rise Like A Phoenix performance in the second semi-finals. It is worth a view for those of you who are not going to watch tonight ... it already has 4.8 million YouTube views. Similarly, the Netherlands moved from 1% to 18% after The Common Linnets' Calm After The Storm first semi-final performance.

2) Armenia holds on as the fourth most likely winner at 10%. After coming into the contest as the heavy favorite, Aram MP3 - Not Alone did not stun in the first semi-final, but 3.8 million YouTube views, with 1 million in the last few days since the semi-finals, shows they are still generating a lot of interest.

3) Rounding out the top five is Great Britain. As an automatic qualifier, the crowd did not get to see Molly Smitten-Downes' Children of the Universe. Thus, it is not surprising that it held on at 8% likelihood of victory.

4) Five competitors cluster between 6 and 10 on my list: Ukraine (4%), Hungary (4%), Denmark (3%), Greece (1%), and Spain (1%).

5) The remaining 16 are extremely unlikely to win.

Eurovision Semi-Final 2

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5:30 PM ET: We had another strong night tonight with our semi-final 2 predictions. All 5 of our "Very Likely" finalists breezed through the semi-finals. 2 of 3 of our "Likely" finalists won, with Israel not making it to the final. 1 of 2 "Bubbles (in)" made it with Poland in and Ireland out. 2 of 3 "Bubbles (out)" got to the finals with Lithuania missing the cut and Belarus and Slovenia triumphing. Finally, both of our "Not Likely" did not make it ...


1) Likely winner: the likely winner looks dramatically different between the two semi-finals for two reasons. First, 10 competitors who previously had to pass through the semi-finals are now in the semi-finals … getting over that barrier increases their chances of victory. Second, fans got a close look at those 10 competitors on Tuesday and it changed some rankings.

Sweden has overtaken Armenia as the most likely winner at 25% to Armenia’s 18%. Clearly Armenia’s semi-final performance was not as strong as expected as it went into the semi-finals with 32% likelihood of victory. The surprise of the day was the Netherlands that pushed up to 14% with a strong semi-finals performance.

Expect one or two of the winners of tonight’s semi-finals to vault into competition, after they escape into the final round! More details below tonight's preview ...

2) Semi-final 2: Tonight's semi-final will send 10 of 15 competitors to Saturday's finals. Here are the live predictions. This semi-final is a lot tighter than Tuesday’s semi-final with no lock and no definite misses.

Very Likely: Norway, Greece, Romania, Austria, and Malta are all over 80%. Unlike Tuesday’s semi-finals there are no locks this time!

Likely: Finland, Israel, and Switzerland are all about 75% to make it to the finals.

Bubbles (in): Poland and Ireland round out my top 10 with 67% and 62% likelihood respectively.

Bubbles (out): Belarus, Slovenia, and Lithuania are the likely competitors to pick up one or two spots in the finals at about 50% likely each.

Not Likely: Macedonia and Georgia are 22% and 14% each. Again, this is not likely, but I am not saying they are impossible.

3) Likely winner of Eurovision 2014 from before the first semi-final and now before the second semi-final:

Eurovision Semi-Final 1

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5:21 ET: All good for our first set of predictions! All 5 “locks” made it to the finals, along with 2 of 3 “likely” and 1 of 2 “bubbles (in)”. The two surprises came from 1 of 2 “not likely” and 1 of 3 “very longshots” … the 1 bubbles (out) did not make it.


I will have much more to say about this later in the week, but here is my first salvo on Euorovision 2014.

1) Likely winner: I have two clear favorites going into the contest. First, is Armenia at 31.7%. Their video, Not Alone, has been viewed 2,808,965 times on YouTube. Second, is Sweden at 21.1%. Their video, Undo, has been viewed just 820,508 time on YouTube. Finally, the most likely winner from the big European countries, Great Britain is third at 9.9%. Children of the Universe has been viewed 545,016 times on YouTube.

2) Semi-final 1: Tonight's semi-final will send 10 of 16 songs to Saturday's finals. Here are the live predictions.

Locks: Armenia, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Hungary are virtual locks to make it to the finals.

Likely: Russia, Netherlands, and Belgium are all very likely at over 75% to make it to the finals.

Bubbles (in): Montenegro is 66% and Estonia is 64% to make it to the finals, rounding out the top 10 most likely.

Bubbles (out): Moldova is 45% to squeeze into the finals.

Not Likely: Iceland and Albania are possible, but long shots at about 25% to make it into the finals.

Very Longshots: Latvia, San Marino, and Portugal are all very longshots at less than 20% to make it into the finals.

NBA Playoffs Round 2

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Our real-time updating probabilities for all of the series and all of the games is up and running ... The four 1 and 2 seeds have all reached the round 8 and are still the most likely to advance to the conference finals, but not all of them are overwhelming favorites. In expectation we expect 3 of 4 of the top seeds to advance. In order from most to least likely upset ...

1) Washington (5) 38.2% versus Indiana (1) 61.8%

Washington is in an ideal situation to upset Indiana. Indiana went seven grueling games against Atlanta (8) in round 1, when Washington was able to rest up after an easy win over Chicago (4).

2) LA Clippers (3) 37.7% versus Oklahoma City (2) 62.3%

As the only 3 or 4 seed to advance, it is not surprising that the LA Clippers are reasonable competition for Oklahoma City.

3) Portland (5) 25.0% versus San Antonio (1) 75.0%

Despite their tight victory in seven games over Dallas (8), San Antonio is still heavily favored to overcome Portland.

4) Brooklyn (6) 17.7% versus Miami (2) 82.3%

Despite going 4-0 versus Miami in the regular season, the well-rested Miami is expected to take Brooklyn easily.