The 91st edition of the Academy Awards will commence on Feb. 24. Now that sports betting is spreading across the country, here is a handy guide for how to wager on the Oscars this year.
Wait, you can legally bet on the Oscars?
In fact, yes. Several sportsbooks in New Jersey have established moneylines for many of the major categories.
Moneylines are an ideal betting type for this kind of wagering because they are bets about the eventual winner of the Oscar. The tricky part, instead, comes on the wagering amounts and payouts.
Bettors have no doubt seen moneylines before – they are denoted by the three-digit number next to each selection on an odds display board. However, sportsbooks interpret those numbers based upon their sign.
A positive moneyline is a statement about how much a $100 wager will pay out. So, a film or actor listed at +200 for their category would pay out $200 for a $100 bet, and the proportional equivalent for other amounts.
Conversely, a negative moneyline is the amount a bettor must wager in order to receive a $100 payout. So, a film or actor listed at -200 would require a $200 wager to pay out $100. In other words, the same $100 bet in the previous paragraph would only receive a $50 settlement.
Where can someone bet on the Oscars?
Currently, there are only a few select New Jersey sportsbooks offering bets on the Academy Awards. DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, BetStars NJ, and PointsBet will accept bets on the outcome of the nominations.
More New Jersey sportsbooks are likely to join these four as the ceremony draws closer. Frankly, many of them are probably still recovering from the Super Bowl.
However, bettors can already start making wagers on these three sportsbooks. Here are some of the current moneylines for the major categories (according to FanDuel):
- Best Picture
- A Star Is Born (+1100)
- BlackKKlansman (+1400)
- Black Panther (+1600)
- Bohemian Rhapsody (+1800)
- The Favourite (+700)
- Green Book (+330)
- Roma (-175)
- Vice (+5000)
- Best Director
- Alfonso Cuaron (-1200)
- Yorgos Lanthimos (+2500)
- Spike Lee (+700)
- Adam McKay (+2000)
- Pawl Pawkikoski (+2000)
- Best Actor
- Christian Bale (+170)
- Bradley Cooper (+900)
- Willem Dafoe (+4000)
- Rami Malek (-225)
- Viggo Mortensen (+2000)
- Best Actress
- Yalitza Aparicio (+4000)
- Glenn Close (-500)
- Olivia Colman (+500)
- Lady Gaga (+900)
- Melissa McCarthy (+3300)
- Best Supporting Actor
- Mahershala Ali (-500)
- Adam Driver (+2000)
- Sam Elliott (+700)
- Richard E. Grant (+400)
- Sam Rockwell (+2000)
- Best Supporting Actress
- Amy Adams (+200)
- Regina King (-280)
- Emma Stone (+1600)
- Maria de Tavira (+2500)
- Rachel Weisz (+1000)
FanDuel also offers betting on most of the other categories. So, bettors who really want to wager on who will win the Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling can find a home there.
One thing to note, however, is that the sportsbooks offering Oscars wagering are by no means settled on the odds they are offering. For instance,as of Feb. 5, A Star Is Born was +1100 at FanDuel to win Best Picture, +600 at DraftKings, and a whopping +2000 at PointsBet.
So, make sure to shop around for the best options in the market. There are likely some excellent opportunities lurking in these sites.
Predictions for this year’s series of awards
Of course, before placing a wager, most sports bettors would like to have some information to guide their decisions. Randomly throwing money at the Best Director race, for instance, is not a good strategy for long-term profit.
As usual, there are many online resources that offer predictions about the eventual winners of the Oscars. This year is no different, with prognostications available at sites like Awards Watch, GoldDerby, or Entertainment Weekly.
It’s possible that there is a pattern forming there. Of course, some bettors may be wondering about the methodology for making these claims.
How can the Oscar winners even be predicted?
These predictions are all well and good, but how can a bettor know if they are to be trusted? If it’s all a popularity contest, then wouldn’t the winners be quite difficult to anticipate?
As it turns out, there is a strong correlation between the eventual winner of the Oscar and the winners of various other award shows. It makes sense that the movie or performance that others laud would also be lauded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Some of the other major awards include:
- Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards
- Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards
- Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards
- Golden Globes
Of course, there’s no rule that says the Oscars will follow the outcomes of these award shows. However, a consensus winner is probably a pretty good bet to take home Oscar gold, too.
A look back at recent Oscar winners
Some of the films and performances that go onto win the Oscar remain in our collective consciousness. Others fade almost as quickly as the show ends.
So, here’s a list to remind bettors about all the winners from the last few years.
- The Shape of Water (2017)
- Moonlight (2016)
- Spotlight (2015)
- Birdman, or, The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (2014)
- 12 Years A Slave (2013)
- Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water (2017)
- Damien Chazelle – La La Land (2016)
- Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant (2015)
- Alejandro G. Iñárritu – Birdman, or, The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (2014)
- Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity (2013)
- Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour (2017)
- Casey Affleck – Manchester By The Sea (2016)
- Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant (2015)
- Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything (2014)
- Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
- Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
- Emma Stone – La La Land (2016)
- Brie Larson – Room (2015)
- Julianne Moore – Still Alice (2014)
- Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine (2013)
Best Supporting Actor
- Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
- Mahershala Ali – Moonlight (2016)
- Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies (2015)
- J.K. Simmons – Whiplash (2014)
- Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Best Supporting Actress
- Allison Janney – I, Tonya (2017)
- Viola Davis – Fences (2016)
- Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl (2015)
- Patricia Arquette – Boyhood (2014)
- Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave (2013)
It’s time to add names to this list. As Morgan Freeman once said in The Shawshank Redemption, it’s something to bet on, I guess.