The Oscars have arrived! After months of buildup, the Academy Awards will finally air live on Sunday night. The Oscars are the Super Bowl for movies. I, along with millions of other fans, will tune in to have our dreams crushed when A Star Is Born loses almost every major category. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, folks.
However, there are other reasons to watch the ceremony. In particular, I want to focus on betting. It’s 2019 so if you live in America, you can pretty much bet on anything. What’s more fun than winning (and losing) money? I’m here to give you some advice on how to bet the Oscars in general and the picks I’m circling on my board for Sunday. Here are a few disclaimers.
- Favorites Win A Lot – This doesn’t help when it comes to making money, but it does pay off to pick favorites if you are doing an Oscars pool where you have to pick winners without odds.
- Look For Bets With The Best Value – The bets I’m suggesting to make are not “locks.” Most of them are underdogs and long shots. They may not win, but it’s your best chance at making money. In order to make the most money while putting down small values, you need to bet underdogs. Some of the odds of the favorites are ridiculous. For example, Mahershala Ali’s odds to win are -1400. That means if you bet $10, you will win 71 cents, which is a pointless bet. However, in that same supporting category, Richard E. Grant’s odds to win are +700. So if you bet $10, you would win $70. These are the bets I’m looking to place. The trick is to pick your spots wisely.
- Bet At Your Own Risk – I’m not legally obligated to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway. Have fun, but be smart!
*All odds taken via 8:00 PM EST on February 21, 2019 from Bovada. They may be subject to change.
Best Supporting Actress
This race is extremely close and almost a toss up. Regina King won in the supporting category at the Golden Globes, but it’s alarming that she lost at the SAG Awards and received no nomination at the BAFTAs. I did mention that I tend to not bet favorites, but -280 is really not that bad for a favorite. If you wanted to bet King here, I like those odds. However, if you want the best value, Rachel Weisz at +800 is a lucrative bet to place because she has a very good chance of pulling the upset. Weisz has gained some major steam after her BAFTA win in this very category a week ago. King will probably end up winning, but for betting, the best value is Weisz +800.
Best Supporting Actor
I am avoiding this category at ALL COSTS. Mahershala Ali has won every supporting actor category at every awards show under the sun. If you feel the need to put money down, which you shouldn’t, I’d put it on Sam Elliot. He may never receive another nomination so it would be a wonderful surprise if Elliot wins. However, keep the money in your pocket. To quote Ms. Ariana Grande, “Thank you, next.”
Best Documentary Feature
This is the closest race of the night. There are two films that can win and I like both of their odds. Free Solo at -200 is very enticing to bet on as a favorite. Free Solo has picked up some important hardware at the Toronto International Film Festival and most recently, the BAFTAs. RBG also has some wins to its name including the best documentary according to the National Board of Review. I can’t stress how close this race is going to be. According the GoldDerby, Free Solo has a 22.6% chance of winning while RBG has a 21.59% chancing of winning. I personally believe Free Solo is going to win so therefore, I would bet it at -200, but if you sprinkle some money on RBG, I don’t blame you whatsoever.
Best Actor / Best Actress
I’m only including these categories to say that both Glenn Close and Rami Malek are as close to sure-things as you can get. Both have wins at major awards shows and both are huge favorites. If I had to say what is your best value bet for both categories, I lean towards Olivia Colman +300. Colman won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy / Musical and the BAFTA for Best Actress with the latter being a win over the favorite, Glenn Close. Momentum is on Colman’s side so she has a better chance at an upset than Christian Bale.
Best Picture is the crème de la crème of awards season. Just like last year when The Shape of Water took home the top prize in an uneven year, this year has the same feeling of unpredictability. Even while I’m typing this sentence, I’m still unsure as to what will end up winning. Right now, my choice would be Roma. It’s tied for the most nominations this year with 10, it has Best Picture wins at the Critics’ Choice Awards and BAFTAs, and it’s already a lock in a few categories such as Best Director. However, Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Black Panther all picked up huge wins at either the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. Plus, there’s A Star Is Born, who could still find a way to come out of nowhere to pull off the upset. For our purpose, there are two bets to make, Green Book +360 and Black Panther +3000. Despite controversies with its screenwriter and director, Green Book still has a lot of support within the film community. I want to zero in on Green Books’ Producer’s Guild win for Best Theatrical Motion Picture. Since 2007, the winner of this award has went on to win Best Picture 9 of the last 11 times. That’s pretty significant. Green Book has a legitimate chance to win so jump on those odds. Then, there’s Black Panther +3000. For a film that just won the SAG Award for Best Cast, which is their version of Best Picture, these are pretty high, but favorable odds. Full disclosure, I don’t think Black Panther will win on Sunday night, but if you are looking for a huge long shot with a more than realistic chance of winning, this is it.
To recap, here are my best value bets:
- Free Solo -200 OR RBG +130
- Olivia Colman +300
- Green Book + 300
- Rachel Weisz +800
- Black Panther +3000
Enjoy the Oscars!