The Oscars are the movie event of the season. Film fanatics eagerly watch to see which of their favorites take home top honors in a night full of glitz and glamour. Ahead of this year’s ceremony, which takes place Sunday, March 12 at 8 p.m. ET, we look at Oscars odds and offer up some betting tips and picks.
For sports bettors, the Oscars are a great opportunity to use betting theory to place positive expectation wagers. Sportsbooks have made betting markets available for each of the top categories at this year’s Oscars — at least in states where betting on the event has been approved. By combining a few notable betting trends with some simple game theory, we can target a number of the night’s top awards.
Odds To Win Oscar for Best Picture
“Everything Everywhere All At Once” (EEAAO) leads this year’s list of films with 11 Oscar Nominations. The sci-fi comedy has been the darling of the awards circuit this year, having already won 336 awards across more than 700 nominations.
“The Banshees of Inisherin” and “All Quiet On The Western Front” are tied with nine Oscars nominations apiece. Other films with multiple nominations include “The Fabelmans”, “Avatar: The Way of Water”, “Tar”, “Top Gun: Maverick” and a few others.
Oscars Betting Tips
The Oscars have a history of awarding the betting favorites. Longshot winners have popped up here and there throughout the history of the event, but most years come and go without many surprises.
With that in mind, there are a number of categories I would avoid altogether. But there is one betting trend to target. The Oscars love to spread out awards to the best handful of films of the year.
“EEAAO” leads all films with 11 nominations. The film is also the betting favorite in most of its categories. That doesn’t mean it will win every Oscar it’s nominated for. The Academy likes to give Oscars to a number of films that do not win Best Picture.
Here are my best bets for the Oscars from the top legal sportsbooks.
Let’s start with a dud of a pick! A complete pass on Best Picture! How’s THAT for compelling content?
All signs point to “EEAAO” taking home the night’s top prize. Sportsbooks are forcing bettors to lay a big price odds on the sci-fi blockbuster. It was a great film and is well deserved of the Oscar for Best Picture. But at these odds? No thanks.
The Bet: Pass
Don’t lay the heavy juice on Best Picture. Instead, let’s use this information to build a compelling betting narrative for other categories.
“EEAAO” is expected to win the award for Best Director. The tag team of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert is the front-runner at -1200. It’s tempting to peak a bit further down the board, but this feels like a foregone conclusion.
Two-time Oscar winner Stephen Spielberg is the second favorite at +600. I just don’t see the Academy handing him a third statue for his work on “The Fabelmans” over Kwan and Scheinert.
The Bet: Pass
I promise we won’t pass on EVERY category. I’ve listed Best Picture and Best Director first to better inform the picks below! Keep reading!
Oscar Betting Pick: Best Actor
Brendan Fraser (-159) and Austin Butler (+120) are the top two favorites to take home the Best Actor Oscar. Both performances were terrific, and the pair have split the majority of the Best Actor trophies on the award circuit this year. Fraser claimed the Critics’ Choice Award and the SAG trophy, but Butler won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA.
The Bet: Austin Butler (+120)
This is a numbers play on what appears to be a 50/50 shot. The Oscars love to give the Best Actor trophy for a biographical picture. The Best Actor statue has gone to someone portraying a real person 27 times in Academy Awards history, including 12 times in the last 20 years. At plus-money, Butler is the play here.
Longshot Oscar Betting Pick for Best Actress
Michelle Yeoh (“EEAAO”) and Cate Blanchett (”Tar”) go head-to-head in this year’s Best Actress race. Each took home a Golden Globes Award earlier this year, Yeoh for Musical/Comedy and Blanchett for Drama. They’ve also split major awards throughout the circuit, with Yeoh claiming the SAG and Blanchett taking the BAFTA.
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Yeoh or Blanchett winning Best Actress, but there’s a sneaky angle to consider here.
The Bet: Andrea Riseborough +2900
Bang! Our one truly massive longshot of the night.
We see it in sports quite often. The league MVP trophy goes to someone who hasn’t won before. Members of the Academy could experience similar “voter fatigue” here rather than award Blanchett her third Oscar. That’s a nudge in the direction of Yeoh. However, if my narrative is correct and “EEAAO” wins both Best Picture and Best Director, voters may want to award a different film here. That’s a boon for Blanchett.
Or! The two leading ladies cancel each other out and we see a stunning upset. That leaves Michelle Williams, Ana de Armas, or, my pick, Andrea Riseborough.
Riseborough’s nomination was such a shock the Academy conducted a review into the nomination process. Her performance was truly groundbreaking in “To Leslie”, and the added media exposure may have forced voters to take a closer look at the film.
It’s a longshot, but the angle is there for a backdoor Riseborough win.
Best Supporting Actor
Ke Huy Quan will win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar on Sunday. He’s won more than 50 awards this year for his role in “EEAAO”. It’s unlikely the Academy denies him the ultimate prize.
The Bet: Pass.
Quan will win, but there’s no betting value at -5000. Next.
Oscars Pick: Best Supporting Actress
What once appeared to be a runaway for Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) is now a three-horse race. Both Jamie Lee Curtis (“EEAAO”) and Kerry Condon (“Banshees of Inishirin”) have picked up momentum heading into the Oscars. Bassett (+125) maintains her lead, but Curtis (+150) and Condon (+225) have closed the gap considerably.
The Bet: Angela Bassett (+110)
Bassett’s odds to win Best Supporting Actress were as low as – 600 ahead of Curtis’ surprise win at the SAG Awards. With “EEAAO” expected to win a few major awards, I love Bassett to snag the Best Supporting Actress trophy. It would be the first Oscar for the Marvel cinematic universe which, frankly, is long overdue for Oscars recognition.
Oscars Pick: Best Original Screenplay
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. “EEAAO” is the betting favorite in this Oscars category. The bonkers sci-fi screenplay written by Kwan and Scheinert sits at -110 to win the Best Original Screenplay Oscar. The script was truly unique, and another win in this top category would not surprise me. But I’m going in a different direction here…
The Pick: “Banshees of Inisherin” (+150)
The Best Original Screenplay Oscar is the award most frequently used as a Best Picture consolation prize. Of the nine nominations for “Banshees of Inisherin”, this award seems the most likely. Martin McDonagh has been nominated twice in this category before, for 2009’s “In Bruges” and 2017’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri”.
With “EEAAO” expected to win the Oscar for both Best Picture and Best Director, awarding “Banshees of Inisherin” for Best Original Screenplay fits the betting narrative nicely here.
Can You Bet on the Oscars?
The answer depends on the state you’re in. Before a sportsbook offers wagering on an event, it must be approved by a state’s gaming regulators.
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