Tips for Betting on the Oscars

This year’s Academy Awards started with controversy even before the nominations were announced. Thanks to furor over old, un-earthed tweets from Kevin Hart, he pulled out of hosting the ceremony, which means that the show is actually going host-less this year.

But with some surprising names appearing on the nominations lists, and some big names going head to head, there’s room for plenty of upsets on the night. Who you think will win is probably a matter of personal preference, whereas bookies have to weigh up the odds.

Check out some of the most popular categories below and the various odds being offered by the bookies, as well as some inspiration to host your own Oscars party on the night.

Best Picture

Roma, which has received a ton of praise and already performed well at the Golden Globes, leads the pack with 9 Oscar nominations. These include Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, making it hard to believe that this Netflix original film only had a limited movie showcase, probably just to be eligible for the nomination. A Star is Born is right at its heels with 8 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress.

These two are generally considered top picks to win the category, but there were some surprising nominations as well. VICE , Green Book, The Favourite and even Black Panther cracked the list for Best Picture.

Just about every bookie is confident Roma will win. Betfair has it at 11/10 odds, with Betway giving them 5/6 odds. If you still believe in A Star is Born, you’ll want to place your bet at Betway, with 9/1 odds paying out better than the 6/1 odds you’ll find at Betfred or the 4/1 odds at Betfair.

Best Actor

It’s a tight race in this category with some truly outstanding performances to choose from. The surprise hit Bohemian Rhapsody picked up 5 nominations from the Academy, including a Best Lead Actor nomination for Rami Malek. Meanwhile the sleeper hit VICE led to Christian Bale’s nomination for his uncanny portrayal of Dick Cheney. At the end of last year, most critics would have predicted a nomination and win for Bradley Cooper in this category, but the competition has suddenly become quite fierce.

Betway offers Malek to win with 5/4 odds compared to Bale’s 1/1 odds. Bradley Cooper is listed at 7/1 odds. Meanwhile, over at Betfred, Malek is at 11/8 odds vs 10/11 odds for Bale and 6/1 odds for Cooper. Betfair lists Malek with 10/11 odds, Bale at an even wager and Cooper going 6/1.

So if you still believe Cooper could win, you’ll want to hit Betway, otherwise it looks like Betfair is a great place to bet on Malek’s win.

Best Actress

While there were a number of excellent performances from the ladies as well, the race is a bit clearer. Olivia Colman’s performance in The Favourite isn’t quite the favorite to win, though, getting 7/2 odds from Betway and Betfred, and 5/2 odds from Betfair.

Instead, Glenn Close appears to have this one in the bag for The Wife, with 4/9 odds from Betfred, 4/11 odds from Betfair and 2/5 odds from Betway. That said, Lady Gaga is still a contender with her first Oscar nomination giving her 9/2 odds from Betfair, and 5/1 odds from Betway and Betfred.

Best Director

After many years and numerous films, Spike Lee has garnered his first Oscar nomination of BlacKkKlansman. While he has decent odds for this film, they’re sitting at 8/1 from Betfair and Betway. Sadly for him, it’s doubtful that he will win.

Instead, the almost sure thing is that Alfonso Cuaron, director of Roma, will pick up another Oscar to add to his collection. He already has a Best Director Oscar for Gravity, and the chances are pretty good that Roma will also secure him an award. The bookies are putting his odds at 1/7 at Betway and 1/10 at Betfair.

Side Bets with Friends

All the major events are exciting to bet on, but sadly, some of the biggest bookies don’t offer wagers on the more entertaining elements of the award show. If all you’re going to do is place a bet and wait to wake up in the morning and find out if you won, that can still be profitable. But if you’re planning to sit through the whole award show, you’ll have a lot more fun with some side bets going with friends.

Need ideas for wagers? You could make down the line wagers, like betting on A Star is Born to win the best original song, which is as close as you can get to a sure bet. Or you could make some totals wagers, betting on how many total awards Roma, A Star is Born or Bohemian Rhapsody pick up.

Looking to take things to the next level? How about bets on which actress will have some surprise plastic surgery revealed on the red carpet? Or which performer will pretend to be modest or shocked when they win? Maybe wager on who will get a lifetime achievement award. If you really want to be silly, you could place bets on which friend will fall asleep before the award show is over. It really does go on for a long time.

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