Search For Close Academy Awards Betting Markets Like Panning For Gold

Image of Fences the movie

Kevin Stott

Thursday, February 16, 2017 4:12 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 4:12 PM UTC

The 89th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and like most years, there are few viable betting markets with many monster favorites in the major categories. But with creativity by some sportsbooks, there are a handful of markets with odds were the second- or even the third-favorite have a chance to win that little bronze statuette.

Search For Oscars Betting Markets With No Huge Favorites Takes Some Effort

The 89th Academy Awards will be held at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 26 with Jimmy Kimmel hosting and heavy Best Picture favorite “La La Land” heading in with 14 nominations. Finding Oscars non-lopsided markets can be difficult with heavy chalks dominating main categories like Best Actress (Emma Stone, “La La Land"), Best Director (Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”), Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”) and Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis, “Fences”). Although usually spot on, the odds in these markets for the favorites are often so high they prevent wagering in them because of the paltry payouts. And bettors avoid the underdogs as the large chalks usually win.

And with Oscars betting still forbidden even here in Nevada, offshore sportsbooks are the only route but finding two or three good wagers is like panning for gold. Let’s give it a go.


Best Actor, Screenplay May Offer Decent Value

Best Actor has a close race with Casey Affleck (“Manchester By The Sea”) favored at -120 (5Dimes) and Denzel Washington (“Fences”) second-choice at +175 (Ladbrokes). With the AMPAS an older voting body and aware of the perceived snub to Black actors last year, the two-time Oscar winner (“Glory,” “Training Day”) could emerge victoriously.

The Best Original Screenplay race sees “Manchester By The Sea” (+140, 5Dimes) tight with “La La Land” (+140, 5Dimes), but betting a musical on a night where the film is expected to do well in other categories seems risky, making “Manchester” the pick. “Hell Or High Water” (30/1), “The Lobster” (40/1) and “20th Century Women” (60/1) are longshots.

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Some Weird Oscars Props; Last Person In Memoriam Best Market?

There are a handful of weird Oscars Props bets, including “Will the Winner of Best Actor Drop the Oscar on Stage?” (Yes 1/33, No 8/1, bwin)—with the same odds for Best Actress to (not) drop the famous bronze statuette—and ”Who Will Make the Longest Acceptance Speech?” with the Best Actress winner (13/18) favored over the Best Actor (Even).

Two interesting markets are Best Feature Documentary with “OJ: Made In America” a -500 chalk (Ladbrokes) and, Last Person in Memoriam, with Leonard Cohen favored at 7/1 followed by Gene Wilder (8/1, bwin), two-time Oscar-winner (“Purple Rain”) Prince (8/1), George Michael (10/1), Zsa Zsa Gabor (14/1), Andrzej Wajda (16/1), Garry Marshall (16/1), George Kennedy (18/1) and Doris Roberts (25/1).


Best Actor In Leading Role Pick: Denzel Washington, Fences +175 at LadbrokesBest Original Screenplay Pick: Manchester By The Sea +140 at 5DimesLast Person In Memoriam Props Pick: Gene Wilder +800 at Bwin
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