Top Value Plays Worth Adding To Your 2016 Oscars Picks

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, February 27, 2016 8:49 PM GMT

The 88th Academy Awards will be beamed live into your living room on February 28th and below we handicap the nominees and analyze the Oscar odds for this year’s major categories. Let’s pick the best value bets to include in our Oscar picks.

Best Picture
The Revenant -275

Spotlight +250

The Big Short +650

Mad Max: Fury Road +6600

Room +6600

The Martian +12000

Bridge of Spies +25000

Brooklyn +25000

The Revenant feels like a freight train going downhill but The Big Short grossed over double the money and was feted with the prestigious Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures with the Producers Guild of America (PGA). That is a propitious omen as the last eight consecutive Best Picture Oscar winners have copped this award prior to winning an Oscar at the Academy Awards. In addition, many of the voters for the PGA awards also vote for the Academy Awards and use the same preferential ballot voting system.

The Oscar odds are heavy on The Revenant with Spotlight a lingering second. However, the star power of The Big Short's co-producer Brad Pitt is nothing to dismiss and I like the relatively big return on a critically acclaimed movie.

Oscar Pick for Best Picture: The Big Short +650
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Best Director
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - The Revenant -800

George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road +700

Adam McKay - The Big Short +1500

Tom McCarthy – Spotlight +1800

Lenny Abrahamson – Room +9800

The Critics’ Choice Best Director went to George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road which in my estimation provides plenty of bang for our gambling buck. At the tender age of 70 Miller is a first time nominee and would be a welcome change of pace over the higher profile directors and whose material relies on tears and heartstrings versus weapons and explosions.

Oscar Pick for Best Director: George Miller +700 for Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant -5050

Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl +2050 (Field)

Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs +2050 (Field)

Bryan Cranston – Trumbo +2050 (Field)

Matt Damon – The Martian +2050 (Field)

The Revenant is getting more attention at the Oscars than a topless Katy Perry directing traffic in Midtown Manhattan. Leonardo DiCaprio is a virtual lock to win this one and in his last scene he practically mouths the word, "Oscar, you will be mine." Despite the fact that he will most likely walk away with another award to reassure him that yes, he has the perfect life (and yes, I am jealous) I am buying what Bookmaker is selling and that is every other choice for one big price.

Oscar Pick for Best Actor: The Field at +2050
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

Best Actress
Brie Larson - Room -3050

Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn +1350 (Field)

Jennifer Lawrence - Joy +1350 (Field)

Cate Blanchett - Carol +1350 (Field)

Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years +1350 (Field)

Like DiCaprio, Brie Larson is pretty much a lock in this category but weird things happen, a preacher's daughter beats up Ronda Rousey, Denver beats Carolina and JJ Gold gets a date proving big underdogs sometimes cash against all odds. In addition, it's not like Jennifer Lawrence and Cate Blanchett are chopped liver! Let's get all the talented ladies for one impressive return.

Oscar Pick for Best Actress: The Field at +1350
Best Line Offered: at JustBet

 

Best Supporting Actor
Sylvester Stallone - Creed -243

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies +212

Tom Hardy – The Revenant +900

Christian Bale – The Big Short +1800

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight +2700

Let's not debate this. Sly Stallone is getting his long-awaited recompense after being snubbed over four decades ago in the original Rocky. He's not a prohibitive favorite like some of the others and -243 is the best I could find amongst the major offshores. This time we will play the chalk as well as the nostalgic favorite and most of all - the right choice.

Oscar Pick for Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone -243
Best Line Offered: at SportsInteraction

 

Best Supporting Actress
Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl -300

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs +350

Rooney Mara - Carol +400

Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight +4500

Rachel McAdams – Spotlight +10000

Rooney Mara, you may recall her scintillating performance in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, could have easily been swapped with her co-star Cate Blanchett in the Best Actress category but here she is and playing third fiddle to Alicia Vikander and Kate Winslet. Not so fast as Mara can steal the spotlight from anyone and she should steal the Academy Award here which is why we will include her in our Oscar picks.

Oscar Pick for Best Supporting Actress: Rooney Mara +400
Best Line Offered: at Heritage