The Internet has done all sorts of good for the world, but it has robbed the Oscars of most of their drama. It used to be that you could head into the awards ceremony expecting a few surprises because it was hard to really know what was going on. Now, though, the easy access to information means that if you want to you can know most of what you are going to see before the event happens. That’s not much fun for hardcore fans. For bettors, though, it can provide an interesting opportunity to make bets with lower risk than we are used to making.
The 2013 edition of the Awards are a bit more wide open in some spots than in many years, but they are going to be far from random. Here is a look at some of the interesting Academy Awards betting opportunities available along with some 2013 Oscars predictions for betting (all odds are from Bookmaker):
This one has been very interesting. When the nominations were announced, this was seen as pretty much a three-horse race. "Argo" and "Lincoln" were favored, but "Zero Dark Thirty" was in the mix, too. As the preliminary awards season has progressed, though, all drama has been drained from this one. "Argo" is winning everything and is now the clear choice here. At -600 there isn’t much value here. But, then again, there is little risk, so it could be useful for some bettors despite the low returns. "Lincoln" is still second choice but is horribly underpriced at +250. Any winner other than "Argo" here would be an upset of historical proportions — in the context of the Oscars, at least.
Daniel Day Lewis is going to win for "Lincoln". Unless he is filmed murdering kittens with his bare hands between now and when the votes are due on Feb. 19, that is certain. The problem is that he is at a ridiculously low -10000 price. That’s only marginally better than what you would get in a savings account at the bank.
This one got a little more interesting on Sunday night. That’s when Emmanuelle Riva of French film "Amour" was named the somewhat surprising winner of the BAFTA for best actress — the British equivalent of the Oscars. She had been seen as a distant third in the Oscar race, and still is, but she’ll draw more attention now. She sits at +700. Jessica Chastain sits second at +200 in "Zero Dark Thirty". Jennifer Lawrence is still the strong favorite and likely winner at -2000 for her work in “Silver Linings Playbook”. She’s the likely winner, but despite the low price there is more risk here than in the previous two categories.
This one is interesting mostly for who isn’t going to win. Ben Affleck has been winning every award this year for his work with "Argo,” but in one of the biggest oversights in recent memory Affleck somehow did not get nominated here. That slight has likely strengthened his movie’s position in the Best Picture race, but it still doesn’t make much sense. With Affleck out of the way, though, the road is paved for Steven Spielberg to add another trophy to sit beside the ones he won for directing “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan”. The "Lincoln" helmer sits at -3000, with Ang Lee the distant second choice at +600. In my eyes Lee should be the clear winner for “Life of Pi,” but no one cares about what I think, and he doesn’t really stand a chance.
Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway (-10000) is going to win for “Les Miserables”. She could tape her acceptance speech in advance.
Best Supporting Actor
Here is the best shot to get a decent price, because I don’t believe that the race is as close as the odds suggest. Tommy Lee Jones from "Lincoln" is favored at -110, with Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained" close behind at +100. Waltz is a contender, but I just don’t see it happening for him here. Jones has won only one Oscar — best supporting actor for “The Fugitive”, so this will be seen as much as a career achievement award as anything, and the Oscar voters love doing things like that. The price of -110 isn’t great, but compared to the rest here it is very attractive.
Best Adapted Screenplay
This is the spot on the board to gamble this year — as is often the case with this category. "Lincoln" is favored at -400, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see that film lose. In fact, in my eyes "Argo" is actually the favorite to be named the winner. You can jump on it now at +210 — a major bargain compared to "Lincoln". I think this has a good chance of paying off, but at the very least there is very good value in this price.
Best Original Screenplay
More value here as well. "Zero Dark Thirty" is favored at -300, but that movie has lost all momentum since the nominations were announced, and that price is far too low. "Amour" at +250 isn’t attractive, but "Django Unchained" at +150 is very attractive in my eyes. Another spot well worth a gamble.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham