Betting on the Oscars

Betting on the Academy AwardsTM of Merit, as the Oscars are officially called, is quite straightforward since only moneyline punts are offered. All you’re doing is putting money down on which nominee you think will win, so there are no complicated markets to figure out.

This can make Academy Awards online betting a great place to learn the basics of wagering, and to pick up some big windfalls. If you needed an excuse to watch all the nominated movies you’ve got one, and our advice will help you decide who to back for your best chance of a win of your own on Oscars night.

Timing is Everything

The final lists of candidates for each Academy Award are determined by the nominations that members of each branch put forward. For example, only members of the directors’ branch get to suggest who should be named Best Director. Auditing firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers then creates the official nominees list from all the ballots that are submitted. In other words, only expert opinions are involved at this stage.

However, the voting process for the actual winners is open to every Academy member. Even if you’re part of the Costume Design branch, your say counts as much as any leading man’s does in the Best Actor category. In practical terms, this means that the longer a movie has been out for before the votes are tallied, the more time there is for a backlash to develop.

Take 2016’s La La Land, which was nominated for the 2017 Best Picture Oscar. Since it was released in August, there was quite a long time for people to see it before Academy members had to submit their ballots. During that period, critics began to point out that the cast was overwhelmingly white, and that the subject matter might be too light to take home such a heavy-hitting accolade.

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Ultimately, the backlash that grew from this commentary was enough to swing the votes and Moonlight walked off with the Best Picture statuette. The message for bettors here? Individuals who are not experts in the particular categories are likelier to get swayed by Hollywood politics. And the longer the window between when a picture is released and when the voting happens, the truer this is. In short, as with most situations in life, timing is everything.

Expect a Spread of the Wealth

Whereas in the past, a single movie could sweep the awards and pick up almost all the Oscars going, it’s been years since any picture scooped more than 8. Gone are the days of statuettes numbering in the double figures, and these days it seems that the Academy likes to give everyone a slice of the pie.

When you’re looking at the list of Best Picture candidates, consider which other trophy each is likeliest to win. If there’s a clear Best Screenplay favourite, chances are it will get those honours rather than the Best Picture nod. As we said, the Oscars are political – and Academy members are diplomats!