The Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards, are the pinnacle of recognition for anyone in the film industry, and in some states with legal sports betting, an opportunity to bet on their favorite movies or stars.
Oscars betting odds are considered "specials" betting and are widely available throughout Europe, just like political betting. However, unlike political betting, some US states allow for betting on the Oscars. Michigan will offer Oscars betting for the first time in 2021. NJ sportsbooks and Indiana sports betting sites have offered Academy Awards odds in the past and are doing so again in 2021.
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Oscars 2021 Best Picture Odds
|The Trial of the Chicago 7||+600|
|Promising Young Woman||+1700|
|Judas And The Black Messiah||+3300|
|Sound of Metal||+5000|
All Oscars odds via DraftKings
"Nomandland" won the Golden Globes "Best Motion Picture" and is the favorite to follow that up with an Oscar. It details the "houseless but not homeless" life of Fren (Frances McDormand) who lost everything in the Great Recession and now lives wherever she happens to be. Hope is always a hit in Hollywood. The film, directed and co-written by Chloé Zhao, delivers a poignant portrait of living each day with the view that tomorrow will be better. Don't sleep on "The Trial of The Chicago 7." It offers a loaded cast and an intense re-telling of the turbulence surrounding the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago and its aftermath.
Oscars 2021 Best Actor Odds
|Chadwick Boseman||Ma Rainey's Black Bottom||-1667|
|Anthony Hopkins||The Father||+700|
|Riz Ahmed||Sound of Metal||+1400|
Emotion and sentiment may carry the day for Academy voters this year in the Best Actor category. Chadwick Boseman died from complications due to cancer in August. His last role was as the irascible and volatile horn player Levee Green opposite Viola Davis in "Ma Rainey." Boseman's diverse skills are highlighted in this role. Anthony Hopkins would likely be a lock in any other year to win as the top male actor with his eerie and melancholy performance as a man entering the throes of dementia in "The Father."
Oscars 2021 Best Actress Odds
|Carey Mulligan||Promising Young Woman||+125|
|Viola Davis||Ma Rainey's Black Bottom||+200|
|Andra Day||The United States vs. Billie Holliday||+600|
|Vanessa Kirby||Pieces of a Woman||+2000|
Once again this year, the "Best Actress" category offers multiple entrees that are Oscar-worthy. Davis delivered the steak and sizzle with her depiction of "Mother of the Blues" Ma Rainey. A trailblazer in the music industry, Rainey was among the first Black singers to record. In this story, based on a play of the same name, depicts a fateful recording session that ends in tragedy. David and Boseman may very well sweep their respective categories.
Elsewhere, Carey Mulligan delivers metaphorical vengeance for anyone who has suffered traumatic abuse or whose stories of being victimized led to the #MeToo movement. Andra Day won the Golden Globe. And McDormand's effort is "Nomandland" could be her best yet.
Oscars 2021 Best Director Odds
|Lee Isaac Chung||Minari||+1700|
|Emerald Fennell||Promising Young Woman||+2000|
|Thomas Vinterberg||Another Round||+2500|
The watchword for this category is "diversity." If "Nomandland" is going to grab a piece of top hardware, this might be its best chance. The film faces tough competition in the "Best Picture" category, as does McDormand for "Best Actress." The default position for voters could well be Chloé Zhao for her work in directing the film; she already took this honor at the Golden Globes and the Director's Guild awards. She also co-wrote the film and is an overwhelming favorite. Look out for Lee Isaac Chung and “Minari,” which took best foreign language film at the Golden Globes.
Best Original Song
|Speak Now||One Night in Miami||-155|
|Io Si||The Life Ahead||+225|
|Husavik||Eurovision Song Contest: Song of Ice and Fire||+350|
|Fight For You||Judas and the Black Messiah||+2500|
|Hear My Voice||The Trial of the Chicago 7||+2500|
The contenders are songs laced with strong political and social justice overtones — such as "Speak Now" from Leslie Odom, Jr., portraying Sam Cooke in "One Night In Miami" and “Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
The 2021 Academy Awards
On Sunday, April 25, 2021, glitz and glamour will ooze from every angle — in-person and otherwise. The socially distanced red carpet at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood will once again be the center of it all. The real-life and virtual ceremony will be adorned by the creme de la creme of movie greatness, hoping to win one of the 24 awards at the 93rd Oscars.
The Oscars this year will be unique in many ways. A few contenders for 2021 Best Picture honors were released a year ago in January at the Sundance Film Festival. Traditional Oscar-wannabe debut opportunities — such as Cannes and Telluride — were scrapped. Others were scaled back. Movie houses across America closed last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many have yet to re-open. Streaming services have a greater presence than ever before because films that have never appeared in theatres are eligible for the first time. The eligibility release period for films this year has been extended until Feb. 28, 2021.
The nominations were announced March 15, 2021. The Golden Globe Awards, Critic's Choice and Screen Actors Guild Awards often offer a hint at who might win Oscars.
Among the Best Picture nominees at the 2021 Oscars, listed with their studio and/or most-recent streaming site: "The Trial of the Chicago 7" (Netflix); "Nomandland" (Searchlight Pictures & Hulu); "Promising Young Woman" (Focus Features & Amazon Prime); "The Father" (Sony Pictures Classics and "Mank" (Netflix).
Oscars Betting Tips
Think Like An Oscar Voter
Oscar winners are predetermined. They are chosen by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Who are the Oscar voters? Amid the #OscarsSoWhite and #MeToo movements, the Academy has revamped and expanded its membership. In 2021, there are 9,362 eligible voting members of the Academy. That's an increase of 60% since 2014. Less than 10 years ago, the makeup of the voters was less than 3% non-white.
These newer voters are younger, diverse and from outside the United States. This voting bloc has helped propel "The Shape of Water" and "Parasite" to Best Picture wins in recent years. Now, more than 1,200 voters are people of color and 3,179 are women. In 2020, 819 new voters were invited to join the Academy. Of those, 45% were women, 36% were from underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, and 49% were international from 68 countries.
The newer voters tend to favor portrayals of "real people." Two of the past three Best Actor Oscars were given to actors playing Winston Churchill and Freddie Mercury. The past two Best Actress Awards winners were Olivia Colman — Queen Anne of Great Britain in "The Favorite" — and Renée Zellweger, who portrayed Judy Garland in "Judy."
Track Other Award Shows
The largest impact on Oscar betting odds often comes from three shows during awards season that pre-date the Oscars on the calendar.
The Critic's Choice Awards have proven most predictable, their winners of Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Picture going on to win the Oscar about 60% of the time. The 26th Critics Choice Awards were given out March 7.
The Screen Actors Guild Award winner for "Best Actor" and "Best Actress" has won more than 80% of the same-year Oscars since 1999. The past three SAG Best Actor winners and two the past three Best Actress winners also took home the Oscar in the same category. The 27th Screen Actors Guild awards were on April 4.
The Golden Globes — awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — have seen their impact grow in recent years. The popularity of the national Globes telecast has added clout. The 78th Golden Globes were pushed back from their traditional January date until Feb. 28 due to fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The Globes splits its "Best Picture" categories into "Drama" and "Comedy/Musical." In 2020, its best actor and actress winners - Joaquin Phoenix for the "Joker" and Renee Zellweger for "Judy" - also swept the same category for the SAG, Critic's Choice and Oscar awards.
Top Oscars Betting Markets
Legal betting on the Oscars is a relatively new option in the United States. Limited markets are usually opened up after the nominations are announced for major awards such as Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Original Song and Best Director.
Best Picture: Wagering on the top movie is typically the most-bet market, and with the influx of streaming movies, more and more people have seen the nominees, making for a more engaged betting public.
Best Actor: There has been a recent bias toward actors who portray “real people” — or at the least representations of them — in the Best Actor category at the Oscars. Bigger is always better for bettors. Larger-than-life real or imaginary characters also often catch the voter’s eye.
Best Actress: Winners of the Best Actress Award at the Oscars often represent the top echelon of Hollywood. Keep an eye on the biggest names and those who might have been slighted in the past. Recent winners read like a “Who’s Who?” of the movie elite.
Best Director: The best director doesn't necessarily go the same person who directs Best Picture. It often serves as backstop for voters to award more than one film worthy of a top honor. A watchword for this category is recent years is “diversity.”
Best Original Song: An award in this category can translate to pop-music success. Recent winners include songs written by Elton John and a combination between Lady Gaga and actor Bradley Cooper that appeared in “A Star Is Born.” Other “Best Original Song” winners have long been consigned to the dust bin of music history.
Oscars Betting FAQs
When do the Oscars take place?
The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony will take place on April 25, 2021 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and at multiple virtual sites. The ceremony was pushed back two months from its originally scheduled date due to the impact the coronavirus pandemic had on cinema and the film industry. While the Awards were originally intended for movies from the 2020 calendar year, the eligibility period was extended for films released through Feb. 28, 2021.
Where can I watch the Oscars?
The 93rd Academy Awards telecast will air ABC on April 25, 2021 from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and other sites.
Can I bet on the Oscars?
Legal betting on the Oscars in the United States is limited. Michigan will offer Oscars betting for the first time in 2021. In 2020, Indiana and New Jersey offered Oscars betting odds on a limited number of categories with betting limits and will do so again in 2021.
Who is the favorite to win Best Picture?
The betting favorite to win the Oscar for Best Picture in 2021 is "Nomandland." The film stars Frances McDormand as a woman who lost her economic livelihood in the Great Recession and has opted to live her life permanently on the road, seeking work and shelter along the way.
Who is the favorite to win Best Actor?
The late Chadwick Boseman is the betting favorite to win the Oscar for Best Actor in 2021. Boseman portrayed the bold and ambitious horn player Levee Green in the Netflix film "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." The film was Boseman's last. He died in August 2020 due to complications from cancer.
Who is the favorite to win Best Actress?
Carey Mulligan is the betting favorite to win the Oscar for Best Actress in 2021 for her role in the #MeToo fantasy/revenge vehicle "Promising Young Woman." Viola Davis starred as blues singer "Ma Rainey" in the Netflix film "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom” and is second choice.
Who is hosting this year's Oscars?
There are numerous stars playing host for the 2021 Oscars, airing on ABC, rather than one or two hosts. The past two Oscar ceremonies were "host-less" but delivered tepid TV ratings. The 2020 Oscars averaged 23.6 million total viewers. That is the lowest measured TV audience ever for the event.