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Badder Beats 15: The Oscars with UW’s Jeff Smith and Johnny Avello

Badder Beats 15: The Oscars with UW’s Jeff Smith and Johnny Avello
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Rip the envelope on the first Academy Awards legally bettable in the United States outside Nevada - that means you, New Jersey - with insight from University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Jeff Smith and DraftKings oddsmaker Johnny Avello.

Smith lays out the history of the Oscars and how this all became such an odd, big deal. Avello, whose "for entertainment purposes only" Oscars odds were long a Las Vegas staple, imparts his knowledge on picks you can finally turn into wagers.

After gloating about his Daytona 500 pick, Ryan Butler falls in love with Oscars underdogs. I say Mahershala Ali correctly every time, and am wearing Lagerfeld this year.

Professor Jeff Smith on 'Best Actor' real-person edge

"I think the other factor that tends to favor Rami Malek (Freddy Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody) is if that real-life person is dealing with some kind of obstacle of some sort that they have to overcome ... sexual orientation and, of course, eventually contracting the AIDS virus. I would say Rami Malek is kind of the favorite, though, I wouldn't be surprised if Christian Bale won as Dick Cheney (in Vice), in part because it is just such a spot-on impersonation of the former vice president, how he transformed his body. Often when actors go to those kinds of lengths - you see that gut hanging out - and it's like, wow, Christian Bale really let himself go. So I would say Rami Malek is the favorite, but I wouldn't be surprised if if Bale took it as well."

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