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Oscars Betting Odds, Categories & Information

 
May 7, 2021
by VI News
VegasInsider.com

It's never too early to start thinking about next year's potential winners. Besides, the best time to jump on Oscars bets is when odds first drop. For movies that have been out for a majority of the calendar year, it's common to see those films' odds shorten earlier rather than later.

A good example was in 2021 for Best Documentary, in which My Octopus Teacher opened at +125. The film was on Netflix, one of the more popular streaming services and therefore viewed heavily, and closed as the favorite with odds to win at -500.

Once a film is revealed as an official Oscars nomination it becomes viewed heavily by the public, therefore impacting the money-line. This is why early viewing is important for Oscars betting, the bettor has a full-thought-out opinion of each movie when the odds are released.

Our VI Oscars experts have compiled an early list of 2022 contenders for various categories at the 94th Academy Award show. Also be sure to follow along with our Oscars Nomination Tracker, in which we review potential Oscar-nominated films to see where your money should be wagered when odds are revealed.

2022 Oscars Nomination Tracker

The Mitchells vs. The Machines

  • Distributor: Netflix
  • Genre: Animation
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • VI Experts Rating 9.7/10
  • Director: Michael Rianda
  • Notable Cast: Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Olivia Colman
  • Possible Nomination(s): Best Animated Film; Best Original Score

This is a front-runner for Best Animated Film of the year. The detail in the animation was impeccable, the story was relatable to many, there were too many callbacks to count, and featured a memorable score throughout. The Mitchells vs The Machines is a winner until further notice.

We Don't Deserve Dogs

  • Distributor: Video On-Demand
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • VI Experts Rating 7.4/10
  • Director: Matthew Salleh
  • Notable Cast: None
  • Possible Nomination(s): Best Documentary

Not that the movie wasn't emotional, because it was, but the film feels a bit overhyped. The film was a bit simple for a possible Best Documentary contender, mainly filming the life of 12-15 random dogs - however, each dog brought a new emotion to the audience. From guilt to joy, to sadness and terror - this was a roller coaster of emotions.

Bad Trip

  • Distributor: Netflix
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • VI Experts Rating 7.7/10
  • Director: Kitao Sakurai
  • Notable Cast: Eric Andre, Tiffany Haddish, Lil Rel Howery
  • Possible Nomination(s): Best Original Screenplay

It's difficult for a candid comedy film, especially one extremely raunchy, to turn heads the way Bad Trip has. The last similar movie to do so was Borat in 2007, nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and winner of a Golden Globe. Make no mistake, Bad Trip has that capability this year - although it won't generate the same box office hype Borat in 2007 had. The film is a masterpiece in its respective genre, albeit the genre isn't for everyone. This was an overall very impressive piece of production and difficult to pull off.

Nobody

  • Distributor: Video On-Demand
  • Genre: Action
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • VI Experts Rating 8.8/10
  • Director: Ilya Naishuller
  • Notable Cast: Bob Odenkirk, Connie Nielson, Christopher Lloyd
  • Possible Nomination(s): Best Actor (Bob Odenkirk), Best Director (Ilya Naishuller), Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Sound

2022 Oscars Contenders

2022 Best Picture Contenders

  • In The Heights
  • Last Night in Soho
  • West Side Story
  • House of Gucci
  • Don't Worry Darling
  • No Time to Die
  • Annette
  • The French Dispatch
  • The Power of the Dog
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth
  • Nightmare Alley
  • The Electrical Life of Louis Wain
  • Mothering Sunday
  • Mass
  • Don't Look Up
  • The Card Counter
  • Respect
  • The Last Duel
  • Dear Evan Hansen
  • The Lost Daughter
  • Limbo
  • Zola
  • Dune

2022 Best Director Contenders

  • Wes Anderson - The French Dispatch
  • Ridley Scott - House of Gucci
  • Guillermo del Toro - Nightmare Alley
  • Edgar Wright - Last Night in Soho
  • Joel Cohen - The Tragedy of Macbeth
  • Olivia Wilde - Don't Worry Darling
  • Jon H. Chu - In The Heights
  • Steven Spielberg - West Side Story

2022 Best Actor Contenders

  • Denzel Washington - The Tragedy of Macbeth
  • Adam Driver - House of Gucci
  • Leonardo DiCaprio - Don't Look Up
  • Oscar Isaac - The Card Counter
  • Bradley Cooper - Nightmare Alley
  • Benedict Cumberbatch - The Power of the Dog
  • Anthony Ramos - In The Heights

2022 Best Actress Contenders

  • Lady Gaga - House of Gucci
  • Frances McDormand - The Tragedy of Macbeth
  • Cate Blanchett - Nightmare Alley
  • Jennifer Hudson - Respect
  • Florence Pugh - Don't Worry Darling
  • Kirsten Dunst - The Power of the Dog
  • Olivia Colman - The Lost Daughter
  • Jodie Comer - The Last Duel
  • Thomasin McKenzie - Last Night in Soho

2022 Best Supporting Actor Contenders

  • Willem Dafoe - Nightmare Alley
  • Jesse Plemons - The Power of the Dog
  • Jared Leto - House of Gucci
  • Rami Malek - No Time to Die
  • Idris Elba - The Harder They Fall
  • Al Pacino - House of Gucci
  • Brendan Gleeson - The Tragedy of Macbeth
  • Richad Jenkins - Nightmare Alley

2022 Best Supporting Actress Contenders

  • Diana Rigg - Last Night in Soho
  • Anya Taylor-Joy - Last Night in Soho
  • Regina King - The Harder They Fall
  • Marion Cotillad - Annette
  • Claire Foy - The Electrical Life of Louis Wain
  • Glenda Jackson - Mothering Sunday
  • Salma Hayek - House of Gucci
  • Toni Colette - Nightmare Alley

2022 Best Animated Film Contenders

  • Raya and the Last Dragon
  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines
  • Luca

2022 Best Documentary Contenders

  • We Don't Deserve Dogs
  • The Truffle Hunters
  • Stray
  • Street Gang: How we got to Sesame Street

2021 Oscars Betting Recap

The 2021 Oscars saw a few underdogs hit on some major categories. The most notable included Anthony Hopkins winning Best Actor and Frances McDormand winning Best Actress. Both saw odds at 4/1 or longer to win, however, it was Judas & the Black Messiah who saw the greatest value at +2500 winning Best Original Song.

Soul swept both categories it was favored to win in Best Animated Film and Best Original Score, seeing the most expensive odds of any nomination for Best Animated Film (-5000).

The biggest disappointment was The Trial of the Chicago 7, which didn't win any category. The film was deemed a top underdog in the Best Picture category, although Nomadland won as a -670 favorite. The Trial of the Chicago 7 also saw odds drop in Best Film Editing, entering minus-territory to begin the show. It was Sound of Metal that won the category, however.


2021 Oscars Betting Results

  • Favorites-Underdogs: 17-6
  • Largest Favorite to Win: Soul - Best Animated Film (-5000)
  • Longest Underdog to Win: Judas & Black Messiah - Best Original Song (+2500)
  • Most Awards: Nomadland (3)

2021 Oscars Odds & Categories

Best Picture

  • Winner: Nomadland (-670)
  • Trial of the Chicago 7 (+600)
  • Minari (+1400)
  • Promising Young Woman (+1700)
  • Mank (+1700)
  • Judas & Black Messiah (+3300)
  • Sound of Metal (+5000)
  • The Father (+10000)

Best Director

  • Winner: Chloe Zhao - Nomadland (-3335)
  • David Fincher - Mank (+1000)
  • Lee Isaac Chung - Minari (+1700)
  • Emerald Fenell - Promising Young Woman (+2000)
  • Thomas Vinterberg - Another Round (+2500)

Best Actor

  • Winner: Anthony Hopkins - The Father (+700)
  • Chadwick Boseman - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (-1667)
  • Riz Ahmed - Sound of Metal (+1400)
  • Steve Yeun - Minari (+2500)
  • Gary Oldman - Mank (+3300)

Best Actress

  • Winner: Frances McDormand - Nomadland (+400)
  • Carey Mulligan - Promising Young Woman (+125)
  • Viola Davis - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (+200)
  • Andra Day - U.S. vs Billie Holiday (+600)
  • Vanessa Kirby - Pieces of a Woman (+2000)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Winner: Daniel Kaluuya - Judas & Black Messiah (-2500)
  • Sacha Baron Cohen - Trial of the Chicago 7 (+1200)
  • Paul Raci - Sound of Metal (+1200)
  • Leslie Odom Jr. - One Night in Miami (+1700)
  • LaKeith Stanfield - Judas & Black Messiah (+3300)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Winner: Youn Yuh-jung - Minari (-500)
  • Maria Bakalova - Boart Subsequential Moviefilm (+375)
  • Glenn Close - Hillbilly Elegy (+1000)
  • Olivia Colman - The Father (+2000)
  • Amanda Seyfried - Mank (+3300)

Best Original Screenplay

  • Winner: Promising Young Woman (-450) 
  • Trial of the Chicago 7 (+275)
  • Minari (+1400)
  • Judas & Black Messiah (+3300)
  • Sound of Metal (+3300)

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Winner: The Father (+300)
  • Nomadland (-400)
  • Borat Subsequential Moviefilm (+800)
  • One Night in Miami (+1400)
  • The White Tiger (+3300)

Best International Film

  • Winner: Another Round (-1250)
  • Aida Quo Vadis (+650)
  • Collective (+1200)
  • Better Days (+2500)
  • Man Who Sold His Skin (+2500)

Best Documentary

  • Winner: My Octopus Teacher (-500)
  • Time (+400)
  • Collective (+800)
  • Crip Camp (+2000)
  • The Mole Agent (+5000)

Best Animated Film

  • Winner: Soul (-5000)
  • Wolfwalkers (+700)
  • Onward (+2500)
  • Over the Moon (+2800)
  • Shaun Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (+4000)

Best Original Song

  • Winner: Judas & Black Messiah (+2500)
  • One Night in Miami (-155)
  • The Life Ahead (+225)
  • Eurovision (+350)
  • Trial of the Chicago 7 (+2500)

Best Original Score

  • Winner: Soul (-1667)
  • Mank (+800)
  • Minari (+1700)
  • News of the World (+2500)
  • Da 5 Bloods (+2500)

Best Cinematography

  • Winner: Mank (+350)
  • Nomadland (-400)
  • News of the World (+1400)
  • Judas & Black Messiah (+1700)
  • Trial of the Chicago 7 (+2000)

Best Production Design

  • Winner: Mank (-560)
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (+650)
  • Tenet (+800)
  • News of the World (+2000)
  • The Father (+2000)

Best Costume Design

  • Winner: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (-500)
  • Emma (+350)
  • Mank (+1000)
  • Pinocchio (+2500)
  • Mulan (+3300)

Best Film Editing

  • Winner: Sound of Metal (-118)
  • Trial of the Chicago 7 (-110)
  • Nomadland (+650)
  • The Father (+2000)
  • Promising Young Woman (+4000)

Best Visual Effects

  • Winner: Tenet (-560)
  • Midnight Sky (+275)
  • Mulan (+1700)
  • One & Only Ivan (+2500)
  • Love & Monsters (+2500)

Best Makeup/Hairstyle

  • Winner: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (-670)
  • Pinocchio (+550)
  • Hillbilly Elegy (+1200)
  • Mank (+2000)
  • Emma (+2500)

Best Sound

  • Winner: Sound of Metal (-2500)
  • Soul (+1000)
  • Mank (+1000)
  • Greyhound (+2000)
  • News of the World (+3300)

Best Live Action Short

  • Winner: Two Distant Strangers (-118)
  • The Letter Room (-118)
  • Feeling Through (+650)
  • The Present (+1400)
  • White Eye (+3300)

Best Documentary Short

  • Winner: Colette (+800)
  • A Love Song for Latasha (-177)
  • A Concerto is a Conversation (+175)
  • Do Not Split (+350)
  • Hunger Ward (+1400)

Best Animated Short

  • Winner: If Anything Happens I Love You (-335)
  • Oprea (+450)
  • Burrow (+650)
  • Genius Loci (+1000)
  • Yes-People (+2500)

What Odds Are Offered For The Oscars?

Typically, most of the big categories will see odds offered at the Academy Awards. The most popular categories include Best Picture, Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress.

The other categories range from popular ones such as Best Supporting Actor/Actress and Best Director to the smaller-known categories such as Best Costume Design and Best Sound.

While betting on the Academy Awards or any award show is only legal in two states, these betting markets could be available any year in states with legal betting moving forward.

Who Picks Oscars Winners?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences picks the winners of each category for the Oscars. There are over 8,000 members that make up the organization, which comes from a variety of positions within the film industry.

The Academy is made up of 'branches'. There are specific branches, each branch having at least one category at the Oscars. The branches include:

  • Actors/Actresses
  • Writers
  • Directors
  • Producers
  • Music
  • Makeup
  • Hairstyle
  • Sound
  • Editors
  • Animation
  • Short Films
  • Visual Effects
  • Costume Designers
  • Documentary
  • Production Designers

Each branch has at least one category, in which specific branch members nominate and vote on winners. Directors nominate and vote for directors, production designers nominate and vote for other production designers, etc...

Best Picture Oscars Voting

The Best Picture category is the only category that uses a different voting system to pick its winner. In all the other categories, members get just one vote. With the Best Picture category, members rank the movies in order of preference.

This is because there are so many nominations for Best Picture now (up to nine in 2020), the Academy wanted to avoid a winner only receiving a possible 10% of votes. The system used for the Best Picture category is known as 'preferential voting'.

This system, according to Variety adds up all the No. 1 votes first. If those votes exceed 50% then the film wins, although this is apparently a very rare circumstance.

If a film that receives the most No. 1 vote is under 50%, then the counting goes to the most No. 2 votes until a film exceeds 50%. If no film has over 50% of the votes after counting all No. 1 and No. 2 votes, then the counting moves to the most No. 3 votes. This is repeated until a film goes over the 50% mark.

Important Awards to Track

There are various awards surrounding the film industry each year, with some more specific than others. Some of these shows are great pre-cursors to guide bettors into the direction of category winners.

A great example is in 2021 when Mank won the ASC Award for Best Cinematography. Despite Nomadland being the favorite to win Best Cinematography at the Oscars, it was Mank who won at +350.

  • Golden Globes: International award show for television and film
  • SAG: Actors and actresses
  • Writer's Guild of America Awards: Writers
  • Director's Guild of America Awards: Directors
  • MTV Movie & TV Awards: American television and film
  • Golden Reels: Editing
  • ASC Awards: Cinematography
  • ASCAP Awards: Music in film
  • VES Awards: Visual Effects
  • Costume Designer Guild Awards: Costume Designer
  • Hollywood Makeup/Hairstylist Awards: Makeup & Hairstyle
  • Saturn Awards Fantasy & Horror

Important Film Festivals to Track

Film festivals are great sources to see how new releases are perceived by critics. There are five main film festivals, which bettors can utilize to see how the industry reacts to new movies.

  • Cannes Film Festival
  • Berlin International Film Festival
  • Venice Film Festival
  • Toronto International Film Festival
  • Sundance Film Festival

How to Handicap Oscars Odds

Betting on the Oscars is no different than a typical sports wager. You have your typical money-line for one favorite and multiple underdogs. This betting is most common with motorsports or golf betting, essentially 'group betting' a winner. Below is an example of what odds looked liked for one of last year's categories.

2020 Best Picture Odds

  • 1917 (-167)
  • Parasite (+200)
  • Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (+950)
  • Joker (+1250)
  • The Irishman (+6600)
  • Jojo Rabbit (+9000)
  • Marriage Story (+10000)
  • Little Women (+15000)
  • Ford v Ferrari (+25000)

If a bettor wanted to wager on Parasite to win Best Picture, then it would cost a bettor $100 to possibly win back $300 ($100 wager + $200 winnings). If a bettor wanted to wager on 1917 to win instead, then it would cost a bettor $167 to possibly win back $267 ($167 wager + $100 winnings).


  
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