May 7, 2021
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
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
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.
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.
2022 Oscars Contenders
2022 Best Picture Contenders
2022 Best Director Contenders
2022 Best Actor Contenders
2022 Best Actress Contenders
2022 Best Supporting Actor Contenders
2022 Best Supporting Actress Contenders
2022 Best Animated Film Contenders
2022 Best Documentary Contenders
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
2021 Oscars Odds & Categories
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Original Screenplay
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best International Film
Best Animated Film
Best Original Song
Best Original Score
Best Production Design
Best Costume Design
Best Film Editing
Best Visual Effects
Best Live Action Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Animated Short
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:
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.
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.
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
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).