I have not seen one movie that might garner Academy Award nominations. “Might” because the Academy hasn’t announced the nominees yet — that happens Feb. 8. And the Oscars aren’t handed out until March 27.
None of those facts, however, have prevented me from getting five bets down on the action (and a sixth, which we’ll discuss shortly, would’ve happened except for some questionable limits and/or a glitch in the matrix).
But yes: Right now, DraftKings is the only mobile sportsbook offering pre-nomination odds for the awards.
“We wanted to get the four categories up early to get some action on the main categories, and so far it’s working out well,” said Johnny Avello, the director of the DraftKings sportsbook. “No one knows who the nominees are. Probably Best Director and Best Actor are going to [have clear favorites], but Best Picture and Best Actress are up in the air.”
Right now, Will Smith is -280 to take home Best Actor for his role in King Richard, and Jane Campion is a -400 favorite in the directing category for The Power of the Dog.
Betting on the Oscars becomes more and more of an information game as the time ticks by.
Between now and the Academy Awards, Hollywood will be doling out the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Feb. 27, the Director’s Guild Awards on March 12, and the Writer’s Guild Awards on March 20. Of course, the now-kind-of discredited Golden Globes have already happened, and between those four ceremonies, favorites and dark horses will emerge.
Add in word-of-mouth and plenty of industry gossip, and between now and the actual awards there will be plenty of opportunity to bet, cover, bet again, arbitrage, and keep on betting.
In short: The more you pay attention to what’s happening on the awards circuit and in the rumor mill, the better positioned you’ll be to take home a few Benjamins on Oscar night.
As mentioned earlier, I placed five bets 10 days ago, and already, there is movement afoot. And not exactly in my favor, either, as one of my bets was Alana Haim for best actress for her role in Licorice Pizza at +2000. It’s now +2500. My other bets as of now are Steven Spielberg for Best Director (West Side Story) at +700, and a trio of Best Picture bets: The Power of the Dog at +170, Belfast at +225, and Dune at +1600.
I also tried to bet Lady Gaga for Best Actress for her role in House of Gucci, but … well, but DraftKings apparently has me pegged as a Lady Gaga whisperer or something. (I’m told by Avello the penny limit you see below is a glitch. Waiting on a fix so I can go goo-goo for Gaga.)
Um … @DKSportsbook??? I guess I'm pegged as an Oscar sharp. pic.twitter.com/wqTLHDAZQq
— Jeff Edelstein (@jeffedelstein) January 12, 2022
For what it’s worth, Gaga is down to +1000.
A valid question here might be, if I never saw these movies, where am I getting my betting ideas? Well, two places: Gold Derby and Variety. Gold Derby has its own expert predictions, and it also runs a crowdsourced prediction page. Variety, the bible of Hollywood, also has robust prediction coverage. Thumbing through these sites’ coverage is where I came up with my bets thus far.
Sift through the rumors, check out what’s happening in the other awards, keep your ear to the ground, and “the winner is” might apply to your bankroll come Oscar night.