The 2021 Academy Awards are taking place on Sunday, April 25, 2021. But you don’t have to wait that long to get your wagers in on the action. You can make futures wagers on the Academy Awards, aka the Oscars, right now, and we’re here to help you with a look at the odds and top contenders.
Entertainment betting attracts a lot of fans to online betting sites who might not otherwise get involved. There are people who don’t care much for sports or casino gambling, but they love the world of entertainment. And in that world, there are no bigger honors then the Academy Awards, which honor the best films and performances of the previous year.
This has been a bit of a strange year in films because of the lack of widescreen releases. But that has also opened up the door for streaming services to make even more of an impact with their movies. What it all means is that it’s shaping up as a wild year for the Oscars in terms of the potential winners of the top awards.
Looking Ahead With Futures Wagers
The nominees for the top Academy Awards won’t be announced until the middle of March. But futures wagering can be made on the awards at many top gambling sites right now. With a futures wagers, you are taking a big chance, because betting sentiment can change in the time from now till that Sunday night in April.
Yet in general, futures betting allows you to lock in your wagers at much more favorable odds than if you were to wait until the films take place. That’s why you should think about starting to look into the possible winners down the line. And we’re here to help.
In the following article, we’ll look at the odds right now for three major awards: Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress. We’ll talk about some of the contenders who could win, as well as some who provide excellent value. And then we’ll give you an idea of how we’d be wagering right now if it were up to us, so that you can make the most informed decision possible.
How Futures Odds Work
We realize that many people wagering on the Academy Awards might not be familiar with how the process of online wagering works, especially when it comes to the odds. Futures odds are based on a concept called the moneyline. This is the set of odds which is used by the oddsmakers to try to entice equal betting on all sides.
The moneyline is based on a standard wager of $100. You’ll see either a plus or a minus in front of a number that will equal at least 100. What it means is this:
- If the odds feature a minus sign before the number, it means you must bet that amount to win $100 in return.
- If the odds feature a plus sign before the number, it means that you must bet $100 to win that amount.
The $100 is only a base amount that establishes the ratio of bet to payback. You can wager whatever amount is allowed by the gambling site that you’re using for the Academy Awards.
One other thing about this process: Your futures bet is final, no matter what happens from now till the actual awards. For example, if the actor, actress or film you’re betting doesn’t get a nomination, you lose the bet. That uncertainty is why the odds are much more lucrative for bettors on the Academy Awards right now than they will be once the nominees have been named.
The 2021 Academy Awards
- Nomadland: -110
- The Trial of the Chicago 7: +350
- Mank: +650
- Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: +700
- Minari: +1400
- The Green Knight: +1600
- One Night in Miami: +1600
- Promising Young Woman: +1600
- Judas and the Black Messiah: +2200
- News of the World: +2500
- The Father: +2500
- Da Five Bloods: +2500
The Ones To Beat:
Nomadland will be hitting Hulu soon, so it’s a movie that not a lot of people have seen just yet (although that’s about to change). But the critics who have seen his film have been falling over themselves talking it up, it is also the favorite to win the Golden Globe this year for best picture. Its focus on poverty is very timely right now, it has a brilliant lead performance anchoring it from Frances McDormand, and it is a beautiful film even when it’s depressing.
But for a film that hasn’t been seen much, Nomadland is certainly a heavy favorite, which could make for excellent betting opportunities on the secondary films. By contrast, The Trial of the Chicago 7, which has been attracting viewers since the fall on Netflix, is already established as a viewer favorite. It’s also timely, and it might have more mainstream appeal that could help it with the voters.
The Value Bets:
Mank is about Hollywood, as it’s based on the life of the writer of one of the most beloved movies ever, all of which should help it with voters. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom might feature the best performances of the bunch, but it also feels a bit stagey. Minari has some sleeper potential as a low-key yet moving story in the vein of Nomadland.
Further down the odds board, you’ll find a lot of buzzy films, any one of which could gain some momentum if it should get a nomination. They include Promising Young Woman, which takes major risks that are largely rewarded; One Night in Miami, which has some killer acting and is a standout directorial debut from Regina King; and Judas and the Black Messiah, a powerful tale that is yet another film that benefits from its timeliness.
And don’t count out Da Five Bloods, which has Spike Lee in its corner and combines riveting action with thought-provoking issues.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 should rally as the day of the awards gets closer.
Best Moneymaking Play:
Da Five Bloods just needs a nomination to be a real threat.
- Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom): -400
- Anthony Hopkins (The Father): +350
- Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal): +800
- Steven Yeun (Minari): +1100
- Gary Oldman (+1200)
- Delroy Lindo (+1200)
- John David Washington (Malcolm & Marie): +2000
- Kingsley Ben-Adir (One Night in Miami): +2500
- Colin Firth (Supernova): +3300
- Joe Keery (Spree): +3300
- Tom Hanks (News of the World): +3300
The Ones To Beat:
If you’re going to bet on Chadwick Boseman, it’s a good idea to do it now, even at -400. Those odds are only going to keep dropping as more people check out the film and see just how magnetic Boseman was as the trumpeter whose ambitions outweigh his self-preservation instincts. When he wins Best Actor, and it really does seem like “when” and not “if,” it will because of the performance, not because of the tragedy of Boseman’s death.
Anthony Hopkins is the only other actor that is even under 8 to 1, which makes him the distant second choice. In another year, it would be tough to beat Hopkins for his stunning performance as a man dealing with deteriorating mental faculties. But it’s not going to happen with Boseman’s performance in the field.
The Value Bets:
There are some people who just won’t be able to stomach laying odds of 1 to 4 on the favorite, since there isn’t much return without a lot of risk. If that’s you, you can take a stab at some of the others on the list. Ahmed made a real impact with his performance as a drummer losing his hearing, and he could be the best of the mid-priced options.
Beyond that there are some worthy competitors, led by Oldman, whose performance as a drunken genius writer is stellar but whose win in this category just a few years back probably knocks him out of contention. Lindo stood out in Lee’s Da Five Bloods Ensemble as the most combative of the veterans heading back into their old war haunts looking for gold. And Ben-Adir’s turn as Malcolm X bravely emphasized the man’s gentleness and insecurity amidst the more confident, boastful personalities around him.
Again, we suggest that you grab these odds on Boseman now, because they are only going up and it’s highly unlikely that anyone is going to beat him.
Best Moneymaking Play:
We don’t think an upset is likely, but if you must go for it, Ahmed is the one to choose.
- Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom): +110
- Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman): +220
- Frances McDormand (Nomadland): +500
- Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman): +500
- Amy Adams (Hillbilly Elegy): +1000
- Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit): +1200
- Zendaya (Malcolm & Marie): +1400
- Nicole Behairie (Miss Juneteenth): +1400
- Sophia Loren (The Life Ahead): +1600
- Anna Taylor-Joy (Emma): +2000
- Kate Winslet (Ammonite): +2500
- Meryl Streep (The Prom): +2500
- Clare Dunne (Herself): +3300
- Rashida Jones (On The Rocks): +3300
The Ones To Beat:
Davis makes for an interesting favorite, in that there could be some vulnerability there that might present an upset opportunity. Her performance is undoubtedly brilliant, as she plays a blues singer whose diva behavior is her way of proactively keeping from getting taking advantage of in an industry dominated by white male executives. But she really cedes the spotlight for much of the film to her male co-stars, and Boseman’s performance tends to make this seem like his character, not Davis’, is the main one.
Mulligan is certainly a threat in a role that requires a deft balancing act, one that she makes look almost startingly easy. McDormand is as decorated as they come and just keeps rolling with her performance in Nomadland. And Kirby has earned some plaudits from other organizations for her bravura performance as a woman mourning the loss of her child, albeit in a film that not too many people have seen.
The Value Bets:
There are many possibilities in the middle of the pack here that could be heard from when all is said and done, beginning with Adams, whose movie was panned by most, but those same critics generally thought that she and Glenn Close were able to rise above the material.
Zendaya is a rising star whose film is one that is gaining popularity with every new person who watches it.
As you move down the list, you find some more options that are intriguing, like Loren, who is still putting together marvelous performances and will be another one who will have sentiment on her side for her storied career. Taylor-Joy wowed a lot of people with her TV series The Queen’s Gambit, and that popularity could help open voters’ eyes to her take on Jane Austen’s heroine. Streep and Winslet have something like 100 nominations between the two off them, so it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for one or both to sneak into the nominations mix, after which anything can happen.
How about a shocker as Pfeifer comes from nowhere at 12 to 1, especially once the screeners get sent out and people see how great she was?
Best Moneymaking Play:
All of those budding chess enthusiasts could push Taylor-Joy into the mix in what feels like a wide-open race.
We hope that you have a better feel for futures wagering at Oscars betting sites on the 2021 Academy Awards. Make your bets now for your top choices and lock in those odds while you can. That’s the best way to get value for this year’s Oscars.
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