Place Your Bets on the Oscars


Are you looking to spice up the Oscars? Consider laying a few wagers at your favorite online sports book.

This year is an exciting Oscar race for indie films with Boyhood, Birdman and Whiplash all but guaranteed to win awards.

First, a quick explanation of the betting odds below. It is important to note that these odds are not good, the sports book has highly weighted them in their favor, so treat this strictly for entertainment purposes. allows for a max wager of $1,000 per bet, but lets assume you are more like me and use $10 as your baseline. Here is an example looking at Best Picture:

Boyhood  +160  OR  Field  -205

If you bet $10 on Boyhood, you would win $16 (10 x 1.6) or lose $10.

If you bet on the Field (all other titles, namely Birdman), you would risk to lose $20.50 to win $10.

In short, if a bet is + money, you will win more than what you risk, if it is – money you have to risk more to win less. In general, you are always looking for + money long shots so that you have upside and risk less. Betting a favorite over -300 is just too risky, although with an event like the Oscars that does severely limit your options.

Now, lets take a look at the odds, using the numbers from as of 11am EST on Saturday, odds will definitely change hour-by-hour. Monitor your site to try for the best odds possible.

There are a few categories that the odds are so high there is no point in betting on them, make sure you have these winners locked-in for your Oscars pool.

Mortal Locks: Best Supporting Actor: JK Simmons, Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette

Oscar statue

Very Likely:

Best Original Song – “Glory” from Selma -700

Best Costume Design – The Grand Budapest Hotel -1300

Best Makeup and Hairstyling – The Grand Budapest Hotel -700

Best Cinematography – Birdman -1100

So that leaves some categories to consider for wagers.

Betting Opportunities

Best Picture:

Boyhood  +160  OR  Field  -205

Best Director:

Linklater  +135  OR  Field  -170

Best Actor:

Keaton  +215  OR  Redmayne  -310

Best Animated Film:

How to Train Your Dragon 2 -500  OR  Big Hero 6 +300  OR  Field +1600

Best Foreign Language Film:

Ida -255  OR  Leviathan +210  OR  Field +1000

Best Writing Original Screenplay:

Grand Budapest Hotel -250  OR  Birdman +190  OR  Field +1000

Best Original Score:

The Theory of Every Thing -220  OR  Field  +165

Best Editing:

Boyhood -270  OR  Whiplash +220  OR  Field +1000

Best Visual Effects:

Interstellar -300  OR  Field +230

Best Documentary Feature:

Citizenfour -600  OR  Field +365

Best Sound Editing:

American Sniper -250  OR  Intersteller +200  OR  Field +1000

Best Sound Mixing:

American Sniper +160  OR  Birdman +300  OR  Interstellar +330  OR  Whiplash +170  OR  Unbroken +5000



Best Picture – Boyhood +160

Best Director – Linklater +135

The emergence of Birdman winning the PGA and SAG best picture has taken Boyhood from a HUGE favorite over -1100 just a few weeks ago now down to a + money bet opportunity. While Birdman certainly may take it, the odds are not bad to take Boyhood both for Best Picture and Linklater for Best Director. If it wins one of the two categories, then you have made money without risking much.


Best Sound Editing -250 and Sound Mixing +160 – American Sniper

With the huge commercial success of American Sniper, it would not surprise me if the academy members vote for it in these sound categories. Sound Editing looks likely and I think many voters just vote the same in sound editing and mixing if they don’t have a strong opinion. Otherwise Whiplash should take mixing.


If you are looking to gamble some more, here are some potential Oscar spoilers.

Best Foreign Film – Leviathan +210

The foreign category has proven extremely difficult to predict in the past with the favorite often losing, so even though Ida looks like the winner, I would not recommend risking a bet on it. Leviathan won the Golden Globe and it is a rare film from Russia that challenges social and political boundaries.

Best Documentary – Field +365

Citizenfour definitely has all of the momentum, but the odds are too high to bet on. This is another category that has been hard to predict in the past, so getting the field here is worth a look.

Best Editing – Whiplash +220

Traditionally the Best Editing award has gone to the Best Picture, so this does contradict my belief in Boyhood ultimately winning. The obvious thought is that a film edited over a 12 year period may be a lock. However, there is a lot of love for Whiplash and the editing is superb, I could see voters giving it a nod in this category instead of betting their Best Picture vote.

Best Actor – Michael Keaton +215

All signs seem to point to Redmayne as the winner, but given the success of Birdman at other awards shows, there may be enough voters that choose it in all categories. There is a lot of respect for Keaton making a comeback in this role. Ultimately I don’t think he wins, but could be worth a shot.

Best Animated Film – Big Hero 6 +300

I have no opinion, but Big Hero 6 was such an audience favorite I would think it has a real chance against the frontrunner, especially since Dragon is a sequel. This category is already confusing with the Lego Movie missing, so why not take a shot at the underdog?



About Author

Independent Film Producer. Host of the 'Indie Film Picks' podcast. Board President of Indie Memphis film festival. Director of Development at New School Media, Inc.

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