While we may still be 124 days away from Oscar night … and while many of the movies and performances that might be nominated haven’t yet been released … and while only a few NJ sportsbooks are currently offering odds on the festivities … well, despite it all, there’s still plenty of action to be had in this particular information market.
For instance, back in June, in the race for Best Picture, the Ron Howard-directed Thirteen Lives was the favorite at +600 at PointsBet.
The new — and heavy — favorite for Best Picture is the Steven Spielberg-directed (and semi-autobiographical) The Fabelmans, which is at +125 on PointsBet. Back in June, it was all the way up at +1400.
Other movies that are currently competing near the top of the odds board include Everything Everywere All at Once, the mind-bending sci-fi thriller/thinker, which is second on the board at PointsBet at +400 but can be had for +750 at bet365. Babylon, set in Hollywood in the 1920s and starring Brad Pitt, is second at +550 at bet365 and is at +800 at PointsBet.
But perhaps the biggest challenge to Spielberg is the buzzy The Banshees of Inisherin, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as former friends in 1920s Ireland. The film is at +850 on bet365 to take home best picture.
The two sportsbooks have also posted odds for a trio of other categories.
Right now, there is a heavy — pun intended — favorite for Best Actor: Brendan Fraser, for his role as a 600-pound recluse in The Whale. His odds are -182 at PointsBet and -138 at bet365.
And much like the Best Picture market, it pays to shop the odds. Not only is Fraser a better bet at bet365, so is Farrell for his role in The Banshees of Inisherin. He’s at +500 there, whereas he is at +275 at PointsBet.
Austin Butler — for his role in Elvis — is the reverse of Farrell, as he’s +600 at PointsBet and +350 at bet365 to take home the award.
Cate Blanchett, for her role in Tar, is the favorite at both sites: She’s +125 at PointsBet and +187 at bet365. Second choice is Margot Robbie for her performance in Babylon, where she’s +400 at PointsBet but +550 at bet365.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the three sites right now is the market for Danielle Deadwyler, for her much-talked about role in Till; she’s the eighth choice at +800 at bet365 but the third favorite at PointsBet at +500. Meanwhile, at DraftKings, she’s +1000 as the seventh choice.
While saying anything is a sure thing at this point is clearly foolish, it’s starting to look like Spielberg is a sure thing to win Best Director.
He’s -160 at DraftKings, -150 at bet365 and +100 at PointsBet. Second choice in this department is Sarah Polley for Women Talking, +500 at both sites. And while PointsBet lists six more directors at +1000 or better, bet365 only lists one — Damien Chazelle for Babylon at +800 (he’s +500 at PointsBet).
Obviously, there’s still plenty of time to go before the Oscars themselves, and other sportsbooks will undoubtedly get in on the action. But in these information markets, where knowledge is king, it’s already clear there’s plenty of disagreement among the bookmakers. Done right — from a bettor’s perspective — perhaps a better name for the Academy Awards might be the Arbitrage Awards.