Betting on the Academy Awards has become one the most popular forms of prop wagering. In Part 1 of a three-part series, we highlight the top Oscar award categories for the 2009 Academy Awards, and betting odds for the nominees.
The 81st Academy Awards take place Feb. 22 at 8 pm ET on ABC.
Best Picture: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk,” “The Reader,” “Slumdog Millionaire.”
The hype for Benjamin Button is everywhere with Brad Pitt smiling and enticing his fans and the voters. However, Frost/Nixon has good performances by both lead actors. Where the hell is The Dark Knight or Iron Man? If the academy wants to increase viewership, they need to nominate movies the public is paying to see. My prediction is that Slumdog Millionaire will be triumphant due to the unique look and licensing of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ – I mean the producers have the money to lobby hard.
Oscar betting odds at Sportsbooks have Slumdog Millionaire as the favorite at -300, followed by the Curious Case of Benjamin Button at +350, Milk at +500, Frost/Nixon at +1000, and The Reader at +1200.
Director: David Fincher, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”; Ron Howard, “Frost/Nixon”; Gus Van Zant, “Milk”; Stephen Daldry, “The Reader”; Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire.”
Ron Howard is a genius and it shows in Frost/Nixon, I just don’t think there is much more he could do with two guys stuck sitting across from each other and he’s already won a Director’s Oscar. David Fincher did an amazing job with Benjamin Button but something seemed missing. I hope Danny Boyle wins because Slumdog Millionaire was a great way to tell a story and he made sure it translated internationally.
Academy Award betting odds at Sporting bet have Danny Boyle as a -250 favorite followed by David Fincher at +333, Ron Howard at +1200, Gus Van Zant at +1600, and Stephen Daltry at +1600.
Actor: Richard Jenkins, “The Visitor”; Frank Langella, “Frost/Nixon”; Sean Penn, “Milk”; Brad Pitt, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”; Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler.”
This is a hard one. Mickey Rourke is fantastic as The Wrestler but the academy may still hold animosity to the legendary actor. After the Homosexual marriage vote fiasco I don’t think Sean Penn has a chance and so my pick is Richard Jenkins in The Visitor. Jenkin’s an actor who has been in a million movies & TV shows and is always good and The Visitor is really his movie, it’s impossible to imagine any other actor pulling that character off.
Mickey Rourke is a -110 favorite in Oscar betting lines at Sporting bet. Sean Penn is at +150, Frank Langella is +700, Brad Pitt is +1400, and Richard Jenkins +4000.
Actress: Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married”; Angelina Jolie, “Changeling”; Melissa Leo, “Frozen River”; Meryl Streep, “Doubt”; Kate Winslet, “The Reader.”
Even though I am a huge fan of Anne Hathaway and Kate Winslet I have to vote for Angelina Jolie for two reasons. First, her acting in Clint Eastwood’s movie Changeling is her best part since Girl Interrupted. Second, she is overdue since she hasn’t won an Oscar since 2000.
Academy Award betting odds at Sportsbooks have Kate Winslet favored at -125, followed by Anne Hathaway at +160, Meryl Streep at +350, and Angelina Jolie and Melissa Leo, both at +1000.
Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, “Milk”; Robert Downey Jr., “Tropic Thunder”; Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Doubt”; Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”; Michael Shannon, “Revolutionary Road.”
This is another hard category to choose from. Josh Brolin acts just like Nixon (I remember watching the actual Frost/Nixon interview and this version is so realistic you’d think he was Nixon. I loved Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder, how could you not like him as a black man. Philip Seymour Hoffman is original and chooses roles that make you want to sit up and notice but everyone knows that Heath Ledger deserves the Oscar for his take on The Joker in The Dark Knight. I still can see his face when I close my eyes and plus, Ledger deserves it (he won’t be able to be nominated again).
Betting odds at Sporting bet have Heath Ledger as a huge favorite at -2000. Philip Seymour Hoffman is +1800, while Josh Brolin, Michael Shannon, and Robert Downey Jr. are all +2000.
Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, “Doubt”; Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”; Viola Davis, “Doubt”; Taraji P. Henson, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”; Marisa Tomei, “The Wrestler.”
Even though Marisa Tomei acted the hell out of The Wrestler, Penelope Cruz made Vicky Cristina Barcelona her own. Mind you I would have voted for Kiera Knightly but she was not nominated (which just shows you the academy isn’t on top of its game).
Penelope Cruz is a -138 favorite at Sportsbooks. Marisa Tomei and Viola Davis are +350, Taraja P. Henson is +1200, and Amy Adams is +1600.