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Betting the 2009 Academy Awards: Part 2

February 19, 2009

Betting on the Academy Awards has become one the most popular forms of prop wagering. In Part 2 of a three-part series, we highlight some of the lesser, yet still-important, Oscar award categories for the 2009 Academy Awards.

While there are no betting odds for the following categories, you can bet on the top categories – including Best Picture and Best Actor – at your favorite sportsbook.

The 81st Academy Awards take place Sunday at 8 pm ET on ABC.

Foreign Film: “The Baader Meinhof Complex,” Germany; “The Class,” France; “Departures,” Japan; “Revanche,” Austria; “Waltz With Bashir,” Israel.

Well I have to admit I have not seen any of these Foreign Films and will guess that Revanche out of Austria will win.

Animated Feature Film: “Bolt”; “Kung Fu Panda”; “WALL-E.”

Now these I have seen and both Kung Fu Panda and Bolt were entertaining, especially the 3D Bolt but my hat goes off to WALL-E for the unique tale and overall look of the film.

Art Direction: “Changeling,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Dark Knight,” “The Duchess,” “Revolutionary Road.”

This is a real hard category because I loved The Duchess and Benjamin Button’s look, Changeling was good too, not so happy with Revolutionary Road.  However, The Dark Knight stands taller than the rest.

Cinematography: “Changeling,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Dark Knight,” “The Reader,” “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Okay.  Slumdog Millionaire will probably take this category but my money is on The Dark Knight as the cool dark look of the film made audience members feel uneasy through the movie and that is what theatre going is all about.  Make us squirm.

Sound Mixing: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Dark Knight,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “WALL-E,” “Wanted.”

This is difficult to pick because I get immersed into the films so deeply I hardly notice the sound mixing and that is the sign of great sound mixing.  With that in mind I choose The Dark Knight even though Wanted and WALL-E stand out here too.

Sound Editing: “The Dark Knight,” “Iron Man,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “WALL-E,” “Wanted.”

Because this is one of the few categories Iron Man got nominated for I pick it to win.  I still can’t believe that it was not nominated in more categories. Dark Knight is a close second.

Original Score: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Alexandre Desplat; “Defiance,” James Newton Howard; “Milk,” Danny Elfman; “Slumdog Millionaire,” A.R. Rahman; “WALL-E,” Thomas Newman.

I love Danny Elfman and he deserves to win and the unique score for Slumdog Millionaire was great.  Yet I believe the Oscar will go to Thomas Newman for WALL-E because the songs in this animated feature are catchier than the others.

Original Song: “Down to Earth” from “WALL-E,” Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman; “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire,” A.R. Rahman and Gulzar; “O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire,” A.R. Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam.

Even though the odds are in favor that Slumdog Millionaire will win (two songs), I still think Down to Earth by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman was catchier, plus I am a Peter Gabriel fan.

Costume: “Australia,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Duchess,” “Milk,” “Revolutionary Road.”

No brainer here – The Duchess hands down.

U.S. Election Betting: Obama odds point to big win

October 15, 2008

Barack Obama is now the overwhelming favorite to win the U.S. Election at Sportsbooks, which has moved the Illinois senator to -500 in moneyline betting for the United States presidential election.

Bettors who place a $250 Prop Bet on Obama would win $50 for a total return of $300.

Underdog bettors who think John McCain will mount an amazing comeback between now and the Nov. 4 election can get +300 odds on the Arizona senator at Sportsbooks.

A $250 bet on McCain would net a total return of $1000.

According to Ireland’s Intrade, an online prediction market business, current betting trends indicate the Democratic senator will win all the states that John Kerry won in 2004, plus key states Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, New Mexico and Missouri.

That current betting trend would give Obama 364 electoral votes in the November 4 presidential election, well over the minimum 270 needed to capture the White House.

Intrade says that while experts are divided on the reliability of the online prediction market, some believe past results show they are just as good or even better than public-opinion surveys.

In 2004, President George W. Bush won and lost in all the states Intrade predicted he would. In the 2006 legislative elections, it correctly predicted the Republicans would win a Senate majority, when even the pundits were unsure how the race would go.

James Surowiecky, an economist, New Yorker magazine contributor and author of “The Wisdom of Crowds,” believes online betting is more reliable because risking money makes for a stronger commitment than simply talking with survey-takers.

Strange Google Results for NFL Week 4

September 29, 2008

Today I Googled the term NFL Week 4 as I wanted to see how certain sites were performing for that term. While I was looking at the results on page one I noticed that there were more than 10 listings but I didn’t really give it too much thought seeing as we live in a Universal Google world these days.

As I continued to hit the Next link I started to notice that I was getting less than 10 results per page, anywhere from 6 to 9 listings per page. Thinking this was odd I sent result page links to people I know and asked them how many listings they were seeing when they opened the page and they all replied with the standard 10.

I didn’t really spend all that much time on it as I figured it was just one of those things and went about my business. A short time later I went back to Google and tried that term again as I wanted to see if I could replicate those results and to my surprise it happened again, first page 11 listings followed by 6 to 9 listings when I hit the Next link.

Intrigued; I thought I would see if I would get consistency by navigating away for any particular results page and then return to that same page to see what I would get and for one visit to page 7 I got 8 listings and upon my return I got 6 listings. I took some screen captures of the results as I thought others might like to take a look.

The first questions that people might ask are; was I logged into my Google account and was I using any kind of custom search page. The answer to both questions is no, these were standard Google results pages. While I have a Google account I only log in to it when I am looking for specific information and always log out when I am done.

So with those two questions out of the way I have to ask if anybody else has had those kinds of results and if they have please let me know about it. Also if anybody knows why this might have happened please offer up your theories.

Hillary Clinton to run as an Independent? Election Odds

July 14, 2008

How much you wanna bet that if Hillary Clinton ran for President as an independent in the November election that in doing so she would effectively split the Democratic vote ruining the chances for Barrack Obama to become the first African American president?

Further, in doing so she would ensure that the Republican Party would win their first fair election in 8 years. Shame too as I think under normal circumstances John McCain could have won this election on his own. But seeing as the previous two terms were anything but normal circumstantially speaking, it will take some kind of shenanigans for him to be elected.

Don’t forget to check out the election odds at

E. Zack Lee

Odds on the End of the World

May 6, 2008

Dating back to the first time man interpreted meanings in various objects such as clouds or reflections in water, how bones land when dropped or even the bumps on people’s heads, predictions were made on when the world would end.

Probably the most consistent prediction has been the one made famous by the Mayan calendar. Not only did the Mayans predict Doomsday to be December 21, 2012 but so did many other people across many cultures.

Now I am not sure why but for some reason the popular sports betting site has offered their members betting odds on the world ending on May 10th 2008;

Odds the world will end on May 10th 2008 – 500/1
Odds the world will not end on May 10th 2008 – 1/1,000

Now to me this is a crazy bet cause if the world ends on that date and you win the bet not only would you not be able to collect being dead and all but should you be one of the few to survive, who would send you the check?

As if that wasn’t reason enough what about the thought that everything ends on December 21, 2012? I mean those Mayans were pretty smart people given the fact that the Mayan calendar’s accuracy in measuring time, second only to the atomic clock I believe.

Now I can’t say that either bets on the world ending on those dates is a good bet but I can say this, there is some great info on the web regarding December 21, 2012, check it out. All of the religious and cultural predictions aside there is a web bot that is based upon linguistics and was put together to make predictions on the stock market. It turns out that this system is pretty accurate in predicting other things as well. Check those out at by doing a search for Dire Web Bot Predictions and give that a listen before you place your bet on the end of the world.

E. Zack Lee

Hell’s Kitchen 4 Betting Odds

April 10, 2008

Chef Gordon Ramsay is one of the finest chefs out there or so we are told. Myself I will eat just about anything as long as the texture isn’t too bad. Anyway – his reality TV show; Hell’s Kitchen is one the more entertaining reality shows out there even if a good percentage of it is bleeped out due to his foul mouth.

Seems such a waste watching it on Fox as one can’t truly appreciate the full flavor of this program when most of the spice is edited out. I actually watch the reruns on the cooking channel because they have to balls to leave in all of the colorful language. American television is really quite silly as they will show someone getting their head blown off on a TV drama but they bleep out the words God or Damn and I ask you – which is worse or more offensive?

As much as I like the show and Gordon Ramsay, I really have to question their contestant selection process as it seems they look for people who will screw up the most. Can’t they find chefs that have even a little competency or the ability to cook an egg or fry some fish while under pressure? Oh well the formula seems to be working for them so I guess they won’t change it.

This year we have another batch of cooks that seem to be less than qualified in the kitchen (Petrozza) or in human interactions (Jen). As usual the online sportsbook community is once again offering up betting odds on which of these chefs will be the latest winner of Hell’s Kitchen.

Here are the odds for the remaining chefs as put out by

Christina 4/1
Corey 13/1
Jen 6/1
Rosann 7/1
Shayna 16/1
Vanessa 17/2
Ben 13/2
Bobby 20/1
Craig 8/1
Jason 18/1
Louross 5/1
Matt 20/1
Petrozza 15/1

E. Zack Lee

UEFA Champions League heats up in knockout stages

March 3, 2008

There are seven games in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday and Wednesday, and there is still everything to play for in the two-legged ties that make up the knockout stages of Europe’s top club tournament. All of these games are available for action at sportsbook.

Arsenal at AC Milan (0-0 draw)
Milan are -105 favorites to go through after holding Arsenal to a goalless draw in London. Milan will also have World Player of the Year Kaka in the lineup, while Arsenal have been struggling with a host of injuries, especially to their strikers. Milan should go through due to their homefield advantage at the San Siro.

Celtic at Barcelona (Barca leads 3-2)
Barca claimed three precious away goals at Celtic, but their defense has left much to be desired this season. Barca are big -395 favorites at home, and their wealth of talent up front with Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi and Theirry Henry should be enough to get to the next round.

Fenerbache at Sevilla (Fenerbache leads 3-2)
The first leg in Turkey between these two was one of the more entertaining of all the ties, with Sevilla nicking a pair of away goals. Sevilla are favored at -235 to eliminate Fenerbache, and they will rely on the goal-scoring exploits of African Player of the Year Fredi Kanoute and Luis Fabiano, who have four goals each in the competition.

Lyon at Manchester United (1-1 draw)
United are -260 favorites to go through at Old Trafford after snatching an away goal at Lyon, and they looked like the better team for most of the game. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of four players with five goals to lead the way in the Champions League, and he will be at the forefront to carry United to the next round.

Olympiakos at Chelsea
(0-0 draw)
Chelsea should have an edge after dominating Olympiakos in Greece, and they are favored at -345 to come away with the win at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have the injured John Terry and Frank Lampard back in the lineup, and because of their inspired play at the Bridge, Chelsea should move to the next round.

Schalke at Porto (Schalke leads 1-0)
Porto will still feel like they have a good chance after giving up only one goal in Germany, and they are favored at -140 because they have yet to lose at home this season in the Portuguese league. Look for Porto to call upon their experience in 2004, when they won the Champions League.

Roma at Real Madrid (Roma leads 2-1)
Madrid are -215 favorites to book their passage at the Bernabeu, but they will need to contain Roma’s inspirational captain Francesco Totti, who carved up the Spanish giants in Italy. Madrid’s famous supporters should be enough to push them through in what will be a close match.

Lesbian Turkish Oil Wrestling

February 23, 2008

The infamous lesbian Turkish oil wrestling scene that Showtime played as a teaser trailer in November debuted last Sunday in Episode 5.7. Is this an act of desperation by the producers of The L Word or an act of brilliance?

E. Zack Lee

Sasha Cohen – Fall at the Olympics

February 18, 2008

Now I would pay to see this!

E. Zack Lee

Betting the Oscars

February 14, 2008

Every year the sportsbooks offer lines and odds on the Oscars. This year the Oscars will be held on February 14, 2008 and luckily for the presenters and us, the writer’s strike won’t be forcing us to watch the show with substandard commentary.For your consideration here is a list of odds for some of the more popular categories:

Best Picture Winner:
No Country For Old Men” @1.40
All other nominees @ 3.19

Best Actor:
Daniel Day-Lewis @1.13 (“There Will Be Blood“)
All other nominees @ 7.77

Best Actress:
Julie Christie @1.40 (“Away From Her“)
All other nominees @2.97

Best Supporting Actor:
Javier Barden @1.13 (“No Country For Old Men”)
All other nominees @7.55

Best Supporting Actress:
Cate Blanchette @2.38 (“I’m Not There“)
Amy Ryan @2.98 (“Gone, Baby, Gone“)
All other nominees @3.52

Best Director:
Joel/Ethan Coen @1.36 (“No Country For Old Men”)
All other nominees @3.47

For a complete list of Oscar betting odds please visit Bodog. Please keep in mind that the betting odds may vary from the ones listed on the site. If there is a difference you should consider the odds listed on the site as they are considered to be live lines and could change between now and the day of the Oscars.

E. Zack Lee