Bookies’ Corner: Oscars 2017 – Looking beyond La La Land

The 89th Academy Awards (26 February) awaits Hollywood with every bookmaker placing Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’ as the firm favourite to win Best Picture. Nominated for a record 14 Oscar categories can anyone stop the La La Land juggernaut.

Furthermore, will a Hollywood bashing President Donald J Trump dominate the awards’ night speeches and celebrations… SBC’ gets the bookies lowdown on Oscars 2017.


Tim Reynolds –  Sun Bets

SBC: With 14 Oscar nods, can La La Land a film which has been described as a ‘love letter to Hollywood’ break the all-time record of Oscar wins by a movie (title held by Titanic – 1997- 11 wins)?

Tim Reynolds (Sun Bets): La La Land has already equalled one Oscars record with fourteen nominations- sharing the record with Titanic in 1997 and All About Eve which was released a couple of years after she ate a dodgy apple. Of course, there’s massive speculation about whether La La Land can break the record of eleven Oscar wins- most of which are for awards no one will remember the result of.”

We’ve done the maths nomination-by-nomination and are happy to offer 20/1 that Gosling’s mob can get twelve or more Oscars- as there are a few banana skins lying in wait for the movie. Gosling himself is an 8/1 shot to win Best Actor for his role in this luvvie-fest and Jackie is the odds-on favourite to win Best Costume, plus the film is as big as 3/1 with us to win Best Original Screenplay. So I’m sorry folks, we don’t think it’ll break the record… maybe take 5/1 that it ties the record with eleven exactly?

Anthony Cousins, Unibet

SBC: Is there any room for an upset in the best picture Category which has seen bookmakers place La La Land as the firm favourite?

Anthony Cousins (Unibet): Last year we were treated to three flip flopping favourites with Spotlight, The Big Short and The Revenant all vying for favouritism up until Oscar night itself. This year is the antithesis with La La Land primed for favouritism since it’s premiere in Venice and no other film coming close to gaining the same kind of momentum.

La La Land had attracted over 56% of Best Picture bets before the nominations were even announced with only Moonlight 13% and Manchester By The Sea 16% the only other films in double figures.

Looking at the odds and they have been plummeting – we opened at 2.50 in early awards season and have seen constant backing since new year with the odds down to 1.25 after the nomination.

It isn’t really a question of will La La Land win but more how many awards will it pick up? Casey Affleck looks certain to win Best Actor at 1.25 while the Best Actress category is perhaps most interesting with Natalie Portman at 2.25 most likely to cause an upset to Emma Stone at 1.75.

Dafni Serdari – Pinnacle

SBC: Following the Academy’s official announcement of 2017 contenders, which Oscars categories do you feel offer punters the best value for money?

Dafni Serdari (Pinnacle): Betting on the Oscars is a totally different ball game to sports betting. When it comes to football, for example, nobody knows what the outcome is until the final whistle.

With Oscars, however, voters submit their votes long before the stars walk on the red carpet for the glamorous ceremony. What this means in practice is that predicting an Oscar winner is an information race, a fascinating game of cat and mouse. As more information reaches larger audiences ahead of the ceremony, instead of random odds fluctuations, we tend to see the winners’ odds shortening significantly, with little exceptions.

That is why, as a rule of thumb, the earlier you place your Oscars bets, the more value you will get. With Golden Globes, Critic’s Choice and SAG having announced their winners, the odds-on favourites are now clearly defined in Pinnacle’s markets. There is however one category that could surprise us this year. Considering last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy and Moonlight’s odds currently at 3.79 with – hindering La La Land’s complete dominance – Best Picture might be the most interesting category for bettors to watch.

Paddy Power

SBC: As an entertainment spectacle, how prominent do you feel Donald Trump will be at  Oscars 2017?

Patrick ‘Paddy ‘ Power (Paddy Power): ‘This year’s Oscars is going to be yuge… Usually, people of colour don’t feature much, but Donald Trump will dominate the show. Though they do say that Orange is the new Black, so maybe talking about him will be seen as progress after all – unlike his policies. It’s appropriate that La La Land is the big favourite to win – as that’s, clearly, where the Donald lives.


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