Bookies and Oscar Pundits Put Odds On The Artist, Obviously

The Artist re-release

The Academy Awards are not a contest, the humble nominees might demur, taking the high road through the gory scrum that is awards season. But do you really think, say, Glenn Close wouldn’t cut a bitch for an Oscar? Alas, the odds are against her, literally; online books have her at as much as 100:1 odds to win her first statuette for Albert Nobbs. Take a peek at how the internet’s enterprising bookies have handicapped the 84th Academy Award nominees and adjust your bets accordingly.

Oscar wagering is, of course, a natural byproduct of Hollywood’s biggest night. After all, for some folks the Academy Awards are the sporting event of the season, and this Sunday is moviedom’s Super Bowl – the night our nation gathers around the tube to watch favored players, decked out in uniforms of black tie and couture, nodding gamely at the competition along the red carpet while hoping to be the one holding the hardware aloft in triumph at the end of the night.

So whether or not you play along at home with your own Oscar pool or go in for the big bets, these odds should give you an extra leg up on predicting this weekend’s winners. This year the odds made by the experts line up for the most part with the prognostications of the awards watchers who contribute to the Gold Derby Oscar handicap (including Movieline's S.T. VanAirsdale, whose latest Oscar Index can be found here). That said, who among us isn't rooting for at least one or two upsets on the big night?

The Artist has had a lock on Best Picture for months, and odds reflect the near-certainty that it’ll take home top honors. Running a distant second, according to the bookmakers and the pundits, is The Descendants, while Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the near-unanimous choice among betmakers and pundits for last place.

Best Picture (Best odds selected from multiple sites via
1/9 The Artist
28-1 The Descendants
25-1 The Help
25-1 Hugo
50-1 War Horse
100-1 Midnight in Paris
100-1 Moneyball
100-1 Tree of Life
100-1 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Likewise, put money on The Artist’s Michel Hazanavicius to win Best Director (1/6 at and you won’t get much on a win, but bet on Terrence Malick (66-1 at Ladbrokes) and the dark horse could pay-off handsomely.

A little more excitement is to be had in the Best Actor category, where favorite Jean Dujardin is fending off George Clooney in a close-ish race. And over in Best Actress, the ladies are duking it out in the more exciting category of the season, where Viola Davis reigns over Meryl Streep but a winning wager on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s super, super dark horse Rooney Mara could be huge (303-1 at Betfair).

Meanwhile, the pundits and the betting experts differ the most in Best Animated Feature, where the clear favorite is Rango; Oscar watchers betting with their hearts and minds (and knowledge of Academy voting habits) peg Puss in Boots and A Cat in Paris as the likeliest winners behind Rango, but betmakers put the odds on Chico & Rita in the case of an upset.

Want less predictability in your Oscar betting game? You can also bet on which designer will be worn by the Best Actress winner (odds in favor of Stella McCartney, Valentino, and Yves Saint Laurent).

For a full look at the odds on the Oscars in multiple categories, head to Oddschecker.

[Oddschecker, Gold Derby]