How to Bet on the Oscars – Odds & Guide

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The Oscars – officially known as the Academy Awards – is the big award ceremony for artistic and technical merit in the film industry. It’s presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) during a live televised ceremony in Hollywood.

How to bet on the Oscars isn’t much different from any of your favorite sports and we’ll show you why. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know from the latest odds, the Academy Awards betting picks, and history. Read on for the most comprehensive Oscars betting guide.

Hollywood

Latest Oscars Odds

In the table below you can check out the latest early market Oscars betting odds currently offered at BetOnline.

Best Actor

oscars betting markets best actor

Best Actress

oscars betting markets best actress

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How to Bet on The Oscars

Before you think about how to bet on the Oscars 2024, you need to sign up for an account with a sportsbook that provides Oscars betting odds. At the time of writing, BetOnline is running odds on the Academy Awards 2024, and nearer the time other top gambling sites will follow suit, so you’ll need to choose which one you want to join.

Signing up to a number of different bookmakers will give you the chance to get multiple welcome bonuses, as well as any other ongoing promotions for existing players. 

Real World Example of an Oscars Bet

Here we’re going to provide a real-world example so you can see how to bet on the Academy Awards, and just how these Oscars odds work. 

At the time of writing, the favorite for best picture at the 2024 Oscars is Christopher Nolan’s biographical thriller Oppenheimer, starring Cillian Murphy as physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. It also features Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr, Florence Pugh, Matt Damon, and Rami Malek. Also in the frame is Martin Scorsese’s Western romantic crime drama, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Past Lives.

We’ve backed the favorite, Oppenheimer, to win the prestigious gong at odds of +150, which means a $100 stake provides a potential payout of $250. The market will remain open until the winner of the award is confirmed on the night, but you can expect new films to be added in the meantime, and for the Oscars betting odds to fluctuate.

How to Place a Bet on The Oscars 2024 – Step-by-Step Guide

Here we walk you through the process of how to place a bet on the Oscars 2024, from the initial signing up to a sportsbook, to making a deposit, and placing a bet. We’ll use BetOnline, one of the top offshore sportsbooks, to demonstrate.

1. Sign up for an Account

Head to the sportsbook’s homepage and press the ‘Join’ button.

betonline signup

2. Enter Your Details

Add the required details such as your email, username, password, and phone number to create your account.

betonline account

3. Deposit Funds and Claim Your Welcome Bonus

Next you can make a deposit and claim any welcome bonuses. Payment methods will vary between sportsbooks, but BetOnline accepts online banking, credit and debit cards, and cryptocurrencies. 

betonline deposit

4. Navigate to the Oscars Betting Markets

Once you’ve added funds to your account and claimed your welcome bonus, you can navigate to the ‘Oscars’ betting section via the menu on the left-hand side, found under ‘Entertainment’. This will load all the available Oscars betting markets.

5. Place Your Bet

Once you’ve chosen the bet you want to make on the Oscars, click on the odds to add the selection to your bet slip. When you’re happy with the stake and potential payout, you can place your bet. Return to your account whenever you want to check on any open bets.

Why Bet on the Oscars

Now we’ve looked a bit at how to bet on the Oscars, you might be wondering why you’d want to. Betting on the Oscars is a fairly novel experience for most and isn’t as established as, say, placing a wager on the outcome of an NFL match.

If you need a bit of encouragement, here’s a few reasons why we think you should bet on the Academy Awards.

1. It’s More Exciting

You might be a real movie buff who loves to follow the Oscars, or someone with more of a passing interest, but betting on the event can really add to the excitement. Having a wager on the outcome will keep you engaged during the lengthy ceremony and could see you sharing in the success of the winner.

2. The Underdogs Often Win

Quite often the nominees favored by the best online sportsbooks actually lose, making it an enticing market for bettors. Every year there are surprises in a couple of categories where you could land yourself some sizable payouts if you pick a shock winner. You might not see an underdog triumph in Best Picture, but the acting categories have had plenty of surprise winners over the years.

3. Competitive Odds

As Oscars betting is still in its early stages of development, the sportsbooks will do what they can to make it more appealing. You might be able to take advantage of some generous Oscars betting odds provided by certain bookmakers. 

oscars movie clap

Type of Bets on The Oscars

There are only a few different bet types that apply here so it’s fairly easy to get your head around the Oscars betting system. Saying that, it’s pivotal you understand each type inside out if you’re going to land some winners.

If you want to know how to bet on the Oscars you should know that each sportsbook will have its own selection of bets, but they’re likely to fall under the remit of these three.

Winners

Betting on the winner of a selected Oscars category is the simplest and most popular bet you can make on the Academy Awards. Sites will usually post odds once the nominees are announced a few months before the event and they’ll continually change right up until the night of the Oscars.

Futures

These are similar to traditional category winners, except you’ll be placing bets before the nominations are out. So you might have more than your usual five or 10 options because the list of potential nominees is limitless. For that reason, there’s room for more value than in futures betting markets than if you wager on them later. It’s a riskier move but can come with greater Oscars odds.

Prop Bets

Oscar prop bets are completely unrelated to the winners in each category and can provide some light entertainment for bettors. Prop bets on the Oscars could be related to the awards, the ceremony itself, or absolutely anything, really.

Examples include how long the ceremony will last, which deceased star will be honored last in the “In Memoriam” portion of the show, whether there’ll be any profanities bleeped out of the broadcast, and whether certain movies will win multiple awards. Some prop bets might even be related to the circumstances of the event and can reward left-field thinking.

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Oscars Categories

The Oscars has a host of exciting categories for you to place wagers on. Over the years, new categories have been added to celebrate different parts of the film making process, while some have been discontinued. Here we examine the biggest awards and look back at some notable winners so you can get a feel of how to bet on the Oscars.

Best Picture

The Academy Award for Best Picture is traditionally the final one of the night and is widely considered the most prestigious honor of the ceremony. It goes to the producers of the film and the only category where every member of the Academy is eligible to submit a nomination, and vote on the final ballot.

The grand staircase columns at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood – where the Academy Awards ceremonies have been held since 2002 – showcase every film that has won the Best Picture award since it started.

You should be able to find Oscars betting odds on Best Picture at any sportsbook that covers the ceremony, with the critics expecting strong acting, directing, screenplay, and dialogue for this category. 

It may be worth considering movies with a strong political message as often the Academy members will go for a hard-hitting choice.

Notable Previous Winners

Year Film
1972 The Godfather
1976 Rocky
1993 Schindler’s List
1994 Forrest Gump
1997 Titanic
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2008 Slumdog Millionaire
2013 12 Years a Slave
2016 Moonlight
2019 Parasite

Best Actor

The Academy Award for Best Actor is given to a male actor who’s delivered an “outstanding performance” in a leading role in a film released that year. Traditionally the winner of Best Actress of the preceding year presents the award.

Daniel Day-Lewis has won the award a record three times for My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood (2007) and Lincoln (2012).

A clutch of actors have won twice, including Spencer Tracy, Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Cooper, Tom Hanks, Fredric March, Sean Penn and Anthony Hopkins, who became the oldest winner at age 83 for his turn in The Father (2020). Adrien Brody became the youngest winner aged 29 for The Pianist (2002).

This is a tough one to call as there will usually be at least a few strong contenders each year, but that does lead to some high Oscars odds for great options. Some years a strong favorite emerges early on to win, such as Joaquin Phoenix for Joker, in 2019.

Notable Previous Winners

Year Actor Character Film
1963 Sidney Poitier Homer Smith Lilies of the Field
1972 Marlon Brando Vito Corleone The Godfather
1980 Robert De Niro Jake LaMotta Raging Bull
1988 Dustin Hoffman Raymond Babbitt  Rain Man
1993 Tom Hanks Andrew Beckett Philadelphia
2000 Russell Crowe Maximus Decimus Meridius Gladiator
2001 Denzel Washington Alonzo Harris Training Day
2012 Matthew McConaughey Ron Woodroof Dallas Buyers Club
2015 Leonardo DiCaprio Hugh Glass The Revenant
2022 Brendan Fraser Charlie Sarsfield The Whale

Best Actress

The Academy Award for Best Actress is given to a female actress who has delivered an “outstanding performance” in a leading role in a film released that year. And just as above, the prize is traditionally presented by the previous year’s Best Actor winner.

Katharine Hepburn has won the award a record four times for Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981). Frances McDormand is a three-time winner for Fargo (1996), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), and Nomadland (2020).

A host of actresses have two Oscars to their name, including Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Jane Fonda, Elizabeth Taylor, Olivia de Havilland, Glenda Jackson, Jodie Foster, Sally Field, Vivien Leigh, Luise Rainer, Hilary Swank, and Meryl Streep, who has been nominated 21 times.

There are usually two or three favorites for this award, which means you can find good value odds for leading contenders, although some years there’s an obvious winner.

Notable Previous Winners

Year Actress Character Film
1953 Audrey Hepburn Princess Ann Roman Holiday
1979 Sally Field Norma Rae Webster  Norma Rae
1982 Meryl Streep Sophie Zawistowski Sophie’s Choice
1991 Jodie Foster Clarice Starling The Silence of the Lambs
2000 Julia Roberts Erin Brockovich Erin Brokovich
2001 Hallie Berry Leticia Musgrove Monster’s Ball
2003 Charlize Theron Aileen Wuornos Monster
2009 Sandra Bullock Liehg Anne Tuohy The Blind Side
2012 Jennifer Lawrence Tiffany Maxwell Silver Linings Playbook
2016 Emma Stone Mia Dolan La La Land

Best Supporting Actor

The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor is given in honor of a male actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a supporting role, while working in the film industry, usually presented by the previous year’s Best Supporting Actress winner.

Walter Brennan has won the award a record three times for his turns in Come and Get It (1936), Kentucky (1938) and The Westerner (1940). The likes of Mahershala Ali, Michael Caine, Melvyn Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Jason Robards, Peter Ustinov and Christoph Waltz have all won the award twice.

Timothy Hutton is the category’s youngest winner at age 20, while Christopher Plummer is the oldest at 82 and Heath Ledger is the only actor to win the award posthumously.

There isn’t a clear definition of what a leading and supporting performer is, but our Oscars betting guide says to make sure whoever you pick is someone who steals the show every time they appear on screen, even if for a short amount of time.

Notable Previous Winners

Year Actor Character Film
1978 Christopher Walken Nikonar ‘Nick’ Chevotarevich The Deer Hunter
1987 Sean Connery Jimmy Malone The Untouchables
1990 Joe Pesci Tommy DeVito Goodfellas
1996 Cuba Gooding Jr Rod Tidwell Jerry Maguire
1997 Robin Williams Sean Maguire Good Will Hunting
2007 Javier Bardem Anton Chigurh No Country for Old Men
2008 Heath Ledger The Joker The Dark Knight
2009 Christoph Waltz SS Colonel Hans Landa Inglourious Basterds
2016 Masherhala Ali Juan Moonlight
2019 Brad Pitt  Cliff Booth Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress

The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress is awarded to the female actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a supporting role and is traditionally presented by the previous year’s Best Supporting Actor winner.

Two women have won the award twice – Dianne Wiest for her roles in Bullets over Broadway (1994), and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), and Shelley Winters for The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), and A Patch of Blue (1965).

Thelma Ritter has never won despite being nominated six times. In 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first person to win an award in any of the four acting categories for Gone with the Wind (1939). At age 10, Tatum O’Neal became the youngest actress to win for Paper Moon (1973), and at age 77, Peggy Ashcroft became the oldest winner for A Passage to India (1984).

This category may require more research than Best Actress, but the key to cracking the Oscars betting system is being savvy about the Academy Awards betting picks. If you get it right you can make the most of bookmakers’s uncertainty in pricing potential winners.

Notable Previous Winners

Year Actress Character Film
1977 Vanessa Redgrave Julia Julia
1990 Whoopi Goldberg Oda Mae Brown Ghost
1992 Marisa Tomei Mona Lisa Vito My Cousin Vinny
1999 Angelina Jolie Lisa Rowe Girl, Interrupted
2005 Rachel Weisz Tessa Quayle The Constant Gardener
2006 Jennifer Hudson Effie White Dreamgirls
2008 Penelope Cruz Maria Elena Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2012 Anne Hathaway Fantine Les Misérables
2016 Viola Davis Rose Lee Maxson Fences
2019 Laura Dern Nora Fanshaw Marriage Story

Best Director

The Academy Award for Best Director is given to the film director who has exhibited outstanding directing and is usually presented by the previous year’s winner.

John Ford has won the award a record four times with The Informer (1935), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941) and The Quiet Man (1952). Frank Capra and William Wyler have both got three wins, while a clutch of directors, including Ang Lee, Clint Eastwood, Leo McCarey, Steven Spielberg, and Billy Wilder have won it twice. 

Martin Scorsese has been nominated nine times but only won once, while Woody Allen has received seven nominations but only once prevailed.

The awards for Best Director and Best Picture have been closely interlinked throughout their history – of the 88 films that won Best Picture, and were also nominated for Best Director, 67 won the award. This is great to know for trying to get in on the Academy Awards betting picks.

Often you’ll see the critics honor directors who have been around for years and haven’t won before if it’s a close competition, while the Academy also favors young directors, and in more recent years has acknowledged the works of foreign directors.

Notable Previous Winners

Year Director Film
1939 Victor Fleming Gone with the Wind
1943 Michael Curtiz Casablanca
1957 David Lean The Bridge on the River Kwai
1962 David Lean Lawrence of Arabia
1986 Oliver Stone Platoon
1990 Kevin Costner Dances with Wolves
1995 Mel Gibson Braveheart
1998 Steven Spielberg Saving Private Ryan
2009 Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker
2017 Guillermo del Toro The Shape of Water

Best Original Song

The Academy Award for Best Original Song is presented to the songwriters who have composed the best track written specifically for a film, with 15 songs shortlisted before the nominations are announced.

The most iconic movie songs of the year are a fun category to win on, and tend to come from popular artists who have produced a memorable tune.

Notable Previous Winners

Year Song Film
1961 ‘Moon River’ Breakfast at Tiffany’s
1984 ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’ The Woman in Red
1986 ‘Take My Breath Away’ Top Gun
1987 ‘The Time of My Life’ Dirty Dancing
1993 ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ Philadelphia
1994 ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ The Lion King
1997 ‘My Heart Will Go On’ Titanic
2002 ‘Lose Yourself’  8 Mile
2012 ‘Skyfall’ Skyfall
2021 ‘No Time to Die’ No Time to Die

Oscars cinema

5 Tips for Cracking the Oscars Betting System

Despite Oscars betting odds being a relatively new concept for bettors to get to grips with, we’ve got some Oscars betting tips and betting strategies for the Academy Awards that might make you some money.

Being a mega movie buff who knows the top movies every year will definitely help, but actually studying how the Academy votes for each award will clue you in on how to bet on the Oscars.

1. Bet Early

While the official nominations are released in January, the ceremony often takes place in late February. The Oscars betting markets can open many months beforehand. The earlier you pick your bet, the better your odds could be as things might drastically change closer to the event. 

They could always get worse, but with more movies likely to be added, an early shout may be available at better odds. Often as the night gets closer, the Oscars odds get shorted for the favored nominations as gossip and rumors go into overdrive.

2. Watch Other Awards Shows

Before the Oscars there’s a number of other annual film honoring events that take place, such as The Critics’ Choice, Screen Actors Guild, and the Golden Globes. They all present awards for the same categories, and could offer you some great insight into how to bet on the Academy Awards. 

Following these could give you some crucial insight into voter feeling and sentiment towards certain movies, actors, and actresses. Quite often the Critics’ Choice for Best Director will also win the Oscar in the same category, while the Golden Globes regularly pick the same Best Picture winner as the Academy Awards.

3. Listen to the Critics

Reading around the Oscars is crucial in the lead-up to the event, particularly the prediction pieces written by respected film critics, and other entertainment figures. Best Picture winners, like Birdman in 2014, had a groundswell of media support in the run-up to the Oscars, which definitely had an impact on the voting. 

Look out for any gossip and rumors that surround any of the unexpected nominees too. It always helps to watch interviews with those involved in the films nominated.

4. Favor Sentiment

It doesn’t always work this way, but the Academy members can sometimes get a little sentimental when it comes to voting for certain film industry figures. If someone’s been in the business for years but never landed an Oscar, there’s often a big pull for them to do it one year.

This means it might not actually be their best work when they land their award, it’s more a nod to their body of work. Director Martin Scorsese is a good example. The New York-born film legend has been nominated nine times but only won Best Director for The Departed in 2006. Now many movie fans would argue this isn’t his best film, and that the likes of Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, or The Wolf of Wall Street are better flicks.

It’s a similar story with Leonardo DiCaprio (one of Scorsese’s favorite actors to work with). DiCaprio has been nominated five times with his only success coming in 2015 as Hugo Glass in The Revenant. But was he better in Blood Diamond, The Wolf of Wall Street or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?

5. Don’t Discount Newcomers

Just because a director, actor, or actress is new to the industry doesn’t mean they can’t topple some of the well-established heavyweights for success.

Jennifer Hudson is a great example of this, landing the 2006 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Effie White in Dreamgirls. Hudson was only known as a singer back then and was tackling her first major role as an actress, but her performance was so strong that the voters were convinced.

History of the Oscars

In Italian, the term ‘Oscar’ is used generically to refer to any award or award ceremony, regardless of the field. 

The first Academy Awards presentation took place May 16, 1929. It was held at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel as a private dinner function in front of an audience of about 270 people.

The first ceremony saw the winners announced to the media three months earlier and was broadcast by radio. No need for an Oscars betting system back then. In 1940 the Los Angeles Times newspaper announced the winners before the ceremony began.

From 1941 the Academy has used a sealed envelope, opened and read aloud for the first time on stage, to reveal the winners. The 1953 ceremony was the first one to be televised.

In 1957, the category now known as Best International Feature Film was introduced, while in 2002 the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature was presented.

Tom Hanks announced at the end of the 2020 Oscars that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures would be opened at the end of the year after development began in 2017. The industry-curated exhibits are geared towards the history of motion pictures and the art and science of film-making, showcasing trailblazing directors, actors, film-makers, sound editors and more, as well as housing famous movie artefacts such as Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers from The Wizard of Oz.

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Jamie Dickenson
Sports Betting Expert
Jamie Dickenson
Sports Betting Expert

Jamie is a freelance writer working with Techopedia. He has worked on numerous iGaming sites over the years such as GambleOnline.co, Gambling.com and Casino.org. He specialises in sports betting content.