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Oscar odds favor 'King's Speech' and no crying

Posted Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 4:59 PM Central

by John Couture

The 83rd Academy Awards will finally be given out in a star-studded affair this Sunday evening in Hollywood. Given that we live in arguably the greatest country in the world, what would the Oscars be without a bit of wagering on the side?

In fact, I'm pretty sure the founding founders meant to say, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Profitable Oddsmaking."

Well, if you're a red-blooded American with a penchant for making the ceremony "more interesting" than is your place to go. Not only do they have odds for 20 of the 24 individual categories, but they also have a few interesting prop bets listed.

For instance, do you fashion (oh, pun definitely intended) yourself to be a stylenista or a Natalie Portman stalker? BookMaker has a line for the "Predominant Color of Natalie Portman's Dress." In case, you're wondering Black and White are the co-favorites at +300, while Red is the longshot at +500.

For those confused, a quick breakdown on fixed-odds betting. The Moneyline Odds expressed as positive or negative numbers represent what you will win (positive number) if you bet $100 or what you have to wager (negative number) to win $100. The lower the number, the better the odds. The higher the number, the greater longshot.

Looking at some of the top categories, The King's Speech looks to be a prohibitive favorite to take home the Best Picture Oscar at -700 (yes, you would have to wager $700 to win $100), while Aaron Sorkin is a virtual lock to take home best the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for his work on The Social Network.

The key to playing Moneyline odds is to pick bets where you have the best shot at winning by wagering the the least. For purely entertainment purposes only, here are a few bets that I would consider best value bets.

In Documentary Feature, Inside Job is the current odds on favorite at -195, but I really think that Bansky's Exit Through the Gift Shop is gaining steam and is the type of documentary that the Academy likes to reward. And at +275, it could be a nice little profit maker.

The Best Supporting Actress category is one that is traditionally rife with upsets. Melissa Leo is the favorite at -600, but I could really see any of the other women winning the statue. It wouldn't shock me to see Jacki Weaver win it and reward her supporters with current odds set at +2000.

The most interesting category is a prop bet in which they ask how many of the winners for Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress will cry. The house is hoping for an unemotional event as None leads the way with -150 odds. In order, the odds get worse as it goes from one (+120), to two (+500) and to three (+1500).

Personally, I'm thinking that Natalie Portman follows up her scary laugh from the Golden Globes with a few tears at the Oscars. As long as Jesse Eisenberg doesn't pull off an upset in the Best Actor category, I think "one" is the safe bet here.

If you would like to see the full odds for the Oscars, Click Here. The Academy Awards will be televised this Sunday.

Source: BookMaker