Oscar odds offer few surprises

With the Super Bowl over, oddsmakers turn their attention to the Academy Awards to determine the likelihood of winners. Most agree that early favorites are likely to be Oscar winners. Following 2010's previous awards ceremonies, from The Golden Globes to the Actors Guild, the same nominees have been consistently favored.

Other than some surprise nominations, such as District 9 for best picture, and unexpected snubs like Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria, it was a predictable list. Despite 10 nominations in this year's best picture category, Avatar is the overwhelming favorite in a two-horse race with The Hurt Locker. The Hurt Locker will return 27/20 if the war film nabs the Oscar, according to Onlinewire.com, a gambling sports and entertainment newswire, which cites Bodog Sportsbooks postings for the odds in the major categories (www.bodog.com).

The directors' race is also between these two films, except the favorite is Kathryn Bigelow at 1/3 odds for The Hurt Locker with her ex-husband James Cameron at 6/5 for Avatar.

The remaining odds for best picture include Up In The Air 10/1, Inglourious Bastards at 15/1, Precious at 25/1, The Blind Side at 40/1, Up, A Serious Man, and An Education at 50/1, and District 9 is the long shot with a return of $750 for every $10 bet. Not all oddsmakers agree on the specific wagers, but most agree on the winners.

Benjamin Eckstein, head of a syndicated odds column "America's Line," lists Avatar as a 1-2 favorite and The Hurt Locker an even-money bet.

In the best acting categories, Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock remain the favorites to win Oscars. Executive director of race and sports booking at the Wynn casino in Las Vegas, Johnny Avello, has Jeff Bridges as a 2-3 favorite and Sandra Bullock at even-money. After 15 years of setting the odds on Oscar winners, he has a 76 percent success rate, and also offers odds on reality shows such as American Idol and Dancing With the Stars.

Bridges, who has five prior nominations is way out ahead for his role as a down-and-out country singer in Crazy Heart with fellow nominees as follows, per BoDog: George Clooney (7/2 odds) who won for Syriana (2005), Colin Firth (10/1), Jeremy Renner (12/1), and Morgan Freeman (15/1) in the running.

Sandra Bullock is a big favorite for best actress at 20/43 against Meryl Streep (8/5 odds) who won for Sophie's Choice (1983) and Kramer vs. Kramer (1980) with 13 more nominations, Carey Mulligan (6/1), Gabourey Sidibe (12/1), and Helen Mirren (25/1) who won in 2006 for The Queen has a long shot for the Oscar for her role in the obscure film The Last Station.

The two biggest shoe-ins are in the best supporting category with Christoph Waltz for best supporting actor in Inglourious Basterds and Mo'Nique as best supporting actress in Precious. Ladbrokes, a British company that accepts bets online, lists both Golden Globes winners as heavy 1-8 favorites to win. (www.ladbrokes.com)

Since Las Vegas casinos don't take wagers on contests, the odds are strictly for entertainment, the office pool or Oscar parties. Bets can be placed online through other sources outside the US, such as Costa Rica's Bookmaker.com, one of the largest online gambling sites where it is legal and a major source of revenue for the nation.

London's Betfair.com is the largest internet betting exchange and Dublin's Intrade.com, a "prediction exchange," takes bets on non-sports events, such as elections, and bases market prices on probability or expected value.

Unless there's an upset and bettors are blind-sided, there will not be any windfalls in store for wagers. With so little up in the air with Oscar winners, a lot is riding on the entertainment value of the televised show on March 7 to keep viewers tuned in.

RC

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week