Now that the Super Bowl is complete, you might be going into withdrawal looking for possible betting opportunities. You might not realize it, but there is a strong market for betting on popular awards shows. As a result, handicapping the 2019 Grammys, which are coming up this Sunday, February 10, is a good way to scratch that wagering itch.
The Grammy Awards, for those who might not realize it, honor the best in music for the previous year. As awards shows go, it is one that raises a lot of hackles with fans. Right off the bat, the nominations are often head-scratching, as critical favorites go unrewarded while little-know acts or predictable veterans get all of the love.
Then it comes to the handing out of the awards themselves, which usually make for some bizarre choices. You can write an entire article out of the selections whose legacy is a bit spotty, to say the least. And you can make a mile-long list out of the classic albums and songs which were Grammy losers to much less-deserving options.
You can shake your fists at the heavens and rail against these off-kilter honorees. Or you can try to take advantage of it all and try to win some money off the craziness. Many of the best sports betting websites, which we talk about here, also allow you to make wagers on awards shows such as The Grammys.
One of the interesting things about this year’s awards is the lack of familiar names and faces among the top nominees. Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, and Drake are represented, so it’s not like it’s an utterly anonymous group. But there is really no one to be found in the biggest categories out of the old guard on which many unimaginative Grammy voters fixate when they don’t bother to listen to the new stuff.
So what we will see this year, besides some wild performances and even wilder costume choices? Will this be the year that the Grammys make a strong play to choose hip-hop winners in the major categories? Or will they play it safe and go with genres that are tried and true, if not very daring?
With that in mind, we thought we’d get you started on handicapping the 2019 Grammys. We’ll take a deep dive into each of the four major categories, the ones that garner the most attention from the public. In each category, we’ll take an honest look at the favorites as well as giving out a live long shot as well.
By the end of this article, you should have a pretty good guide for the awards. You can use it to enjoy the show a bit more. Or you can utilize this as your cheat sheet when you make your wagers.
(All listed odds courtesy of Bovada.)
BEST NEW ARTIST
- Chloe x Halle (+2200)
- Luke Combs (+2000)
- Greta Van Fleet (+550)
- H.E.R. (-110)
- Dua Lipa (+180)
- Margo Price (+2200)
- Bebe Rexha (+1000)
- Jorja Smith (+2200)
H.E.R. is the favorite here, in part because the music that she plays is edgy enough to entice the more adventurous of the Grammy voters while not so out of the box that it scares the timid ones. She doesn’t have the name recognition as some of the others in the category. But there’s nothing that Grammy voters like more than to make someone famous, if only for the amount of time that people are talking about the awards.
But the big reason that H.E.R. stands out here is because she also garnered a nod for Best Album. The thinking process behind a win for the 22-year-old up-and-comer here is that it would be a kind of consolation prize for someone who gathered a lot of nominations. That’s how the Grammy’s work sometimes, and it’s why she’s got the lowest odds on many sites.
That said, if you’re going based on fame only, Dua Lipa would have the advantage. And she gets a little bit better price for you than H.E.R. This race seems wide open, so this might be the best opportunity to play a long shot.
Live Long Shot
Not everybody is fond of Greta Van Fleet. Depending on whom you ask, they are either welcome throwbacks or out-and-out copycats. Still, they’re young and they have already developed an impressive following of those people who get a visceral kick out of their classic rock sound.
You can look at this as a chance for all of the aging voters who missed out on Led Zeppelin the first time around to make it right. And it would give the internet a chance to explode when these guys win and everybody takes sides. The Grammys get the pub they want, these youngsters get shiny trophies, and you get a nice price of better than 5-1 if you wager on them.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
- “I Like It,” Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (+1500)
- “The Joke,” Brandi Carlile (+3300)
- “This Is America,” Childish Gambino (-150)
- “God’s Plan,” Drake (+1800)
- “Shallow,” Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper (+160)
- “All The Stars,” Kendrick Lamar & SZA (+900)
- “Rockstar,” Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage (+3300)
- “The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey (+2200)
At some point, you have to think that Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper will have their moment in the sun this awards season. If not at the Grammys, then certainly a few weeks down the road at the Oscars. It doesn’t, however, feel like this award will be the one that gathers them the accolade they seek.
After all, Record of the Year is as much about how the song’s production as it is about the actual content. And that gives some of the more adventurous numbers a chance to step forward. “This Is America”, which has been bet down to an odds-on favorite, and “All The Stars” certainly should be the ones most likely to step into the “Shallow” void.
Lamar is due for some extended Grammy love that has been denied him somewhat in past awards shows. And it feels like this could be the award that gets that for him, with SZA, another highly-regarded artist, adding to the effect. Go with “All The Stars” here if you want go mid-priced and try to knock off “This Is America.”
“The Middle” was pretty ubiquitous on the radio this year, so there’s that. But the big thing it has going for it is the fact that it is a producer-driven record. As we said above, this is an award that’s all about production.
Quality-wise, this song doesn’t have the kind of heft as some of the others. But it manages to kind of cross genres with the artists involved. And, for Grammy voters, “The Middle” might make for the, you guessed it, middle ground that they love to occupy.
SONG OF THE YEAR
- “All The Stars,” Kendrick Duckworth, Solána Rowe, Al Shuckburgh, Mark Spears & Anthony Tiffith, songwriters (Artists: Kendrick Lamar & SZA) (+1200)
- “Boo’d Up,” Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai & Dijon McFarlane, songwriters (Artists: Ella Mai)
- “God’s Plan,” Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Artists: Drake) (+1600)
- “In My Blood,” Teddy Geiger, Scott Harris, Shawn Mendes & Geoffrey Warburton, songwriters (Artists: Shawn Mendes) (+2200)
- “The Joke,” Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth, songwriters (Artists: Brandi Carlile) (+1600)
- “The Middle,” Sarah Aarons, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha, Michael Trewartha & Anton Zaslavski, songwriters (Artists: Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey) (+3300)
- “Shallow,” Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Artists: Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper) (-300)
- “This Is America,” Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson, songwriters (Artists: Childish Gambino) (+275)
In terms of odds, you are once again looking at Gaga and Cooper going head to head with “This Is America” as top choices. That’s a lot of star power, so the Grammys will have every opportunity to ladle some love on folks that the average viewer is going to recognize. Don’t expect someone to come from way off the pace, so to speak, to win this award.
You have two hip-hop type songs in the top three (“All The Stars” is a distant third choice), and the possibility that they cancel each other out is strong. Remember too that this is an award for songwriters. And many of the voters might not be able to wrap their heads around the technique and flow that Donald Glover (as Childish Gambino) and Kendrick Lamar display.
As a result, you should feel pretty confident that this is the award that the A Star Is Born duo takes home. It is definitely a sturdy song that is both catchy and hints at something deeper. And everybody who enjoyed the movie will likely be casting their vote in this direction as well.
Live Long Shot
The love showered on Brandi Carlisle is one of those times where the Grammys kind of accidentally got something right. I’m not sure if her album, By The Way, I Forgive You, as solid as it is, is quite worthy of Album of the Year. But she is a vibrant performer with excellent songwriting support and a powerhouse voice, a constant on the Americana scene for the past decade or so.
In “The Joke,” Carlisle gets a wonderful song and belts it out of the park. But the key here is that its messages of inclusiveness and societal underdogs eventually besting bullies is extremely timely. If anything shocks the world in this category at long odds, this is the song to do it.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
- “Invasion of Privacy,” Cardi B (+1500)
- “By The Way, I Forgive You,” Brandi Carlile (+2000)
- “Scorpion,” Drake (+350)
- “H.E.R.,” H.E.R. (+2500)
- “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” Post Malone (+1800)
- “Dirty Computer,” Janelle Monae (+600)
- “Golden Hour,” Kacey Musgraves (+120)
- “Black Panther: The Album, Music From And Inspired By,” (Various Artists) (+250)
Most of the oddsmakers seem to have this one shaping up as a near dead-heat between Kasey Musgraves and the Black Panther soundtrack, although Musgraves has recently surged ahead at Bovada. And, in either case, the Grammys would be honoring an album about which they can feel pretty solid after the fact. Considering some of the clunkers they’ve chosen in this, the most prestigious of categories, that’s not something they should take for granted.
Musgraves continues to develop into a truly unique artist. She slides between genres pretty effortlessly, and she chooses material that allows her to display a wide range of emotions. If only all of modern country music takes its cues from this release.
But Black Panther has been a phenomenon in so many more ways than one. And the soundtrack, which Lamar played a big part in putting together, is chock full of big names and thumping tracks. Look for the Grammys to get it right here and sends the award to Wakanda.
Live Long Shot
Again, this doesn’t seem like an award where there could be an upset forthcoming. You could go for Drake here, as one of the biggest names on the list. But many critics felt that Scorpion was a bit off his best work.
It seems like Cardi B is the only one of the names here that might not be considered a favorite by the oddsmakers who could conceivably surprise. After all, her ubiquity this past year is hard to deny, and, to her credit, she delivered an album that lived up to the hype. But it would still be a shocker.
No awards show provides more off-the-wall surprises than The Grammys. Handicapping the 2019 Grammys is certainly no easy task. But a little effort put into it, especially in terms of trying to dissect the minds of the voters instead of concerning yourself with the quality of the music, can pay off handsomely in the end.