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3 Unlikely Academy Awards Upsets That Could Break Vegas

All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from BetOnline at 3:09 pm ET on 1/25/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

If you were hoping to land some big-hitting sleeper bets at the 2018 Oscars, it’s possible the secret is out.

Every Hollywood award show doesn’t align with the one before it, but this year’s Golden Globes could very well serve as a pretty good indicator of what is yet to come at the biggest event of them all.

The 2018 Academy Awards aren’t here yet, so you can collect your breath (and cash) and gauge how likely it is for some of the big winners at the Golden Globes to repeat at an even bigger show. Reflecting on the latest 2018 Oscars odds at BetOnline isn’t a bad idea, either.

However, there are upsets every single year — no matter how small — and that leaves the door cracked open for sleepers to turn into big winners. Naturally, that gives bettors a chance to turn Hollywood on its side and rake in the dough.

That’s not an easy thing to make happen, but if you spot cracks in the foundation, you need to pounce. There could be a few this year, which has me liking three Oscars sleepers specifically that just might break Vegas:

Best Actor — Daniel Day-Lewis (+2000)

Daniel Day-Lewis left the acting world with a bang, as he capped a brilliant career with an astonishing performance as Reynolds Woodcock in the well-received Phantom Thread.

DDL plays a dressmaker in this 1950’s love story that won’t quickly be forgotten. While he wasn’t initially seen as a real threat to storm the “best actor” castle this year, news of his abrupt and unexpected retirement from the acting game could spark a “send-off” win from the academy.

That’s certainly not the best reason to hand someone such a prestigious award, but the Oscars haven’t always done things by the book.

To be clear, Gary Oldman is the overwhelming favorite (-1000) for his portrayal of the legendary Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. Here are the rest of the latest best actor odds, per BetOnline:

  • Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour (-1000)
  • Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out (+1000)
  • Timothee Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name (+1200)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread (+2000)
  • Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel Esq (+2500)

Oldman is the favorite and Kaluuya is the top sleeper. You also can’t ignore the power and value the great Denzel Washington brings to the table.

However, in this group, DDL is probably the most iconic actor, and since this is his last shot at winning another Oscar (so it seems), he’s a fun sleeper to take a flier on.

Best Actress – Meryl Streep (+2500)

If you ask me, I think Meryl Streep has always been a touch overrated.

I’m not saying she’s no good or that she isn’t a living legend, but it’s arguable she’s fallen into some amazing roles and personally didn’t wow as much as some would have you believe.

That’s just my take, though.

Regardless, she is a titan of the industry, both for actresses and acting in general. She undoubtedly does a great job in all of her roles, too, and she’s yet again nominated for her role in The Post.

This was a powerful film that paired her with Tom Hanks, revealing elite journalism and the fight for the truth.

It’s worthy of an Oscar nod, to be sure, while Streep did not come off as overrated, veteran fodder in this one. Despite that being the case, she oddly enough comes in dead last in the best actress odds over at BetOnline:

  • Frances McDormand – 3 Billboards (-750)
  • Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water (+700)
  • Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird (+950)
  • Margot Robbie – I, Tonya (+2200)
  • Meryl Streep – The Post (+2500)

McDormand is best known for her offbeat turn in Fargo, but she snaps back to relevance in the critically acclaimed Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

A grieving mother lights up the town as she tries to find out the truth behind her daughter’s murder, and McDormand not only nailed this role, but carried a very well-received film (93% on Rotten Tomatoes) that also included heavy weights like Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell.

She’s the easy favorite for her performance, but that doesn’t mean she has to win. There is a very strong argument that The Post was a more important movie and that Streep delivered the better performance.

I might be the only person to suggest Streep is overrated, too. The public and the academy absolutely love her, and considering she handed in a winning effort, it wouldn’t be that shocking if she also converted a staggering upset.

The only problem here is that this field is impressively deep. McDormand is the odds-on favorite, but Sally Hawkins and Saoirse Ronan were also riveting in their respective parts. Even Margot Robbie breathed new life into a hated character and a story few thought they could care about.

Streep is a mind-boggling long shot. But this is Meryl Streep at +2500. That deserves a flier bet.

Best Picture – Dunkirk

You could build arguments against the favorites at a few other Oscars categories, too. Best Director has a strong field, Best Supporting Actor actually feels completely wide open, and Best Supporting Actress feels like a toss-up, too.

But of the other main Oscars prop bets available, the one that offers the most upside might be Dunkirk as a Best Picture upset.

Let’s remember that Christopher Nolan’s war epic was the talk of the town during the summer. I actually took a look at this brilliant piece of cinema and looked at the early Oscars odds at the time and it’s pretty amazing how Vegas re-shaped everything in just a few months.

Dunkirk was the leader back in September, but now BetOnline ranks the movie fifth out of nine viable candidates. To be clear, this was a strong year for film, and you could truly make a case for just about every movie here.

Some are a tad overrated, but they all deserve the recognition they’ve gotten, overall.

However, it’s a bit crazy how 3 Billboards has skyrocketed all the way to the top spot. Not only is there a long list of worthy contestants here, but the previous favorite still has a very strong argument to take the win.

Take a look at the latest Best Picture odds and see for yourself:

  • 3 Billboards (-115)
  • The Shape of Water (+100)
  • Lady Bird (+600)
  • Get Out (+1000)
  • Dunkirk (+1800)
  • The Post (+2500)
  • Call Me By Your Name (+3300)
  • Darkest Hour (+5000)
  • Phantom Thread (+6600)

I could state a case for Darkest Hour and The Post to steal the show here, too. They showcased amazing acting, riveting stories and they also offer compelling odds.

Dunkirk still has too much upside to ignore. Not only has Christopher Nolan not yet gotten the respect he deserves for his authentic filmmaking, but he told a harrowing, unpopular, and touching story that was so spot on that actual soldiers who lived it had no choice but to give it a passing grade.

That alone should not be why a movie wins the award, but Dunkirk was flawlessly directed and delivered a layered story within an explosive epic. These are the types of films that are supposed to win the Oscars, and Dunkirk was a former favorite.

I’m not saying this movie wins, but at +1800, bettors need to take this sleeper seriously.

The only bummer about the Oscars each year is that they tend to be fairly predictable. They’re entertaining and rewarding, but for the most part, the favorites take home the prize.

That isn’t always the case, though. Upsets do happen; sometimes they’re ones that come out of nowhere, and other times they’re ones so predictable we kick ourselves for not seeing them coming.

Day-Lewis, Streep, and Dunkirk aren’t locks to take home the tiny gold man this year, but they absolutely make sense as profitable upset specials.

Happy betting and enjoy the 2018 Oscars!
Kevin Roberts :