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Most Profitable 2019 Oscars Bets You Could Have Made

Green Book
Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in Green Book. Photo courtesy of Participant Media.
  • With the Oscars behind us, we look back at the most bankable bets you could have made
  • While some results were obvious, others definitely came as a surprise
  • Few would have guessed that Green Book would win Best Picture or that Olivia Colman would win Best Actress

Here’s hoping you didn’t bet money on Roma for Best Picture. Despite the film’s heavy buzz surrounding it, and everyone’s expectation that it would take home the highest honor at the Oscars, it was upset by Green Book.

In fact, despite 10 nominations apiece for The Favourite and Roma, the films only won one and three awards respectively. It was actually Bohemian Rhapsody that was the big winner of the night, winning four of its five categories.

We’ve looked back at all the 2019 Academy Award odds available and have rounded up the five best bets you could have made.

5) Best Director

Director Odds to Win Best Director at BetOnline
Alfonso Cuaron -2500
Spike Lee +700
Adam McKay +2500
Pawel Pawlikowski +3300
Yorgos Lanthimos +3300

*All odds taken on 02/20/19

Alfonso Cuarón was favored to win Best Director honors even before he was officially nominated, but savvy bettors could have gotten him at a far better price before the New Year. The Mexican filmmaker’s odds were as short as -200 way back on December 28th before he cleaned up at the Golden Globes, the BAFTA Awards, and the Directors Guild of America, to name but a few. That’s a far cry from the -2500 odds he was listed at on February 20th.

Each subsequent win made Cuarón’s odds even shorter, and made a win at the Oscars seem like an inevitability.

4) Best Actor

Actor Odds to Win Best Actor at BetOnline
Rami Malek -600
 Christian Bale +300
Bradley Cooper +1800
Viggo Mortensen +3300
Willem Dafoe +5000

Sure, his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody won over audiences and critics alike, but Rami Malek wasn’t always the favorite in this category. In fact, you could have gotten him at +600 on November 27th when Best Actor odds first became available.

Back then, Malek trailed both Bradley Cooper (-160) and Christian Bale (+230) at most sportsbooks, and was considered something of a dark horse given the pedigree of his peers.

Malek didn’t become favored to win an Oscar until after January 27th when he surprised many oddsmakers by winning top honors at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. His odds only became shorter afterwards, ultimately settling at -600 on the eve of “Hollywood’s biggest night.”

3) Best Original Screenplay

Film Odds to Win Best Original Screenplay at Bovada
The Favourite -200
Green Book  +200
Roma +750
First Reformed +1400
Vice +4000

The Favourite lived up to its name as the odds-on favorite to win an Oscar for Best original screenplay during the two months leading up to the Academy Awards. The film opened with average odds of -110 and was available as short as -200 on February 20th.

It seemed like a foregone conclusion that The Favourite would win, but the Academy ultimately thought Green Book was more impressive and rewarded the film with a golden statuette instead. Bettors who believed in Green Book early on could have made a tidy profit by snapping up the film at +310 on January 28th.

Green Book joined an ever growing list of films who took home both Screenplay and Best Picture honors.

2) Best Actress

Actress Odds to Win Best Actress at BetOnline
Glenn Close -700
Olivia Colman +450
Lady Gaga +1400
Yalitza Aparicio +2500
Melissa McCarthy +5000

This was supposed to be Glenn Close’s year, and the odds certainly reflected it. The veteran actress became the odds-on favorite to win her first Oscar on January 10th when she was listed at -170. Her resounding victory at the Golden Globes only served to embolden oddsmakers, and Close approached the Academy Awards with overwhelming average odds of -650.

In the end, it was Olivia Colman’s name that was called, and the English actress seemed genuinely shocked to learn she had beaten Close. Bettors could have had a feel-good story of their own if they had gotten Colman at +450 in the days leading up to the Oscars, when her odds were at their longest.

1) Best Picture

Film Odds to Win Best Picture at BetOnline
Roma -450
Green Book +350
The Favourite  +1400
BlacKkKlansman +2500
Black Panther +2500
Bohemian Rhapsody +2800
A Star is Born +3300
Vice +8000

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was Green Book winning the trophy for Best Picture. Throughout the entire Oscars race, nearly every source was pointing to Roma as the sure-fire winner, as evidenced by the film’s -450 odds on February 20th.

Green Book’s +350 odds right before the Oscars were still good, but bettors could have made even more by betting on the film back on November 23rd when it was listed at a distant +850.

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As an active entertainment aficionado, the former Editor-in-Chief for the Capilano Courier, JJ also co-founded Lords of Dogwood, a Vancouver-based entertainment site in 2013. His writing has been found in ION Magazine, the North Shore News, and The Strand.