A couple of months ago, we released our odds for Best Picture for the 90th Academy Awards. Now that we have entered 2018, sportsbooks have put out their lines and it’s time to revisit the biggest, most-sought after Oscar category and figure out which films have the best shot to pick up a golden statue.
In October, we pegged Dunkirk as the frontrunner; but Bet365 sees things differently a few months further on thanks to a late surge by some other notable films (Bet365’s odds are as of January 5, 2018). Will The Post or Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri snipe the WWII drama? Let’s find the best betting value for the March 4th ceremony.
Best Picture Odds and Betting Analysis
Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri: 3/1
As we get closer to the Oscars, I don’t expect Three Billboards to remain the frontrunner for Best Picture. It’s a fantastic film, but it’s more likely to garner individual accolades for its cast. For instance, expect Frances McDormand to be a Best Actress favorite. It would be a pleasant surprise to see this film win Best Picture, I just don’t see it happening.
Christopher Nolan’s WWII masterpiece is narrowly behind Three Billboards right now, and fractions ahead of The Post. Epic war stories like this always seem to do well in this category (see The Longest Day, Saving Private Ryan, Patton). Even though Dunkirk was released at the beginning of summer, it should have enough staying-power with the voters.
The Post: 4/1
The Post could easily steal away Best Picture from Dunkirk and Three Billboards. It is one of the year’s best films from top to bottom with standout acting performances from Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, and it tells an important story about how crucial quality journalism is to the proper functioning of American society, something that will resonate in today’s era of “fake news.”
Lady Bird: 9/2
Ladybird, the highest-rated film of 2017, is certainly a good bet to be nominated for Best Picture. Unfortunately, it won’t matter how fresh the Tomatometer is, this small but delightful film will be up against tougher and bigger competition in The Post and Dunkirk. Winning is a long-shot.
The Shape of Water: 11/2
This is one of the true dark horses in this category, but those who have seen it know that it is a Best Picture-caliber film. Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) is a master filmmaker and this is one of his greatest pieces of work. If The Shape of Water wins Best Drama at The Golden Globes, you will see these odds get shorter and the tag of “dark horse” will no longer apply.
Call Me By Your Name: 13/2
This is a another relatively long-shot, but it’s nonetheless a fabulous love story that sticks with you well after you leave the theatre. Will that be enough for the voters? Not likely, but even a nomination in this category would be a huge win for what is one of 2017’s best films.
Get Out: 7/1
This gem from Jordan Peele uses horror and satire to comment on the current state of race relations in America. With everything going on in the USA’s political and social climate, Get Out could very well be a contender. Unfortunately, it’s rare that you see a horror (or even a comedy) win Best Picture. A nomination would be a step in the right direction from the often stagnant Academy.
The Florida Project: 12/1
It’s a shame that this inspiring film from director Sean Baker was completely missed by The Golden Globes as far as Best Picture goes, and it will be even more heartbreaking if it doesn’t receive any love from the Oscars. That said, Willem Dafoe should get some consideration for Best Supporting Actor, whether the movie is recognized as a whole.
I, Tonya: 50/1
Believe it or not, this was one of the year’s best comedies. A satire shot like it’s a documentary, I, Tonya gives us an inside look at disgraced US Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding. Margot Robbie is fabulous in the titular role, but it’s Allison Janney who steals the show, and she should get a nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
The Best Value Bet
Our picks for best value at this stage go to Dunkirk (3/1) and The Shape of Water (11/2), and sprinkling a little on both makes sense. In Dunkirk, you have a movie that’s guaranteed to be nominated, and one which focuses on a subject-matter that the Academy adores. In The Shape of Water, you have a “Little Engine that Could”-type film, one which could build serious momentum post-Golden Globes. While The Post has a great case for the award, giving the nod to another investigative journalism movie so soon after Spotlight (2015) is a bit unlikely.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.