Freedman’s Favorite 2019 Academy Awards Props: Whoopi Goldberg, Show Duration, More

Freedman’s Favorite 2019 Academy Awards Props: Whoopi Goldberg, Show Duration, More article feature image

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Academy Awards Oscars trophies are seen on display at the 20th Century Fox Studios.

  • The 91st Academy Awards are on Sunday, Feb. 24 (8:00 p.m. ET, ABC).
  • Many Oscars props have been posted, including those on whether Whoopi Goldberg will host the event and how long the show will be.
  • Matthew Freedman breaks down his favorite props and highlights the ones that offer the most value.

Each day, I publish at least one quick-n’-dirty piece highlighting a favorite prop of mine. See my master list of 2019 prop bets for more information.

The 91st Academy Awards are this Sunday (8:00 p.m. ET, ABC), and some books have released Oscar props to supplement the large-field to-win wagers for each film category.

For more sports props, follow me in The Action Network app.

Here are my favorite props for the 2019 Oscars.

Will Whoopi Goldberg Host the 2019 Oscars?

  • Yes: -140
  • No: +100

After Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscars, a decision was made by ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences not to have a host for this year’s event.

But there are theories that Whoopi Goldberg, who has previously hosted the Oscars, will serve as a surprise host this year.

I’m pounding “No.”

Why do people think Goldberg might host the event?

Whoopi Goldberg’s absence from The View (she’s sick, they say) since the day after they announced her as an Oscar presenter+the fact that she’s the only previous Oscar host listed as a presenter+she openly said on The View in January that she’d be up for hosting=???

— Peter Knegt (@peterknegt) February 20, 2019

That’s actually a pretty decent theory.

But here’s the thing: ABC wants people to watch the Oscars. If Whoopi were hosting the event, wouldn’t ABC want people to know that beforehand? If she’s the host, it seems as if they’re gaining nothing by keeping that a secret.

The View (the show that Goldberg regularly hosts) has denied that she is hosting the Oscars. Cohost Joy Behar even addressed the Goldberg-Oscar conspiracy theories recently on the show.

The Oscars producers have recently talked about how they are happy with the structure of the show even though it has no host.

Let me put it like this: If Goldberg is the host, a lot of people have gone through a lot of trouble to keep a secret that doesn’t need to be secret.

I bet “No” at +100 and would bet it to -200.

The Pick: No (+100)

Will Protesters Disrupt the Awards Ceremony During the Broadcast?

  • Yes: +300
  • No: -600

I can imagine an award winner using the acceptance speech as the opportunity to make a protesting statement of some sort, but that’s just one person, not multiple protesters, and that also probably wouldn’t rise to the level of an actual protest.

In the past, there have been Oscars protests outside the event, but (as far as I can find) never has the actual ceremony been disrupted (especially during the broadcast) by protesters.

I bet “No” at -600 and would bet it to -1000.

The Pick: No (-600)

Will Someone Fall on the Way to the Stage?

  • Yes: +175
  • No: -250

With the -250 odds, there’s an implied probability of 71.4% that no one will fall on the way to the stage.

As far as I can find, there are notable instances of people falling on the red carpet outside the event and backstage after accepting an award, but I can find only one instance of someone falling down on the way to the stage.

A couple of thoughts.

  • That such a high-profile thespian fell on her way to accepting the award for best actress has probably inflated this line.
  • J-Law isn’t nominated for any awards this year.

I jumped on “No” at -175 before the line moved to -250. I’d bet this all the way to -500.

The Pick: No (-175)

Will a Swear Get Past the Censor?

  • Yes: -140
  • No: +100

Are you f——ing kidding me?

We’re talking about trained professionals at the top of their game and keenly aware that at any moment someone might let obscenities fly.

I bet “No” at +100 and would bet it to -400.

The Pick: No (+100)

Will There Be an Envelope Mix Up?

  • Yes: +750
  • No: -2250

Something tells me the producers will do all they can to prevent a repeat of the most embarrassing eight minutes in the history of the Oscars.

I don’t even want to tell you how many tens of dollars I’ve piled into this prop. Literally tens of tens of dollars.

The -2250 odds suggest that there’s a 95.7% implied probability of an envelope mix up not happening. I’d put the odds closer to 98.5%.

I bet “No” at -2250 and would bet it to -3000.

The Pick: No (-2250)

Will an Oscar Trophy Be Dropped During the Ceremony?

  • Yes: +400
  • No: -700

If Will Ferrell were an Oscar frontrunner, I’d sell all my possessions and bet “Yes” at as many books as possible.

But my exhaustive two-minute research process hasn’t discovered a single instance of anyone dropping the Oscar statuette during the ceremony.

I bet “No” at -700 and would bet it to -1200.

The Pick: No (-700)

How Long Will the Show Run?

  • Over 3 Hours 50 Minutes: -120
  • Under 3 Hours 50 Minutes: -120

The producers are reportedly trying as hard as they can to keep the show to less than three hours, which is partially why they’ve opted not to have a host.

Nominees have been instructed that, if they win, they will have 90 seconds from the time the presenters say their names to walk to the stage and complete their speeches.

In light of that fact, maybe the odds are higher than I originally thought that someone will trip in a hurry to get to the stage — but good luck to the producers if they think they’ll be able to keep the big-name winners from making the most of their moment in the spotlight.

Still, the lack of a host and the desire for brevity should speed up a show that has felt long but managed to hit the under in nine of the past 10 years.

  • 2018: 3 hours 53 minutes
  • 2017: 3 hours 49 minutes
  • 2016: 3 hours 37 minutes
  • 2015: 3 hours 43 minutes
  • 2014: 3 hours 34 minutes
  • 2013: 3 hours 35 minutes
  • 2012: 3 hours 13 minutes
  • 2011: 3 hours 16 minutes
  • 2010: 3 hours 37 minutes
  • 2009: 3 hours 30 minutes

I’m easily taking under 3:50.

And I’m also looking to middle, because I’ve found a much lower over/under at another book.

  • Over 3 Hours 15 Minutes: +100
  • Under 3 Hours 15 Minutes: -140

In eight of the past 10 years, the middle has hit.

Let’s make Chad “Middle Monster” Millman proud.

The Pick: Under 3:50 (-120), Over 3:15 (+100)

Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.

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