2023 Oscars Predictions, Odds, Picks | Best Bets For Academy Awards

2023 Oscars Predictions, Odds, Picks | Best Bets For Academy Awards article feature image

STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: An Oscar statuette.

  • Oscar night is officially here and our staff has you covered on the top betting value for tonight's show.
  • We have bets on Best Actor and Best Actress, as well as some value in some less-well-known categories.
  • Continue reading for our best bets for tonight's Academy Awards.

The 2023 Academy Awards are set for tonight, and there's plenty of intrigue in the betting market.

The Best Picture favorite — Everything Everywhere All At Once — is expected to lead the way tonight, but there's plenty of intrigue across the board and money to be made in the betting market.

Our betting analysts break down their best bets for tonight's ceremony below.

Oscars Best Bets

Best Actor — Austin Butler (+130, FanDuel)

Chris Raybon: Sportsbooks are listing Brendan Fraser (-175) as the favorite, but over 60% of Gold Derby experts and editors are on Austin Butler (+125).

Butler won at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, which have each predicted the Oscar winner in 10 of the past 11 years and carry more weight than wins by Fraser at the SAG Awards and Critics Choice Awards, which have hit rates of 9-of-11 and 7-of-11, respectively, over that span.

The betting market appears to be overrating Fraser's odds due to recency bias stemming from his SAG win, which took place the latest of the four major acting precursors.

I would bet Butler to -155.

Collin Wilson:There is no shortage of items to be discussed when it comes to The Whale. Brendan Fraser delivers a performance so powerful that I personally ran to the futures market in the summer of 2022 to get plus-money on the former Encino Man.

His visual appearance is stunning, but not nearly as amazing as the voice he projects behind a man who has been battling mental health issues since the death of his partner. Obesity and mental health issues are a stigma that most content verticals want to avoid, but The Whale dives straight in and Fraser hits a home run in a specific binge scene. 

Despite the personal love I have for the character, there is negativity around the industry for the movie itself. Fraser wore a suit, giving critics the argument that another actor should have been chosen for the role. While that may deter votes off Fraser, there is no denying the power of Austin Butler on stage as Elvis.

The performance of the 31-year-old Anaheim native was flawless, complemented by the brave move to have Butler be the artist behind the music in the Elvis film. Heavy praise continues to roll in for Elvis on this note after Rami Malek won this award two years ago with a lip-syncing performance of Freddie Mercury. 

The template for winning Best Actor generally go by the rule of a British actor in a British film with a British production company. This rule of thumb cashed a +700 ticket for Action Network readers on Anthony Hopkins two years ago.

Colin Farrell and The Banshees of Inisherin miss those marks, leaving the experts and editors at the Gold Derby as our marker for the victor of this specific award. 

The experts and editors align on 56% of the vote for Butler to win Best Actor, as Fraser and Farrell split the remainder of the votes. That is enough to give value to Butler on any number that has plus-value in the market.

While this is one of the larger positions I have on the entire 95th Academy Awards betting card, my stop price on investment is -125

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Best Actress — Cate Blanchett (+150, DraftKings)

Katie Richcreek:This is effectively a two-woman race between Michelle Yeoh for Everything Everywhere All At Once and Cate Blanchett for Tár, but the odds no longer reflect that. After both were listed at minus-money odds earlier this awards season, Yeoh is now the clear favorite at most sportsbooks.

From a subjective POV, I do believe her performance was stronger than Yeoh’s — Blanchett’s character, Lydia Tar, is not your typical villain. And her masterful portrayal not only carries the movie, but forces the audience to grapple with the vast grey area that many symbols of power exist within — most are not all good or all bad, and Blanchett’s performance makes it impossible to escape that truth.

Now, momentum is on Yeoh’s side — she won Best Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards a week ago, the last notable precursor before the Oscars. But the SAGs are not the most predictive show for this Academy Award. Thanks to Ben Zauzmer and the historical research in his book, Oscarmetrics, we know the more predictive show is the Golden Globes, which splits acting awards by drama and comedy, and Cate Blanchett won the more predictive of the two: Drama.

To be clear, she didn’t beat Yeoh at the Globes — Yeoh was nominated in the comedy category — but Blanchett did win Best Actress head-to-head at the Critics Choice and the BAFTAs. So between winning those precursors and the odds movement, this is ultimately a value play.

This is a toss-up between Yeoh and Blanchett. Blanchett was favored to win early on. Yeoh leapfrogged her after winning at the SAGs. And now the distance between them on the odds board is too great to ignore, especially with Blanchett at plus-money.

And for what it’s worth, Zauzmer’s 2023 model predictions do have Blanchett winning nearly 53% of the time compared to Yeoh only 26% of the time.

Give me Blanchett at anything plus-money.

Best Costume Design — Elvis (-190, DraftKings)

Chris Raybon: The Gold Derby expert consensus has been right 91% of the time — including correctly predicting an upset win for the first "Black Panther" film four years ago — and this year, 75% of them are backing Elvis (-165) over Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (+185; 21%) and Babylon (+2800; 4%).

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever won the Critics Choice, and Elvis won the BAFTA. Both of those awards have correctly predicted the Oscar in nine of the past 11 years. The two films were in different categories at the Costume Designers Guild Awards, with Elvis winning for Excellence in a Period Film while Black Panther: Wakanda Forever lost to fellow nominee Everything Everywhere All At Once (+500).

Elvis has value down to -300.

Best Documentary Feature — Fire of Love (+370, FanDuel)

Collin Whitchurch: Navalny has been the favorite in this category throughout awards season, and its grasp on the top spot was solidified when it won the BAFTA for Best Documentary Feature.

Historically, the best predictors of Oscar success have come from the BAFTAs and the Independent Documentary Association, the latter of which gave its top prize this year to All That Breathes (which is +2700).

However, four times in the last 11 years the Oscar for Best Documentary went to a film awarded by neither the BAFTAs or IDAs: 2019, 2017, 2013 and 2011.

Ben Zauzmer's Oscarmetrics makes this a much closer race than the odds imply. Navalny is, indeed, the favorite, but at just 34.3%, while Fire of Love checks in right behind it at 31.6%.

Those odds imply Fire of Love should be around +215 for Best Documentary Feature, so there's great value here at +370 for the film to pull one of the rare upsets tonight.

What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.

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