The Betting Man's Guide to the 2013 Academy Awards

Think betting odds are just for sporting events? Think again.

Sportsbooks set betting odds not only for the Super Bowl, but also to allow gamblers to bet on who’s going to take home Oscars at the annual Academy Awards. If you’re not much of a gambler, you can take the odds and use them to your advantage in guessing the winners.

The online sportsbook Bovada set odds for the major categories at this year’s Academy Awards. Take a look and decide what you think the best bet in each category is. And if you’re feeling lucky, bet $10 on Django Unchained to win Best Picture. You’ll take home $1,000 with the 100/1 odds.

(Note: do not take my word on any of these bets, they are my personal opinion and should not be construed as solid advice.)

Best Picture Winner

Argo 2/7

Lincoln 3/1

Les Miserables 33/1

The Silver Linings Playbook 33/1

Life of Pi 50/1

Zero Dark Thirty 50/1

Amour 100/1

Beasts of the Southern Wild 100/1

Django Unchained 100/1 


Argo does seem like the safe bet here, as it has dominated the awards show circuit. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, perhaps Silver Linings Playbook is worth looking into. With those odds, a winning bet will pay off nicely.

Best Director Winner

Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) 1/5

Ang Lee (Life of Pi) 5/1

David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) 14/1

Michael Haneke (Amour) 14/1

Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild) 33/1


I like David O. Russell pulling the upset on this one. Spielberg’s Lincoln has lost steam while Silver Linings Playbook has gained it in the past couple of weeks. But don’t underestimate Lee taking the golden man for the stunning visuals he provided in Life of Pi.

Best Actor Winner

Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln 1/50

Hugh Jackman - Les Miserables 10/1

Joaquin Phoenix - The Master 25/1

Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook 40/1

Denzel Washington - Flight 40/1


This is one to stay away from. Daniel Day-Lewis seems to have this one pretty locked up, and his payout isn’t worth throwing money on.

Best Actress Winner

Jennifer LawrenceSilver Linings Playbook 4/7

Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty 9/5

Emmanuelle Riva - Amour 15/2

Naomi Watts - The Impossible 33/1

Quvenzhane Wallis - Beasts Of The Southern Wild 40/1


This is a fun category right now. It may be one of the closest races, but it may also be a smart one to steer clear of in the betting realm. Neither Lawrence or Chastain would pay out well, and it’s doubtful that either of the other three nominees are going to sneak in for a win.

Best Supporting Actor Winner

Tommy Lee Jones - Lincoln 5/7

Christoph Waltz - Django Unchained 11/4

Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master 17/4

Robert De Niro - Silver Linings Playbook 10/1

Alan Arkin - Argo 25/1



Why not bet on Hoffman or De Niro on this one? Might as well take the better odds in a category that is a little more wide open than the others.

Best Supporting Actress Winner

Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables 1/50

Sally Field - Lincoln 14/1

Amy Adams - The Master 25/1

Helen Hunt - The Sessions 25/1

Jacki Weaver - Silver Linings Playbook 50/1


You could make a few cents if you bet on Hathaway, who everyone claims is going to win this one going away.

Betting on the Academy Awards may seem an odd pastime, but if the odds are there, don’t be afraid to take them. Or, as I mentioned earlier, use the odds to help predict your winners in your office pool. Maybe you can be the Nate Silver of the Oscars by predicting every category using betting odds.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Liam Boylan-Pett

Liam is a culture writing intern at PolicyMic. His work has appeared in "Running Times" and other running publications. He is also a professional middle-distance runner for the New Jersey-New York Track Club. After graduating from Columbia University with his bachelor's degree, he earned a Master's of Professional Studies in Journalism from Georgetown University. Originally from Bath, Mich, he spends his time watching TV, reading longform journalism, and thinking about who is going to be in the NCAA basketball tournament's Final Four.

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