Oscars best bets: My picks for the 95th Academy Awards

March 12, 2023 09:16 AM

The Oscars have arrived, and soon we will know who will take home the coveted golden statuette. At this point in awards season, most of the betting value has come and gone, and some of the bigger awards are almost all but sealed. The twist this year is that so many of the major awards haven’t been decided at this point, which provides us with a rare opportunity to have two horse races going into Tinseltown’s biggest night.

Best Picture

This is one of the awards that has been all but decided. Everything Everywhere All At Once (EEAAO) has dominated late in award season. It has won all the major benchmark awards at the SAGs for Best Ensemble Cast and the all-important Producers Guild Awards. All the value in this category is gone with this category mostly spoken for at -1200. If you didn’t get this one at the open when it was -150, look to invest your money in one of the following categories.

Projected Winner: Everything Everywhere All At Once (-1200)

Best Actor

Unlike the Best Picture category, the Best Actor is completely up for grabs between Austin Butler (+135) and Brenden Frasier (-190). Butler has campaigned hard and won the right awards like the Globe and the BAFTA for Actor in a Leading Role. His spot would have been solidified with a win at the SAGs, but after a quiet awards season, Brendan Frasier came up with a pivotal win at the SAGs. If you follow trends, only two of the last 10 Best Actors have failed to win at the SAGs and fail to leave with an Oscar (Denzel Washington, 2017, Chadwick Boseman, 2021). Frasier is a feel-good story, and everyone in Hollywood loves him, but Butler has been busy on the trail. Not to mention, he has the added boost of playing Elvis Presley, which historically is a great way to walk away with a golden statue.

Projected Winner: Austin Butler (+135)

Best Actress

If the Oscars were a UFC Card, this would be the main event—two powerhouse performances that could go down as some of the best of all time. Cate Blanchett (-105) and Michelle Yeoh (-135) face off on Sunday after a back-and-forth battle at the major award shows this season. Blanchett has won at the Globes and the BAFTAs, but Yeoh has real momentum going into Sunday night with a stunning win at the SAGs and an expected win at the Independent Spirit Awards. These two women have both put in masterful performances, and a case can be made for either one to win. An important note: Blanchett has already won two Academy Awards and the Academy would love to award Yeoh after 40 years in the business, and it must be said that Yeoh being of Asian descent is what the modern Academy needs. She would deserve it, and I very well see her taking home the big prize. At -135, she is still a good value for one of the major awards.

Projected Winner: Michelle Yeoh (-135)

A Solid Long Shot Bet: Cate Blanchett (-105)

Best Supporting Actress

If Best Actress was the Main Event, this would be the Co-Main. This race felt like it was going in one direction, and that direction was leading toward Angela Bassett (+125) walking away with her second Oscar. That was until Jamie Lee Curtis (+125) broke through with a surprising win at the SAGs, shocking almost everyone in the room and sending this category into a frenzy. I still believe that Stephanie Hsu (16/1) who was essentially the second Lead in EEAAO should have gotten more of the campaign for this category, but my 25/1 ticket is looking grimmer and grimmer. Generally, if there are two nominees in the same category, it doesn’t fair well for them as many voters split the vote, leaving Angela Bassett in an advantageous position. Historically, if an actress wins at the SAGs in the Supporting category in the last 10 years, she has gone on to win at the Oscars, which is why I’m going with Jamie Lee Curtis to win on Sunday.

Projected Winner: Jamie Lee Curtis ( 125)

Best Supporting Actor & Best Director

Both of these awards are essentially locked in. Ke Huy Quan (-5000) has demolished all comers in every award show he has been nominated, with his lone loss coming at the BAFTAs. Irishman Barry Keoghan won the BAFTA, but it is a British Award being awarded to an Irish film. Other than that, Quan is a lock to win Best Supporting Actor.                            

The same could be said for The Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, -1400), the directing team that locked up wins in the precursor awards at the Critics’ Choice, Independent Spirit, Writers Guild, Producers Guild, and most importantly, the Directors Guild. The momentum is too strong for both these categories to be stopped, and unless you got The Daniels at the open, stay away from these two categories.

Projected Best Supporting Actor: Ke Huy Quan (-5000)

Projected Best Director: The Daniels (-1400)


My Other Projected Winners for the 95th Academy Awards

Best Original Screenplay: The Banshees of Inisherin (+110)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Women Talking (-250)

Best Production Design: Babylon (-225)

Best Makeup & Hairstyling: Elvis (-150)

Best Costumes: Elvis (-165)

Best International Film: All Quite on the Western Front (-2500)

Best Cinematography: All Quite on the Western Front (-700)

Best Sound: Top Gun Maverick (-800)

Best Original Score: Babylon (-225)

Best Original Song: Naatu Naatu (-500)

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