There is a big upside to being a new bettor who wants to give Academy Award wagering a try though. Most sportsbooks, like NJ online casinos, will offer you some sort of promotion or deposit bonus for opening an account.
Several of these deposit bonuses allow for free bets.
This means you can bet a tidy chunk of money on an underdog in a category, then get the same amount of the bet back in bonus money should you lose.
FanDuel’s up to $500 free bet
If you are only looking at bet Best Picture, FanDuel Sportsbook may not be the best place for you to go. Looking at the Oscar odds, there are books out there giving you better prices on the frontrunner.
However, if you want to bet on several different categories, including the smaller ones, such as Best Sound Editing or Best Makeup, FanDuel is the place for you.
The biggest perk is FanDuel’s up to $500 free bet that comes with your first deposit. If you deposit up to $500, FanDuel will pay back your first bet with bonus money to use on the site if your initial bet loses.
All you have to do is be sure to deposit within seven days of setting up your account. There are some smaller terms and conditions, but for the Oscars, here is our best suggestion:
Pick a category where you think one of the underdogs stands a legitimate chance of taking the trophy. If you look at tracking sites like Gold Derby, you’ll see that many Oscar reporters disagree with the odds on who will win some of these smaller categories.
Once you find a category you like, bet a couple hundred dollars on the upset for a potentially substantial payday. Then, if the upset doesn’t happen, you can rest assured you have the amount of your bet headed your way in site credit for future bets.
Be warned, FanDuel may limit the size of your bet to less than $500.
The Oscars are a niche betting market, so the site is not going to take massive wagers. Though, our reporter on the ground in New Jersey had no difficulty betting $200 each in multiple categories.
Save your DraftKings bonus for another spot
Like FanDuel, DraftKings Sportsbook has a very generous deposit bonus. Rather than pay out a losing bet, DraftKings will match the amount of your first bet for up to $500.
You should definitely consider DraftKings as an option if you plan to bet on the major sports. If you plan to do that and bet on the Oscars, you can get that first bet on NBA, tennis, or golf to get the most bang for your buck.
If you are only interested in Oscars though, DraftKings may not be the spot for you. The site is only taking odds on Best Picture and the betting limits are fairly restrictive.
But, if you plan on only betting a small amount and don’t want to keep a larger bankroll, keep an ear out, as DraftKings regularly offers promotions like odds boosting, where you may get a really good number on your relatively small Best Picture bet.
Resorts offering every category
Only one sportsbook so far is giving bettors a chance to get money down on all 24 categories. While it is not the best-known name (it only recently opened for business), Resorts Casino’s online sportsbook is the place to be if you think you know Oscars and want to bet on it.
Plus, the sportsbook will give you up to a $250 free bet to go along with your first bet. So, if you deposit, then put $250 down on Best Supporting Actress, for example, a credit for another $250 bet will appear in your account within 48 hours.
It is unclear what kind of limits Resorts has on its Oscar betting, but the fact they are spreading so many categories does suggest they are ready to take some action.
Shop before you drop cash on Oscars betting
We think these are three great options, but the best way to figure out what works for you is to look around.
If you want to just bet the six major categories, there are sportsbooks like BetStars offering those that also have good deposit bonuses.
Take into account the odds on the bets you like and the bonuses these sites offer, not one or the other. Also, do your best to find out betting limits before you deposit. Not getting to take full advantage of a $500 offer is never a good feeling.
Once you do that and get your bets in order, just sit back and wait for Oscars night on Sunday, Feb. 24.