The Oscar for Best Picture goes to … but before answering that, think about this: Are you confident enough in your pick to place some money on it?
Well, for 2019 at least, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is permitting NJ sports betting operators to offer legal bets on Oscars action. According to a letter from NJ legislators, the DGE “received multiple requests” to allow wagering on the 2019 Academy Awards (better known as The Oscars).
The event takes place Feb. 24 in Los Angeles.
The move represents a first for legal US sports betting. Nevada has never allowed betting on the Oscars.
On Thursday, DraftKings Sportsbook announced on Twitter that it had posted Oscars odds and lines. PointsBet also quickly got in line. And more will likely follow.
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) January 31, 2019
How will NJ sportsbooks react
The NJ sports betting focus for this week is centered around Super Bowl 2019 and all of the prop bets that go with it. But that obviously didn’t stop DraftKings and PointsBet from getting in on the Oscars action.
So far, the DraftKings NJ sportsbook app lists all of the award categories, from the big six to Best Sound Mixing.
The heavy favorite to take home the Best Picture Oscar, according to DraftKings, is Roma. But now that NJ sportsbook operators know that Oscars betting is on the table, more will follow DraftKings to the Oscars betting table.
Then again, with the Super Bowl taking place on Sunday and March Madness less than two months away, will Academy Awards betting even generate enough interest to make it worthwhile for the market?
Since the DGE is only allowing betting on the 2019 Oscars awards show, it’s likely regulators want to see how this goes before committing to a permanent practice.
Oscars betting + potential categories
In reality, there are really six main categories that Academy Award viewers really care about, and these would make the most sense for betting purposes. Those six categories are also more or less an unknown compared to the other categories.
Who is going to put money down on Best Foreign Film, especially if they’ve never seen any of them?
All that being said, here are the wagers that would make the most sense for placing your bets:
- Best Supporting Actress
- Best Supporting Actor
- Best Director
- Best Actor
- Best Actress
- Best Picture
Speaking of Best Picture, here is a breakdown of the race from Gold Derby:
- A Star Is Born: 13/2
- Roma: 15/2
- Green Book: 17/2
- The Favourite: 17/2
- BlacKkKlansman: 19/2
- Black Panther: 11/1
- Vice: 12/1
- Bohemian Rhapsody: 15/1
As NJ sportsbooks start to offer betting on the Academy Awards, that Oscars winner reveal could end up being as dramatic as a double doink in an NFL playoff game.