Sportsbooks will often post big events early. For instance, week one NFL lines have been up for quite some time now — even though we’re still 79 days away from the start of the 2022 season (not that we’re counting).
And while it’s one thing to get some early sides up for sporting events, PointsBet has taken the “no time like the present” idea to the extreme by posting odds for Best Picture for the 2023 Academy Awards, which don’t take place for 264 days. And these odds weren’t posted yesterday; they’ve been up for at least a month.
Numerous emails to PointsBet representatives trying to find out the why’s and what-fors concerning the decision to post this market so early went unreturned. Other mobile sportsbooks that have offered odds on past Academy Awards include DraftKings, FanDuel Casino & Sportsbook, and Caesars — and none of them are offering odds on the 2023 award season yet.
Only New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, and Colorado currently allow betting on the Academy Awards, but that still hasn’t stopped PointsBet from originating the action.
And the favorites are …
So, who does PointsBet like to take home the iron?
The favorite, at +600, is Thirteen Lives, a Ron Howard-directed true story about the fate of a Thailand youth soccer team that got trapped in a cave in 2018. The film, starring Colin Farrell and Viggo Mortensen, is expected to be released … well, sometime this year. To provide an idea of how early PointsBet is with this market, there is not even a trailer yet for the movie they have as the favorite to win Best Picture.
Next up on the odds board? Two movies at +700: Martin Scorcese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, a true story starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro and concerning the murders of members of the Osage tribe of Native Americans in the 1920s and rise of the FBI. No trailer yet for that one either, except of the homemade variety.
Also at +700 is Amsterdam, written and produced by David O. Russell and starring a legitimate who’s-who of Hollywood, including De Niro, Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Mike Myers, John David Washington, Zoe Saldana, and countless others. And, nope, no trailer yet either.
The list goes on and on — there are currently 42 movies listed as options — culminating in 100/1 longshots Lightyear, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Men, and Disappointment Blvd.
Where’s the value?
So — and we hesitate to even pose this question — is there any value to be had right now in betting on Best Picture winners when the vast majority of the choices not only haven’t been released, but don’t even have release dates or trailers?
Well, AwardsWatch.com likes The Fablemans for Best Picture. It’s a semi-autobiographical period drama from Steven Spielberg, and it’s at +1400 on PointsBet. (Don’t ask about a trailer.)
CinemaBlend.com likes Babylon best right now. Starring Robbie and Brad Pitt, it barely even has a Wikipedia entry, much less a trailer. It’s +1000. And GoldDerby.com, widely considered to be the best of the Oscar crystal balls, currently has zero predictions for the 2023 race, which probably tells you all you need to know.
Lastly, someone who refers to themselves on YouTube as “The Oscar Expert” currently has Everything Everywhere All At Once as their Best Picture favorite. That one — a sci-fi, multiverse, save the world joint — is at +1400, and since it’s already been released, there is an actual trailer to feast on. Enjoy.
Also: PointsBet hasn’t posted odds on this dream main event, but the braintrust here at US Bets has Will Smith as a -3000 favorite over Chris Rock.