The nominations are out for the 96th Academy Awards and for the most part went according to plan except for a few major snubs and surprises. All of the categories are now set and we are awaiting the release for betting lines in the below the line categories which is where you’ll have to find your value in a year where the behemoth Oppenheimer dominated nomination day with a total of 13 nominations, just one shy of the shared record of 14. I’ll dive into the categories available at DraftKings Sportsbook and also give you some of the categories and nominees to look out for once their categories are available.
The Year of Oppenheimer. That’s what many are saying after Nomination Tuesday. With Oppenheimer snagging 13 nominations, one shy of tying the record 14. Oppenheimer (-1000) has marched through awards season picking up win after win. This is a transcendent film that many have dubbed a masterpiece and I would have to agree. I’ve made the pilgrimage from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to watch Oppenheimer in 70mm IMAX as instructed by the man pulling the strings Christopher Nolan.
If you’re looking for a contender to challenge Oppy and due to preferential balloting it is possible for an upset on Oscar night. There are two films that I believe could upset Oppenheimer. Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers (12/1) and Yorgos Lanthimos Fantasy/Drama Poor Things (12/1). I believe that The Holdovers will play very well to much of the voting body and Poor things will do very well with the young international contingent. The problem facing Poor Things is the very graphic nature of the film and it’s style. The Holdovers is certainly the more down to earth film and at it’s core is all about heart. I can see it being very high on many voters lists and in preferential balloting the ranking is very important. If I had to choose another option to go up against Oppenheimer I would choose The Holdovers based on the fact that I think it would do well in the balloting and is a little more approachable than Poor Things.
Predicted Winner: Oppenheimer (-1000)
Could Win: The Holdovers (12/1)
When we start talking about films being masterpieces whoever is responsible for that masterpiece is typically first in line to get congratulations and Christopher Nolan (-3500) is that man. This is Nolan’s eighth nomination and is well overdue for a win. He has championed original stories, elevating a comic book franchise and big budget practical filmmaking. These are all things that the Academy values I think it is his time. He has won every major precursor award leading up to the Oscars and I don’t see that changing.
If you wanted to look for an outside shot for someone else I would look at Yorgos Lanthimos (14/1) for Poor Things. With the high level of difficulty, a niche genre and crude subject matter I can see this being a possibility where Yorgos wins for Direction and Oppenheimer wins for Best Picture. This is just an idea of how I think it could go but not what I think will happen. It’s Nolan’s year and it’s time to just enjoy the ride.
Predicted Winner: Christopher Nolan (-3500)
Could Win: Yorgos Lanthimos (14/1)
Cillian Murphy (-250) leads the pack for his performance as J. Robert Oppenheimer and rightfully so. Murphy claimed his first Golden Globe in January and has secured nominations at both the BAFTA’s and the SAG ceremonies. He has cleaned up on the critics awards circuit and is the lead of the most nominated film of the year. Many of the arrows point to Murphy claiming his first golden statue, but standing in his way is slight underdog and long overdue nominee Paul Giamatti (+200).
Paul Giamatti is an industry favorite and this is only his 2nd nomination at the Academy Awards, where he previously was nominated for Cinderella Man in Supporting. He turns in a grounded and emotional performance in The Holdovers as a grizzly old teacher at a New England boarding school where he is left in charge of students left behind at Christmas. In a surprise win at the Critics Choice Awards this category could be a little more competitive than predicted and with Leonardo DiCaprio being left out of this years nominees it has become a two horse race.
Predicted Winner: Cillian Murphy (-250)
Could Win: Paul Giamatti (+200)
This is the heavyweight title fight this year. Oscar winner & now 4x nominee Emma Stone (-135) vs first-time nominee Lily Gladstone (+110). They have been trading blows back and forth throughout awards season. At the Golden Globes Gladstone walked away with the prize for Drama and Stone with Comedy and Musical Globe. Stone also won the Critics Choice Award for Best Actress and has secured a nomination at the BAFTA’s that Gladstone is missing which is why Stone is the slight favorite at the time of this publishing.
Both actresses will be at SAG where both have secured nominations and that might be the determining factor ahead of Oscar Night on March 10th. In the last 10 years, the Oscars and SAG’s have matched 8 of the last 10 years. I’m sure Stone’s odds will bump when she wins at the BAFTA’s (which she should, but you can never trust the British Film Academy as in the past few years they haven’t quite matched up in many categories.)
This category will come down to the individual Acting Academy’s taste. Whether they want to reward Stone for one of her most daring and fearless roles she’s ever undertaken or Lilly Gladstone the first Native American woman to be nominated for Best Actress. I personally believe Lilly Gladstone should win this year and deserves to win. She held the screen with film titans Leonardo DiCaprio & Robert De Niro. Scorsese has stated many times that she is the heart of the film and I believe that. She has the precursor resume this year to back it up and at (+110) she provides the best value from a betting perspective. This category can go either way, but I’m putting my money behind Gladstone at this time.
Predicted Winner: Lily Gladstone (+110)
Could Win: Emma Stone (-135)
Best Supporting Actor
This was the only category that I successfully predicted all 5 nominees. Much of it was a lot to do about nothing as Robert Downey Jr. (-1000) has been dominating in many of the precursor awards and has the charisma to continue the momentum to the stage on Oscar night. If anyone was going to challenge Downey in this category this year it would be Mark Ruffalo (16/1) or Robert De Niro (14/1). The problem is that neither of these nominees has nabbed any competitive awards this year other than the random critics choice here and there. Ryan Gosling is the next closest option at (+650) and really hasn’t campaigned very hard for his role. I’ve had Downey Jr. to win this category from the release of Oppenheimer. His transformation from action Superhero back to accomplished auteur is one of the great Hollywood stories and I think he will be rewarded for it.
Predicted Winner: Robert Downey Jr. (-1000)
Could Win: Mark Ruffalo (16/1)
Best Supporting Actress
DaVine Joy Randolph (-2000) will win this category. Her performance in The Holdovers was miraculous. She embodies Mary Lamb, a widowed mother who is spending her first Christmas without her son. Her performance is both powerful and vulnerable and is why we go to the movies. A multi-dimensional character that is a reflection of the human experience. There isn’t another actress in this category that can challenge Randolph this year. It is simple hers to lose.
Predicted Winner: DaVine Joy Randolph (-2000)
—Written by VSiN’s Brian Ortega
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