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Las Vegas is the prime destination for betting on all kinds of outcomes and serves as the authority on making the odds. Many don’t know that it actually does set the odds for the Oscars as well. The only catch is it’s just forbidden by law to let people put real money on it, since a few people do know the winners beforehand.
Still, it’s a big industry on online betting sites, according to an article this week in the Los Angeles Times A gambling site manager for Bovida, which operates in Canada, told the Times that business is great this year for betting on this year’s Academy Awards, in fact it’s up 20 percent.
Though you can’t legally walk into a casino and lay cash down on your Oscar picks, many sports books in Vegas still post odds on who they think they win. Funny thing is, you can still go on most gambling sites abroad and bet with virtually those exact same odds on the board.
Vegas’ Wynn resort posted their thoughts (in numbers) on who they thought would win Sunday’s best picture. Argo was the big favorite, paying one dollar to every two. Runner-up was Lincoln, who would pay you nine dollars to every five. Over-the-top racial content is probably why Django Unchained payed 125 to 1, and most people don’t even know that 250 to 1 long shot Beasts of the Southern Wild was even nominated.
Vegas Insider posted odds for the other major categories back in January. Steven Spielberg is the runaway favorite in the director category at one to four. The closest favorite, Ang Lee for Life of Pi, isn't even close at one to five.
The other heavy favorites this year were Anne Hathaway and Daniel Day-Lewis, each at one to ten and one to eight respectively in their categories.
The closest race, by the odds at least was in the supporting actor category, and it was between Tommy Lee Jones and Phillip Seymour Hoffman-- basically a toss of the coin. Ironically, neither won, since Django's Christoph Waltz scored the Oscar.
Argo ended up winning Best Picture.