After a frenzy of activity in August and September, the Oscars betting markets have taken on a settled look in recent weeks, with Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman back on top of the Best Picture market, having been temporarily dethroned during the summer by Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and surprise package Marriage Story.
The Irishman is generally available at 7/2, with Marriage Story locked in at 4/1 across the board with bookmakers, although there is less agreement among betting companies over the price for Tarantino’s contender, which can be backed at anything between 9/2 and 8/1, while there has also been some money for Joker (5/1) which made a big impact on release earlier this month.
But while the Best Picture market is the main focus for Oscars punters, there are other opportunities for film fans to put their expertise to use, and one intriguing betting option is the combined market on whether the Best Picture and Best Director Oscar will be won by the same movie.
Top films often pull off a sweep of Academy Awards, and history suggests that there is a good chance of the same film landing both Best Director and Best Picture Oscar. In fact, that has happened in 69 of the 91 Oscars ceremonies. At one time it was almost the standard outcome for Academy Awards ceremonies. Starting with Frank Capra and You Can’t Take It With You in 1938, there was a run of nine out of ten double-Oscar outcomes until 1947.
Those figures suggest that the current odds of 11/10 about the same movie landing both of the big Awards are on the generous side. But punters planning to take the plunge should also note that in recent years, it has become a lot rarer for one film to claim both Oscars.
The main reason for this is the increase in the number of films nominated for Best Picture, from five to ten, ahead of the 2009 Academy Awards. As a result, five of the last seven Oscars have seen the Best Director and Best Picture awarded to different movies, and given that the current Best Picture market is relatively open, with as many as six options available at less than double-figure odds, there is good chance that the big Oscars prizes will once again be split.