Oscars Odds Predict Big Night For “La La Land” at Academy Awards, But Few Thrills

Posted on: February 26, 2017, 10:00h. 

Last updated on: February 24, 2017, 02:42h.

The Oscars odds at UK and EU sportsbooks predict a big night for “La La Land,” the rom-com drama starring millenial heartthrobs Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

Emma Stone Ryan Gosling La La Land Oscar odds
Tonight is expected to be a celebratory evening for “La La Land” and stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, as Oscars odds put the film as the heavy favorite to win Best Picture. (Image: lalaland.movie)

Nevada oddsmakers don’t take bets on non-sporting outcomes, but across the pond and beyond, all of the major betting shops and sites are happy to take wagers on the premier Hollywood awards show. Dubbed Hollywood’s Super Bowl, the 89th Academy Awards begin tonight at 8:30 pm ET.

The books are in unison that Gosling and Stone’s song-and-dance picture is a near certainty to take the Oscar for Best Picture.

William Hill, Paddy Power, and Coral all put “La La Land” as a huge favorite at 1-6 to win the top award. “Moonlight,” the story of a young black man growing up in Miami surrounded by poverty and drugs, comes with the next-best odds, at 5-1.

The eight other Best Picture nominees are long shots, according to the oddsmakers. “Manchester by the Sea” and “Hidden Figures” are at 25-1, followed by “Lion” (90-1), and then “Arrival,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” and “Fences” at 100-1.

To make the line slightly more attractive, Paddy Power allows bettors to take the field (10-3) against “La La Land.”

Acting Odds

While it appears “La La Land” is almost a sure bet for Best Picture, bettors looking for more enticing lines have plenty to choose from in other marquee categories.

Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”) is at 4-7 to win Best Actor, but Denzel Washington follows closely at 5-4 for his performance in “Fences.” Gosling comes third at 11-1.

Meanwhile, Stone is the big frontrunner for Best Actress at 1-6. Natalie Portman (“Jackie”) is next at 5-1.

No Fun Oscars

The Academy Awards is Hollywood’s most celebrated night, and landing an Oscar  is at the top of the award show food chain, by any measure. It’s a more lavish affair, and for tonight’s big show, the online sportsbooks in Europe are staying clear of their usual fun novelty bets.

Paddy Power is infamous for typically offering a smattering of ridiculous or absurd betting opportunities. But this year, the Irish bookie is mainly sticking to asking simply which film or star will win each category.

There are no bets on whether a winner will go off on a political rant during their acceptance speech, or wagers on how much leg a certain actress’ dress might reveal.

Paddy’s unwillingness to enter the novelty prop space for this year’s Oscars might reflect the overall attitude on tonight’s ceremony. There seems to be little enthusiasm about this year’s Oscars, due to an abundance of films with heart, soul, and humanity, but little “wow factor.”

“La La Land” is almost certainly going to finish the night with the most awards. Nominated in a record-tying 14 categories, the film still isn’t expected to win 11 gold statuettes, as did “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic,” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

For a film receiving so much praise, it has plenty of critics. The movie’s been labeled dull and flat by some, unengaging and even humorless by others.

Writing in The Guardian, film producer David Cox summed up those sentiments when he said, “La La Land’s inevitable Oscars win is a disaster for Hollywood. It will be no triumph for filmmakers, filmgoers, or film.”

Perhaps there will be a dramatic upset that pays dividends for those who took long odds on one of the other eight Best Picture nominees.