‘Parasite’ Upsets Oscars Best Picture Favorite ‘1917,’ But Bettors Win Elsewhere

Posted on: February 10, 2020, 08:46h. 

Last updated on: February 10, 2020, 10:43h.

Parasite took home the top honor at the 92nd Academy Awards Sunday night in Los Angeles, a win that upset Oscars betting favorite 1917.

Parasite Oscars odds Academy Awards
Parasite director Bong Joon-ho celebrates South Korea’s first Academy Award. (Image: Chris Pizzello/AP)

Oddsmakers in the two states where legal betting on Hollywood’s biggest night were permitted – New Jersey and Indiana – initially had 1917 as a strong favorite. FanDuel and DraftKings had the British wartime drama as short as -225. That’s implied odds of 69.23 percent, a $100 bet netting $44.44.

But in the days and hours leading up to the Oscars, bettors put money on Parasite, the South Korean black comedy thriller. The odds shortened on the movie from +450 to +150, and slightly lengthened the line on 1917 to -125.

Bettors who put $100 on Parasite won $150 on the final odds.

The upset was a win for oddsmakers, New Jersey books reporting that roughly half of all the money wagered on the Oscars came on the Best Picture category. Of the handle, about 25 percent of the bets were placed on Parasite.

Parasite became the first foreign-language film to win the Best Picture Oscar.

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Sunday’s Oscars marked the second year where legal bets could be made on the outcome of the awards show, albeit only in those two aforementioned states. The 2020 gala was also the second year in a row where the betting favorite for Best Picture didn’t win.

Last year, Oscars betting was only available in New Jersey. Roma was the odds-on favorite for Best Picture, but Green Book pulled off the upset. While the Best Picture category again kept movie fanatics on the edge of their seats with another surprise winner, frontrunners for Best Actor and Actress went according to plan.

Joker Joaquin Phoenix and Renee Zellweger in Judy were seemingly sure things for Best Actor and Actress. Their odds of winning were respectively as short as -1500 and -2000. Each $100 bet on those lines netted $2 and $5.

Many are talking about Phoenix at their office water cooler today because of his acceptance speech that discussed the selfish nature of humanity, wrongful insemination of cows, and his late brother, River.

“I think whether we’re talking about gender and equality, or racism, or queer rights, or indigenous rights, or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice,” Phoenix declared. “We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one people, one race, one gender, one species has the right to dominate, control, use, and exploit another with impunity.”

He added, “We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and then steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable.”

While some praised the speech, others panned it. Jeopardy GOAT Ken Jennings tweeted, “Amazing touch for Joaquin Phoenix to do this speech in character.”

Best Director Shocker

Sam Mendes was the Best Director favorite for 1917 at -280. But Sunday wouldn’t be his second Oscar, his first coming two decades ago for his directing of American Beauty.

Instead, Parasite director Bong Joon-ho, whose odds were at +175, claimed the award. Bong also won for Best Original Screenplay, making him a three-time Academy Awards winner on Sunday.

“This is the very first Oscar to South Korea!” Bong said.