Oscars Sleeper Predictions: Which Upsets To Target At Academy Awards?

Brian Sausa, Last Updated: June 7th, 2021 - NJ Sports Betting - Free $3,250 For Sports Bets In New Jersey

Wagering on the Academy Awards has become mainstream over the past two years and we’re celebrating the 92nd edition of the film industry’s biggest night with some Oscars upset predictions!

As far as legal online betting sites in the United States go, it’s DraftKings Sportsbook offering odds for each and every category. There are 24 in total and many of them come with an enormous favorite according to the odds, but that can also be an opportunity for the bettor.

It’s true that the lopsided odds can make those categories tougher to wager on since there’s no value in the favorite and the underdogs are unlikely to win. Still, the longshot odds for the rest of the nominees also open up an opportunity to win big if you can correctly foresee the potential upsets that oftentimes occur on the industry’s biggest stage.

Not every category is one worth gambling on, plus there are far too many options anyway, but there are some spots where the value that lies with the underdogs could be worth taking a chance. We have searched the list of categories for nominees that you may consider ‘sleepers’ for your Oscars upset picks. Keep in mind that all odds are accessible if you either have an account or sign up using a DraftKings NJ promo code, which will also allow you to claim a generous welcome bonus. 

Will 1917 Win Best Picture?

Yes, if you go by the recent actions of oddsmakers in the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards. Sam Mendes’ World War I epic has raced passed its peers after taking home top honors at the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild of America Awards (PGA), and the British Academy Film Awards (or BAFTA) to become the betting favorite with -250 odds at DraftKings, the only one of the top NJ betting sites to provide lines. 

Oscars Upsets Bet On Best Picture At DraftKings NJ!

One issue is that many pundits see this as a two-horse race with ‘Parasite’, the gripping genre-defying film from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, and a foreign-language film has never won Best Picture at the Oscars. Selecting ‘Parasite’ means asking the Motion Picture Academy to step into unchartered waters.

If there’s any film that can make that happen, it’s this one. A dark comedy wrapped up in a suspense thriller, it features innovative filmmaking, memorable performances, and relevant themes that may just earn it what many feels it deserves.

You don’t need expertise in filmmaking to feel like Bong Joon-ho made the best film of 2019 and considering the Academy uses a preferential ballot, perhaps ‘Parasite’ has a chance. While the cinematic achievement that is ‘1917’ has earned it the role of the favorite at this late stage, the odds on an underdog might be too juicy to pass up if you’re looking for Oscars upset picks.

Pick: Parasite (+300)

Best Director Oscar Predictions 2020

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Mendes is a massive favorite at -670 but the ‘Parasite’ director has alluring underdog odds of +375 at DraftKings, which operates as one of the best PA betting sites and top operators in multiple states. It may be unlikely that ‘Parasite’ will be rewarded by the Academy for Best Picture as a foreign outsider to Hollywood (another potential loss to ‘1917’), but could it possibly reward Bong Joon-ho with Best Director? It’s still a longshot, but worth a look.

As mentioned above, Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Parasite’ is a maserful piece of filmmaking and that feedback has come from around the world and almost anyone who has seen this movie. It is without a genre and lives in a world where its director almost creates an entirely new one. It has gained critical acclaim for good reason, as it’s not only brilliantly-made and well-acted, but is also memorably unique.

Pick: Bong Joon-ho, Parasite (+375)

Best Actress Upset Predictions

We made this selection in our original Oscars betting picks article as well but we are doubling down on Scarlett Johansson, who is nominated in both the Best Actress and the Best Supporting Actress categories for ‘Marriage Story’ and ‘Jojo Rabbit’, respectively.

This category is missing a serious contender in Lupita Nyong’o, so the momentum that has built for Renee Zellweger’s role in ‘Judy’ is undeniable but the odds for every other nominee are large enough to at least take a peek at, no?

Despite the extremely robust +1100 line, Johansson is actually the nominee with the second-lowest odds. Up until late in awards season, she was doing a decent job matching Zelwegger in taking home honors for this category. With Zelwegger’s win at BAFTA most recently, however, the odds have become even higher for any other nominee, Johansson included.

Even still, there are always some shockers that many don’t see coming and this is all about finding value. Amidst a huge year with multiple nominations, ScarJo is one of our Oscars upset predictions in one of the night’s biggest categories.

Pick: Scarlett Johansson (+1100), Marriage Story

Best Adapted Screenplay: Will the Irishman Win An Oscar?

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Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half-hour crime drama has earned itself 10 Academy Award nominations in categories ranging from Best Picture to Costume Design, but where will it pick up its Oscar(s)?

The competition is fierce in most of the larger categories including Best Picture with ‘1917’ and ‘Parasite’, and best director with Sam Mendez and Bong Joon-ho. The same can be said for Best Supporting Actor and Cinematography, two more areas where this film is very unlikely to win.

Where we think it could win, though, is in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Steven Zaillian, who also won for ‘Schindler’s List’ in 1994, crafted a monster script of nearly 150 pages adapted from Charles Brandt’s book titled ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’ and has garnered critical acclaim for his work this season.

The favorites in this category are ‘Jojo Rabbit’ and ‘Little Women’ but we are calling for a serious longshot with a huge payout at +800 for Zaillain and ‘The Irishman’ to walk away with some hardware for our Oscars sleeper picks.

Pick: The Irishman (+800)

Best Sound Mixing Predictions 2020

In both the Sound Mixing and Sound Editing categories, ‘Ford v Ferrari’ is forced to compete with a technical masterpiece in ‘1917’ and it’s not quite fair. Sam Mendes’ war epic is the favorite in both spots with the Christian Bale-powered sports drama listed second at +150. After some research and deliberation, we’ve decided ‘Ford v Ferrari’ is the perfect film to award the Best Mixing award to.

After all, this team did accomplish the task of using original recordings of classic automobiles and modern sound-augmenting technology to create a larger-than-life experience for viewers. Even viewers without an interest in cars or racing can’t help but feel thrilled by the action this film creates, partly with amazing sound.

How the Academy judges these types of achievements and deciphers them for these similar-seeming sound awards can be a bit of a guessing game, but feel comfortable with a small underdog in the Best Sound Mixing category.

Pick: Ford v Ferrari (+150)

2020 Oscars Upset Picks

  • Best Picture Predictions: Parasite (+300)
  • Best Director Predictions: Bong Joon-ho, Parasite (+375)
  • Best Actress Predictions: Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (+1100)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay Predictions: The Irishman (+800)
  • Best Sound Mixing Predictions: Ford v Ferrari (+150)

ABOUT Brian Sausa

Brian Sausa is BonusSeeker’s Copy Editor and lead sports betting pundit. A journalism graduate with an extensive sports background, Brian has been employed by multiple professional leagues including MLB, MiLB (Minor League Baseball), and the NHL. MLB, NHL, IBTimes, Brooklyn Cyclones, FanSided

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