Pre-Nomination Announcement Proposition Bets for the 2017 Academy Awards

–Nominees will be announced on January 24, 2017 via a live stream at

–The 89th Academy Awards will take place on February 26, 2017

–The nature of awards shows makes them a ripe target for proposition bets

The Academy Award Nominations will be announced in just over a week and that gives us the opportunity for some more proposition betting odds. These odds cover the nominations, the winners of the awards and some ‘unusual’ topics. Once the nominations are out we’ll get to work on the odds to win the Academy Award in each category as well as some ‘specials’ for the TV broadcast.

You’ll find the odds on the major categories at the links below:

2017 Academy Awards Odds for Best Picture
Early 2017 Academy Awards Odds for ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Best Actress’
Early 2017 Academy Awards Odds for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ and ‘Best Supporting Actress’

The first group of odds below are ‘Nomination Propositions’. These include Over/Under odds for how many nominations films will get, whether certain films and individuals will receive a nomination, the number of films nominated for ‘Best Picture’ and the Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ score of the ‘Best Picture’ Nominees.

The second group of proposition odds deal with ‘Academy Award Winners’–specially who will win and how they’ll behave. How many Academy Awards will ‘La La Land’ win? Will any film sweep the ‘Big Five’ awards or the acting awards? Which award winners will cry during their acceptance speech and how long it’ll go?

The final group is simply called ‘Other Academy Award Propositions’ and this is where you’ll find the ‘out of the box’ questions. What will the TV ratings be? Will anyone refuse their award for political reasons? What will host Jimmy Kimmel do? What will the presenters and nominees do? Will a winner drop and break their Oscar statue?


This is just the start for the ‘special proposition bets’ since the Academy Awards has a history of strange things happening during the presentation. We’ve got plenty to come between now and the Academy Awards broadcast on February 26, 2017.

Some of the props will concern acceptance speeches. Since the mid-2000’s the Academy has had the ’45 second rule’ for acceptance speeches. If an award winner prattles on for longer than 45 seconds the orchestra will start to play giving them an audible cue to wrap it up and move along. That’s helped keep award speeches to a reasonable length and in turn helps keep the show from dragging on like the 2002 show which went a ridiculous four hours and 23 minutes and prompted that change. Some award winners took matters into their own hands–the shortest acceptance speeches in Oscars history were made by William Holden and iconic director Alfred Hitchcock who simply said ‘Thank you’ and walked off.

Originally, the Academy wasn’t as secretive with the nominations and winners. In fact, they’d provide a list of the winners to the newspapers so they could make the morning editions. In 1940, the Los Angeles Times printed that list before the ’embargo’ was up and as a result most of the nominees knew if they’d won or lost. That’s when they started getting secretive with accounting firms involved and the award winners kept in an envelope until announced. For much of its existence, presenters would announce which nominee had received the Academy Award by saying ‘the winner is’. Presumably not to hurt the feelings of the losers…er…’non-winners’ that was changed in the mid 1980’s. Now the correct phrase when announcing the winner is “the Oscar goes to…”. We’ve got a prop bet on whether someone will forget and mistakenly say ‘the winner is’.

Only one film has swept the entire show winning every award it was nominated for–that was The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at the 76th annual Academy Awards. Only three movies have swept the ‘Big Five’ awards (best picture, best actor, best actress, best director and best screenplay)–“It Happened One Night” (1934), “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) and “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991).

The first winner to ever refuse their Oscar was Dudley Nichols who won in 1935 for ‘Best Screenplay’ in “The Informer.” The most famous actor to refuse the award was Marlon Brando’s ‘Best Actor’ award for “The Godfather” in 1973. Brando sent a young Native American woman named Sacheen Littlefeather to read a ‘prepared statement’ in his stead. Another big name actor to refuse their award–George C. Scott in 1970 who refused his ‘Best Actor’ award for ‘Patton’.

These strange hijinx are just scratching the surface and we’ll have plenty of proposition bets forthcoming that will make reference to many of the other oddities in Oscars history:


Nomination Propositions

Academy Award Nominations for ‘La La Land’?
Over 10.5 +130
Under 10.5-150

Acting Nominations for ‘La La Land’?
Over 2.5 +250
Under 2.5 -310

Will ‘La La Land’ get a nomination in all four acting categories?
Yes: +450
No: -600

Will Michael Giacchino (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)be nominated for ‘Best Score’?
Yes: -350
No: +310

Will ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ be nominated for ‘Best Visual Effects’?
Yes: -300
No: +270

Will ‘La La Land’ receive more than one nomination for ‘Best Song’?
Yes: +150
No: -130

Will ‘OJ: Made in America’ be nominated for ‘Best Documentary Feature’?
Yes: +170
No: -210

Will ‘The Salesman’ be nominated for ‘Best Foreign Film’?
Yes: -450
No: +375

How many films will be nominated for ‘Best Picture?
Over 6.5: -150
Under 6.5 +130

Will every film nominated for ‘Best Picture’ have a Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ score of 90% or higher on 1/24/16 at 9 AM Eastern?
Yes: +150
No: -170

Academy Award Winner Propositions

Will any film sweep the ‘Big Five’ awards? (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay)
Yes: +1800
No: -2500

Academy Awards won by ‘La La Land’?
Over 7.5 +150
Under 7.5 -180

Academy Awards won by ‘La La Land’?
Over 5.5 +110
Under 5.5 -130

Will the Best Actress winner cry during her acceptance speech?
Yes: -450
No: +375

Will the Best Actor winner cry during his acceptance speech?
Yes: +150
No: -180

Will any Academy Award winner say nothing other than ‘Thank you’ for his/her acceptance speech?
Yes: +900
No: -1200

Will any category produce a ‘tie’ for the Academy Award?
Yes: +4500
No: -6000

Which winner will make the longest acceptance speech?
Best Actor Winner: -130
Best Actress Winner: +110

Which winner will make the longest acceptance speech?
Best Supporting Actor Winner: -130
Best Supporting Actress Winner: +110

Which winner will make the longest acceptance speech?
Best Actor Winner: -150
Best Director Winner: +130

Will any of the acting award winners thank ‘Mom and/or Dad’ in their acceptance speech?
Yes: -170
No: +150

Will any of the acting award winners continue their acceptance speech ‘after the music begins’ to cue them off?
Yes: -170
No: +150

Other Academy Award Propositions

Will a presenter mispronounce the name of a nominee or winner?
Yes: -180
No: +150

Will anyone refuse to accept their award for political or protest reasons?
Yes: +2100
No: +3500

How many people will watch the 2017 Academy Awards TV broadcast?
Over 34.5 million: -130
Under 34.5 million +110

What will be the 2017 Academy Awards TV broadcast key demo rating? (Adults 18-49)
Over 10.5: -110
Under 10.5 -110

Will any winner drop their Oscar trophy on stage?
Yes: +2100
No: -1800

Will host Jimmy Kimmel make the first ‘Donald Trump’ joke of the evening?
Yes: -210
No: +180

Will someone speaking on stage refer to Meryl Streep as ‘the greatest actor/actress of our time’?
Yes: -150
No: +130

Will someone ‘take a selfie’ on camera during the Academy Awards broadcast?
Yes: -175
No: +125

Will any Academy Award winner swear during their speech (accidentally or not)?
Yes: +130
No: -150

Will a montage of scenes from classic movies be shown during the 2017 Academy Award broadcast?
Yes: -130
No: +110

Will Jimmy Kimmel reference 2016 Academy Award broadcast host Chris Rock?
Yes: -130
No: +110

RULES: ‘Acting Awards’ are Best Actor,Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. Unless specified otherwise all bets refer to the actual Academy Awards TV broadcast and do not include any pre-show, red carpet or post show coverage. ‘Swearing’ refers to the use of any word that would get censored on a primetime television show and does not include ‘hell’, ‘damn’ or ‘bitch’.

About the Author: Jim Murphy

For more than 25 years, Jim Murphy has written extensively on sports betting as well as handicapping theory and practice. Jim Murphy has been quoted in media from the Wall Street Journal to REASON Magazine. Murphy worked as a radio and podcasting host broadcasting to an international audience that depended on his expertise and advice. Murphy is an odds making consultant for sports and 'non-sport novelty bets' focused on the entertainment business, politics, technology, financial markets and more.