A Night Of No Surprises: The Vegas Favorites Won All But Three Oscars

Senior Editor
03.03.14 23 Comments

Getty Image

"Oscar winner Jared Leto." I still can't believe that's a real thing.

This was the first year I’ve posted the Vegas odds for the Oscars before the ceremony, and it was interesting to see how the reality matched up with the predictions. While predicting the Oscars is its own cottage industry, most of the people who do it do it full time, and they seem so invested in their own theories that it’s hard to take them seriously (also, what kind of sick person dedicates their life to predicting the f*cking Oscars?). But Vegas handicappers, who, from what I understand, adjust the lines solely to fit the way people are betting on it, were insanely accurate this year. The favorites won all but three awards.

The biggest money you could’ve won this year was betting on the animated short Mr. Hublot, an eight-to-one underdog. Though there was also some decent money to be had betting against Pink doing an acrobatic entrance, at +150. The dumbest money you could’ve spent was betting against Gravity winning best cinematography, at 100 to one, or against Dallas Buyers Club winning hair and make-up at same. Dallas Buyers Club seemed much less impressive to me than Bad Grandpa, but that’s before you consider that DBC‘s entire hair and make-up budget was $250. And that’s for every character, for a 28-day shoot. Impressive. I spend more than that every week on Brazilian blowouts for my pubes.

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

WINNER: 12 Years a Slave. Vegas Odds: 1/5 (a heavy favorite)

Best Actor
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

WINNERMatthew McConaughey. Vegas Odds: 1/5 (heavy favorite)

Best Actress
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

WINNER: Cate Blanchett. Vegas Odds: 1/30 (so heavy a favorite that it was basically a foregone conclusion)

Best Director
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

WINNER: Alfonso Cuarón Vegas Odds: 1/20 (a favorite slightly less heavy than Cate Blanchett but also damn near a lock)

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

WINNER: Jared Leto. Vegas Odds: 1/10 (heavy favorite)

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

WINNER: Lupita Nyong’o. Vegas Odds: 4/7 (a light favorite, just ahead of Jennifer Lawrence, at 5/4)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

WINNER: 12 Years a Slave. Vegas Odds: 1/7 (favorite)

Best Original Screenplay

American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Dallas Buyers Club

WINNER: Her. Vegas Odds: 5/7 (favorite)

Best Documentary Feature

The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet From Stardom

WINNER: 20 Feet From Stardom. Vegas Odds: 3/2 (a light underdog, with Act of Killing the favorite at 1/2)

Best Foreign Language Film

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
Omar (Palestine)

WINNER: The Great Beauty. Vegas Odds: 1/4 (favorite). Always bet on an Italian film with “beauty” in the title. Always.

Best Costume Design 
American Hustle 
The Grandmaster 
The Great Gatsby 
The Invisible Woman
12 Years Slave 

WINNER: The Great Gatsby. Vegas Odds: 2/7 (a light favorite)

Best Cinematography
The Grandmaster 
Inside Llewyn Davis 

WINNER: Gravity. Vegas Odds: 1/100 (The heaviest favorite imaginable)

Best Film Editing 
American Hustle 
Captain Phillips 
Dallas Buyers Club 
12 Years a Slave 

WINNER: Gravity. Vegas Odds: 1/3 (favorite)

Best Production Design 

American Hustle 
The Great Gatsby
12 Years a Slave 

WINNER: The Great Gatsby. Vegas Odds: 4/7 (light favorite)

Best Original Score 

John Williams for The Book Thief 
Steven Price for Gravity 
William Butler and Owen Pallett for Her 
Alexandre Desplat for Philomena 
Thomas Newman for Saving Mr. Banks 

WINNER: Gravity. Vegas Odds: 1/7 (favorite)

Best Original Song

“Happy” from Despicable Me 2
“Let it Go” from Frozen
“The Moon Song” from Her 
“Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

WINNER: “Let it Go.” Vegas Odds: 1/6 (favorite)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling 
Dallas Buyers Club
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

WINNER: Dallas Buyers Club. Vegas Odds: 1/100 (favorite)

Best Animated Short Film
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot
Room on the Broom 

WINNER: Mr. Hublot. Vegas Odds: 8/1 (underdog – the favorite was Get a Horse! at 1/10).

Best Animated Feature

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Wind Rises

WINNER: Frozen. Vegas Odds: 1/30 (favorite)

Best Visual Effects 
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 2
The Lone Ranger 
Star Trek Into Darkness 

WINNER: Gravity. Vegas Odds: 1/50 (favorite)

Best Live-Action Short Film
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
The Voorman Problem

WINNER: Helium. Vegas Odds: 6/1 (Underdog. It was actually behind two favorites, The Voorman Problem at 4/7
and Avant Que De Tout Perdre at 2/1)

Best Documentary Short Subject  
Facing Fear 

Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall 

WINNER: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. Vegas Odds: (N/A. I didn’t see odds for this one, but considering it was a short about the last surviving Holocaust survivor, who died last week, I assume they figured that the outcome wasn’t in doubt enough to warrant a betting line).

Around The Web