The first major award show of the year takes place this Sunday, January 5th, with the annual Hollywood shit show: the Golden Globes.
MAJOR DISCLAIMER: None of these are locks! Predicting award shows can be difficult, betting on them is even harder. The goal with this guide is to help give you the best bets to make a nice penny off of the award show. Think “low risk, high reward” when it comes to the Golden Globes or the Oscars. The odds are crazy high in some categories, so a light sprinkle is usually all you need. As always, bet with caution, nothing is a sure thing (especially at the Golden Globes).
I am going to break each category down in terms of value and what I find to be a nominee worthy of throwing some money at. To arrive at my determined values, I am using other award show nominations and victories (this is the first major award show of the season), Gold Derby and thoughts from my from Walt Hickey, who runs a fantastic analytics model for awards season over at Numlock (he will be back in a bigger way for his bread and butter, the Oscars).
Now that we got all the housekeeping nonsense out of the way, let’s talk some Globes… an award show run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of people who loves to nominate and award big-time stars just so they can hang out and get drunk with them (this is literally a factor in my gambling thoughts).
The Golden Globes is bizarre as hell and there aren’t really any solid precursors to help make this easier, so I am going to follow two trains of thought: follow the box office players and hammer Netflix.
2019 FAVORITE: A Star Is Born
2019 GOLD DERBY PREDICTION: A Star Is Born
2019 ACTUAL WINNER: Bohemian Rhapsody
Before we get into the why, I must note that this is the category where I see the most opportunity to have a nice night gambling.
The wider open of the two Best Picture categories, the Drama side of things is top-heavy with two major players from Netflix: ‘The Irishman’ and ‘Marriage Story’. It also boasts a major box office player with 34th highest-grossing movie of all-time: ‘Joker’.
Why is the box office thing significant? Because last year in this category a huge winner at the box office, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, pulled a major upset in the category. Can lightning strike twice? I think the chances are a lot greater than we realize. Even Gold Derby has a recent article with the same thought process that ‘Joker’ might be the shocker of the night.
‘Joker’ checks many boxes, including a favorite in the acting category, a nomination for its director Todd Phillips and pre-awards season buzz that tells us voters have an interest in the movie. As Gold Derby, and many others, the signs were there for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to pull off a shocking win last year, we just didn’t see it. Much like last year, everyone is keyed in on one movie, ‘The Irishman’. But my number one play when gambling on the 2020 Golden Globes is ‘Joker’ at +800 to win Best Picture.
This category is fairly wide open and stacked with great value outside of ‘Joker’ as well. As I mentioned in the intro to this guide, I will be hammering all things Netflix, especially ‘Marriage Story’. In talking with the Billy Beane Moneyball of Awards Season Walt Hickey, he noted how hard Adam Driver (this comes into play later) and Netflix have been campaigning for ‘Marriage Story’ to take home awards this year. The value at +300 is great and I will be laying some money down on that line before Sunday night. My only real knock on this play is that the director, Noah Baumbach, did not get a Best Director nomination. It isn’t a sure-fire sign when it comes to correlating with Best Picture winners, but it should factor into your selections.
‘The Irishman’, another Netflix movie, has the best odds at -138, which are fairly high in comparison to other favorites in different categories. It still seems like the safe bet to win, so if you’re confident in Martin Scorsese, it’s worth a hit. ‘1917’ has also picked up a little steam and has its director Sam Mendes nominated for Best Picture. I see the value here at +450, but I really don’t expect it to take home the award. The closest thing to a lock in this category for me is that I see ‘The Two Popes’ (Netflix!) having no shot at the victory.
There was a lot to cover in this category, so let’s recap some main points:
– The voters seem to love ‘Joker’
– ‘Joker’ has tons of nominations across the board
– The voters seem to love Netflix, especially ‘Marriage Story’
– Adam Driver and Netflix have campaigned hard for the movie
– The one knock on the movie is that director Noah Baumbach didn’t get a nomination
2019 FAVORITE: Green Book
2019 GOLD DERBY PREDICTION: Green Book
2019 ACTUAL WINNER: Green Book
Everything held true to form in this category last year and 2020’s favorite is a heavyweight in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’. I’ll avoid calling it a firm lock, but the HFPA not awarding Best Picture to a movie from Quentin Tarantino that stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie would be surprising. At -500 I don’t really see the value and laying any money down on it.
There is one movie that catches my eye as a worthy longshot: ‘Dolemite Is My Name’ from… Netflix. I’ll repeat what I said from the top again, I am going to follow Netflix, because the voters are showing it a ton of love. When the HFPA and Golden Globes voters show something love, that’s usually a sign. Eddie Murphy is also the current favorite to win the Best Actor – Musical or Comedy Award according to oddsmakers. A sprinkle on this Netflix comedy (awesome movie, big time recommendation) is well worth it at +1600, because this could very well be the shocker of the night.
Because you just never know with the Globes, I don’t hate the value on the remaining movies ‘Jojo Rabbit’ (+400), ‘Knives Out’ (+900), ‘Rocketman’ (+1400), but just know that you are essentially betting on a 15-seed with these movies. (To keep the basketball theme going, I am going to call ‘Dolemite’ a 14-seed that your one smart friend has loved since November)
2019 FAVORITE: Lady Gaga
2019 GOLD DERBY PREDICTION: Lady Gaga
2019 ACTUAL WINNER: Glenn Close
There was a major upset in this category last year as Glenn Close shocked the world and toppled Lady Gaga. It wasn’t a result no one saw coming, but very few people predicted it would happen. I really like history to repeat itself again here, because I am going to hammer the odds on another Netflix nomination: Scarlett Johansson (‘Marriage Story’).
I think the voters love this movie and Johansson has really good-looking odds at +200. The favorite in this category is Renee Zellweger (‘Judy’), who was great in her role as Judy Garland, but I think the fact this movie didn’t reach any real popularity is going to hurt it at this particular award show. Her odds are still not bad a -225, so I wouldn’t say avoid them by any means, despite the fact I am zoning in on the upset.
An out-there pick that might be worth another sprinkle would be Cynthia Erivo (‘Harriet). Awarding Erivo here for her performance as Harriet Tubman seems like the type of noisemaking move we’d see at the Golden Globes and +1200 odds are hard to pass up.
While Saoirse Ronan (‘Little Women’) is my favorite actress, I don’t see a ton of value in betting on her second Golden Globes victory. The same can be said for Charlize Theron (‘Bombshell’) with long +1600 odds.
2019 FAVORITE: Bradley Cooper
2019 GOLD DERBY PREDICTION: Rami Malek
2019 ACTUAL WINNER: Rami Malek
Gold Derby experts correctly predicted the upset of Rami Malek over Bradley Cooper here last year and this year they think Joaquin Phoenix (‘Joker’) takes home the award. I am staying away with his -300 odds, but if the theory that the voters truly love ‘Joker’ as much as people say, then it is clearly his category to win. But…
This is one of my favorite categories of the night because it boasts a play that I love: Adam Driver (‘Marriage Story’). Netflix, baby, keep on hammering away!
As mentioned to me by Walt Hickey, and countless other Awards Season experts, Adam Driver has been making the rounds trying to grab wins at the major award shows. While the Golden Globes is usually not a great predictor (keyword, usually), a Driver win on Sunday would probably leap-frog him over Joaquin Phoenix to become the favorite at the Oscars. Drive doesn’t usually do a ton of press, so the fact he has shown up everywhere to promote his performance (a great one, by the way) should be a sign that there is a lot of momentum behind his nomination.
I don’t love any other plays in this category, even though Antonio Banderas (‘Pain and Glory’) at +900 is mildly intriguing. You can also rule out back-to-back wins for Christian Bale (Ford v. Ferrari) or a victory for Jonathan Pryce (‘The Two Popes’).
2019 FAVORITE: Olivia Colman
2019 GOLD DERBY PREDICTION: Olivia Colman
2019 ACTUAL WINNER: Olivia Colman
Much like 2019, I think this year’s Golden Globes winner for Best Actress – Musical or Comedy will be fairly simple to predict. All signs point to Awkwafina (‘The Farewell’) taking home the award. There’s a chance she even enters the Oscars as the favorite for Best Actress, so seeing her walk up on stage with a win wouldn’t be much of a surprise. I even love her odds, even if they’re a little low at -275, I just think she is the closest thing to a lock in the acting categories.
If you want to get crazy, the odds for Beanie Feldstein (‘Booksmart’) at +1000 give me some intrigue. There’s always a chance that the voters go with some wild shit, so even Ana de Armas (‘Knives Out’) deserves a bit of a look at +350. With that said, despite some okay value, I wouldn’t waste too much time focusing on this category outside of the heavy favorite.
2019 FAVORITE: Christian Bale
2019 GOLD DERBY PREDICTION: Christian
2019 ACTUAL WINNER: Christian Bale
You would think that a category with Leonardo DiCaprio (‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) as a nominee wouldn’t be such a coin flip, but here we are folks.
My personal pick for Best Actor this year, DiCaprio has incredibly nice odds at +150 in this wide-open race. The favorite, albeit by a slim margin, is Eddie Murphy (‘Dolemite Is My Name’), who boasts the backing of Netflix in his quest for this award. Because of the Netflix push and the idea that Eddie Murphy accepting as Globe seems “splashy” for the HFPA, I will call him the best value play on the board for the category at +100.
If this were the Oscars, I’d probably pick DiCaprio, but I will give Murphy the edge at the “party of the year,” but I would suggest betting on both of them with some sort of beneficial combination.
Call it bias, but I also love Taron Egerton (‘Rocketman’) at +600, especially since he crushed the role of Elton John following the love Rami Malek got last year as Freddie Mercury. That is a rather reckless reasoning to lay money down on that play, but I am giving you my thoughts with full honesty and transparency.
Following the chaos theory with the Globes, I also don’t think Daniel Craig (‘Knives Out’) is a bad play at +1000, but I wouldn’t waste any money on Roman Griffin Davis (‘Jojo Rabbit’).
2019 FAVORITE: Alfonso Cuaron
2019 GOLD DERBY PREDICTION: Alfonso Cuaron
2019 ACTUAL WINNER: Alfonso Cuaron
This category at the Globes, and all award shows, was the lock of the century last year. Alfonso Cuaron swept everything when it came to Best Director for his movie ‘Roma’. The picture is not nearly as clear this year, with three distinct options to choose from.
My favorite play here is Quentin Tarantino (‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) at a very nice looking +300. Tarantino has won Globes before, but never for Best Director. With his fourth nomination in the category, he also has one of his movies up for Best Picture at the award show for the first time. He’s won some awards leading up to the Globes, so there are just a ton of small boxes checked off that spell out an upset in the category for Tarantino. If you can find this category to bet on, I would put some money down on Tarantino breaking through for the first time (especially with a movie that is a love-letter to Hollywood).
Bong Joon-Ho (‘Parasite’) has been an awards season favorite and his movie, nominated for Best Foreign Language Picture (it is expected to receive a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars). Even as the favorite his odds are pretty decent in terms of gambling at -125. The same can be said for the legendary Martin Scorsese (‘The Irishman) at -110, especially since he has been making many, many, many rounds with the press to promote the movie since its build up in the early parts of Fall 2019.
I think Sam Mendes (‘1917’) is worth a look at +600 for his World War I technical masterpiece, and he does have some momentum as we head into the meat of awards season. As for Todd Phillips (‘Joker’), the nomination seems to be the main recognition he will receive here.
That’s it! Here are my favorite plays and then I’ll do a quick recap and then shut up.
– The voters apparently love all things ‘Joker’
– Netflix has campaigned hard
— Mainly with ‘Marriage Story’…
— …but don’t ignore ‘The Irishman’ or ‘Dolemite Is My Name’
— Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson could reap the benefits
– Quentin Tarantino has many small hints that he might win Best Director
Okay, as always, be responsible and careful when gambling, especially on award shows, and good luck. See you in a few weeks for the Oscars!