And the winner is...
February 24, 2011 8:57 AM   Subscribe

My friend is holding her annual Oscar betting pool. Last year I got fewer picks right statistically than if I had just chosen randomly. How do I win this year's Oscar pool?

Instead of embarrassing myself again this year I plan to do some research and prep work to hopefully better my chances. I'm looking for links to blogs that have previously picked winners, insider information, conventions that the academy usually follows or links to other forums that people speculate around who will win.

Please no chatfiltery speculation on who will win.

Thanks so much.
posted by JimmyJames to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My writing partner does exceptionally well at this by following buzz in the trades. Variety and other sites. I do poorly because I pick what I think are the better movies. Stupid me.
posted by CarlRossi at 9:02 AM on February 24, 2011

As a movie editor, I can tell you this is looking like a really predictable year. Also, you know Vegas sets odds on these? You could research those. Those odds are interesting because they don't like to lose money. But I've seen at least one best pic Vegas prediction that is not going to happen.
posted by GaelFC at 9:05 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Pick the same way as the markets are picking. Looks like with their redesign I can't link straight to the right page, but it's there under Markets>Entertainment>Academy Awards.
posted by Perplexity at 9:12 AM on February 24, 2011

A word about Vegas odds. The odds Vegas posts aren't about how likely a film is to win. Rather, it's a reflection about what film people think (via bets) will win. Vegas odds adjust such that the house makes money. eg if everyone is betting on a film/actor/whatever, odds adjust so the payout for that one winning gets less such that sum of the (odds * money bet) for all entries almost equals out (minus house cut)

(Wasn't there a mefi post about the "don't pick who you think will win, pick who you think everyone else will pick to win" and the strange results of that ?)
posted by k5.user at 9:20 AM on February 24, 2011

I've actually won similar things (not the Oscars though, where I assume that one or two films will be favoured) by selecting randomly (dice rolls, coin tosses, etc.).
posted by carter at 9:32 AM on February 24, 2011

I would read up on what Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin (warning big, long flash advert) have to say. They usually discuss who they think should win and who they think will win.
posted by soelo at 9:36 AM on February 24, 2011

Apparently Pete Hammond usually gets it right.

Because the only choices that matter are Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences official ballots. Understanding those votes involves a mix of psychic hunches, historical patterns, and heartfelt favorites. Throw in conversations with actual members, results from precursor Hollywood Guilds’ awards shows, and a little showbiz logic, as well as luck — and the contents of those Oscar envelopes opening on the night of February 27th suddenly aren’t such a mystery.
posted by philip-random at 9:44 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

In my experience an almost instinctual algorithm usually does the trick. Find a way to factor together: 1. who has made the most money for Hollywood over the years and 2. how voting for a particular film or person might be perceived as the fulfillment of mainstream democratic ideals of balance, fairness, and equality.
posted by Morpeth at 9:59 AM on February 24, 2011

Richard Roeper has his picks up at in all 24 categories, and he said he got all of them correct last year (I think) -- at least once in the past.
posted by la petite marie at 3:23 PM on February 24, 2011

Nate Silver, ex-Baseball Prospectus stat guru and current stat guru, weighs in. He's one of the best number-crunchers out there, and his Oscar stuff is usually pretty dead-on too.
posted by pdb at 3:43 PM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

This page summarizes what all the experts think about all 24 categories.

There's a certain amount of luck involved, and there's no reason why everyone in your pool can't do this, but this should get you somewhere near the top.
posted by iamscott at 5:15 PM on February 24, 2011

Thanks so much everyone! I won $50 and everyone's respect!
posted by JimmyJames at 9:55 PM on February 27, 2011

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