Pony up! Academy Awards to accept legal wagers for the first time in U.S.

Are you feeling lucky, punk? Do you think you’ve got a handle on who will win at the upcoming 91st Annual Academy Awards? You do? Well then, perhaps you should hoof it on over to New Jersey, where sportsbooks are accepting Oscars bets for the first time in U.S. history. That’s right, cinephiles, the bets are legal, and PlayUSA is more than willing to place your hard-earned dollars on the line for the chance to win big on the night of Hollywood’s star-studded gala.

To get your movie-loving mitts on a complete rundown of the Oscars – including odds on every major category, a pick sheet, what sites are accepting bets, and analysis on the races – you can click here.

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for American movie lovers to bet on the Academy Awards — legally — for the first time ever,” said Jessica Welman, betting analyst for PlayUSA.com and a movie historian who earned a bachelor’s in Cinema-TV Critical Studies from the University of Southern California, and a master’s in Film and Media Studies from Indiana University Bloomington. “Oscars betting has been popular overseas for years, so it will be intriguing to see what the reaction here is. We suspect interest will be relatively high during a typically slow month for sportsbooks.”

According to PlayUSA’s official press release outlining the event, this may be the one and only year that movie fans will be afforded the opportunity to lose their shirts on such a unique betting platform:

Odds and contests vary by sportsbooks, and betting limits are relatively low compared with mainstream sporting events. Most books are simply offering odds on the winners of the big six Academy Awards categories: best picture, director, actor, actress, supporting actor, and supporting actress.

“The novelty alone should pique interest of bettors,” said Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayUSA.com. “People already love to try to predict who will win the Oscars, and now they can actually put their money where their mouth is. Do you think Black Panther, Roma, or A Star Is Born can win it all? You can bet on it in New Jersey.”

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Without a clear favorite for this year’s winner of the Best Picture category, the concept and call to be able to bet on the Oscars has never been higher.

“This is a fun year, especially for bettors, because there is no heavy favorite,” Welman said. “Looking at the classic indicators of who will win Best Picture, the results are all over the map. While Roma may be the front-runner, it is far from a guaranteed winner, which means one of these underdog winners could result in big payday for those who back them. Take Black Panther, for example. There is a scenario that the box office smash could win Best Picture. And with some books offering +2,500 odds, a small $10 bet could result in $250 profit.”

For more details as to how you can lose your rent money while betting on the results of the 91st Annual Academy Awards, be sure to head on over to PlayUSA.com. Oh, and for the love of your home, marriage, kid’s futures and lifestyle, please bet responsibly. After all, there are upsets every year, and there is no such thing as a guaranteed winner … unless you’re SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, because that jam is totally going to take home to gold. In fact, I bet you all my next paycheck that it will. Who wants in on that action?