Golden Globes Awards Betting Leads to Oscars

They'll hand out the first entertainment awards of the year on Jan. 16 and while Golden Globes betting won't approach the amount of cash that's dropped on the Academy Awards six weeks later, it should give us a pretty good idea of what sportsbooks and gamblers are thinking. The Golden Globes also recognize television achievement but with the Emmy Awards not slated until September, have much less of an impact on that entertainment form.

The Golden Globes make for a strange dynamic in that bettors are risking real money on how members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, some of whom in the past have been accused of corruption, will vote.

In that regard, the biggest shocker occurred in 1981 when Pia Zadora won a Golden Globe in the category "Newcomer-of-the-Year" for her performance in Butterfly. There were accusations that Foreign Press Association members had been bought off after Pia's husband, multimillionaire Meshulam Riklis, flew voting members to his casino, the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. Riklis also invited voting members to his house for a lavish lunch and a showing of the film.

The film had not been released at the time of the awards, which should have made Zadora ineligible for a Golden Globe.

That said, a tawdry history or its role as Oscar servant, isn't about to dissuade bettors from expressing their opinions on the Golden Globes. Let's see if we can't help them:

Best Picture (Drama)

The Social Network                    8/15

The King's Speech                        3/2

The Fighter                                12/1

Inception                                   14/1

Black Swan                                20/1

The Skinny: The Social Network (6), The King's Speech (7) and The Fighter (6) combined for 19 nominations and all are worthy works that drew critical acclaim. It's a battle among Facebook, a stuttering king and a pugilist. Inception and Black Swan, each of which garnered four nominations apiece, also are contenders.

Best Director

David Fincher (The Social Network)            2/7

Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)   5/1

Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)                  8/1

Christopher Nolan (Inception)                    8/1

David O'Russell (The Fighter)                  16/1

The Skinny: All five Best Drama nominees also had their directors nominated with Fincher a better bet to win than the film he directed, The Social Network.

Best Picture (Musical-Comedy)

The Kids Are All Right                   1/7

Alice In Wonderland                     4/1

Red                                           16/1

The Tourist                                20/1

Burlesque                                  33/1

The Skinny: The Tourist was one of the worst reviewed films of the year and Burlesque didn't impress critics, either. The Kids Are All Right should be a runaway winner but unlike any other "election," they don't reveal the vote count so we'll never really know.

Best Actor (Drama)

Colin Firth (The King's Speech)                1/4

James Franco (127 Hours)                      5/1

Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)      7/1

Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter)                  12/1

Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine)                  16/1

The Skinny: Some curious choices here, not to mention the omission of Jeff Bridges in True Grit but Firth should win for the firth, er, first time.

Best Actress (Drama)

Natalie Portman (Black Swan)                    1/7

Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone)             6/1

Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)                      7/1

Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)            14/1

Halle Berry (Frankie & Alice)                    20/1

The Skinny: Kidman and Berry are Hollywood Foreign Press Association favorites but ask for a recount if Portman doesn't win for her portrayal of the tortured ballet queen.

Best Actor (Musical-Comedy)

Johnny Depp (Alice In Wonderland)            3/2

Paul Giamatti (Barney's Version)                7/4

Kevin Spacey (Casino Jack)                       4/1

Jake Gyllenhaal (Love and Other Drugs)      9/2

Johnny Depp (The Tourist)                      10/1

The Skinny: This looks like a two-man race between Depp and Giamatti but if it's based strictly on merit, Spacey will win.

Best Actress (Musical-Comedy)

Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)     1/3

Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs)     4/1

Juliane Moore (The Kids Are All Right)        5/1

Emma Stone (Easy A)                             16/1

Angelina Jolie (The Tourist)                     20/1

The Skinny: Bening is the clear favorite with Hathaway given a remote chance to spring the upset.

They'll also hand out statues for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress with Christian Bale (The Fighter) a strong 2/7 favorite over Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech), the 9/2 second choice, among the men. But beware Michael Douglas (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), 11/2, a sentimental choice because of his battle with cancer.

Melissa Leo, 2/1, and Amy Adams, 4/1, both from The Fighter, should slug it out Helena Bonham Carter, 5/2, (The King's Speech), in a close battle.

The run-up to the Academy Awards has begun, with Golden Globe betting first out of the gate.