Funny Money Coming In For Oscars Bets On Yorgos Lanthimos

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Yorgos Lanthimos Betting

This time last week, The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos’ odds of winning Best Director at tonight’s Academy Awards ceremony were +5000 at most books.

Today, Lanthimos is down to as low as +300 at sportsbooks like BetStars. Now, sportsbooks are responding by pulling Best Director off the board or pulling Lanthimos from the betting options.

Some of the NJ sportsbooks who took the bet down are:

Other sportsbooks, like SugarHouse and 888 Sport just pulled Lanthimos from the options to bet on in the category.

An influx of Lanthimos bets began on Sunday morning

The bets coming in the Greek director are not restricted to New Jersey sportsbooks. Several offshore sites reported similar activity.

The reason the bets seem so fishy is that Lanthimos is someone whose name has not really come up in the Best Director conversation. Most pundits say the category is a two-horse race between heavy favorite, Alfonso Cuaron, and longtime auteur Spike Lee.

The only other director even seeing a whisper of movement prior to today was Civil War’s Pawel Pawlikowski. However, even he was only getting +3300 odds to win.

Lanthimos has not won any major directing awards this year. His film, The Favourite, was well received, but also has not picked up much steam over the course of awards season, nor with Oscars betting markets.

Is this a play to lower Cuaron’s price?

The first thought is that perhaps there was a slip of insider information. However, the issue remains the same, which is that an upset of this magnitude in Best Picture would be a massive upset. The likelihood that directors suddenly changed their mind about lauding Cauron to laud a director they have not backed in anything is a tough sell.

Looking back in Oscars history, an upset of this magnitude in the category hadn’t happened since 1973, when Bob Fosse took Best Director for Cabaret over Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather.

So, why the influx? Perhaps there is false information floating around. Or, maybe this is a ploy to get Cuaron’s astronomical odds down.

BetStars is happily taking Lanthimos money. Accordingly, Cuaron’s odds, which ranged from -3300 to -5000 across the books, is now down to a downright fire sale: -500.

Until we learn the winner’s tonight, it is tough to do anything but speculate. Certainly, this influx of money and fishy behavior is not a good look for the first year of regulated Oscars betting in the United States.

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Jessica Welman has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com. A graduate of Indiana University and USC, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.

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