The BAFTAs are the most important of all awards as far as the British film and television industry are concerned. Established in 1947, they run almost parallel to the Oscars but cover much more and shouldn’t, as they often are, be compared to the Academy Awards over in the US.
In 2018, the awards night itself will take place at London’s Royal Albert Hall on February 18 and with the nominations for categories already released, the anticipation is building. We also have a busy betting market up and running for 2018’s edition so let’s take a look at the options and see if we can pick out some winners.
In the modern day the BAFTAs offers 25 different categories but like most awards of its kind, some of these are far more sought after than others. And, these are the categories that the bookmakers tend to focus on at the expense of many of the minor disciplines.
The big categories in question include Best Picture, Best Drama Series, Best Actor and Best Actress and Best Single Drama. These are the options that the bookmakers are embracing so let’s see who the odds setters have in the frame for the 2018 edition.
If you have read some of our previews for Oscars betting in 2018 then you may already be familiar with some of the names on the Best Picture list. The best that British cinema had to offer made it onto the list of Academy Awards nominees and naturally, these films feature very highly in the BAFTAs betting too.
The clear favourite in this category is the intriguingly named Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri which is an odds on shot and available at a current best price of 5/6 with Stan James and Bet365.
From there, we have a definite gap before we come to The Shape of Water at 7/2 with Stan James and Dunkirk, which was a favourite for best Oscars picture for some time and can be backed in this market at 4/1 with Paddy Power and Winner Sports.
The favourite of those three is a Black Comedy Crime Film and ‘Three Billboards’ has won a host of minor awards since being released towards the end of 2017. The film has already picked up the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival but perhaps more importantly, it has scooped Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes.
Completing this market are the remaining nominees, Call me by Your Name at best odds of 12/1 with Paddy Power and 188Bet and Darkest Hour at that same top price of 12/1 with BetFred but as far as the bookmakers are concerned, we have a clear winner.
Darkest Hour, a biopic on the life of Winston Churchill, is getting little interest as a film but its lead actor is heading markets of this kind all across the world. Gary Oldman returns a stunning performance as Churchill and he is currently at a short best price of 1/7 with William Hill to claim the Best Actor award at this year’s BAFTAs.
Behind Oldman we have a big gap to second favourite Daniel Day-Lewis who is available at best odds of 10/1 with Bet365 and Winner Sports for his role in Phantom Thread. Day-Lewis is appearing in his final film, having announced his retirement last year but while some are putting forward a ‘sympathy vote’ theory, it’s not one that is being backed up by the bookmakers.
Completing the nominees in this category are Timothee Chalamet for Call me by Your Name who is at 10/1 with Bet365, Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out at 20/1 with Paddy Power and Jamie Bell for Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool who is at a distant top price of 40/1 with BetFred.
All of these performances have been met with critical acclaim but it’s hard to see past Gary Oldman here. Once again, he has claimed the Golden Globe equivalent and that’s a strong indicator so while there are many who would like to see Daniel Day-Lewis bow out with a prestigious award, that very short price of 1/7 on Oldman seems about right.
In this section, Frances McDormand takes a clear lead in the betting and can be backed at a best of 1/2 with Ladbrokes and Coral. McDormand takes the starring role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and this time the bookies have followed on and taken their favourite from the Best Picture category.
Of those that are following, Saoirse Ronan is on offer at a top price of 7/2 with Paddy Power for her role in Lady Bird while Sally Hawkins is at 9/2 with Winner Sports and William Hill for the Shape of Water.
One price that should fire the role of sports fans is the 14/1 from Ladbrokes and Paddy Power for Margot Robbie in I Tonya. This is the Ice Skating movie that illustrates the events involving Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan but while this is the most interesting movie for sports fans, it’s another category where the favourite should fly home.
Alongside the three categories that we have discussed, there are four additional sections that currently have betting markets attached to them. These are, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best British Film and Outstanding British Film. Obviously the last two sound very similar but there are distinctions so it pays to study the mechanics before making a bet.
While we have covered the BAFTAs extensively enough in this preview, these sections also carry some clear favourites but there is some potential for value if you want to move away from the top three and look at some of the sections where betting is less popular.
Making a return in the BAFTAs betting markets doesn’t necessarily require an in-depth knowledge of the film and TV industries. The bookmakers have given us some indicators and we can also easily access the thoughts of specialist TV and Film critics.
Another key indicator can come from the Golden Globes and while this is a worldwide set of awards, anyone taking a major prize here stands a strong chance of doing the same at the British BAFTA’s. It doesn’t always follow that the actor or film involved will win twice but the Globes need to be researched if you want to make a profit.
Overall, the three categories that we’ve highlighted here don’t seem to carry a lot of value and we feel that they could all go with the favourites. Gary Oldman looks a racing certainty for Best Actor so if you like your profits to be small ones, you can take that 1/7 on offer from William Hill.
The biggest threat to the favourite could come in the Best Film section where Dunkirk seems to be overlooked. Could it be that ‘Three Billboards’ is fresher in the mind and has caught the imagination of the betting public?
Recency could be a factor in some cases but with Dunkirk being brought back into the collective conscience ahead of awards night, we feel that there may just be some value in backing this moving war film.
Best Bets For BAFTA’s 2018
Dunkirk to win Best Picture category at 4/1 with Paddy Power