Thursday, 15 September 2011

Emmys Odds

It’ll come as no surprise to regular readers that I enjoy the occasional bet… ting binge.

So with the 2011 Emmy Awards taking place this Sunday and many bookmakers offering a book on certain categories it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine my two passions in life: losing money and making inaccurate predictions…

The Emmys are usually a source of irritation for me as shows that I love are criminally overlooked in favour of boring and predictable winners, so if you can turn the TV Academy’s predisposition for sticking to the status quo year after year in to a money-making opportunity then that certainly cushions the blow of their stupidity a little.

Specials markets like this are always a great way of getting one over on the bookies as the odds-compilers who will have formed the market may not be experts on the field they are assessing, in this case: US television and the fuddy-duddy ways of the TV Academy.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the six big categories at the Emmys and see if my TV and gambling knowledge can mesh together and steer you in the direction of profitability…

Best Actor – Drama

John Hamm - 4/11
Steve Buscemi – 12/5
Michael C. Hall – 14/1
Kyle Chandler – 14/1
Timothy Olyphant – 16/1
Hugh Laurie – 20/1

With no Bryan Cranston this year this should be easy pickings for Hamm and to me 4/11 is a decent price for what is as close to a sure thing as you can get at one of these awards shows.

The TV academy’s love for Mad Men is well-documented and although I expect Boardwalk Empire to do well at the Emmys in general I don’t think Steve Buscemi will be taking this award home going up against a very Don Draper-heavy year of Mad Men.

The rest of the category, with the exception of Timothy Olyphant from the brilliant Justified, are the nominated every year brigade and are just making up the numbers. As much as I would love it if Olyphant won I don’t think there’s much chance and his odds certainly seem to reflect that.

Best Actress – Drama

Julianna Marguiles 4/5
Elisabeth Moss 6/4
Kathy Bates 10/1
Mireille Enos 12/1
Connie Britton 16/1
Mariska Hargitay 25/1

Much like the male equivalent of this category it is basically a two-horse race and this time rather than going for the odds on favourite, I’m going to stick my neck out and plump for the second favourite.

This could be a case of heart over head due to my lack on interest in The Good Wife but with ‘The Suitcase’ as her inevitable submission episode Elisabeth Moss will never have a better chance of victory. ‘The Suitcase’ was a magnificent episode of television and gave Moss the perfect forum to showcase her talent.

There isn’t the same ‘usual suspects’ feel to the actress category as with the men, except for perpetual nominee Hargitay, but I genuinely can’t see beyond the first two here.

Best Actor - Comedy

Steve Carell 1/5
Jim Parsons 4/1
Alec Baldwin 10/1
Matt LeBlanc 33/1
Johnny Galecki 33/1
Louis CK 33/1

As much as I’d love to see Louis CK win here for the brilliant Louie, this is undoubtedly going to be going home with Steve Carell and more out of a sense of long term reward than anything else, as he has of course now left The Office. If Carell had been continuing he wouldn’t be such a red hot favourite, but he is and thus is so ridiculously short it’s not even worth betting here.

Could anyone upset him? Jim Parsons won last year and the Academy seems to have some serious Big Bang love of late so he’s the most likely; Galecki is my preferred actor on that show though and if they decide to spread the geek love around he could be an interesting outsider. Though he should, CK won’t win, Matt LeBlanc’s nomination is a joke and Alec Baldwin will be nominated every year until Jack Donaghy or 30 Rock are no more, irrespective of the year they’ve had, and this year? Not a vintage year for Donaghy.

Carell wins but there’s not much profit to be had by backing him.

Best Actress - Comedy

Laura Linney 4/6
Amy Poehler 7/4
Tina Fey 7/1
Edie Falco 14/1
Martha Plimpton 25/1
Melissa McCarthy 33/1

This category is much more interesting than the male equivalent; though still has an odds on favourite in Laura Linney from the not-even-a-comedy The Big C. A non-comedy won last year though as Edie Falco won for Nurse Jackie and although I disagree with the notion of dramedies being classed as comedies, if the market is any indication Linney will win.

It’s a surprise to see Falco at such big odds and she can’t be ruled out at a big price; Melissa McCarthy is also a very big price. Mike & Molly might be gash of the highest order but McCarthy is currently dining out on Bridesmaids good faith and could be one to spring a surprise at a huge price as the Academy really have a thing for Chuck Lorre’s shows (see The Big Bang Theory & Two and a Half Men).

Tina Fey will, like Baldwin, continue to be nominated every year irrespective of 30 Rock’s quality and as much as I would love the brilliant Amy Poehler to win for Parks and Recreation I don’t think that shows humour will have the universal appeal needed to win voters over.

Linney will more than likely win but in an unpredictable category it could be worth chancing last year’s winner Falco, still getting a great deal of Sopranos good faith, at a bigger price; or if you’re really feeling especially lucky, Melissa McCarthy at a huge price.

Best Drama

Mad Men 8/15
Boardwalk Empire 11/4
The Good Wife 9/2
Game of Thrones 14/1
Friday Night Lights 14/1
Dexter 33/1

This is a category I can legitimately see Boardwalk Empire upsetting Mad Men in.

If I was having a bet I’d still go for Mad Men, and I do think 8/15 is value but it may be worth seeing how the night progresses before smashing in to the 8/15 with a big bet. If Boardwalk Empire has been cleaning up, as I expect it to, in some of the lesser categories then 11/4 could be a great price to upset the favourite here, but if Boardwalk doesn’t do as well as expected in other categories the award that should’ve been renamed the Mad Men award already will be staying with AMC.

It’d be a real travesty if The Good Wife won and although I wouldn’t begrudge any of the others winning I can’t see anything other than the first two in the betting.

I’m a Mad Men man and hope they do it but I’m not as confident here as I am about Hamm winning in the actor category.

Best Comedy

Modern Family 1/6
30 Rock 7/1
The Office 10/1
Glee 12/1
The Big Bang Theory 16/1
Parks and Recreation 25/1

It’s boring but there’s only one show winning here and it’s the favourite. 1/6 is no price but a win’s a win and Modern Family will win this without a doubt.

Another show adored by voters with a price to reflect as much, there’s not even anything I can offer up to upset Modern Family this year.

If you want to throw your money away you could maybe latch on to the fact that Carell’s last year on The Office could sway some voters or that Parks and Rec may finally get the recognition it deserves, but this is the Academy and they know what they like and they like what they know – as proved by Glee still retaining a nomination after a frankly abysmal second season.

30 Rock as second favourite after a poor year by their high standards shows you the lack of competition to Modern Family.


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