Insider Info: Betting Sites Predict Oscar Winners
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
February 24 2012 04:37 PM ET
CREDIT: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Money not only talks but makes prediction too. A new Website has forecasted the winners of the top four Oscars in this weekend's Academy Awards.
"We are extremely confident that The Artist will take home the Best Picture laurels," said David Rothschild, co-founder of PredictWise, a site that uses betting markets instead of polls or social media buzz to predict the probability of future events. "We give it a 90 percent likelihood of victory."
How do they do it? PredictWise gathers data from Betfair and Intrade, two U.K.-based sites that run real-money trading sites. (A type of betting that's legal in some European countries, but not in the U.S.) Based on trading numbers, PredictWise assigns a confidence rating to each event. Rothschild places greater weight on real-money betting sites rather than those that only allow "play money" such as the Hollywood Stock Exchange. He says that players have more incentive to get it right when cash is involved. In 2011, Intrade correctly picked 6 out of the 8 Oscar categories that were available for betting.
He says that measuring social media buzz is less reliable. For instance, The Help has racked up more than 726,000 likes on Facebook, while The Artist has a paltry 72,000.
The envelope, please. And the winners — according to PredictWise who has calculated predictions for the four most popular Oscar categories — are:
Best Picture: The Artist (90.3%)
Best Actor: Jean Dujarin, The Artist (59.5%)
Best Actress: Viola Davis, The Help (62.5%)
Best Director: Michael Hazanavisius, The Artist (88%)