Oscar odds: Favorites and longshots for Hollywood’s big night

The movie he starred in, “The Revenant,” is also favored to win Best Picture, according to online betting site PaddyPower.com.

Here’s the list of the Oscar odds for the award show’s biggest categories, according to PaddyPower:

leonardo dicaprio“The Revenant” is the betting favorite to win Best Picture at Sunday’s Academy Awards. The 20th Century Fox film is followed by “Spotlight” which comes in at 23-to-10 and “The Big Short” at 5-to-1.

Best Picture:

“The Revenant”: 8-to-15

“Spotlight”: 23-to-10

“The Big Short”: 5-to-1

“Room”: 50-to-1

“The Martian”: 100-to-1

“Mad Max: Fury Road”: 100-to-1

“Brooklyn”: 150-to-1

“Bridge of Spies”: 200-to-1

Best Actor:

Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”: 1-to-100

Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”: 20-to-1

Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”: 20-to-1

Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”: 80-to-1

Matt Damon, “The Martian”: 100-to-1

Best Actress:

Brie Larson, “Room”: 1-to-25

Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”: 10-to-1

Cate Blanchett, “Carol”: 33-to-1

Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”: 40-to-1

Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”: 40-to-1

Best Supporting Actor:

Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”: 3-to-10

Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”: 5-to-2

Christian Bale, “The Big Short”: 16-to-1

Tom Hardy, “The Revenant”: 16-to-1

Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”: 40-to-1

Best Supporting Actress:

Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”: 1-to-2

Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”: 3-to-1

Rooney Mara, “Carol”: 7-to-2

Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”: 25-to-1

Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”: 100-to-1

Related: Oscars make changes to boost diversity amid #OscarsSoWhite backlash

Red carpet coverage of the 88th Annual Academy Awards begins at 7 p.m. The ceremony hosted by Chris Rock begins at 8:30 p.m.

The thriller directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu is currently holding 8-to-15 odds to win. ET this Sunday on ABC.

CNNMoney (New York) First published February 23, 2016: 11:28 AM ET

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If that seems like a wide margin it’s nothing compared to the best actor category where DiCaprio is a prohibitive favorite with 1-to-100 odds

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How the Sports Betting Line is Made by RJ Bell

Oddsmakers can also change the line depending on various event-related factors such as player injuries or weather. Oddsmakers have to determine if any changes are necessary and send out an “adjusted line.”

Experts working for the individual books having a strong opinion on the game

Why the Line Changes

Power ratings are the oddsmaker’s value of each team and are used as a guide to calculate a “preliminary” pointspread on an upcoming game. The power ratings are adjusted after each game a team plays.

What Is the Line Trying to Accomplish?

The last step in the line-making process for each oddsmaker is taking one final look to determine whether or not the line “feels right.” This is where common sense and past experience with how games are bet enters into the picture. Also, adjustments are made after reading each team’s local newspapers to get a sense of what the coaches & players are thinking going into the game. This usually includes having up-to-date power ratings on each team.

“The #1 thing for us is to make a line for each game that creates good two-way action. Mike Seba is a Senior Oddsmaker at LVSC and has been making lines for the last six years. Reasons for such adjustments include:

Since the oddsmaker’s ultimate goal is equally dividing the betting action, public perception and betting patterns must be taken into account. By necessity their approach is very research-oriented and concise, since with millions of dollars at risk there is little margin for error. That is not the case at all – their intent is NOT to evenly split the ATS result between the teams; rather, their goal is to attract equal betting action on both sides. “We’re not trying to pick the team that covers the spread, we’re trying to make it a coin flip, a tough decision (for the bettor). .

“The main objective is that our clients get equal action on both sides,” Seba said. If an oddsmaker comes up with a preliminary line of USC -7, then an adjustment up to -7.5 or -8 would be made in response to the public’s expected USC bias. Stated another way, they want to create a line that half the people find appealing to bet one way while the other half find it appealing to bet the other way (known as ‘dividing the action’). People think it’s much more complicated, but it’s not.”

The opening line is the first line created by the oddsmakers, which is then sent out to sportsbooks. In doing so they attempt to make more attractive the team that is getting less action.

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Once betting begins, sportsbooks can adjust the line at any time.

Moving the line is the oddsmaker’s effort to balance betting action, and often times such moves can have a major impact on a bettor’s decision.

The purpose of these adjustments, like all line adjustments, is to more equally divide the betting action. Seba explained that it all starts with each oddsmaker creating a line on each game based upon their own personal approach. Each of these oddsmakers bring unique opinions, strengths and weaknesses to the process. Of the 4-5 oddsmakers, generally the 2 most respected opinions are weighed more heavily by the Odds Director before he decides on the final line. By moving the line, sportsbooks can influence how the public bets on a particular game.

A round-table discussion among the 4-5 oddsmakers involved in making the line for each sport is then conducted and a consensus line is decided upon by the Odds Director before it is released to the sportsbooks. “You either have a passion for it or you don’t,” Seba said. We do this by drawing from past experiences and applying them to current situations. For example, the public might have heavy betting interest week after week on a popular college football team such as USC. Of course there is an entire method to the madness on how the opening line is created. Examples of non-game factors that would require an adjustment to a team’s power rating are key player injuries and player trades.

Once the opening line is released by LVSC, the individual sportsbooks decide if they want to make any adjustments before offering it to the public. Obviously, if the line comes out a week ahead of the event (which is the case in football), there is much that could happen during the week leading up to the event that could affect the line.

How the Opening Line Is Made

Individual books having players who consistently bet with certain tendencies (such as an extreme bias toward favorites or toward a certain popular team like USC)

There is a common misconception that point spreads represent the oddsmakers’ prediction of how many points the favorite will win by. In our extended interview, Seba explained that there are 4-5 oddsmakers assigned to make lines for each of the major sports (pro & college football and basketball; MLB, NHL, boxing, golf).

Las Vegas Sports Consultants (LVSC) is the world’s premier oddsmaking company and the most respected authority on making the lines. If we’ve done that, we’ve done our job.”

Divided action means the sportsbook is guaranteed a profit on the game because of the fee charged to the bettor (called juice or vig – typically $11 bet to win $10).

Once a game’s power rating based pointspread is determined, the oddsmaker will make adjustments to that line after considering each team’s most recent games played and previous games played against that opponent.

For example, if the pointspread on a game is 7 and most of the money is coming in on the underdog (taking the +7), sportsbooks will then move the number down to 6 ½ to try and attract money on the favorite.

RJ Bell

©Pregame.com 2006

Website: http://www.Pregame.com

Oddsmakers at LVSC are professional sports junkies who love what they do and would probably do it for nothing if you asked them, but they do get paid for it

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As PCs decline, Microsoft betting its future on the cloud

The latter includes licensing fees that PC makers pay for Windows software, which saw an uncharacteristic increase, offset by declining revenue from smartphones and Xbox consoles.

As evidence the investment is paying off, Microsoft Corp. But Nadella has positioned Windows 10 as part of a broader software ecosystem that includes money-making online services like Skype and the ad-supported Bing search engine.

For consumers, competition in the cloud-computing industry could mean their favorite social media site or streaming entertainment app doesn’t depend on a single company to keep its service running. Like Microsoft, IBM reported this week that its cloud revenues increased in the last quarter, despite a broader decline in its traditional software business.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a world where there’s a smartphone app for everything, one company __ Amazon.com Inc. That growth, combined with increases in revenue from Windows software licenses and other key segments, helped offset a big decline in revenue from the Nokia smartphone business that Microsoft largely shut down last year.

Amazon pioneered the cloud business almost 10 years ago, when the online retailer began renting out unused capacity on its own servers. But sales from the “More Personal Computing” segment fell 4 percent. Analysts say the timetable was probably slowed by a continued slump in global PC demand, as well as Microsoft’s failure to persuade consumers to buy Windows-based phones.

“Some companies will want to work with multiple cloud providers, so if anything goes wrong, they have redundancy,” said Frank Gillett, a tech analyst with Forrester Research.

Nadella has poured billions of dollars into building new data centers around the world, hoping to position Microsoft as the leading alternative to Amazon in selling online computing power — housed in remote centers or “clouds” — to internet startups and big corporations, as well as consumers.

Results from Microsoft’s latest quarter underscored that trend. Increasingly, that’s also true for big companies like General Electric and Boeing, which provide online data and other services for their commercial customers, and which recently signed deals to move some of those services to Microsoft’s cloud.

For Microsoft, meanwhile, cloud computing has been the company’s biggest source of growth in recent quarters. The competition could mean lower prices and more innovation, both for businesses that buy cloud-computing services and for consumers who use popular apps — from Netflix to Pinterest and Airbnb — that run in the cloud.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wants to change that.

Some investors worry the cloud business isn’t as profitable as selling traditional software, since the latter didn’t require massive spending on data centers. Estimates vary, depending on how you define “cloud computing,” but analysts at Synergy Research Group say Amazon still has more than 30 percent of the market, while Microsoft has grown to 10 percent — partly on the strength of Microsoft’s promise that its cloud services are compatible with Microsoft software that customers already have on their own computers.

Microsoft still relies heavily on the PC business, and it’s been aggressively promoting Windows 10, the latest version of its operating software for PCs and other devices. It’s helped drive up Microsoft’s stock price by 15 percent over the last year, despite sluggish sales of PC software and the near-collapse of its floundering smartphone business. But Microsoft’s “Intelligent Cloud” division — which includes Azure and some software that customers use in their own data centers — reported revenue of $6.7 billion, up 7 percent from a year earlier. But cloud computing is “the area that offers the highest potential for the entire company to grow its way out of a very mature PC business,” said Dan Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust, which holds Microsoft shares.. reported Tuesday that its Azure cloud-computing business more than doubled in sales last quarter, compared with a year earlier. — has long been the host for an outsized share of online software and computing services.

In a rare concession, Microsoft signaled last week that it was backing off its stated goal of getting Windows 10 on a billion devices by 2018.

Revenue from the division that includes Microsoft’s Office productivity software was up 5 percent. The company’s stock was up about 4 percent in after-hours trading Tuesday following the earnings report.

IBM and Google have 7 and 5 percent, respectively. That helped boost Microsoft’s overall sales to $22.6 billion, after adjusting for deferred revenue, for an overall increase of 2 percent.

If Amazon has been the undisputed king of the cloud, analysts say Microsoft, Google and a few other tech giants are emerging as rivals. The company doesn’t disclose revenue for its Azure cloud computing service by itself

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