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The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards: Betting Odds & Suggested Picks

by March 14, 2021

After a two-month delay, the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards are set to take place tonight. The Recording Academy has handled the pandemic in the best way it can, and while it may feel strange to celebrate music in a year such as this, the show must go on. Quarantine prevented us from getting a true song of the summer last year, and no track shattered the Billboard records like “Old Town Road” did in 2019. We don’t have a dominant breakout artist like Billie Eilish or Lizzo this year, either.

That makes for an interesting betting field this year, and though two of the key markets have clear favorites, I suspect that this year’s awards show may get a little weird.

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Betting Favorite: folklore (-213 at Sports Interactive)

The sportsbooks expect a dominant performance from Taylor Swift tonight. Swift has already won this award twice, first for Fearless (2009) and again for 1989 (2016), but none of her competitors have won this award once.

folklore’s chill, indie vibes marked a shift away from pop, and the ease with which Swift can transcend genre points to her immense talent. The fact that she produced the entire album during the pandemic — along with evermore and initial re-recordings of her earlier albums — adds to the argument for this album.

Just about every media source expects folkore to win. The Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, Pitchfork, and Variety all favor the album. It also helps that Swift hasn’t won this award in five years (and two albums), so it won’t feel like she owns the category.

Best Value Bet: Future Nostalgia (+256 at Sports Interactive)

Dua Lipa won Best New Artist in 2019, so is it her turn to move up and grab Album of the Year? I don’t think it’ll happen, but she has a better shot at winning than anyone else here. We already know that the Recording Academy appreciates her, which isn’t true for the Grammy-less Post Malone, and Jacob Collier hasn’t won an award outside of the Best Arrangement category.

You’re probably better off putting most of your money on folklore, but Lipa’s poppy and fun Future Nostalgia makes a decent hedge.

Betting Favorite: “Don’t Start Now” (-256 at Sports Interactive)

We have another clear betting favorite on the Record of the Year market. Note that “Record of the Year” rewards the recording process, mixing, editing, and production, not songwriting.

“Don’t Start Now” came out all the way back in Oct. 2019, long before we were all sequestered away in quarantine, and its poppy confidence reminds listeners of a more optimistic time. It finished fourth in Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs for 2020, trailing only one other nominee: “Circles.”

While I agree that it should be favored, I don’t fully understand why the sportsbooks have so much confidence in Dua Lipa’s track. Pitchfork doesn’t have this song in their top three for the award. The Los Angeles Times has this song tied with two others: “Black Parade” and “Circles.” That said, the New York Post and Variety have this as their favorite. Ultimately, you’re probably better off avoiding this line because of how short these odds are.

Best Value Bet: “Everything I Wanted” (+1000 at Sports Interactive)

I have nothing against Megan Thee Stallion or Beyonce; they both produced tracks that I would take ahead of Eilish’s. However, the odds point to much more value on this line, as it’s set at a whopping +1000.

Eilish’s heartfelt track about fame — and the pressures that come with it — catches listeners’ attention with an editor’s sleight-of-hand that briefly makes the track sound like it’s playing out of a submerged speaker. Add on the fact that we know the Recording Academy loves Eilish, as she swept Best New Artist, Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year during last year’s show, and “Everything I Wanted” screams value at this line. Pitchfork even has it as one of their co-favorites to win.

Betting Favorite: “cardigan” (-137 at Sports Interactive)

Finally, we have a market without a massive betting favorite. Swift’s mellow “cardigan” anchors folklore with lyrics that construct the album’s indie environment while describing emotional scenes from Swift’s past. The song didn’t earn a spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, but Swift finished ninth on the 100 Top Artists list.

As these odds indicate, the media is split on who should take home this award. The New York Post and Pitchfork both have it as their sole favorite, while the Los Angeles Times has the track tied with two others: “Black Parade” and “Don’t Start Now.”

There is enough value on this line to justify taking it, but it certainly isn’t as safe of a bet as folklore.

Best Value Bet: “Don’t Start Now” (+319) or “Black Parade” (+527)

I’m not sure what to take here. I don’t love “Don’t Start Now” here, but again, it’s a question of value. Variety favors this track over “cardigan,” and both the Los Angeles Times and Pitchfork have it as the category’s should-win track.

That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Recording Academy hand this award to a song with more power, like Beyonce’s “Black Parade.” The song, which celebrates Black heritage and was released on Juneteenth, resounds with pride and confidence, and its proceeds went to the BeyGOOD Black Business Impact Fund.

Ultimately, I would hedge “cardigan” with either “Don’t Start Now” or “Black Parade.” I believe that the latter track has much more value at the posted odds, although others in the media prefer with the former.

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

Entertainment, Grammy Awards