While the action won't even approach what's wagered on a single football game, future book betting on the 53rd annual Grammy Awards could be music to some savvy gamblers' ears when the recording industry hands out the hardware before CBS' cameras at the StaplesCenter in Los Angeles, Feb. 13.
Just as the movie industry has a "Big Six" (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress), most of the future book Grammy Award action will be centered around a "Big Four" comprised of Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Unlike the Academy Awards though, where odds-on favorites dominate, three of the four Grammy categories are quite contentious, offering some value to sports betting fans looking to catch a price.
Sifting through a nomination process where crooners, rappers, country, pop and hip hop artists and divas often compete against one another that make analysis of the Grammy Awards far more difficult than the Oscars, let's see if we can't stay on key:
Album of the Year
The Fame Monster (Lady Gaga)5/1
The Suburbs (Arcade Fire)6/1
Teenage Dreams (Katy Perry)12/1
Need You Now (Lady Antebellum)16/1
The Skinny: Like Hollywood, the recording industry loves a comeback, making Eminem an overwhelming favorite to win for Recovery, a more optimistic album after his drug-addicted Relapse. What's more, Recovery is both a critical and commercial success, wowing reviewers while selling 2.7 million copies. Eminem certainly has his detractors—misogyny still is all too prevalent a theme—but most voters probably will look beyond that although we thought the same thing a decade ago when Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP lost as the odds-on favorite to a Steely Dan album few remember. Lady Gaga is the second choice in futures but we don't see her upsetting the favorite. Rockers Arcade Fire and country band Lady Antebellum were strong in their respective fields but why was Katy Perry nominated?
Best New Artist
Florence & The Machine2/1
Mumford & Sons10/3
The Skinny: Teen-pop sensation Justin Bieber opened as a slight favorite but adolescent pop rarely wins this award as witnessed by the failure of the Jonas Brothers in 2009 against weak competition. But Bieber has his supporters—including Usher—so dismiss him at your own sports betting peril. If you gauge by hit singles, rapper Drake had the most successful debut but can he succeed where 50 Cent, Kanye West and P. Diddy didn't? Florence & The Machine are a logical choice if only because women such as Carrie Underwood, Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, Christina Aguilera and Sheryl Crow have dominated this category in the past. Mumford & Sons are the only rock/folk nominee in the category but may have peaked too late for those who voted early in the process. Jazz singer Spaulding is hardly a bargain at 8/1.
Record of the Year
Love the Way You Lie (Eminem)5/4
EmpireState of Mind (Jay Z/Alicia Keys) 13/8
Need You Now (Lady Antebellum)9/2
Nothin' On You (B.o.B.)15/2
F*** You (Cee Lo Green)10/1
The Skinny: Eminem is the top Grammy nominee with 10 nods but there's no guarantee he walks away with this trophy. In fact, it's possible that Love the Way You Lie, which features Rhianna, and Empire State of Mind will divide the rap vote, allowing Lady Antebellum's Need You Now to capture the award. That theory gains momentum when you consider that both Nothin' On You and F*** You also come out of the urban experience, leaving voters who don't appreciate that type of music with just one option.
Song of the Year
F*** You (Cee Lo Green)9/4
Need You Now (Josh Kear/Lady Antebellum)11/4
The House That Built Me (Douglas/Shamblin)10/3
Beg Borrow or Steal (Ray LaMontagne)9/2
Love the Way You Lie (Grant/Hafferman/Eminem) 5/1
The Skinny: First, in case you're wondering, Song of the Year is awarded to the songwriter while Record of the Year goes to the artist and takes into account performance as well as production values such as engineering and mixing. That said this is the most difficult category to predict. Country songs Need You Now and The House That Built Me could split that vote. Unless you count the largely irrelevant Beg Borrow or Steal, which most voters won't, there's no rock song nominated here so we're thinking that rock voters may go for F*** You. But it's close.
It's no threat to replace the Super Bowl but sports betting fans may want to see just how well they can carry a tune with some future book action of this year's Grammy Awards.