Monday, February 15, 2016

2016 Grammys Betting Preview

Every hipster's least favorite awards show of the year is on tonight - The Grammys. It's a night where we celebrate Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Meghan Trainor, and the rest of the people who have slowly ruined music over the past decade or so. Year after year of seeking a huge payday has left us with a bunch of rich artists and labels, and a whole lot of crappy songs on the radio.

So, we might as well make some money of our own right? Bovada has four props available:

Album of the Year

Nominees: Taylor Swift's 1989 (-250), Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly (+300), and then Alabama Shakes, The Weeknd, and Chris Stapleton are all pretty heavy underdogs

Recent winners:Beck's Morning Phase (2015), Daft Punk's Random Access Memories (2014), Mumford & Sons' Babel (2013), Adele's 21 (2012), Arcade Fire's The Suburbs (2011), Taylor Swift's Fearless (2010)

I love Taylor Swift, I know Dag loves Taylor Swift, and I just wish the line on 1989 paid more. Lock that in, and maybe mix it into a parlay.

Best New Artist

Nominees: Meghan Trainor (-125), James Bay (+200), Sam Hunt (+500), and then Courtney Barnett and Tori Kelly are pretty heavy underdogs

Recent winners: Sam Smith (2015), Macklemore (2014), Fun (2013), Bon Iver (2012), Esperanza Spalding (2011), Zac Brown Band (2010)

As you can see, to win Best New Artist you don't really have to be new and you definitely don't have to be the best. For reference, my picks for those six years would have been:

  • 2015 - I have no complaints with Sam Smith
  • 2014 - I'm pretty sure that even Macklemore thought Kendrick Lamar should win
  • 2013 - Your options here were Fun, Alabama Shakes, Hunter Hayes, Frank Ocean, and the Lumineers. Am I allowed to pick nobody?
  • 2012 - I'd go Skrillex just because of how revolutionary he was
  • 2011 - How the FUCK did Esperanza Spalding win over Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence and the Machine, and Mumford & Sons? Holy Christ
  • 2010 - Zac Brown was the right choice
I had never heard of James Bay until writing this post, but he almost kinda looks like Keira Knightley. I'm not sure if that's going to help him or hurt him here. Courtney Barnett and Tori Kelly are also total question marks for me, but their odds are so high that I'd be shocked if they won. 

That leaves us with Meghan Trainor (who I hate) and Sam Hunt (who a lot of people hate) to wager on. I think I'd stay away here, because I refuse to bet on Trainor and I don't think Sam Hunt will win for the same reason Skrillex didn't win; he has a unique sound that will likely end up changing quite a bit in the genre, but that doesn't get rewarded with a Grammy. 

You know, after writing that, I think I'm in on James Bay. He's got a decent payout at +200 and Wikipedia tells me he started playing guitar after he heard Eric Clapton's Layla. Why not, right? #cocaine

Record of the Year

Nominees: Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk (-500), Taylor Swift's Blank Space (+600), The Weeknd's Can't Feel My Face (+600), Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud (+1400), and then a D'Angelo song is +2500

Recent winners: Sam Smith's Stay With Me (2015), Daft Punk's Get Lucky (2014), Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know (2013), Adele's Rolling In The Deep (2012), Lady Antebellum's Need You Now (2011), Kings Of Leon's Use Somebody (2010)

Two notes here: first, there's like a 50% chance the Record is coming from the Best New Artist in any given year. Except there's no pair that would work, so just go ahead and cancel that whole theory for this year. 

Second, the winner of the Record of the Year category is almost always a song that I think is good. This year, that means we can throw D'Angelo and Ed Sheeran in the trash. You can essentially get 3/1 odds by betting on both Blank Space and Can't Feel My Face, but that might be a waste of money. Out of all the lines Bovada has, Uptown Funk is far and away the most heavily favored. 

Song of the Year

Nominees: Taylor Swift's Blank Space (-150), Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud (+200), Wiz Khalifa's See You Again (+700), Kendrick Lamar's Alright (+900), and then a Little Big Town song is +2000

Recent winners: Sam Smith's Stay With Me (2015), Lorde's Royals (2014), Fun's We Are Young (2013), Adele's Rolling In The Deep (2012), Lady Antebellum's Need You Now (2011), Beyonce's Single Ladies (2010)

Am I crazy for thinking See You Again should be more heavily favored here? At +700, it's in the same range as songs that have almost no chance of winning in some other categories. But the story behind the song is a really emotional one, and it would be a very touching moment on stage. 

The Bet Slip

AotY 1989 (-250)
BNA James Bay (+200)
RotY Blank Space (+600)
RotY Can't Feel My Face (+600)
SotY See You Again (+700)

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