Office pools have become an enjoyable way to break the monotony of the work day. Every year, offices across the country (or even around the world) engage in a friendly competition, allowing employees to make bets on anything from football games to NCAA Basketball tournaments.
In recent years, the popularity of office pools for Oscar winners has skyrocketed. As with sports brackets, Academy Award office pools allow teams to have a little fun and perhaps even win some low stakes prizes for those who wish to participate.
More and more, you can download official ballots and/or prop sheets from a variety of sources, and more and more publications are offering their own predictions to help give you an edge on your coworkers. We’ve even made our guesses known this year, but only time will tell who is correct in their choices.
But how can you know who to pick? As with any poll or bracket, making the right choices is a combination of luck and skill. There are ways, however, to give you a bit of an edge.
One way to gain an edge in your own office pool is to take a look at the critics and guild awards that precede the Oscar race. Looking at the nominations and winners of the hundreds of minor awards that come before the Oscars can tell you a lot about the general heat and buzz a particular film or actor has going into the ceremony.
Many aggregate sites, like Metacritic, keep a running tally of what films are winning this awards season, and that can tell you a lot about where to make your bets. Another way to gain an edge is by looking at odds making sites. As with anything people might want to make bets on, Las Vegas publishes odds about who stands to take home the statue at the Oscars.
Of course, like any bracket or betting pool, one thing that can’t be accounted for is luck. We can make every prediction we can using every tool at our disposal, and the Academy might still surprise us. Every year, it seems, there are a handful of shocking upsets, with an underdog taking home a big prize that no one ever expected.
That’s part of the fun of office pools, though. Whether you’re playing for small prizes or just office bragging rights, a string of luck against some educated predictions can be the cause of some incredible celebrations. Whether you’re doing it just for fun or something is on the line, you can always count on an office pool to liven up a party or make the work day just a little bit more entertaining.