Hollywood award season will peak with the 91st Academy Awards on Feb. 24, which is expected to draw millions of viewers despite its lack of a host for the first time in decades. Still, predicting the outcome for the Oscars is a popular pursuit, host or no host, as it’s similar in spirit to free sports betting picks.
When betting on the Oscars, the Las Vegas bookies usually give the odds on who or what is likeliest to take which awards, which gives the whole practice an even more authentic gambling vibe.
The 2019 Oscars will probably feature a couple of shocks and unexpected winners, especially in the acting categories, as they tend to produce more surprises. Will the odds predict how Academy members will vote?
Here is a breakdown of the odds for some of the most popular categories for the 2019 Oscars.
Best Picture Oscar
“Green Book” +316
“A Star is Born” +733
“The Favourite” +1000
“Black Panther” +1200
“Bohemian Rhapsody” +1400
The Golden Globes blessed “Roma” with a best motion picture award in the foreign language category. Since then, the film’s developed into the favorite to scoop an Academy Award for best picture.
“Green Book” will be the main challenger, while “Bohemian Rhapsody” looks like a longshot, even though both films earned a best picture Golden Globe in their respective categories. Since “Roma” is nominated in several key categories, Cuaron’s film will be the title to beat.
Best Actor Oscar
Rami Malek: “Bohemian Rhapsody” -280
Christian Bale: “Vice” +188
Bradley Cooper: “A Star Is Born” +900
Viggo Mortensen: “Green Book” +2200
Willem Dafoe: “At Eternity’s Gate” +5500
Many critics weren’t thrilled with how “Bohemian Rhapsody” handled the epic of Freddie Mercury, but their critique didn’t prevent Rami Malek from garnering near-universal acclaim for his passionate performance, all of which has significantly raised the profile of the film.
Bale put in another terrific turn as ex-VP Dick Cheney, but Hollywood’s unlikely to vote for a Republican. Cooper, Mortensen and Dafoe will be longshots in this category, while Bradley and Viggo were upstaged by acting nominees in their respective films.
Best Actress Oscar
Glenn Close: “The Wife” -405
Olivia Colman: “The Favourite” +388
Lady Gaga: “A Star Is Born” +491
Yalitza Aparicio: “Roma” +3000
Melissa McCarthy: “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” +3700
Perhaps the category most prone to an upset, Glenn Close will be considered a strong favorite to earn an Oscar for her performance in “The Wife.”
This doesn’t mean that Hollywood isn’t prone to rewarding a feel-good story about the ascendance of love and the creative process, however, and Lady Gaga’s massive celebrity could turn into an advantage, along with her multifaceted talents as an actress and musician.
Comedians don’t win very many Oscars, making Melissa McCarthy an unlikely Oscars prospect.
Best Director Oscar
Alfonso Cuaron: Roma -1289
Spike Lee: “BlacKkKlansman” +599
Yorgos Lanthimos: “The Favourite” +2200
Adam McKay: “Vice” +2500
Pawel Pawlikowski: “Cold War” +2600
The Oscar for best picture tends to be tied strongly to the best director award, because many voters inextricably link the two. Considered a near-lock to win the best director Oscar, Alfonso Cuaron took home the Golden Globe award for this category and he’s also the creator of the screenplay, further bolstering his odds of securing this award.
Spike Lee might gain momentum with voters, but remains a distant longshot. Voters probably aren’t in the mood to reward a film about a U.S. Vice President.
Best Supporting Actor Oscar
Mahershala Ali: “Green Book” -634
Richard E. Grant: “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” +466
Sam Elliot: “The Favourite” +1300
Adam Driver: “BlacKKKlansman” +2600
Sam Rockwell: “Vice” +3400
The winner of an Academy Award for his work in “Moonlight,” Mahershala Ali is known for blending technique and instinct to bring out the best in a script, and he used his skills to the fullest for his rendition of Dr. Shirley in Green Book.
Mahershala will be one of the strongest Oscar favorites of the night in acting categories, with the rest of the supporting actor nominees unlikely to secure the reward. Adam Driver also has the misfortune of playing Kylo Ren in “Star Wars,” further reducing his odds of winning.
Best Supporting Actress Oscar
Regina King: “If Beale Street Could Talk” -291
Amy Adams: “Vice” +237
Emma Stone: “The Favourite” +1400
Rachel Weisz: “The Favourite” +1600
Marina De Tavira: “Roma” +3300
The Academy loves voting for Amy Adams, who frequently scores a variety of strong roles. She might be able to secure an upset in the best supporting category. However, she’s up against a strong favorite in Regina King, who earned a Golden Globe for her performance as Sharon Rivers in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” a film that hasn’t received as much awards buzz as expected.
Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz will probably split too many votes from the same film, while voters will award “Roma” plenty of Oscars in other categories, leaving Marina De Tavira out of contention.