The Oscars has been a great part of movie history for decades, with almost a century of awards given to some of America’s finest movie actors. But residents of Indiana not only get to enjoy this fantastic awards ceremony, but they can also enjoy Oscars betting and wager on who they think will walk away with the awards for each category. Join us as we take a brief look at the history of this iconic film event and all the key information you need to know about betting on the Oscars.
The 2021 Oscars
Despite the initial postponement from February this year, the iconic film awards return on April 25, 2021, and will take place in person, with no online option available for those unable to attend the awards event in person. Following the trend set in recent years, this event will not have a single host but will have multiple presenters running the event. Another important change to this year’s proceedings is that films don’t need to have a cinema release to qualify for the awards, which is unsurprising considering how streaming services have taken off recently.
There are also several smaller changes, such as the merging of Sound Mixing and Sound Editing into a single category. With the noteworthy changes out of the way, let’s get into the Oscars betting, including the Oscars’ Best Picture betting odds, who’s likely to walk away with the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and more!
Betting on the Oscars – All you need to know
There are 21 different categories that you can bet on at BetMGM, but we’ll be taking a look at the six most popular in our breakdown below.
Best Motion Picture
|The Trial of the Chicago 7||+550|
|Promising Young Woman||+2000|
|Judas and the Black Messiah||+6600|
|Sound of Metal||+10000|
This year’s awards include a variety of great films, although personal and historical dramas are undoubtedly the genres that make for great Best Motion Picture material.
Leading the pack is Nomadland, a story that follows a poor woman who travels across Western America in her van and her encounters with people along the way. This film may be fiction, but it draws heavily upon the experiences of real-life American nomads and is based upon the non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century. With odds of -650, positive word of mouth, and 96 wins out of 153 nominations, Nomadland is a story about a part of America that many people don’t even know exists.
The film with the second-best odds at +550 is The Trial of the Chicago 7. This historical drama tells the true story of a group of anti-Vietnam War protestors and their fight against a war that many believed should not have even happened in the first place. While this film is undoubtedly an important piece, it’s unlikely to beat Nomadland to the top spot.
When it comes to the other six nominees, we’re unlikely to get any surprises. While not quite a two-horse race, the next two films, Minari (+1600) and Promising Young Woman (+2000) are unlikely to come out ahead of the top two films in our odds list.
|Chadwick Boseman||-1200||Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom|
|Anthony Hopkins||+600||The Father|
|Riz Ahmed||+1400||Sound of Metal|
Best actor is likely to be a posthumous award in recognition of Chadwick Boseman’s great work in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The actor, who was known as the iconic superhero Black Panther, passed in 2020 at the age of 43, only four years after he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. Sentiment has definitely favored Boseman, who also received a posthumous Golden Globe for his role in the film.
Even though this posthumous nomination seems pretty much a given at this point, there is still a small chance that Hollywood heavyweight Anthony Hopkins (at +600) may come out on top in the end. Hopkins has been an incredible talent throughout his career and received six nominations (including this one), and took home the Oscar for his nomination for Silence of the Lambs in 2002.
Things open up further down the pack, although Riz Ahmed, the first Muslim to be nominated for the award, will possibly draw some attention for his devastatingly good performance in Sound of Metal. But with +1400 odds, he’s still a longshot at best.
|Carey Mulligan||+135||Promising Young Woman|
|Viola Davis||+200||Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom|
|Andra Day||+500||The United States vs Billie Holiday|
|Vanessa Kirby||+2500||Pieces of a Woman|
While the Best Actor award may seem like a one-horse race, the Best Actress award is undoubtedly much more hotly contested. Carey Mulligan and Viola Davis are basically neck-in-neck with odds of +135 and +200 respectively.
Carey Mulligan may not be as instantly recognizable as other Hollywood celebs, but the actress has received an Academy Award nomination for her role in 2009’s An Education, in which she played a naive teen who was seduced by an older man, only to discover that he was a con.
Viola Davis, on the other hand, is undoubtedly more recognizable on the red carpet, has received three Oscar nods prior to 2021, and took home the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in 2016’s Fences. The fact that she’s also only one of two actresses to play a historical character (an influencing factor for Best Actress winners in the past) means the odds themselves may not be the only thing you need to keep in mind when placing your bet.
Frances McDormand and Andra Day (the other actress playing a historical character) follow these two frontrunners closely at +400 and +500 respectively, but one can’t ignore the fact that Andra Day took home the Golden Globe award for her role in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, which also featured the same nominees. Bettors should keep this in mind if they want to wager on an outsider that’s still at least in the running.
Unfortunately for Vanessa Kirby, she’s unlikely to have a shot at all against the top four. At +2500, it would take a miracle for her to come out on top against any of the other nominees.
Best Supporting Actor
|Daniel Kaluuya||-3000||Judas and the Black Messiah|
|Sacha Baron Cohen||+1400||The Trial of the Chicago 7|
|Leslie Odom Jr.||+2000||One Night in Miami…|
|Paul Raci||+2000||Sound of Metal|
|Lakeith Stanfield||+3300||Judas and the Black Messiah|
This is almost guaranteed to be another one-horse race with Daniel Kaluuya sitting with odds of -3000. Kaluuya not only wowed critics with his performance in Judas and the Black Messiah but also overwhelmingly won over regular cinema audiences in this film, which received audience scores of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and an IMDB score of 7.6/10.
Kaluuya’s career definitely took a step-up with his breakout performance in the biting satirical thriller and borderline horror film Get Out, which was followed by another minor but still important role alongside Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther. He surprised audiences with the unexpectedly powerful Queen and Slim, a complicated film that’s one part accidental Bonnie and Clyde, another part critique of how life can be for Black Americans.
As you can see from the betting odds, there’s Daniel Kaluuya, and then there’s everyone else. While these nominations are all nods to the performances of these actors (particularly the multi-talented Sacha Baron Cohen), Daniel Kaluuya is virtually a given for this award.
Best Supporting Actress
|Maria Bakalova||+450||Borat Subsequent Moviefilm|
|Glenn Close||+900||Hillbilly Elegy|
|Olivia Colman||+2000||The Father|
Despite the difference in the odds, the top two nominees may be closer than we realize. Youn Yuh-Jung, a veteran Korean actress, is favored to take the award for her role in Minari as the eccentric but loveable grandmother Soonja. She’s also been cleaning up when it comes to awards and nominations for her role, with literally dozens of wins for her performance.
However, Bakalova has also received similar praise and recognition for her performance as Tutar Sagdiyev in the Borat sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Both of these films are powerful in their own ways, which is why we believe the race is closer than the odds of -450 and +450 might lead you to believe.
Glen Close is a long shot with odds of +900, but she’s yet to win an Academy Award despite her seven previous nominations. It may be unlikely, but it’s still possible that she may receive the award simply because she’s come so close in the past.
For fans of Olivia Colman and Amanda Seyfried, it’s unlikely that either will have a shot at this year’s award.
|Lee Isaac Chung||+2000||Minari|
|Emerald Fennell||+2500||Promising Young Woman|
|Thomas Vinterberg||+3300||Another Round|
This is another category that really only has, at most, two likely winners. Chloe Zhao is leading the pack with odds of -2000 and is a relatively new director with only eight directorial credits on IMDB, four of those being short films. Her three released feature films, including Nomadland, are all moving dramas focused on people dealing with the struggles of real life and have been well-received by critics and regular cinema audiences, although her first feature, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, was not quite as popular as her other films amongst average movie fans.
Zhao has received over a dozen award nominations this year for her directorial work on Nomadland and has walked away with all of them, which is likely to give her the edge over the nominee with the second-highest odds on our list, David Fincher.
Fincher, with odds of +900, is undoubtedly a Hollywood icon. He has 96 directorial credits and has brought us incredible films like Se7en, Zodiac, The Social Network, and Gone Girl. While I hate to use the term, he definitely seems to have created “Oscar bait” with his film Mank, a story about the production of Citizen Kane, itself a film that revolutionized the way movies were created. Mank is undoubtedly a movie about a movie for movie lovers, and while this specific focus may have seen it get the Oscar nod, it missed the mark with many cinema-goers, who described the film as “slow” and even “boring.”
That being said, this film may have enough traits that see Fincher slip the award out from under the nose of Zhao, although it’s not looking very likely at this point.
A key insight from another of our analysts
If you’re looking for even more advice so you can make the most of your bets, here’s what Darren Darby, a Sports Trader on our team at BetMGM, had to say:
“The current odds suggest we know the winners of most of the major awards, and the intended recipients should start preparing their acceptance speeches. But most years, there is a surprise upset, so no bet is a lock. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if The Trial of the Chicago 7 beat Nomadland for Best Motion Picture award.”
Join in on all the Oscar betting action at BetMGM
If you’re interested in the best Oscars bets, be sure to check out what we have on offer at BetMGM. We offer some of the best odds on Oscars’ winners, as well as other exciting betting options for this year’s Oscars awards. Whether you’re interested in placing a bet on the best supporting actor, best supporting actress, or the best actor at the Oscars, you’ll find a bet to suit your tastes.
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