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2021 Oscars Betting: Predicting Who Wins the Top Prizes at 93rd Academy Awards + Odds

Author: AmericanGambler1234 | Last Updated: March 24, 2021

Two months later than intended, the 2021 Oscars will crown the cinematic award season with the most coveted prizes on offer across the usual range of categories.

A total of 24 awards were handed out at last year’s ceremony (not including honorary entries), when Parasite and its director, Bong Joon-ho, upset the odds to snatch Best Picture and Best Director, respectively. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the ability to view cinema via the usual medium, begging the question as to whether we’ll see similar such surprises in 2021.

It’s possible to place wagers on every category in contention, but the main focus will surround the most major acting and directorial awards up for grabs. 

The 93rd Academy Awards will be the first of its kind to consider votes for films across two calendar years, with entries accepted for movies released between January 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021.

Betting on the Oscars was restricted to only a handful of U.S. states in 2020, but the list of areas accepting wagers on this non-sporting event is growing by the year.

Oscars 2021 Betting Picks & Odds

Check whether betting on the Academy Awards is legal in your state in 2021. You can bet in NJ. See odds at bet365 or BetMGM. Get free bets and bonus offers.

Best Picture

Prediction: Nomadland (+150) & Outside Bet: Trial of the Chicago 7 (+600)

The most hotly contested award at any Oscars event, Best Picture is more difficult to predict now than it has been in any previous edition given viewership is so distorted. That being said, the Chloe Zhao-directed Nomadland is the leading favorite to be named the top title of 2021.

Lead (and producer) Frances McFormand is targeting her third Oscar having already been named Best Actress on two occasions (1996, 2017). Market odds have fallen in favor of this tale about a woman leaving mainstream life behind, suggesting there’s a wealth of support behind it.

As for who might steal the show as an underdog, there’s a trend among entries with some form of political or socio-economic charge. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom—the last film to star Chadwick Boseman before his death in 2020, per CNN—looks particularly promising considering the quality of its performances, including the sensational Viola Davis, priced as high as +1700 in places. Following Parasite’s success, Minari is another South Korean contender (with an American twist) that could surprise from odds as high as +1600.

However, the Netflix-published Trial of the Chicago 7, looks most likely to contend at +600. Directed by Aaron Sorkin—who won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2011 for The Social Network—the film has been extremely well received for its gripping telling of true events that occurred in Chicago 1968, featuring an ensemble cast to contend with any other in show.

Best Actor

Prediction: Chadwick Boseman (-400) & Outside Bet: Riz Ahmed (+800)

There can be little looking past Boseman as the natural selection for Best Actor, but this prize will represent so much more than posthumous pandering should it materialise.

News of Boseman’s death was particularly hard-hitting due to the impact his numerous roles in recent years have had, especially given the current tensions regarding race, class and poverty in the United States and beyond. His acting was frequently of the highest calibre, but it rarely came without purpose.

His 2020 recognitions will come mainly for his protrayal of trumpet player Levee in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, though his role as Stormin’ Norman in Da 5 Bloods has also been fondly remembered.

Among the possible Best Actor challengers are Hollywood legend Anthony Hopkins (+300), who brought his usual gravitas in the critically acclaimed Father, and another British talent in Riz Ahmed (+800), who was magnificent as drummer Ruben Stone in Sound of Metal.

There’s a sea of would-be award winners lower down the pecking order, but it stands to reason that the Black Panther himself, Boseman, reigns as king of this category in 2021.

Best Actress

Prediction: Viola Davis (+138) & Outside Bet: Glenn Close (+1700)

Only seven films have ever won the Oscars for Best Actor and Best Actress in the same year, but Viola Davis and Boseman have a strong chance of breaking a 24-year drought in 2021.

A decade after she was first nominated for Best Actress, Davis is back at the top of the field for her starring role as the titular character in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and looks deserving of the favorite tag. 

Another Netflix release that performed even better than its considerable expectations, it was the performances of Davis and Boseman against one another that lifted the movie to even greater heights. Looking back, Davis really should have more than one Best Actress nomination to her credits, but a triumph this year could help make up for those years of oversight.

Another veteran still waiting on her first prize in this category—unfairly so, many will agree—is Glenn Close. One of two 2020 releases she featured in, Ron Howard’s Hillbilly Elegy wasn’t positively received by all, but Close’s showing as caring “Mamaw” Vance went down a storm.

A narrow loser to Olivia Colman in 2019, this could be the year that +1700 dark horse Close finally gets her hand on the Best Actress award, similar to Leonardo DiCaprio finally ending his wait for Best Actor in 2016.

Previous Best Picture Winners (2010-19)



Production Company


The King’s Speech

UK Film Council


The Artist

La Petite Reine





12 Years a Slave

Regency Enterprises



Regency Enterprises



Participant Media





The Shape of Water

TSG Entertainment


Green Book

Participant Media



Barunson E&A