Best Leading Actress is extraordinarily close


The Best Leading Actress category looks like the most competitive market for bettors ahead of this Sunday’s Oscars ceremony.

Nomadland appears to be a shoo-in for the big awards at 1.321/3 for Best Picture (even though it’s not out in the UK yet so we can’t say whether it’s any good or not!).

Chloe Zhao, who directed the film, is an unbackable 1.031/33 to win Best Director – an award she has already scooped at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs.

As for the Best Leading Actor, Chadwick Boseman is 1.141/7, a price that’s based on the sense that the actor, who died of cancer last year, will be awarded for his groundbreaking body of work.

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That said, he missed out at the BAFTAs, with Anthony Hopkins causing an upset at around 5/1.

You can get 6.86/1 on the Welsh veteran striking again this Sunday, although I’d give it to Riz Ahmed 20.019/1 for his superb performance as a drummer who goes deaf in Sound of Metal (great film).

In Best Supporting Actor it would be a major shock if anyone other than Daniel Kaluuya was victorious.

Day and McDormand both appeal at the prices

As mentioned, it is the actress categories that look truly competitive for bettors.

Frances McDormand has two Oscars to her name so if she wins on Sunday she will join an elite group of three-time winners which includes, most recently, Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Katharine Hepburn is only person to win four acting Academy Awards.

A popular figure in Hollywood, McDormand is nominated for her role in the film that is going to dominate the night – Nomadland – and at the price she’s a bet.

The favourite Carey Mulligan 2.486/4 looks far from a certainty for her role in the controversial Promising Young Woman.

Viola Davis 3.211/5 transformed herself in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and was genuinely captivating and you can see why she’s receiving support in the betting.

In another film about music, Andra Day 7.413/2 was brilliant as Billie Holiday, has already won the Golden Globe for best actress in a drama and has to be a contender here.

Nobody seems to think Vanessa Kirby 21.020/1 has a chance but the other four are all in contention, with Day and McDormand appealing at the prices.