Oscar voting’s final week starts on March 17 and ends a few days before the 94th Academy Awards Ceremony. We’re posting nominations, odds, and free picks for the top categories. In this week’s entertainment blog, we choose the top pick and underdog pick for Best Actor and for Best Actress. Check out the nominees, their current Academy Award odds, the choice to win, and the likeliest dog to upset the chalk.
Oscar Betting Predictions for Best Actor & Best Actress Award
94th Academy Awards Oscars Ceremony
- When: Sunday, March 27
- Where: Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, CA
- TV / Streaming: ABC
Best Actor Nominations & Odds
- Will Smith (King Richard) -650
- Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog) +400
- Andrew Garfield (tick, tick . . . Boom!) +1000
- Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of McBeth) +2500
- Javier Bardem (Being The Ricardos) +5000
Will Smith has won a couple of acting awards, the SAG and the Critic’s Choice Award, which explains why he has not only overtaken pre-awards season favorite Benedict Cumberbatch, but is now a -650 underlay to win the statute.
At those odds, Smith is supposed to win. But the Critic’s Choice Award winner doesn’t always score Oscar gold.
In 2014, Michael Keaton won the Critic’s Choice Award only to lose to Eddie Redmayne on Oscar night. Last year, Chadwick Boseman won for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, but lost the Oscar to Anthony Hopkins in The Father.
No doubt, Smith will be tough to beat. But at the odds, he’s a play against. Benedict Cumberbatch, who gives a terrific performance and might be due, is the top pick.
The second choice is Javier Bardem. Yes, he’s a longshot. But Bardem hasn’t won the gold statue since taking home the 2008 Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in No Country For Old Men.
Bardem plays Ricky Ricardo in Being the Ricardos. The Academy loves to award Oscars to actors who play past industry heroes. So Bardem could pull off the upset.
Best Actor Top Pick: Benedict Cumberbatch
Best Actor Underdog Pick: Javier Bardem
Best Actress Nominations & Odds
- Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) -165
- Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos) +250
- Kristin Stewart (Spencer) +500
- Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter) +500
- Penelope Cruz (Parallel Mothers) +1800
Jessica Chastain deserves to win for playing the title character in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Chastain is one of the world’s top actresses. So it’s time she gets an award.
But on March 27, she won’t win. Instead, the Academy will hand it to Nicole Kidman for playing Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos. Kidman is an Academy and fan favorite. She plays one of the most important television personalities in history.
Kristen Stewart is the top underdog play. Stewart is breathtakingly terrific as Diana in Spencer. Few actresses have the chops to play Princess Di. So many have tried. Few have pulled it off.
Stewart sets the bar for future actresses. She and Chastain should be neck and neck in this category. The fact they aren’t probably means Kidman is a lock.
Best Actress Top Pick: Nicole Kidman
Best Actress Underdog Pick: Kristin Stewart