Feb 19, 2019
Feb 19, 2019

Oscars 2019 predictions: A betting preview

91st Academy Awards odds

Best picture, actor and director betting previews

Where is the value in the academy awards odds?

Oscars 2019 predictions: A betting preview

With this year’s nominations for the 91st Academy Awards now announced, Pinnacle is once again offering bettors odds on all major categories. Without an official host for only the second time ever, and with streaming service Netflix scoring its first ever Best Picture nomination, the Oscars 2019 have already caused quite a stir. So, what value can it offer to bettors? Read on for an expert's view on the key contenders in each category.

On Tuesday, January 22, the nominees for the 2019 Academy Awards were announced and with them came betting markets on six major categories. Below, we take a look at which actors and films got the nods and how the nominations should shape the Oscar odds.

The main theme for Oscars 2019

With dwindling viewing figures, and a number of high-profile PR disasters, the Academy Awards have been more of a cause for controversy than celebration in recent years.

Without a host for only the second time in its history, comedian Kevin Hart was forced to step down from hosting responsibilities this year after it was revealed he posted a series of homophobic tweets back in 2009 and 2010 – which he subsequently refused to apologise for.

More politically charged than in years gone by, recent Oscars have seen nominees and attendees use the event to highlight pressing social injustices - in a bid create awareness and to prompt change.

This change is also reflected in the show itself – both in terms of the production and awards.

2019 could see Netflix score its first ever Best Picture win with Roma – potentially marking the first time a film released via a streaming service, and not via theatrical release, would take the top award

If the 2017 Oscars was about protesting newly elected President Donald Trump, then last year’s edition focused heavily on sexual harassment, particularly in Hollywood, and arguably took place during the height of the #MeToo movement.

As a result, James Franco, who won a Golden Globe and was tipped in some quarters to win an Academy Award for his starring role in The Disaster Artist, was omitted from nominations after he faced allegations of sexual misconduct.

Since #OscarsSoWhite went viral back in 2016 exposing a lack of variety in the nominations, special emphasis has since been placed on films that promote inclusivity or have a diverse cast.

These themes in many ways were echoed by the standout winner of last year’s show, The Shape of Water, which went home with four awards including Best Picture and Best Director. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the film focuses on the empowerment of disenfranchised characters.

While looking ahead to this year, Marvel’s Black Panther, which surprised many with its initial nomination, has since won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (the equivalent to Best Picture) by the Screen Actors Guild.

With the possible exception of Birdman in 2015, no ‘superhero’ film has ever won Best Picture at the Academy Awards – however, bettors need to understand that the changes to the electorate and overall environment in recent years mean that they must adjust and adapt their comprehension of what ‘type’ of films can actually win.

In a similar vein, 2019 could see Netflix score its first ever Best Picture win with Roma – potentially marking the first time a film released via a streaming service, and not via theatrical release, would take the top award. An idea that would have seemed unimaginable a decade or so ago.

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Latest odds

Best Picture betting

The nominees:

  • Roma – 10 nominations (1.321*)
  • Green Book – 5 nominations (4.689*)
  • A Star is Born – 8 nominations (19.360*)
  • The Favourite – 10 nominations (17.010*)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody - 5 nominations (25.310*)
  • BlackKKlansman – 6 nominations (34.060*)
  • Black Panther – 7 nominations (23.310*)
  • Vice – 8 nominations (102.130*)

Relevant award season honours:

  • Critics’ Choice Best Picture: Roma
  • Golden Globes Best Picture, Drama: Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Golden Globes Best Picture, Comedy or Musical: Green Book

As mentioned above, the ever changing political nature of the awards means that films that wouldn’t have drawn a moment of consideration for Best Picture in years previous – may well have a chance of winning in the current climate.

Looking back to 2017, critics were almost unanimous that La La Land would take home Best Picture, however a month before voting actually took place,  popular sentiment shifted – opening the door for Moonlight, and a similar phenomenon has taken place this time around too.

The fourth remake of A Star is Born, directed by and starring Bradley Cooper, led the way in most Oscar prediction lists after it was released to critical and commercial acclaim last summer, however, its star has faded in recent months.

After a relatively disappointing return during the awards season, interest in the film has cooled considerably.

This year, while the odds* heavily suggest Roma, which has 10 nominations in total, will take home Best Picture, even the critically divided Bohemian Rhapsody can’t be ruled out for its strong individual performances, general popularity amongst audiences, and recent success at the Golden Globes.

While in previous years the critically lauded Black Panther would have been a complete outsider due to its superhero genre, its heavy BAME cast combined with its themes of black empowerment and recent award wins means it should be considered by bettors.

The Shape of Water took home Best Picture last year, despite being the slight second-favourite to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in the days leading up to the awards.

Currently second-favourite for this year, a number of off-screen scandals have plagued Golden Globe-winning drama Green Book – with the film’s director Peter Farrelly having to apologise for past sexual misconduct, and also producer and co-writer Nick Vallelonga is accused of supporting a racist conspiracy theory.

Opening to very underwhelming box office numbers, the film about a queer black classical musician, has also faced criticism in some sections for the inclusion of certain problematic narrative tropes.

With a whopping 10 nominations, Roma is still the strong favourite, and if the film which was first released on Netflix should win, it may well usher in a new era for cinema – where the stream finally replaces the silver screen.

More still, Roma could also become the first primarily non-English language film to pick up Best Picture in the Academy’s 91-year history.

Best Director odds

The nominees:

  • Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman (10.680*)
  • Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War (30.540*)
  • Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite (17.010*)
  • Alfonso Cuaron – Roma (1.068*)
  • Adam McKay – Vice (30.540*)

Relevant award season honours:

  • Critics’ choice best director: Alfonso Cuaron – Roma
  • Golden Globes best director: Alfonso Cuaron – Roma

The overwhelming favourite for Best Director, Alfonso Cuaron had a very promising awards season – picking up Best Director at both the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globes awards.

Surprisingly, Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born), Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk) and Damien Chazelle (First Man), had all made critics’ prediction lists prior to the nominations being released and the trio being snubbed.

The strongest challengers to Cuaron come in the form of Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) and Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), while Adam McKay, who is probably best known for his duties on comedies such as Anchorman and Step Brothers, looks least likely alongside Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War).

The Best Actor award nominees

Best actor award nominees


 Best Actor

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress


Christian Bale

Rami Malek

Bradley Cooper

Viggo Mortensen

Wullem Dafoe

Glenn Close

Olivia Colman

Lady Gaga

Melissa McCarthy

Yalitza Aparicio

Mahershala Ali

Richard E. Grant

Sam Elliott

Sam Rockwell

Adam Driver

Regina King

Amy Adams

Emma Stone

Rachel Weisz

Marina de Tavira


Rami Malek

Glenn Close

Mahershala Ali

Regina King


Christian Bale

Olvia Colman

Richard E. Grant

Amy Adams

Dark Horse

Willem Dafoe

Melissa McCarthy

Adam Driver

Marina de Tavira

Picking up the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor in a Comedy, Christian Bale (4.660*) had been the longstanding favourite for Best Actor at the Oscars for his transformative role as former US Vice President Dick Cheney in Vice – a film which received mediocre reviews.

Rami Malek (1.184*), who provided a pitch perfect rendition of Freddie Mercury (albeit without actually singing) in the similarly maligned Bohemian Rhapsody has since emerged as the late favourite however.

While many believed the film’s decision to offer a light musical rather than a gritty biopic would lead to Malek being denied Oscar glory, surprise Golden Globe and Bafta wins have seen him leapfrog Bale to become the outright favourite.

Meanwhile Bradley Cooper, who can perhaps consider himself hard done by for missing out on a nomination for Best Director, is available at 16.140.*

Turning our attention to Best Actress, this year’s category has been hailed as one of the strongest in years – with Glenn Close (1.127*), Olivia Coleman (6.930*), and Lady Gaga (11.730*) all standing a good chance of bringing home the gong.

Six-time Oscar nominee Close is currently the favourite – after claiming Best Actress in a Drama at the Golden Globes for her performance in literary drama The Wife.

Olivia Coleman, who won a BAFTA for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite, is herself second favourite - though it’s been suggested the film’s erratic style could make it an unusual choice. While Lady Gaga, who picked up a Critics’ Choice Award, is currently third favourite.

Once again, the critically lauded A Star is Born was the hit of the summer – but has struggled to maintain momentum.

Whether you’re betting on favourites or underdogs get the best Academy Awards odds with Pinnacle.

Odds subject to change

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