We collected data from Oddschecker.com1 to track how the nominees' chances have been trending leading up to the ceremony on Sunday night. Read on for some insights on who you should be picking in your Oscars pools:

Green Book Fits the Bill For An Upset Victory This Year

While Roma is currently the market favorite (at a 61% chance of winning), Green Book, at 24%, is well-positioned as a spoiler. A few factors could be working in Green Book's favor here:

  • The Best Picture category has had a string of upsets in recent years. We've seen three straight upsets in the Best Picture category, in each case by a contender with odds in the 20%-40% range, exactly where Green Book currently sits.

  • Its odds have ticked up nearly 10 points in the past 10 days (and Roma's have decreased commensurately), reaching a new high, despite not receiving any new accolades during that time; voters ballots have already been submitted: it's possible that markets are reacting as word gets around about who voted for whom.
  • 4 of the past 6 years have seen a split between the winners of Best Picture and Best Director (including 2 of the past 3 years, where the Best Picture winner was an upset). As we'll detail below, Alfonso Cuarón, the director of Roma is a heavy favorite for Best Director. Could this be working against the film's chances for Best Picture?
  • Roma has been steeped in controversy from the start because of its distribution by Netflix, something many entrenched interests in the industry may not want to reward. (Not that Green Book hasn't had its own fair share of controversy.)
  • There are no other real contenders: After Green Book, the next best chances belong to Bohemian Rhapsody, at 5.2%, far below the odds of other recent upsets.

For The Other Major Categories, Betting Markets Have Performed Much Better Historically

While the past three Best Picture winners have been upsets, only 2 of the 30 winners in the other five major categories weren't the favorites going into the ceremony. That's even fewer upsets than the odds themselves would imply2.

Let's take a look at the likely winners this year:

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón (87% odds)

The Best Director field has had little to no shuffling throughout awards season: Cuarón began as the favorite and has remained the favorite, with his odds steadily increasing. Were he not to win, Cuarón would be the first Best Director nominee in 16 years to win the Directors Guild award but not win the Oscar3.

Best Actress: Glenn Close (80% odds)

What originally appeared to be a wide open field began to consolidate around Close with her Golden Globe win on January 6th, followed by her Screen Actors Guild (SAG) victory on the 27th.

Best Actor: Rami Malek (80% odds)

Similar to Close, Rami Malek's odds sharply increased following his victory at the Globes. Christian Bale won a Golden Globe as well (the two were nominated in different categories), but since Malek's Best Actor victory at the SAG awards, his odds have steadily risen as Bale's have dropped.

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King (70% odds)

Of the acting categories, Supporting Actress appears to be the most uncertain. While markets clearly favor King (up for her performance in If Beale Street Could Talk), she wasn't even nominated for a SAG award, and the winner of the Supporting Actress SAG award, Emily Blunt, wasn't nominated for the Oscar! Amy Adams (18%) and Rachel Weisz (12%) both have reasonably good chances for an upset here.

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (88% odds)

The chart tells the whole story here: Mahershala Ali has picked up each possible major award for his role in Green Book, and his odds have steadily increased along the way, reaching their peak just in advance of this weekend's ceremony.

Want to collect the data yourself?

Readypipe users can use the Github Gist below to collect this data themselves. Readypipe is an all-in-one platform to run your web scrapers: just write the logic and it handles everything else. Readypipe is used by everyone from 3-person companies to 3,000-person companies: you can request access here.

Footnotes

1. We convert the fractional odds given on the site to percentage odds (e.g. 4/3 -> 1/(1+4/3) -> 43%. We then adjust these down by an additional 10% to account for the margin taken by the bookmaker. Still, odds will not always sum to 100%.
2. For example, the odds of all of the past six Best Actress favorites winning would have been 26% (84% * 80% * 86% * 89% * 87% * 59%)
3. Interestingly, Ben Affleck won the DGA award in 2012 for Argo, but then did not even receive a nomination for the Best Director Oscar

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