Vanyaland predicts the Oscars: Vegas favorites, dark horse picks, and perfect-world selections

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The Oscars ceremony is the rare annual event that brings together film nerds, fashionistas, and degenerate gamblers. Much like the Super Bowl and presidential elections, it’s super helpful to look at betting markets when trying to figure out who will win a given competition. While FiveThirtyEight may be looking at other ceremonies to guess at a winner, we’re looking at the bookies. We’re using the lines from Sportsbook.ag, which we’re completely unaffiliated with, and adding our own analysis (and wishful thinking) to the mix. Here are the lines that may decide your Oscar pool this year in advance of Sunday's 89th Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

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Best Supporting Actress

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Viola Davis, Fences
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Vegas Favorite: Davis (1/100). Christ in heaven, those are some strong odds. Yes, she’s great in the movie, and she’s got some big moments that will play well with the Academy, but there’s just too much uncertainty here to claim that she’s that heavy of a favorite. We wouldn’t bet any cash on her at those odds.

Dark Horse: Williams (25/1) or Spencer (75/1). We don’t think there’s a true dark horse here, just a more level playing field than you might assume. Michelle Williams is probably the only thing We would have considered a lock in this category, just given the sheer amount of critical acclaim for her performance, but that’s even suspicious now with these odds. Spencer could be propelled to glory once again if Hidden Figures picks up steam on the night itself, but We’d say it’s a toss-up between Williams and Davis.


In a Perfect World: Janelle Monae would have been nominated for Hidden Figures. Other than that, Davis.

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