Risk it all for A Star is Born, baby!
For the first time in American history, betting on the grandest night in cinema will be 100% legal — at least for gamblers placing their wagers in New Jersey.
In an unprecedented move, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is allowing sportsbooks to accept wagers on the Academy Awards.
For Jersey residents and those willing to travel for the big night, that means viewings in licensed gambling establishments with up-to-the-minute odds updates. For those voting online, it means rigorous geolocation checks to assure no one’s attempting to skirt around the law.
So, where’s the smart money going? Here’s the latest on the 2019 Oscars race according to the web’s most popular betting pools.
NOTE: For those of you new to the world of probability, check out this quick explainer on how betting pools calculate their rankings.
Everything listed below is a general trend as of Friday afternoon, but if you’re jumping up and down to do the math yourself later this weekend, check out sites like Odds Shark, BetOnline, or the expert opinions of Hollywood betting specialists.
Best Picture: Roma
You can’t really discount any of the nominees in this year’s tight Best Picture race. That being said, an overwhelming number of gamblers are placing their money on Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma. If Roma does walk away with the biggest prize of the night, it will become the first foreign language film ever to do so.
Other nominees include Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Vice, The Favourite, Green Book, and A Star Is Born. The contender least favored to win? Across the board, odds calculators are betting against Adam McKay’s divisive Dick Cheney biopic, Vice.
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
It should come as no surprise that those expecting Roma to snag Best Picture also anticipate Alfonso Cuarón will clinch Best Director. As pointed out by The New Yorker last year, in the Awards’ 90 years of existence, the film winning Best Picture and the director winning Best Director have coincided 64 times.
Those battling Cuarón for the coveted titled include Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Paweł Pawlikowski (Cold War), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), and Adam McKay (Vice). Lanthimos and McKay are the least favored to win.
Best Actor: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Despite a considerable amount of behind-the-scenes turmoil and mixed critical reception, the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has done well this awards season. After winning a Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Award, star Rami Malek is expected to complete his winning streak with a final Oscar win.
Malek’s competitors include Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate), and Viggo Mortensen (Green Book). Of those leading actors, Dafoe and Mortensen are the least expected to win.
Best Actress: Glenn Close, The Wife
Although critics have heaped mountains of praise on fellow lead actresses Olivia Colman (The Favourite) and Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), Glenn Close and her heartbreaking performance in The Wife edge out the category’s other top competitors in nearly all major betting pools. Close’s success at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards seem to indicate she will be the one onstage come Sunday night.
Best Actress race underdogs include Yalitza Aparicio (Roma) and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?).
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
If there is one clear runaway on this list, it’s Mahershala Ali. Nearly every betting pool is giving the Green Book actor massive odds to win the category. If Ali does so, it will be his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He received his first in 2017 for his role in Best Picture winner Moonlight.
Should Ali not take home the trophy, other contenders include Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), and Sam Rockwell (Vice). Driver and Rockwell are the least favored within the category.
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Coming off of Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice wins, Regina King is highly favored to take home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. That being said, a number of pools are also favoring Amy Adams and her portrayal of former Second Lady Lynne Ann Cheney in Vice.
Other nominees include Marina de Tavira (Roma), Emma Stone (The Favourite), and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite.) While Weisz is still considered a contender by most placing bets, Stone and de Tavira are not favored to win.
Check out the rest of the 91st Academy Awards categories below. Each award’s most likely recipient — or in a few tight races, recipients — is in bold and denoted with an asterisk (*).
Best Original Screenplay
* The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First Reformed, Paul Schrader
Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, and Peter Farrelly
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
Vice, Adam McKay
Best Adapted Screenplay
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
* BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins
A Star Is Born, Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Border, Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer
Mary Queen of Scots, Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks
* Vice, Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney
Best Costume Design
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Mary Zophres
Black Panther, Ruth E. Carter
* The Favourite, Sandy Powell
Mary Poppins Returns, Sandy Powell
Mary Queen of Scots, Alexandra Byrne
Cold War, Łukasz Żal
The Favourite, Robbie Ryan
Never Look Away, Caleb Deschanel
* Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
A Star Is Born, Matty Libatique
Best Original Song
“All The Stars” from Black Panther, Kendrick Lamar, Mark “Sounwave” Spears, SZA, and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith
“I’ll Fight” from RBG, Diane Warren
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns, Scott Wittman and March Shaiman
* “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt
“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
Best Original Score
Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson
BlacKkKlansman, Terence Blanchard
* If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell
Isle of Dogs, Alexandre Desplat
Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman
Best Foreign Language Film
Cold War, Poland
Never Look Away, Germany
* Roma, Mexico
Best Documentary Feature
* Free Solo
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
Best Animated Feature Film
Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks the Internet
* Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Best Film Editing
BlacKkKlansman, Barry Alexander Brown
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman
* The Favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Green Book, Patrick J. Don Vito
* Vice, Hank Corwin
Best Visual Effects
* Avengers: Infinity War
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Best Sound Mixing
* Bohemian Rhapsody
A Star Is Born
Best Sound Editing
* First Man
A Quiet Place
Best Production Design
* The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Best Documentary Short Subject
* Black Sheep
A Night at The Garden
* Period. End of Sentence.
Best Live-Action Short Film
Best Animated Short Film
One Small Step
The 91st Academy Awards air Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8pm ET on ABC with red carpet festivities beginning on E! at 5pm ET.