The New Year has arrived, and the framework for the 2020 Oscars has arguably
already been set thanks to viewer feedback, countless film festivals, and
But this is where we really start seeing what the top critics and voters are
Joaquin Phoenix has been on a turbulent tour promoting his controversial
Joker flick, but as ugly as the material was, this is a vehicle that could
potentially support numerous Oscars nods.
There’s no denying it’s lost some steam, however. At the same time,
heavy-hitters like The Irishman, Marriage Story, and
Parasite have stated their claim and will be legit threats in major
Anyone looking to bet on the 2020 Oscars will want to pay close attention to
how the 2020 Golden Globes (January 5th) play out. Depending on the
year, this event has the potential to be a virtual preview of what we’ll see in
This year could be a bit different, of course. I’d recommend taking a look at
2020 Golden Globes predictions before getting ready for your Oscars betting
The 92nd installment of the Academy Awards rolls out the red
carpet on February 9th, which means the clock is ticking for bettors
to make the call on numerous Oscars prop bets like which movie will win Best
Picture and more.
To get you ready, let’s take a look at the most updated 2020 Oscars odds and
offer some early Academy Award predictions.
92nd Academy Awards – Odds for Best Picture
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood+400
Ford v Ferrari+1400
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood+1600
Lucy in the Sky+2000
Pain and Glory+3300
The Woman in the Window+5000
The Lion King+6600
Star Wars: Episode 9+6600
The Curse of La Llorona+10000
The Two Popes+10000
Annabelle Comes Home+100000
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The biggest category of them all is Best Picture. We’ve seen artsy flicks
take this award, indie films have shocked us all, and there has even been a
snafu where the wrong winner was announced.
Best Picture can be pretty much anything, but if you look back at recent
winners, the movie that stands above the rest tends to be rather powerful,
whether it be emotionally devastating, uplifting, or downright savage.
There is inconsistency to this award, though.
Green Book won in 2019, The Shape of Water took home top
honors the year before, and Moonlight won in 2017. These are three
incredibly different types of films, and not everyone would say they spoke for
that specific year of film.
The one thing these movies all had in common, of course, is they had
emotional performances and powerful stories. Keep that in mind as you bet on
who will win Best Picture this Oscars season.
Oscars Best Picture Favorites
That logic of combining versatile acting and elite storytelling led me to
pick Marriage Story the first time I looked ahead to the 2020 Academy
The problem is it has lost steam over the past several months. It gained a
little value (now at +500), but it’s been leap-frogged by The Irishman
and Parasite. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, consistently one
of the best reviewed films, has held strong as a viable contender waiting in the
I’m out on Parasite just because we’ve never seen a non-English film
win. If bettors got a little more value for it, though, it could be an
As things stand, The Irishman feels like a strong favorite, and it’s
not crazy to think this masterpiece could be the 77-year-old Martin Scorsese’s
last shot at another win.
Scorsese powered home a win via The Departed back in 2007, and while
this one wasn’t quite as fun, it is arguably far more powerful.
Best Picture Sleepers at the Oscars
We don’t often see huge Oscars upsets coming out of nowhere in this category,
but the odds could shift, and a true sleeper could emerge as a threat.
In terms of pricing, the only Oscars sleepers I’d be overly wary of are
Joker (+800), Ford v Ferrari (+1400), A Beautiful Day in the
Neighborhood (+1600), and The Lighthouse (+1800).
I don’t think any of these really stand up and scream “best movie of the
year,” but they were all fantastic in their own way. Joker is about as
far down as I’d go, but as I’ve said countless times before, it probably doesn’t
have what it takes to get the win.
Of course, it’s a nominee at the Golden Globes, and if it wins there, I’ll be
forced to reconsider my stance.
Final Pick for Oscars Best Picture
Ultimately, I am not anticipating a big upset here. The Irishman is
a classic Scorsese marathon that keeps you sucked in the entire way. You’d think
it would be exhausting, but it’s actually exhilarating.
I won’t be mad if there’s an upset here, as this is a truly stacked category.
But The Irishman deserves to win and probably will.
2020 Oscars Best Actor Odds
Joaquin Phoenix – Joker-350
Adam Driver – Marriage Story+300
Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time…+900
Taron Egerton – Rocketman+900
Robert De Niro – The Irishman+900
Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory+900
Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes+1400
Christian Bale – Ford v Ferrari+1400
Matt Damon – Ford v Ferrari+1400
Eddie Murphy – Dolemite Is My Name+2000
Robert Pattinson – The Lighthouse+2500
Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems+3300
Robert Downey Jr. – Avengers: Endgame+3300
Edward Norton – Motherless Brooklyn+3300
Jamie Bell – Skin+5000
Brad Pitt – Ad Astra+5000
Timothee Chalamet – The King+5000
Eddie Redmayne – Aeronauts+5000
Brian Cox – The Etruscan Smile+6600
Daniel Kaluuya – Queen & Slim+6600
Robert Pattinson – High Life+10000
James McAvoy – IT Chapter Two+10000
Click to Open
This one feels a bit more obvious. Even though Joker may not take
home the hardware for Best Picture, it’s still a tentative threat because of
Phoenix’s performance that drips with rage and humility.
Phoenix’s turn as Arthur Fleck lends something redeemable to a psychopath,
even if it is disturbing. The point is this is theater, however, and it’s hard
to find an actor who cranked one out of the ballpark further than Phoenix did.
I am liking Phoenix here, but he’s far from alone in the race to take home
Best Actor at the 2020 Oscars.
Oscars Best Actor Favorites
Brace for a big price adjustment when it comes to Best Actor nods. An upset?
Not so much.
When talking true favorites, right now it’s Phoenix, and in a distant second
is Adam Driver. Driver could easily just pull off the upset if you combine his
efforts in both Marriage Story and The Report, but either way,
he’s at his usual best dancing between rage-filled temper tantrums and
Driver is awesome at everything he does, but it does feel like he’s often the
same person. Phoenix gets totally lost in Joker and literally becomes
this mad man we partially want to root for and also completely fear.
It could be a tight race between these two, but there could be sleepers that
rise to contention over the next month.
Sleepers to Win Best Actor at the Oscars
The pricing is going to tighten up top, probably to the point where Phoenix
won’t even be worth betting on and Driver is the only other realistic threat.
That is what a narrowed field of final Oscars nominees will do, after all.
Regardless, as things stand, you are getting killer value with a slew of
viable Best Actor sleepers. It’s a long list, especially when you factor in
pricing, as DiCaprio, Egerton, Banderas, and De Niro all share compelling +900
Banderas was nominated at the 2020 Golden Globes and feels sneaky, but he’s
honestly the last guy of that four-pack I’d predict to win.
De Niro delivered a tour de force performance in The Irishman,
Egerton truly became Elton John in Rocketman, and DiCaprio’s
incredibly affable take on the fictional Rick Dalton is severely underrated
perhaps due to the film’s relatively relaxed approach.
All of these actors are viable sleepers, while Christian Bale (+1400) and
Jonathan Pryce (+1400) also earned Golden Globes nods. Another guy picking up
steam is Adam Sandler (+3300), while the efforts from Robert Pattinson and Brad
Pitt can’t go ignored, either.
Final Pick for Oscars Best Actor
Overall, I still think this is a two-man race, and the nod goes to Phoenix.
His performance was just so savage and yet beautifully nuanced that it feels a
little disrespectful to not honor it.
If you’re not all in on Phoenix to win Best Actor, though, the pivot play is
2020 Oscars Odds to Win Best Actress
Field – Any+4000
If we just combine the race for Best Actress and Best Actor, would a male for
sure win in 2020?
I am honestly not so sold, seeing as Renee Zellweger channeled Judy Garland
in epic fashion, and Scarlett Johansson proved once and for all that she is one
of the finest actresses on the circuit.
Best Actress Favorites
Zellweger and Johansson are undoubtedly the top two threats to take home Best
Actress honors, while the favorite differs depending on where you look.
Zellweger took on a tough biopic centered around a dark time for one of
America’s most beloved stars, and she absolutely crushed it.
Johansson, meanwhile, feeds off of Driver’s emotional performance and some
pretty raw content in Marriage Story, but she also thrives in her role.
The odds favor one of these two, but there’s at least one viable sleeper
worth betting on.
Best Actress Sleepers for 2020
The main sleeper to win Best Actress has to be Lupita Nyong’o. Jordan Peele’s
second fantastic horror effort (Us) hasn’t been as appreciated as his
first (Get Out), but Nyong’o is arguably his most riveting tool in an
Nyong’o plays two versions of the same person in a battle for survival, and
she leaves a lasting impression. This isn’t her first tour through the Oscars,
of course, as she won Best Supporting Actress in 12 Years a Slave and
has also impressed in blockbusters like The Jungle Book and Black
I doubt she gets the win, but it’s arguable her effort was just as gripping
as anyone else’s. It’s also a shame that she’d become just the second-ever
African American winner in this category, following Halle Berry’s nod in 2001.
There have seriously not been any African American women deserving of this
win in nearly 20 years? I tend to doubt that.
Along with Nyong’o, Best Actress sleepers include Charlize Theron and of
course the legendary Meryl Streep. The list of potential Best Actress winners is
short, though, further displaying Hollywood’s shallow reach, both for finding
marquee roles for women as well as honoring them when they deliver the goods.
One major issue in Hollywood is the lack of marketability for some of these
amazing performances, so in a lot of ways, you could argue up numerous sleepers.
Final Pick for Oscars Best Actress
The Golden Globes nominees for Best Actress are probably a good indicator of
how we should bet this year, though.
For me, that takes this down to Johansson or Zellweger. Due to Marriage
Story carrying a little more heat than Judy, I don’t mind aiming a
bit higher and pulling for Johansson to get the upset.
Odds to Win Best Director at 2020 Oscars
Bong Joon Ho+140
Field – Any+5000
Wrapping up the major 2020 Oscars categories is the race for Best Director.
Bong Joon Ho tentatively leads the way over at Bookmaker.eu thanks to huge hit
He absolutely needs to be considered for the win here, seeing as there can be
a direct correlation between who wins here and which film takes Best Picture.
Dating back to 2000, the two awards have been connected to the same film 11
Top Favorites to Win Best Director
Of course, I am picking The Irishman to win Best Picture this year,
which could make fellow favorite Martin Scorsese just as likely to take this one
Quentin Tarantino joins a solid trio of favorites, as it remains entirely
possible the Academy hands him his first-ever win for this category.
These are without a doubt your three best bets, while they’re all among the
five nominees for this same award at the Golden Globes.
Could that leave the door open to a mild upset? We certainly can’t rule it
Whether Joker surprises with an upset win or not, Todd Phillips
(+1400) deserves some recognition and remains a very real threat here. He earned
a nominee at the Golden Globes, and given Joker’s early success on the
film award circuit, he could still rise up the ranks.
I’m a little shocked to see how little momentum Sam Mendes has gotten for his
truly special 1917. This war film is an instant classic, is shot
beautifully, and tells a compelling tale of determination and desperation.
Even though 1917 is likely to fail to get the proper attention for Best
Picture, there is a very real argument for Mendes here, and his +650 price is
pretty nice. Of course, Noah Baumbach pieced together another emotional
Marriage Story and is being flat-out disrespected at +3000.
Final Pick for Oscars Best Director
While there is always room for sleeper love, I’ll circle back to Scorsese
here. The Irishman was very well put together and did a terrific job blending
real-life material with a creative edge.
Scorsese may very well be set up to sweep the top two awards, but even if he
doesn’t, I think he’s a great value to take home Best Director.
This is honestly one of the best Oscars seasons in recent memory. I could be
wrong, but recent winners and even the list of nominees have seemed rather weak.
Of course, the downside of having such an amazing year in film is that some
very worthy winners will slip through the cracks. Even the top nominees will
quickly be forgotten once they inevitably lose to the eventual winners.
I strongly suggest you take in as many of this year’s Oscars-nominated movies
as you can, however. They’re all very different (and admittedly, some aren’t
great), but as a whole, they deliver great messages and tell well-crafted
stories that are often complemented (not just carried) by powerhouse acting.
Joker was probably my favorite quick-hitting film, with Phoenix
edging out some stellar performances with the best overall acting performance.
Marriage Story was the most depressing and had the most to emotionally
The Irishman, from top to bottom, was easily the most complete.
I think this is another year for Scorsese, and Phoenix will be the main
benefactor for Joker.
Of course, there is room for an upset or two, so feel free to hedge your bets
a bit. Also pay some mind to the Golden Globes and keep an eye out for more
Oscars and general entertainment content at our
Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.
When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.