Oscar season is upon us again, with the annual award show set to air on Sunday February 28th. As always, there is much speculation gathering around who is anticipated to win each categories and walk away with the statues. Here, I look at the odds for each nominee in the biggest categories and, not only will I give my prediction as to who will win, I’ll look at the best bets to put your money on come Sunday (if you’re into that sort of thing). Before the orchestra plays to get me off the stage, here are my best bets and predictions for the 2016 Oscars (all odds pulled from oddschecker.com on Friday morning. The website is constantly updated, so check there the day off for the most accurate odds).

Best Picture:

The Revenant – 1/2

Spotlight – 11/4

The Big Short – 13/2

Mad Max: Fury Road – 100/1

Room – 150/1

The Martian – 150/1

Brooklyn – 250/1

Bridge of Spies – 250/1

Right off the bat, we can eliminate all of the names underneath The Big Short, as none of them have a chance (hence, their odds being so high). Clearly, The Revenant is a heavy favorite here, requiring you to lay down 2 dollars to get back 1. Nothing too appealing in betting that and, to be frank, I actually don’t see this movie taking this category. I have a feeling this movie will take home gold in two other major categories, so I anticipate that the Academy will throw some love at another movie. This movie will be Spotlight, a widely loved movie who I don’t see having many opportunities to win earlier in the night. However, this is not the movie to put your money on. If you want to bet on this cluster of a category, the best bang for your buck comes from The Big Short. This movie has a lot of star power, and has a lot of support within the academy. At 13/2, the price is right, even if I think another film will win.

Prediction: Spotlight

Best Bet: The Big Short

Best Director:

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant) – 1/9

George Miller (Mad Max:Fury Road) – 8/1

Adam McKay (The Big Short) – 22/1

Thomas McCarthy (Spotlight) – 33/1

Lenny Abrahamson (Room) – 125/1

If my prediction above about The Revenant not winning Best Picture is true, this means that Inarritu (I refuse to type his entire name again) takes the victory here. That being said, his odds are significantly less appealing than his film has in Best Picture, which was bad to begin. This is a no bet for me, but if you must go with someone, Miller is the route to take. Mad Max was a subtlety beautiful movie that was extremely well directed. If the Academy decides to shy away from The Revenant for some reason, Miller can get the win here.

Prediction: Inarritu

Best Bet: George Miller

Best Actor:

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) – 1/50

Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) – 22/1

Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) – 33/1

Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) – 80/1

Matt Damon (The Martian) – 100/1

Part 2 of my overall Best Picture theory comes into play here, as the result of this one is already locked up. DiCaprio wins his first Academy Award here, taking home what will essentially be a career award. DiCaprio was excellent in The Revenant (as he is in most roles) and he’s the only one with any real chance to take home the gold in this one. Redmayne deserves to be second here, as he continues to prove his versatility as an actor, but he won’t win his second Oscar in two years. Fassbender is the best contrarian bet here, as he remedied the damage Ashton Kutcher did to the Steve Jobs movie concept with his recent role. However, if you plan on betting on this one, you need professional help.

Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio

Best Bet: (You need to go to a gambling rehab center)

Best Actress:

Brie Larson (Room) – 1/20

Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) – 14/1

Cate Blanchett (Carol) – 40/1

Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) – 66/1

Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) – 66/1

Although it’s not as much of a runaway as Best Actor, this one seems like a clear pick to me. Anticipate hearing a speech from Brie Larson among these candidates, as her performance in Room is being labeled as a breakout for the talented actress. Jennifer Lawrence’s appearance here is solely because of her name value, and any bet on her would be ill-advised. Larson is going to win, but Blanchett deserves some attention. Her odds are fantastic (bet a dollar to win forty) and she’s got the big name value that the Academy likes to see.

Prediction: Brie Larson

Best Bet: Cate Blanchett

Best Supporting Actor:

Sylvester Stallone (Creed) – 2/5

Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) – 11/4

Tom Hardy (The Revenant) – 18/1

Christian Bale (The Big Short) – 25/1

Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight) – 66/1

After a long career of making “likeable” movies, Sly finally has his best chance to bring home an Oscar on Sunday after a fantastic performance in Creed. Rocky Balboa is one of the most iconic characters in the history of movies, and this is going to be the moment that Rocky gets its recognition. There is some serious momentum behind Mark Rylance lately, but I have a hard time not seeing this one go to Stallone, especially after winning the Golden Globe for this role. After those two guys, however, the field kind of opens up. Personally, I would place a bet on Christian Bale. He’s got the name recognition, and its very possible that this is the only moment during the night where The Big Short gets its due.

Prediction: Sylvester Stallone

Best Bet: Christian Bale

Best Supporting Actress:

Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) – 4/9

Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) – 7/2

Rooney Mara (Carol) – 6/1

Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) – 40/1

Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) – 100/1

I feel like this category is a little more open that it appears. Vikander deserves top consideration, but there were many great performances from all representatives on this list. The only person who I feel like can be counted out is McAdams, leaving the other four women in open contention in my eyes. I’m going to go with a big upset here, and give the look to Jennifer Jason Leigh for her performance in Tarantino’s most recent film. Her nomination is the only one in any of the major categories for this movie, and I think that gives her chances of victory a bump. Plus, her odds are great, so its a win-win all around.

Prediction: Jennifer Jason Leigh

Best Bet: Jennifer Jason Leigh

Kyle Kirby

Kyle is a resident of upstate New York and graduate of Binghamton University where he majored in Education. A fan of all things sports, Kyle is also a self-professed wrestling nerd. Writing is one of Kyle's most passionate hobbies and he loves to get his opinion out there for the world to hear. You can follow him on Twitter @couch_qb.
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