2022 Oscar Predictions: Betting Expert Picks CODA For Best Picture, Kristen Stewart For Best Actress, More Academy Award Winners

2022 Oscar Predictions: Betting Expert Picks CODA For Best Picture, Kristen Stewart For Best Actress, More Academy Award Winners article feature image

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images. Pictured: Kristen Stewart accepting an HCA Film award for Spencer

Moonlight over La La Land. Roberto Benigni over Edward Norton and Tom Hanks. Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan. Kevin Costner over Martin Scorsese.

Those are just a few of the more memorable upsets in Academy Awards history. Are there more in store on Sunday night?

The Academy Awards are a lot of things. Glamorous. Pretentious. Enthralling. Out of touch.

Sometimes they can be overwhelmingly predictable, but occasionally they blow us away with a "did that really just happen?" moment. I doubt few cinephiles can forget where they were when Warren Beatty incorrectly announced La La Land as the Best Picture winner in 2017, only to be corrected by producer Jordan Horowitz seconds later, revealing the actual winner was Moonlight.

All of this makes gambling on the Academy Awards that much more exciting. Sure, you're going to get your fair share of chalk, but identifying where those seemingly unpredictable moments might happen can leave you feeling smug and your bank account feeling a little extra padding.

Below, I've broken down my thoughts on every category, including a little extra opinionating on what I think should win. But more importantly, what is most likely to win, and where you can find value at the sportsbooks.

Let's get into it.

All of these betting odds are as of March 21 and via FanDuel unless otherwise noted.

2022 Oscar Predictions

New to betting? Favorites have a minus (-) sign and the number indicates the money you would need to risk to win $100, whereas underdogs have a plus (+) sign while that number indicates the money you would win for every $100 bet.

Example: Dune is a +2800 underdog for Best Picture, which means you would net an $2,800 profit on a $100 bet if it wins. Learn more here.

Major Categories

Best Picture Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
The Power of the Dog-14058.33%
King Richard+23004.17%
West Side Story+35002.78%
Licorice Pizza+55001.79%
Don't Look Up+65001.52%
Drive My Car+65001.52%
Nightmare Alley+80001.23%

This race has completely turned on its head in the six weeks since nominations were announced.

The Power of the Dog was the favorite coming in, and while it still is, the most likely film to unseat it has changed drastically.

This race was initially lining up to be The Power of the Dog against Belfast, with West Side Story in the mix as well. Since then, CODA has steamed forward from its initial opening odds in the +2000 to +3000 range, taking home the top prizes awarded by both the Screen Actors Guild and the Producers Guild of America.

That last prize, which was announced just last Sunday, bumped it even further from +400 to where we see it today.

This sets up an incredibly intriguing showdown between the two award shows that have the best history of predicting the Best Picture winner. CODA won at the PGA and Power of the Dog won at the Directors Guild of America. Since 2000, both of those organizations have matched up with the Academy Awards' Best Picture 14 times, proving more predictable than the SAGs, BAFTAs or Golden Globes.

The PGA and DGA have both been wrong a few times, most recently in 2019, when both organizations awarded 1917 and the Academy went with Parasite. However, each of the last two times the organizations disagreed, the PGA has been correct: In 2018, when the PGA picked Green Book and the DGA picked Roma. And in 2013, when the PGA went with 12 Years a Slave and the DGA went with Gravity.

(That excludes years in which neither organization correctly predicted the Academy Awards — the only example of that since 2000 was in 2015, when Spotlight beat out PGA's The Big Short and DGA's The Revenant).

All of this is to say that we're setting up for yet another unpredictable finish this Sunday, but it's impossible to ignore CODA's steam. It's unfortunate to have missed out on predicting which of the stealth contenders would steam over the last six weeks (my guess was Licorice Pizza), but now that we're here, it's time to get on board.

To opine a bit from a film perspective, this award should go to Drive My Car. The field of nominees is somewhat underwhelming this year, ranging from "pretty good" to "meh," with the exception of Ryusuke Hamaguchi's haunting drama. CODA would be my second choice, and would be a satisfying winner.

CODA at any numbers with a plus in front of it still provides solid value.

Pick: CODA +105
Deserves to win: Drive My Car

Best Director Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog)-240096%
Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)+23004.17%
Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)+23004.17%
Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)+23004.17%
Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car)+29003.33%

A category that usually gives us at least a little bit of unpredictability is anything but this year.

Jane Campion's -2400 odds for Best Director are right in line with everything we've seen from the awards leading up to the Academy Awards.

The DGA and BAFTAs have given their Best Director awards to the same nominee every single year since 2015, and in each instance except one (Bong Joon-ho over Sam Mendes in 2019), the Academy has agreed.

There's no intrigue here, nor is there any betting value.

Pick, but no bet: Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) -2400
Deserves to win: Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car)

Best Actor Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
Will Smith (King Richard)-60085.71%
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)+55015.38%
Andrew Garfield (tick, tick … BOOM!)+10009.09%
Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)+28003.45%
Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos)+41002.38%

I kept waiting for some sense of drama out of this category as the weeks flew by in the lead-up to Sunday, but none have been found.

Benedict Cumberbatch seemed like a solid possibility to challenge the favored Will Smith, but the Academy seems destined to give something of a lifetime achievement award for the now 52-year-old Smith, who is still searching for his first Oscar win after being nominated two other times for The Pursuit of Happyness (2007) and Ali (2002).

Will Smith-King Richard-Oscars
Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Pictured: Will Smith at a King Richard premiere

King Richard is about as heavy of an Oscar-bait movie as you're going to find. It's solidly made and Smith is the centerpiece, but for my money, the best performance out there was Andrew Garfield as playwright Jonathan Larson in tick, tick … BOOM! (What a year for Garfield, eh?)

Smith won Best Actor at both the SAG Awards and the BAFTAs, and while we saw an insanely dramatic win a year ago with Anthony Hopkins besting the late Chadwick Boseman, it seems pretty chalky this year.

Pick, but no bet: Will Smith (King Richard) -600
Deserves to win: Andrew Garfield (tick, tick … BOOM!)

Best Actress Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye)-14058.33%
Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos)+17536.36%
Kristen Stewart (Spencer)+50016.67%
Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter)+50016.67%
Penelope Cruz (Parallel Mothers)+16005.88%

Finally, some more drama!

The odds for this category have truly been all over the place for the past couple weeks. Nicole Kidman had been the favorite for a majority of the time, but was leapfrogged by Jessica Chastain after the former took home the top prize at the SAG Awards.

The BAFTAs are actually the best predictor of Best Actress wins historically, having matched the Academy in each of the last eight years and 16 times total since 2000. However, their prize went to Joanna Scanlan for After Love … and Scanlan isn't even nominated here.

Next up are the SAG Awards, which have been correct 15 times since 2000, and that's the sole reason Chastain has moved into the pole position. However, the SAGs have been incorrect in two of the last three years, as have the Golden Globes (Drama), which went to Kidman.

All of this has an "anything can happen" aura to it, and that seems really true, with four of the five nominees seeming legitimately in the running to walk out of the theater with the trophy. (Sorry, Penelope Cruz, although you were fantastic in Parallel Mothers.)

The other things to consider here are both the roles these women played and their ages. Frances McDormand's win a year ago skirted the "playing a historical figure" principle, but added another tally to the idea that Best Actress awards usually go to women either under 35 or over 60 (she was 63).

This year, we have three women who played historical figures: Chastain, Kidman and Kristen Stewart. However, four of the five nominees fall into that middle ground age-wise: Chastain (44), Kidman (54), Colman (48) and Cruz (47). That leaves Stewart (31) as the only nominee who fits into both the historical figure and age model, as championed by Ben Zauzmer's Oscarmetrics.

I've long wondered why Stewart wasn't getting more love for her performance as Princess Diana, and think at least from a critical and media standpoint, it has more to do with her Twilight history than anything else.

In any case, we're getting tremendous value here at +500 for a nominee who has a legitimate shot to take home the award. There's a reason she is an underdog — she didn't win the top prize at any of the lead-up awards — but this category screams unpredictability, so we're going with an unpredictable winner.

Pick: Kristen Stewart (Spencer) +500
Deserves to win: Stewart

Best Supporting Actor Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
Troy Kotsur (CODA)-35077.78%
Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog)+22031.25%
Ciaran Hinds (Belfast)+18005.26%
Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog)+28003.45%
J.K. Simmons (Being the Ricardos)+35002.78%

Yet another category that saw significant odds movement based on preceding awards, Troy Kotsur has surged ahead of Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ciaran Hinds after claiming both the SAG and BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor.

Those two awards shows have matched up for Best Supporting Actor in each of the last four years prior to 2022, and both times they correctly predicted the winner at the Oscars. In fact, the last time the Academy went to someone who didn't win either award was way back in 2005, when George Clooney bested Paul Giamatti (SAG) and Jake Gyllenhaal (BAFTA).

All of that makes Kotsur a seemingly slam-dunk winner in a category that has been devoid of drama for a while now, and I'm surprised Kotsur isn't a stronger favorite than the 77.78% implied probability his -350 odds suggest.

I would bet Kotsur to -500.

Pick: Troy Kotsur (CODA) -350
Deserves to win: Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog)\

Best Supporting Actress Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
Ariana DeBose (West Side Story)-160094.12%
Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)+60014.29%
Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)+18005.26%
Judi Dench (Belfast)+25003.85%
Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)+35002.78%

Odds via DraftKings and as of March 21

Best Supporting Actress is historically where we've seen some of the biggest upsets in history among the major awards.

There was Marisa Tomei for My Cousin Vinny in 1993, Juliette Binoche for The English Patient in 1997, 11-year-old Anna Paquin for The Piano in 1994 and Marcia Gay Harden for Pollock in 2001 — just to name a few.

More recently, it was a bit of a surprise to see Regina King beat both Emily Blunt and Rachel Weisz in 2018, as Blunt took home the SAG award and Weisz won at the BAFTAs. However, those two award shows still have a solid enough track record at predicting what the Academy will do that it makes sense to see Ariana DeBose as the runaway favorite.

Ariana DeBose-Oscars
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images. Pictured: Ariana DeBose at the BAFTAs

When the SAGs and BAFTAs agree, they're undefeated here. Going back to 2000, those two organizations have awarded the same person 12 times. And in each of those 12 instances, that person won the Academy Award.

DeBose is priced properly, so there's unfortunately no value here. Justice for Dame Judi Dench, as she deserves to win.

Pick, but no bet: Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) -1600
Deserves to win: Judi Dench (Belfast)

Best Original Screenplay Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
Licorice Pizza-15060%
Don't Look Up+41019.61%
The Worst Person in the World+10009.09%
King Richard+23004.17%

Some more intrigue was stirred up here this past Sunday, when the WGA handed out its Best Original Screenplay award to Don't Look Up, Adam McKay's contentious satire.

That means our two most predictive award shows are split, as the BAFTAs went with the favored Licorice Pizza.

Those two award shows have been pretty split in predictability dating back to 2000, with the WGAs being correct 14 times and the BAFTAs being correct 13 times. Eight times they've agreed and been right, once they have agreed and been wrong (Bridman over Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014), and once they have disagreed and still bee wrong (Green Book over Eighth Grade and The Favourite in 2018).

When the two disagree and one is right, the WGA holds a slight edge, correctly predicting the Academy Awards six times to the BAFTAs' five. The last time that happened was in 2017, when the BAFTAs went with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri while the Oscar went to WGA choice, Get Out.

Belfast, interestingly enough, remains in the second position on the oddsboard despite not being honored by either institution.

So the value, as you might have gathered, is with Don't Look Up. After its WGA win, I wouldn't be surprised to see some steam come its way ahead of this Sunday, but I would bet it to +200.

Pick: Don't Look Up +410
Deserves to win: Don't Look Up

Best Adapted Screenplay Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
The Power of the Dog+13043.48%
The Lost Daughter+60014.29%
Drive My Car+16005.88%

The WGAs and BAFTAs were in agreement here, both awarding their top prizes to CODA. Thus, it's a little surprising to see that film with only a slim lead in the betting odds.

The WGAs and BAFTAs have agreed on Best Adapted Screenplay nine times since 2000, and the only time they incorrectly predicted the Academy Award was in 2009, when Precious beat out Up In The Air (considered one of the bigger Academy Awards upsets in recent history).

You could bet on another upset here, but I don't see the value in any of the films trailing CODA. I would bet that win to -250.

Pick: CODA -140
Deserves to win: Drive My Car

Other Noteworthy Categories

Best Film Editing Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
King Richard+20033.33%
The Power of the Dog+30025%
tick, tick … BOOM!+13007.14%
Don't Look Up+21004.55%

This is the most interesting technical category, but sadly will not be awarded live during the telecast thanks to the Academy's asinine decision to give out eight awards the hour before the live show in an effort to streamline the broadcast (and piss off actual film lovers).

The broadcast will reportedly still include clips of these winners, but it's important to keep this stupid decision in mind when figuring out when to bet. Given that these awards will be handed out an hour before the broadcast, the winners will undoubtedly leak around then, so sportsbooks will likely close betting on them earlier than you would otherwise expect.

The other categories that are impacted by this decision are: Documentary short, makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short, live action short and sound.

This category is intriguing based on the editing awards given out prior to this Sunday. The American Cinema Editors "Eddie" Awards split their top prize similarly to the Golden Globes into Drama and Comedy/Musical. Historically, the Drama winner has been the best predictor of Oscars wins, with 12 since 2000. However, it has been wrong the last two years, and this year gave that prize to King Richard, which checks in with the second-lowest odds here.

The BAFTAs have been more successful than the ACE Drama category of late, correctly predicting Sound of Metal a year ago and Ford v Ferrari in 2019. However, its award this year went to No Time To Die, which wasn't nominated.

Meanwhile, Dune — the betting favorite at the Academy Awards — didn't win a single award at the ACE Eddies or the BAFTAs.

The other major ACE Eddie category, for Comedy/Musical, hasn't had any success in predicting the Oscars in recent memory. Since 2000, the only time that win predicted an Academy Award was way back in 2002 with Chicago.

However, it has a real stealth contender this year with its nominee: tick, tick … BOOM! And the Lin-Manuel Miranda-directed biopic could legitimately pull off an upset here.

Dune is likely to clean up the technical categories, as you see from the odds here and elsewhere on the list. However, this is our one legitimate shot at an upset, so I think there's value in both King Richard at +200 and tick, tick … BOOM! at an insane +1300. I'll have a bit of money on both.

Picks: King Richard +200; tick, tick … BOOM! +1300
Deserves to win: Don't Look Up

Best Documentary Feature Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
Summer of Soul-31075.61%
Writing With Fire+32003.03%

Finally, I get to discuss one of my favorite films of 2021.

Flee is, remarkably, nominated in this category as well as Best Animated Feature and Best International Feature. Yes, it somehow fits into all three categories.

I'm not going to explain to you how that's possible, just go see it.

Unfortunately, it has little chance of bringing home a gold statue in any of those three categories, but Best Documentary Feature represents its best chance.

Since the BAFTAs began awarding a documentary feature regularly back in 2011, it has dominated in terms of predicting Academy Awards success. Last year, it correctly predicted My Octopus Teacher, which was the fifth correct prediction in the last 10 years. The IDAs have been awarding a top prize here for a lot longer, but since the BAFTAs introduced the category, the IDAs only have three correct predictions.

This year, the BAFTAs awarded their top prize to Summer of Soul, while the IDAs went with Flee.

The odds are clearly stacked against our plucky underdog, but +340 presents good value for a very legitimate upset. We don't have to go back all that far to find an instance when the Academy went with the IDA choice over the BAFTAs. It was in 2016, when OJ: Made in America bested 13th.

Flee has no shot at either Best Animated Feature nor Best International Feature, but I believe the Academy is willing to recognize its brilliance and will do so here, siding with the IDA. I'll take a shot at Flee at +340 and bet it to +300.

Pick: Flee +340
Deserves to win: Flee

Best Production Design Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
Nightmare Alley+25028.57%
West Side Story+14006.67%
The Power of the Dog+14006.67%
The Tragedy of Macbeth+20004.76%

Odds via DraftKings and as of March 21

The ADG breaks its top prize into four categories: Period, Fantasy, Contemporary and Animated. (It was only three until the latter category was added in 2017.)

The last time the Academy went with a film that was not awarded in any of those four categories was in 2012, when Lincoln beat Anna Karenina, Life of Pi, Skyfall and BAFTA choice Les Miserables.

The Period category, along with the BAFTAs, actually has the best track record overall. But the ADG's Period winner this year was Licorice Pizza, which wasn't nominated. Instead, the Fantasy category aligns with the BAFTAs in honoring Dune, so it's a somewhat obvious choice.

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Pictured: Filmmakers discuss Dune at an awards screening

Don't discredit Nightmare Alley, however. The Academy loves Guillermo del Toro in this category, giving his film — not him specifically, as he's not the production designer — the prize in both 2017 for The Shape of Water and 2006 for Pan's Labyrinth.

However, given Dune's likelihood of dominating the technical categories, the +250 number isn't tasty enough for my liking. If you could find Nightmare Alley at +400 or better, maybe dabble, but otherwise ride with Dune to -400.

Pick: Dune -360
Deserves to win: Dune

Best Costume Design Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
West Side Story+13007.14%
Nightmare Alley+35002.78%

The BAFTAs dominate this category from a predictability standpoint, hitting 12 times since 2000.

The Costume Designer's Guild has broken their top awards up into three genres since 2005: Contemporary, Period and Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Period has hit with the most frequently over that span with eight wins, while Sci-Fi/Fantasy has hit five times and Contemporary has hit zero.

All of this aligns to give Cruella a rare win over powerhouse Dune.

Cruella won the CDG's Period award and also at the BAFTAs. Dune won the Sci-Fi/Fantasy award at the CDGs, while Coming 2 America — not nominated here — won the Contemporary prize.

Given that more people probably saw Dune than Cruella, I'm giving it an outside shot at pulling the upset here, but don't like it enough at +320 to throw down any money on it. Similarly, Cruella's juice is too high for me to eat it given the possibility that Dune wins. Cruella is the pick, but I won't be wagering any money here.

Pick, but no bet: Cruella -330
Deserves to win: Nightmare Alley

Emma Stone-Cruella-Oscars
J. Almasi/GC Images. Pictured: Emma Stone on the set of Cruella

Best Makeup & Hairstyling Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
The Eyes of Tammy Faye-30075%
Coming 2 America+12007.69%
House of Gucci+18005.26%

Odds via DraftKings and as of March 21

The guild that gives out awards for Makeup and Hairstyle, the MUAHS — yes, that's a real acronym — breaks its individual top prizes into both makeup and hairstyling, and does so for a variety of genres.

Thus, going off the history there can be convoluted. However, it's worth noting that of the four major awards handed down this year, two went to Coming 2 America, one went to Cruella and one went to Being the Ricardos (not nominated). So we have some value here on a few underdogs.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye is favored, but it's worth sprinkling a bit on both Cruella (+500) and Coming 2 America (+1200) because this is about as unpredictable of a category as you're going to find.

Picks: Cruella +500; Coming 2 America +1200
Deserves to win: Cruella

Best Original Song Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
No Time to Die – Billie Eilish (No Time to Die)-25071.43%
Dos Oruguitas – Lin Manuel Miranda (Encanto)+22031.25%
Be Alive – Beyonce & DIXSON (King Richard)+70012.5%
Down to Joy – Van Morrison (Belfast)+18005.26%
Somehow You Do – Diane Warren (Four Good Days)+18005.26%

I'm highlighting this category mostly to highlight an Oscar favorite: Diane Warren.

Warren is an extreme underdog this year at +1800, but that should come as no shock to her. She has been nominated 12 other times in this category and has zero wins.

You might not know Warren by name, but she's one of the most prolific songwriters Hollywood has ever seen. Her credits include "Because You Loved Me" (Celine Dion), "How Do I Live" (LeAnn Rimes), "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" (Aerosmith) and more. You've undoubtedly belted a Warren-written song at a karaoke bar or in your car and not realized it was by her.

So here she is again, a 13th Academy Award nomination and another likely defeat. There is some value on Dos Oruguitas here, just because of the familiarity with Encanto and Hollywood's love for Lin-Manuel Miranda, so I'll take a stab there at +220 … and a very small amount on Diane Warren, just because I'll be rooting for her.

Pick: Dos Oruguitas – Lin-Manuel Miranda (Encanto) +220
Deserves to win: Diane Warren, dammit.

The must-have app for bettors

The best betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

Extreme Favorites Not Worth Discussing

Best Cinematography Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
The Power of the Dog+27027.03%
The Tragedy of Macbeth+16005.88%
West Side Story+23004.17%
Nightmare Alley+29003.33%

Pick, but no bet: Dune -950

Best Original Score Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
Hans Zimmer (Dune)-65086.67%
Jonny Greenwood (The Power of the Dog)+40020%
Germaine Franco (Encanto)+10009.09%
Nicholas Britell (Don't Look Up)+20004.76%
Alberto Iglesias (Parallel Mothers)+35002.78%

Pick, but no bet: Hans Zimmer (Dune) -650

Odds via DraftKings and as of March 21

Best Sound Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
West Side Story+70012.5%
No Time to Die+14006.67%
The Power of the Dog+18005.26%

Odds via DraftKings and as of March 21

Pick, but no bet: Dune -1000

Best Visual Effects Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
Spider-Man: No Way Home+10009.09%
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings+16005.88%
No Time to Die+22004.35%
Free Guy+34002.86%

Pick, but no bet: Dune -1500

Best Animated Feature Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
The Mitchells vs the Machines+80011.11%
Raya and the Last Dragon+35002.78%

Pick, but no bet: Encanto -1100

Best International Feature Nominees & Odds

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
Drive My Car-250096.15%
The Worst Person in the World+10009.09%
The Hand of God+35002.78%
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom+35002.78%

Pick, but no bet: Drive My Car -2500

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.