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Best Actor Oscar Predictions, Odds: Will Smith Heavy Favorite Against Benedict Cumberbatch, Plus Picks For All 2022 Nominees

Best Actor Oscar Predictions, Odds: Will Smith Heavy Favorite Against Benedict Cumberbatch, Plus Picks For All 2022 Nominees article feature image
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Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Pictured: Will Smith at a King Richard premiere

  • Will Smith is a big favorite to win Best Actor at the Oscars for his performance in King Richard.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch checks in with the second-lowest odds for his role in Power of the Dog.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of all the nominees, including expert predictions.

Updated Best Actor Nominees & Odds

Nominee Odds Implied Probability
Will Smith (King Richard) -600 85.71%
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog) +650 13.33%
Andrew Garfield (tick, tick … BOOM!) +1100 8.33%
Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth) +3100 3.13%
Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos) +4800 2.04%
Oscar odds for Best Actor nominees via FanDuel and as of March 26.

Best Actor Predictions

Collin Whitchurch: 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).

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!)

Chris Raybon: After sweeping the BAFTA, Critics Choice, Globes, and SAG. Smith is commanding over 90% of the first-place votes on Gold Derby, suggesting true odds closer to -1290.

It’s Smith’s to lose, but if you’re looking for an out-of-nowhere longshot a la Anthony Hopkins last year, keep an eye on Andrew Garfield’s odds in relation to his Gold Derby support.

As of this writing, every Gold Derby editor and expert who did not pick Smith is rolling with Garfield, but his +1290 implied odds still don’t represent a value compared to his +1100 price tag.

Pick: Pass


More 2022 Oscar Predictions

  • A Guide To Betting Every Category: Senior editor Collin Whitchurch breaks down his take on every category, including which are worth betting vs. passing.
  • Gold Derby Experts vs. the Odds: Senior betting analyst Chris Raybon compares predictions by Gold Derby’s experts and editors to the odds in order to identify potential values.
  • 5 More Best Bets: Senior betting analyst Collin Wilson reveals his picks for both supporting actor awards, plus Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

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