Oscar Best Actress Predictions, Odds: Cate Blanchett Poised to Take Down Michelle Yeoh?

Oscar Best Actress Predictions, Odds: Cate Blanchett Poised to Take Down Michelle Yeoh? article feature image

Kevin Winter/Getty Images. Pictured: Michelle Yeoh

Best Actress Nominees & Odds

Odds via FanDuel and as of March 12

NomineeOddsImplied Probability
Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once)-21067.74%
Cate Blanchett (Tar)+14540.82%
Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie)+34002.86%
Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans)+42002.33%
Ana de Armas (Blonde)+80001.23%

Katie Richcreek:This is effectively a two-woman race between Michelle Yeoh for Everything Everywhere All At Once and Cate Blanchett for Tár, but the odds no longer reflect that. After both were listed at minus-money odds earlier this awards season, Yeoh is now the clear favorite at most sportsbooks.

From a subjective POV, I do believe her performance was stronger than Yeoh’s — Blanchett’s character, Lydia Tar, is not your typical villain. And her masterful portrayal not only carries the movie, but forces the audience to grapple with the vast grey area that many symbols of power exist within — most are not all good or all bad, and Blanchett’s performance makes it impossible to escape that truth.

Now, momentum is on Yeoh’s side — she won Best Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards a week ago, the last notable precursor before the Oscars. But the SAGs are not the most predictive show for this Academy Award. Thanks to Ben Zauzmer and the historical research in his book, Oscarmetrics, we know the more predictive show is the Golden Globes, which splits acting awards by drama and comedy, and Cate Blanchett won the more predictive of the two: Drama.

To be clear, she didn’t beat Yeoh at the Globes — Yeoh was nominated in the comedy category — but Blanchett did win Best Actress head-to-head at the Critics Choice and the BAFTAs. So between winning those precursors and the odds movement, this is ultimately a value play.

This is a toss-up between Yeoh and Blanchett. Blanchett was favored to win early on. Yeoh leapfrogged her after winning at the SAGs. And now the distance between them on the odds board is too great to ignore, especially with Blanchett at plus-money.

And for what it’s worth, Zauzmer’s 2023 model predictions do have Blanchett winning nearly 53% of the time compared to Yeoh only 26% of the time.

Give me Blanchett at anything plus-money.

Chris Raybon: Nearly 80% of Gold Derby experts and editors are picking Michelle Yeoh (-175), but they've been wrong more than 25% of the time in this category, including two big misses in the past four years (Frances McDormand for Nomadland in 2021, Olivia Colman for The Favourite in 2019). I suspect Gold Derby is underestimating Cate Blanchett (+125) and this race is a lot closer to a coin flip.

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