Best Director Winner, Nominees & Oscar Odds

Best Director Winner, Nominees & Oscar Odds article feature image
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Amanda Edwards/Getty Images. Pictured: Chloe Zhao

Update: Chloé Zhao won Best Director for her work on Nomadland.


Best Director Nominees & Odds

Nominee Odds Implied Prob.
Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) -3335 97.1%
David Fincher (Mank) +1000 9.1%
Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) +1700 5.6%
Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) +2000 4.8%
Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round) +2500 3.9%
Odds as of April 24 and via DraftKings.

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Best Director Predictions

Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) -3335

Collin Whitchurch: The DGA has hit this on the head with some consistency over the last two decades, awarding its top prize to the Best Director winner 16 times in the last 20 years.

Last year, much like Best Picture, was a notable exception when Bong Joon-ho deservedly upset Sam Mendes. Before that, the last time Best Director went to someone not awarded by the DGA was in 2012, when Ben Affleck was awarded by the DGA for Argo but not nominated for the Academy Award that ultimately went to Ang Lee for Life of Pi.

If you go back even further — all the way to 1950 — the DGA has actually been on the same page as the Academy every year except eight times, and in three of those instances, the winner at the DGA wasn’t even nominated for an Academy Award: Affleck, Ron Howard for Apollo 13 in 1995, and Steven Spielberg for The Color Purple in 1985.

This is all a roundabout way to saying Chloé Zhao is winning Best Director and the odds reflect that, as she has dropped from +225 back in November (behind David Fincher) to her current odds of extreme favorite. So stop pondering those longshot odds — even with last year’s upset so fresh in our memories, it’s tough to imagine it happening two years in a row. Besides, the DGA and the BAFTAs (11 similar picks in the last 20 years) both went to Zhao, too.

Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) -3335

Collin Wilson: Per OSCARmetrics, the predictor of this category comes from the Directors Guild Award. Furthermore, the winner of this category generally moves on to win Best Picture.

There have not been many historical upsets in this category until Parasite hit the scene last year. With Sam Mendes winning the Directors Guild Award for Best Director, all bettors of the 1917 director needed a drink after Bong Joon Ho’s upset win.

"I am ready to drink tonight." #Parasite director Bong Joon Ho is ready to celebrate his best international feature win at the #Oscars https://t.co/5SJeshg7fB pic.twitter.com/ktuapd6oeY

— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 10, 2020

Chloe Zhao has universal praise for her work on Nomadland. The award precursors are all present, making this a category you parlay in the betting world and easily circle in sharpie for your Oscar pools.

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