Chloe Zhao is the favorite to win Best Director at the 2021 Oscars and her film, Nomadland, is the consensus betting favorite to win Best Picture at the 93rd Academy Awards at -670 odds via DraftKings.

2021 Oscars Odds Betting Nomadland Chloe Zhao
Director Chloe Zhao (left), seen here on set of Nomadland with France McDermott, is the favorite to win multiple categories at the 2021 Oscars. (Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Zhao is also the favorite to win Best Adapted Screenplay for Nomadland, which is based upon a novel, Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century, written by Jessica Bruder.

At the Golden Globes earlier in the year, Zhao won for Best Director and Nomadland won Best Picture in the drama category. The Globes are often a precursor to the Oscars, which is why Zhao is a big favorite in both categories.

Kathryn Bigelow is the last woman to win Best Director at the Oscars with The Hurt Locker in 2009.

Last year at the 2020 Oscars, Bong Joon-ho’s film Parasite won the Oscar for Best Picture. Joo-ho won Best Director and upset Sam Mendes (1917). He also edged out Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and Todd Phillips.

Best Picture: Nomadland

This year’s crop of best pictures includes films about modern nomads in Western America, caregiving to elderly parents, the Black Panthers, Vietnam War protests, the American dream through the eyes of a Korean family, a musician coping with the loss of his hearing, a sexual assault revenge thriller, and a witty drunk who wins an Oscar for penning the screenplay for one of Hollywood’s greatest films.

Nomadland is a favorite to win Best Picture this year at -670 odds, but there’s one film that could, potentially, pull off an upset at the Oscars.


2021 Oscars: Best Picture Odds
  • Nomadland -670
  • Trial of the Chicago 7 +600
  • Minari +1400
  • Promising Young Woman +1700
  • Judas & the Black Messiah +3300
  • Mank +3300
  • Sound of Metal +5000
  • The Father +10000

The Trial of the Chicago 7, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, tells the tale of seven anti-war protestors and activists who were lumped together in a high-profile trial for inciting a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The Trial of the Chicago 7, at +600 odds, is the second-highest favorite on DraftKings’ Oscars betting board.

Best Director: Zhao, Fincher, Chung, Fennel, Vinterberg

Nominated in four categories, Zhao is the favorite to win Best Director at the Oscars, where she’s an overwhelming favorite at -3335 odds.

David Fincher directed Mank based on a screenplay written by his father, Jack Fincher. Fincher comes in as the closest competition to Zhao. He’s +1000 odds to pull off the upset and win Best Director at the Oscars this year.


2021 Oscars: Best Director Odds
  • Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) -3335
  • David Fincher (Mank) +1000
  • Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) +1700
  • Emerald Fenell (Promising Young Woman) +2000
  • Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round) +2500

Emerald Fennell is an English actress who made her feature film directorial debut with the comedy-thriller, Promising Young Woman. Her auspicious debut earned her a nod at the Oscars, but she’s a long shot to win Best Director at +2000 odds.

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg put together a clever, but brutally honest film about binge drinking with Another Round. Mads Mikkelsen, who is best known for playing villains and bad guys in Hollywood films, is the lead actor in the film about four friends who are having a mid-life crisis by becoming functioning alcoholics. They drink every day at work while maintaining a happy buzz, but Mikkelsen’s character spins out of control.

Best Screenplay: Fennel and Zhao Favorites

The Golden Globes only dole out a single award for screenwriters, whereas the Oscars are split in two between Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay. Aaron Sorkin won for Best Screenplay at the 2021 Golden Globes for The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Emerald Fennel is also up for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Even though Sorkin won the Golden Globe, Fennel is the favorite to win at the Oscars at -455 odds. Sorkin is the closest competitor at +275 odds.

Other nominees in the original screenplay category include Will Berson and Shaka King (Judas & the Black Messiah), Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), and Abraham Marder and Darius Marder (Sound of Metal).


2021 Oscars: Best Original Screenplay Odds
  • Promising Young Woman -455
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 +275
  • Minari +1400
  • Sound of Metal +3300
  • Judas & the Black Messiah +3300
2021 Oscars: Best Adapted Screenplay Odds
  • Nomadland -400
  • The Father +300
  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm +800
  • One Night in Miami +1400
  • The White Tiger +3300

Other nominees for adapted screenplay include Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller (The Father), Ramin Bahrani (White Tiger), and playwright Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami).

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