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Who people are betting on for 2021 Best Actress at the Oscars

One of the most wide-open categories at the 2021 Oscars has several women with a shot at taking home the biggest honor.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — “Carey Mulligan” Episode 1802 — Pictured: Host Carey Mulligan as Mary Pembrook during the “War in Words” sketch on Saturday, April 10, 2021 Photo By: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Most of the favorites for the 2021 Oscars are out to big leads, but the one category where plus money remains on any potential winner is Best Actress, led by five strong performances that are also very divergent in how they got here.

Carey Mulligan is the favorite for her work as the vengeful Cassandra in Promising Young Woman. It’s a star turn for the British actress, who won the 2009 BAFTA for An Education, but has otherwise been shut out of major awards in her career. She did pick up the Critics Choice Movie Award this year, but lost the Golden Globe to Andra Day of The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

Day was only the second black woman to win the Globe in that category after Whoopi Goldberg for Ghost in 1987, but she’s an underdog with bettors feeling the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is less likely to consider her performance. Playing the lead role of a character as treasured as Holiday is a tall task, and one she handled beautifully here.

Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress in 2016 for Fences, and this is her third nomination as the title role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The biopic of the singer looking for control over her career in the 1920’s is up for five different awards.

Below are the updated odds, as well as the betting splits for each actress, from DraftKings Sportsbook:

Best Actress 2021 Oscars

Actor Odds % Handle % Bets
Actor Odds % Handle % Bets
Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) 125 63% 30%
Viola Davis (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) 200 20% 25%
Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) 600 11% 20%
Frances McDormand (Nomadland) 400 5% 23%
Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman) 2000 < 1% 2%

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