Mahershala Ali (‘Moonlight’) is the Oscar frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor with 1-to-4 odds from Experts

With 1/4 odds from our 30 movie Experts, Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) is predicted to win Best Supporting Actor at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Ali has already prevailed at precursors like the Critics’ Choice and SAG Awards, and now our experts think he’ll win at the 2017 Oscars airing live Sunday on ABC and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. This is Ali’s first career Oscar nomination.

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Twenty-six of our 30 Oscar Experts are predicting that Ali will triumph as Best Supporting Actor: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Erik Davis (Fandango), Eric Deggans (NPR), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life), Tim Gray (Variety), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo), Dave Karger (IMDb), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Michael Musto (Out.com), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Nicole Sperling (Entertainment Weekly), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Brian Truitt (USA Today), Adnan Virk (ESPN), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere), Glenn Whipp (LA Times) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).

A trio of experts are banking on an upset win for Dev Patel (“Lion”) following his recent victory at the BAFTA Awards, resulting in odds of 8/1. They are: Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Weekly) and Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby). Perhaps these three think the Oscars owe Patel a trophy after snubbing him for Best Picture winner “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008)?

Oscar Best Picture Gallery: History of Every Academy Award-Winning Movie

The remaining expert, Keith Simanton (IMDb), is going rogue in forecasting a victory for Jeff Bridges (“Hell or High Water”) at 18/1 odds. This would be Bridges’ second triumph at the Oscars following his win as Best Actor for “Crazy Heart” (2009). The supporting race is where veteran actors are often rewarded — just ask Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”), Alan Arkin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) and Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”) — so maybe Simanton is onto something here.

Next up in fourth place at 66/1 odds is Michael Shannon (“Nocturnal Animals”). Despite the love of this film throughout the many guild awards, Shannon’s nomination represents its sole Oscar bid. Oddly enough, Shannon’s co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson won the Golden Globe in this category and he wound up getting snubbed at the Oscars.

Rounding out the group of supporting actors at 80/1 odds is Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”). The 20-year-old star’s nomination should be the reward, but he may very well see his leading man Casey Affleck walk away with the Best Actor prize later in the evening.

Dish the Oscars with Hollywood insiders in our notorious forums

According to our overall combined odds featuring the predictions of all Experts, Editors, Top 24 Users (those who did the best at their winner picks last year), All-Star Top 24 (who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ Oscars) and All Users, the rankings are the same. The favored pick of more than 3,300 people is Ali with 2/9 odds over Patel in second place with 9/1 odds. Bridges follows with 28/1 odds, and then Shannon at 33/1 and Hedges at 50/1.

Last year’s Oscar champ for Best Supporting Actor was Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”). Who will join him in the Oscar winner’s circle this year? Click here to see our Oscar Best Supporting Actor gallery.

Predict the Oscar winners now; change them till February 26

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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