Best Supporting Actress Oscar predictions by experts: Emmy favorites Laurie Metcalf, Allison Janney battle for first Academy Award

According to our 23 Oscar experts from major media outlets, the tightest race at this year’s Academy Awards is Best Supporting Actress where two Emmy favorites are battling it out for first place. Laurie Metcalf, who won Best Comedy Supporting Actress at the Emmys three years running for “Roseanne” beginning in 1992, is in first for her scene-stealing turn as a hardworking nurse at odds with her headstrong daughter (Saoirse Ronan) in “Lady Bird.” This recent Tony Awards champ  has the backing of 11 experts, which translates into leading odds of 27/10.

Coming on strong is seven-time Emmy champ Allison Janney (two of those wins were for her current featured role on the comedy “Mom”) with a showy part in “I, Tonya” as the foul-mouthed, chain-smoking mother of disgraced Olympic hopeful Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie). She has the votes of nine experts, which equals odds of 3/1.

In third place is 1993 Best Actress winner Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) for her critically acclaimed performance as an overbearing mother in “The Big Sick.” This four-time Oscar nominee has two experts in her corner and odds of 13/2 to finally pick up an Academy Awards bookend.

Also hoping for a second Oscar is 2010 Best Supporting Actress champ Melissa Leo, who is riveting in her role as a merciless Mother Superior in “Novitiate.” She has one vote and odds of 10/1.

And rounding out the top five is another past category winner, Octavia Spencer, for her supporting role as a supportive friend in “The Shape of Water.” She won this award in 2011 for “The Help” and vied here last year for “Hidden Figures.”

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Below we break down the Oscar Best Supporting Actress predictions by expert and include the most up-to-date odds for each of the top 10 contenders to win. And be sure to check out how our experts rank Oscar contenders in the other top races. Use the drop-down menus at the top of each page to see the other categories.

1. Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”: 11 experts (2/1 odds)
Thelma Adams (Gold Derby)
Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post)
Dave Karger (IMDB)
Tariq Khan (Fox News)
Jack Mathews (Gold Derby)
Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby)
Anne Thompson (Indiewire)
Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)
Sara Vilkomerson (Entertainment Weekly)
Adnan Virk (ESPN)
Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere)

2. Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”: Nine experts (4/1 odds)
Erik Davis (Fandango)
Joyce Eng (TV Guide)
Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood)
Kevin Polowy (Yahoo)
Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Weekly)
Krista Smith (Vanity Fair)
Sasha Stone (Awards Daily)
Brian Truitt (USA Today)
Susan Wloszczyna (

3. Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”: (13/2 odds)
Tim Gray (Variety)
Keith Simanton (IMDB)

4. Melissa Leo, “Novitiate”: One expert (10/1 odds)
Edward Douglas (Tracking Board)

5. Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”: (12/1 odds)

6. Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound” (16/1 odds)

7. Kristin Scott Thomas, “Darkest Hour”: One expert (22/1 odds)

8. Hong Chau, “Downsizing”: (40/1 odds)

9. Michelle William, “The Greatest Showman”: (80/1 odds)

10. Carrie Coon, “The Post” (80/1 odds)

2018 Oscars Best Supporting Actress: Experts Predictions

Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.

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