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2018 MTV Video Music Awards: Odds on Artist and Video of the Year

Still from Cardi B's video for
Still from Cardi B's video for "I Like It" (Atlantic Records [CC License])
  • The MTV Music Video Awards air live from Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, August 20th.
  • This year’s nominees include Drake, Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars, Cardi B and more.

The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards return to New York City this weekend, broadcasting live from Radio City Music Hall.

Leading the pack with 10 nominations is Cardi B, with nods for Best Video, Best Song and Artist of the Year, as well as Best New Artist and Best Collaboration. Not far behind, for those scoring at home, are the Carters (Jay-Z and Beyoncé) with eight nominations for the song “Apesh**t” from their collaborative album Everything is Love.

BetOnline has posted odds on the two biggest categories, Artist of the Year and Video of the Year, and they see sizable favorites for both awards.

Artist of the Year

2018 MTV Video Music Awards – Artist of the Year Odds via BetOnline
Cardi B -250
Drake +300
Ariana Grande +525
Camila Cabello +2000
Bruno Mars +2200
Post Malone +2500

The past year has been a wild ride for Cardi B. Her hit “Bodak Yellow” earned the 25-year-old rapper two 2018 Grammy nominations, and gave her a place in the public eye.

Several high-profile collaborations and one platinum-certified album later, Cardi is sitting more-than-comfortably at the top. In addition to her double-digit nominations, the new mother has just been announced as this year’s VMA show-opener, marking her first public performance since giving birth in July.

This follows last month’s news she would no longer be joining Bruno Mars on the North American leg for his “24k Magic” world tour.


Cardi may be the favorite to win, but if you’re willing to risk it a little, there is something attractive about the +300 on Drake. His latest album, Scorpion, was a hit — the single “God’s Plan” is nominated for Video of the Year, and “In My Feelings” inspired a viral dance craze.

What’s better PR than that?

The VMA’s differ from other industry award shows in that winners are voted in by the fans, meaning critical acclaim is no guarantee and popular opinion may be the shortest road to a Moon Man.

Video of the Year

2018 MTV Video Music Awards – Video of the Year Odds via BetOnline
Childish Gambino – “This is America” -400
Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left to Cry” +700
Drake – “God’s Plan” +700
Beyonce & Jay-Z – “Apes**t” +1000
Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B – “Finesse (Remix)” +1600
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – “Havana” +2000

There was a day when the names “Beyoncé” and “Jay-Z” meant a near shoo-in for awards shows. But 2018 looks to be following a different script.

“God’s Plan” is a catchy song with an endearing video, and “No Tears Left to Cry” may be  wonderful to watch, but neither compare to the artistic endeavour of Donald Glover’s Childish Gambino.

Video of the Year belongs to Childish Gambino’s “This is America”. There is reason behind those -400 odds. It was thoughtful, provocative, forceful — the safest bet to place, by all means. Unfortunately, safe bets do not always equal great returns.

“God’s Plan” is a catchy song with an endearing video, and “No Tears Left to Cry” may be  wonderful to watch, but neither compare to the artistic endeavour of Donald Glover’s Childish Gambino. You could go ahead and take a chance on the Carters here, but maybe just watch the video for “This is America” one last time before you do.

Prospective bettors can find slightly different odds in Bovada‘s entertainment section. Head there if you do want to bet the favorites, as Cardi and Childish Gambino are at -200 and -250, respectively, in Artist of the Year and Video of the Year.

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An unabashed interest in the lives of other people and all things pop culture makes analyzing the world of entertainment an easy fit for Kaela. One of SBD's resident experts since 2017, she keeps her finger on the pulse so you can feel confident, and have fun, making informed wagers.