Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis may lead the field of nominees foor the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, but there are a host of other artists — Robin Thicke, Bruno Mars and Miley Cyrus, to name just a few — who are nipping on their heels. In short, this year's show could belong to anybody.
Needless to say, picking winners in the big VMA categories was proving tough ... so we reached out to the oddsmaking experts at the Bovada.lv sportsbook to get their take on some of Sunday night's key races. After all, they do this for a living; though, with a field this tightly bunched, even they're having a hard time choosing favorites.
"These odds are based mainly on media consensus, public popularity, historical betting information, and of course some math," Bovada sportsbook manager Kevin Bradley tells MTV News. "Last year there was not much movement in odds on any of the categories — in fact, almost everyone was evenly bet amongst all nominees. This year we hope that is the same case, but if we do see betting trends and increased bets on certain nominees, there could be big movement in some of these odds."
They're using math. So you know they're taking the 2013 VMAs pretty seriously. Here's Bovada's picks to click at this year's show:
Video of the Year
» Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell, "Blurred Lines," 5/4
» Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Thrift Shop," 3/2
» Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors," 7/2
» Taylor Swift, "I Knew You Were Trouble," 4/1
» Bruno Mars, "Locked Out Of Heaven," 20/1
Bovada's take: "Video of the Year is one of our closest races in terms of odds," Bradley says. "Robin Thicke at 5/4 is only a slight favorite, but based on how the betting comes in on this category, that could easily flip-flop between the top four contenders."
Best Male Video
» Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors," 1/2
» Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell, "Blurred Lines," 3/2
» Bruno Mars, "Locked Out Of Heaven," 7/1
» Ed Sheeran, "Lego House," 18/1
» Kendrick Lamar, "Swimming Pools (Drank)," 18/1
Bovada's take: "There seems to be a consensus among many in the industry that Justin Timberlake is a runaway winner in this category and hence the heavy favorite," Bradley explains. But I would not be surprised at all if Robin Thicke takes down this and Video of the Year."
Best Female Video
» Taylor Swift, "I Knew You Were Trouble," 1/2
» Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko, "Stay," 2/1
» Pink feat. Nate Ruess, "Just Give Me A Reason," 6/1
» Miley Cyrus, "We Can't Stop," 9/1
» Demi Lovato, "Heart Attack," 15/1
Bovada's take: "We considered making Taylor Swift a much heavier favorite for Best Female Video, but Rihanna should give her a good run for her money," Bradley says. "I cannot see anyone else really contending in this category, but it may present some value on the other three nominees for bettors who think they have a shot, which is not out of the realm of possibility since Nicki Minaj won at 15/1 in 2012."
Best Hip-Hop Video
» Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton, "Can't Hold Us," 1/5
» Drake, "Started From The Bottom," 3/1
» J. Cole feat. Miguel, "Power Trip," 10/1
» Kendrick Lamar, "Swimming Pools (Drank)," 15/1
» A$AP Rocky feat. 2 Chainz, Drake & Kendrick Lamar, "F**kin' Problems," 15/1
Bovada's take: "Last year Drake won this categor at 7/1, but we do not see an upset like that happening again," Bradley explains, "and have made Macklemore a whopping 1/5 favorite, our biggest one in any category."
Best Pop Video
» Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors," 1/2
» Miley Cyrus, "We Can't Stop," 2/1
» Selena Gomez, "Come & Get It," 5/1
» Bruno Mars, "Locked Out Of Heaven," 10/1
» Fun., "Carry On," 25/1
Bovada's take: "Justin could have a big night being favored in two categories and a small dog in another," Bradley says. "However, to win all three may be tough, but we look at him as still a clear frontrunner here."
Best Rock Video
» Imagine Dragons, "Radioactive," 4/9
» Mumford & Sons, "I Will Wait," 3/1
» Thirty Seconds To Mars, "Up In The Air," 9/2
» Fall Out Boy, "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)," 7/1
» Vampire Weekend, "Diane Young," 20/1
Bovada's take: "This category presented the only favorite to win last year in Coldplay at 5/7 and Imagine Dragons are an odds-on favorite at 4/9," Bradley says. "This may be a category we are overestimating how big a price the favorite should be and will monitor early betting in case we see a lot come in on any of the underdogs that may present a big payout."
Artist to Watch
» Austin Mahone, "What About Love," 1/3
» The Weeknd, "Wicked Games," 4/1
» Zedd feat. Foxes, "Clarity," 4/1
» Iggy Azalea, "Work," 8/1
» Twenty One Pilots, "Holding On To You," 20/1
Bovada's take: "By far hardest category to handicap since many of these are unknown artists," Bradley explains. "Nut we feel after looking at what 'music' people are saying, that Austin Mahone is a clear favorite."
Who will reign supreme at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards? Find out live on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on MTV!