London bookmaker Paddy Power makes Ouellet, described as "good pals" with Benedict, the frontrunner, with Scola as his main contender.
Meanwhile speculation is mounting over how the new pontiff will deal with Benedict's future status as a former pope living out his years within the Vatican walls after he retires on February 28.
The pope's decision to take up residency in a disused Vatican convent, which Magister described as "provocative", sets up an unprecedented situation.
With the Vatican insisting he will be a paragon of discretion and Benedict saying that he will remain "hidden from the world", others are not so sure.
Also adding to the intrigue was an announcement Thursday that Benedict's closest confidant Georg Gaenswein will continue as his personal secretary while also overseeing the new pope's household.
Benedict promoted Gaenswein to prefect of the papal household in December - a move interpreted now as a key part of his plans to resign.
Prominent German theologian Hans Kung warned that Benedict could become a "shadow pope", telling the Italian daily La Repubblica: "I would have preferred for him to have chosen to retire into meditation and prayer in Bavaria.
Contacts and conversations will be inevitable if he stays at the Vatican."