The Best Supporting Actor category will be the most unpredictable of the evening. Every actor in the category has enough hardware from prior wins to fill a warehouse. De Niro has slight edge.
The nominees are:
Alan Arkin in "Argo"
Robert De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook"
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln"
Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"
This race could be a nail biter. There are no standouts in this group of five men. All joking aside, everyone in this category has won an Oscar before. If Robert De Niro wins, it will be his third Oscar win, and first in 31 years. The last time he won was in 1981 for Raging Bull.
To begin, Jones had the momentum going into award season. And he still is riding high on critical praise for his performance in Lincoln. But, lately, De Niro's momentum has accelerated. This is undoubtedly the most unpredictable race of the night, since not one of the actors nominated have swept the other award shows.
Jones won the SAG award, Waltz the BAFTA, and Hoffman the Critic's Choice Award. So, it's anyone's guess who will ultimately win the final prize. I'm betting on a faceoff between Jones and De Niro. My money is on De Niro for his performance in Silver Linings Playbook. Why? Because he hasn't won an award in so long and because he's Robert De Niro.
But, it could go a number of ways. This should be one of the most exciting categories of the night. I'm not going to place an actual bet on this one, not with actual money anyway.