Who will win Best Actress?
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Breese's Pick: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook (-200)
When a tour de force performance from a nine-year-old is the long shot to win a category, you know you have a special group on your hands. I've been practicing my pronunciation of Quvenzhané Wallis for weeks now, in the event she shocks the world and takes home the Oscar (+4000). If you watch Beasts of the Southern Wild and don't cry, well, you're a borderline sociopath.
Naomi Watts (+3300) joins Wallis as an underdog. To be honest, her nomination came as a surprise to me, leaving Marion Cotillard on the sideline for her performance in Rust and Bone.
In the end, the Oscar could easily go to Riva, Lawrence or Chastain. They're all worthy nominees with the requisite buzz leading up to Sunday. Amour will walk away with the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, so don't feel bad for Riva. This is really a showdown between Chastain (+600) and Lawrence. Both were winners at the Golden Globes, both have recent Oscar nominations and both seem to be universally well liked. Every year there needs to be a good old fashioned coin flip for a major Oscar and this is it.
I'd hedge my bets here and lay 6 units on Lawrence and 2 units on Chastain. As long as Riva doesn't take the stage, you've made money.