If you're getting a jump on your 2006 wagering, it might be time to start thinking about the Academy Awards, as the bookmakers' picks are coming into focus, as big end of the year releases hit theaters.
In the Best Picture race, the Las Vegas Review Journal reports that the early frontrunner is Steven Spielberg's new drama 'Munich.' Their source is John Avello, director of race sports operations at the Wynn Las Vegas. Avello also picks Philip Seymour Hoffman's 'Capote' to edge out Joaquin Phoenix's Johnny Cash, and Reese Witherspoon to win for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in 'Walk the Line.'
BetWWts.com took the bold move of putting 'Jarhead' out in front at 7-2, but when contacted for this article, said they are in the process of updating their picks. That's probably a good idea.
Here at TMZ, we'd like to see some new categories added to the Oscars this year. Perhaps they could start with Best Obligatory Gun-Toting Hip-Hop Feature, and Best Destruction of Easily Recognized National Monuments. There must be several contenders for Best Added Gravitas Through Morgan Freeman Voiceover, or Best Ironic Adaptation of a 70s Television Show. Finally, we'd really like to see a Best Use of Gay Cowboys in a Non-Musical category.
But, we won't keep our fingers crossed long for that one.