Place Your Bets

As the Oscar face-offs enter the final round, TIME throws caution to the wind and predicts the victors

It's a game that lures millions of sporting souls into the office pools, to figure out the preferences of the 6,500 Motion Picture Academy members. Yet of all the pop-cultural horse races, from the Super Bowl to American Idol, the Oscars are the one we know the least about. Only the winner is announced, not the runner-up or the margin of victory. It's as if all you knew about the 2000 election was, "And the Presidency goes to ... George W. Bush!"

All that withholding creates its own all-or-nothing melodrama. That applies again this year, when some pretty intriguing head-to-head races are...

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