Vegas Lines on the Oscars 2012

Odds that the broadcast will wrap up on schedule: (150-1)

Odds that host Billy Crystal will make a joke about that possibility: (3-2)

Most likely subject of jokes made by a winner from the stage: Republican presidential candidates (2-1); Ashton and Demi’s breakup (15-1); Arnold Schwarzenegger’s impregnating his housekeeper (3-1); Nick Cage’s domestic violence arrest (8-1); Nick Cage’s performance in Ghost Rider 2 (Even)

Most likely sentimental winner: Max Von Sydow (6-1); Christopher Plummer (8-5); Terrence Mallick (3-1); Glenn Close (10-1); George Clooney (2-1)

Least likely sentimental winner: Meryl Streep (15-1); The Help (5-1); Woody Allen (5-1); Michel Hazanavicius (9-2); Nick Nolte (18-1)

Actor least likely to be trusted to present an award: Madonna (6-1); Demi Moore (3-1); Lindsay Lohan (2-1); Nick Nolte (4-1); Charlie Sheen (4-5); Mel Gibson (8-5)

Dead movie person getting the biggest round of applause during the obituary reel: Ben Gazzara (Even); Jane Russell (4-1); Peter Falk (3-1); Jackie Cooper (10-1); Anne Francis (8-1); Harry Morgan (5-1); Elizabeth Taylor (4-5)

Title that will sound worst being read several times during broadcast: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Movie that would respond best to having a title as convoluted as that last one: Steven Spielberg’s Extremely Gooey & Incredibly Maudlin

The movie that no Academy members will have actually seen that is most likely to win an award based on its title: God is the Bigger Elvis

We don’t know who else to vote for in this category: Documentary feature Piña

Instant drop in ratings: Either War Horse or The Help starts winning large numbers of awards (5-1); Best Documentary Short presentation (3-1); Suite/dance number for Best Musical Score exposes the fact that all John Williams film music sounds the same (8-5)

Biggest running-time saver:  There are only two best song nominees

Most likely cringe-inducing co-presenters: The Help co-stars Viola Davis and Jennifer Chastain will experiment with role reversal (8-1); Nick Nolte will attempt to trade homophobic barbs with Beginners’ star Christopher Plummer (10-1); The Artist co-stars Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo will attempt to introduce an award in mime (3-1)

Screwed again: Gary Oldman (2-1); Kenneth Branagh (3-1); Alexander Payne (5-1)

It should have been a special award: Makeup for The Iron Lady

Nominated film most likely to be confused with a title you’ve already seen: Undefeated (9-1); Hell and Back Again (11-1); La Luna (7-2); Rise of the Planet of the Apes (3-1); The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (4-5)

First Republican notable to be the butt of a presenter joke: Rick Santorum (Even); Newt Gingrich (2-1); Ron Paul (8-1); Mitt Romney (5-1); Tim Tebow (12-1)

Odds that the Best Foreign Film winner will say something critical about US foreign policy (3-1)

Odds that the Best Foreign Film winner will say something complimentary about Hollywood movies (50-1)

Doomed because nobody saw your movie: Supporting Actress Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs (2-1); Animated Feature A Cat in Paris (4-1); Actor Demián Bichir, A Better Life (5-1)

Nominated movie title most likely to cause confusion with Zoomer Oscar ceremony viewers: Sentimental Spielberg hooey War Horse will be confused with the inspiring stage play War Horse (5-1); Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close will be mistaken for a documentary about Ozzy Osbourne (10-1); The Help will be mistaken for an Oscar-worthy movie (2-1); Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs will be mistaken for Peter O’Toole (Even)

Award most likely to be followed by a tsunami or the earth opening up and swallowing the Kodak theater whole: The Help wins Best Picture (4-1); Woody Allen wins Best Director (10-1); Bridesmaids wins Best Original Screenplay (8-1); Kung-Fu Panda 2 wins anything (15-1)

Most depressing thought about the ceremony as a whole: They’d rather go one nomination short than nominate Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy for Best Picture (4-1);  Now Madonna can say she’s directed an Oscar-Nominated film (Even); I watched this Goddamn thing yet again (2-1)

-Don Irvine