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January 29, 2008

Play responsibly

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Not that we're saying you should fritter away your hard-earned cash (oh, admit it, you bought some of those "Mad Money" lottery tickets), but in case you have the urge, there are places to do that diddle.

The granddaddy of them all, SportsBook, has the Academy Awards race listed under its "exotic" betting category, which we found only after punching the live help button where a lightning fast guy named Darren encouraged us to "bet now!"

If you think "Michael Clayton" can pull it out, maybe this is the place for you. The drama is listed at 15-1 odds, "Juno" sits at 8-to-1, and the fave "No Country for Old Men" is a money-loser at 1-to-3.

Topsportsbooklogof

Grammys, "Celebrity Apprentice," Super Bowl, the ponies -- step right up and take a wild stab. Good cheat sheet for the Oscars here at Gurus o' Gold.

There are other options, like the Hollywood Stock Exchange, where Julie Christie's stock has the top price tag among nominated lead actresses at $10.07, while "The Savages" star Laura Linney's stuck as a measly $1.36.

And there's the desperation play, Gambling911, for all those, um, betting emergencies.

Play responsibly!

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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