Does Pete Hammond really think the Best Actress race is wide open, or at least not a slam-dunker for The Blind Side‘s Sandra Bullock, and that the only nominee without any kind of shot is The Last Station‘s Helen Mirren ? Because I don’t. I don’t know anyone, really, who’s nursing serious doubts about a Bullock win.

I’ve been sensing since mid January that Bullock had the heat, which I was half-okay with because at least this meant that Meryl Streep‘s decidedly minor Dan Aykroyd turn in Julie & Julia wouldn’t win. My most personally satisfying finale would be a win for An Education‘s Carey Mulligan, of course, but I’d be stunned if this happens. Precious nominee Gabby Sidibe has shown herself to be immensely likable, but who believes she’s anything more than a Harold Russell-type novelty nominee?

EW‘s current Oscar Odds issue compiled by the savvy Dave Karger sees the race differently with a tight battle between Bullock at 35% and Streep at 30%,” Hammond reports. “Sidibe and Mulligan trail with 15% each and Mirren brings up the rear with 5%. EW’s annual survey of four academy voters (not the biggest sample exactly) had Streep winning with 3 to Bullock’s 1.

“I think it is likely much much closer, and [that] Gabby and Carey are significant factors,” Hammond concludes. “Warner Bros. strategists working on Bullock’s behalf privately tell me they prefer that. A tighter four-way contest is better for Bullock’s ultimate chances of prevailing than going one-on-one with the imposing Streep.”