Deadline‘s Pete Hammond and Gold Derby‘s Tom O’Neil are better at divining the tremors and handicapping the Oscar contenders than I. Their latest racetrack chat is spot-on as far as it goes, but where’s the real-deal undercurrent? Oddsmakers have to be analytical and dispassionate, but without sounding too glib. I love these guys but they could use a little of my attitude. What I wouldn’t give to hear Hammond say “here we are about to give Best Picture to another audience-pleaser that isn’t the best,” etc.

The best parts, I suppose, are about O’Neil challenging Hammond on his latest predictions (Emmanuelle Riva wining Best Actress, Robert De Niro taking Best Supporting Actor).