Getting a line on Academy Awards |

Getting a line on Academy Awards

Paul Peterson, Tribune correspondent

For college hoop fans, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

At the same time, however, events going on in the world right now are

likely to overshadow the tournament. Let’s hope that matters reach a

safe and speedy conclusion.

That being said, there should still be plenty of basketball going on to take people’s minds off of more serious matters.

The NCAA tournament is competition at its best. From last-second buzzerbeaters to No. 16 seed upset winners, this contest is a joy from start to finish.

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For bookmakers, the tournament is traditionally a bonanza as well.

Pointspreads are set as high as the sky when the top seeds meet the minnows. Casual bettors come out in force at this time of year and they can’t get enough on the big favorites time and again. The house loves this type of action and while the big favorites cover here and there, they inevitably shatter plenty of parlay tickets.

Tread carefully when you spot an apparent mismatch between a powerhouse and a small school.

Pointspreads can prove to be a tough obstacle when it comes to cashing

tickets. I will talk more about the tournament later.

In my last article, I referred to betting lines on special events such as the Academy Awards. Books within Nevada do not accept wagers on such affairs, but I would like to give you an outline of the odds on the major contenders in the main categories. These are strictly for entertainment purposes only.

For Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis (Gangs of New York), 1-3; Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt) 5-2.

Best Supporting Actor: Chris Cooper (Adaptation), 3-5; Christopher Walken (Catch Me …..) 9-5.

Best Actress: Nicole Kidman (The Hours), 1-2; Renee Zellweger (Chicago), 9-5.

Best Supporting Actress: Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago), 4-5; Meryl Streep (Adaptation), 12-5; Julianne Moore (The Hours), 3-1.

Best Picture: Chicago, 1-3; The Hours, 4-1; Gangs of New York, 4-1.

There are many famous names at high odds to win an Oscar within these catagories, including Paul Newman, Nicolas Cage and Kathy Bates, to name a few. All the oddsmakers’ favorites for this year are listed above.

Enjoy the ceremonies.

Back to basketball. The tournament is as wide open as ever. There are at least 15-20 teams which could step up and take it all. I will narrow it down to my Final Four and I will also give you my associate-at-Caesars picks. I like Texas, Wake Forest, Arizona and Kentucky to make the Final Four.

Rich Riggs, whose knowledge of college basketball easily surpasses mine, picks Florida, Syracuse, Arizona and Kentucky.

I like Kentucky to win it all; Rich goes for Arizona. Long shot teams which could cause a stir are Marquette, Creighton and Louisville.

Be sure to enjoy this year’s tournament and we’ll see you at Caesars, where all games will be shown live along with food and beverage specials.

May all your wagers be winning ones.