Best Director

12 Years a Slave completes a hat trick of favorites with this category, despite Alfonso Cuaron’s huge technical achievement with Gravity. There are so many tempting options for Best Director, which is famously one of the toughest sections to call. But considering a lot of outlets are offering odds on George Clooney for Monuments Mena film that has been delayed, and is no longer eligible for the Oscars – we’re not exactly dealing with experts here.

Inside Llewyn DavisInside Llewyn Davis - a solid contender for the Coen Brothers, and Oscar Isaac

Unless you go ahead and bet on it, of course...

No, for us, putting some money down on the Coen Brothers for Inside Llewyn Davis wouldn’t be a crazy decision at all. The charming movie tells the story of Davis’s entry to the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Lead actor Oscar Isaac is being talked about as the starlet of Hollywood because of his turn, and what up-and-coming actor could dream of better mentors than Joel and Ethan Coen?

“As played by an eloquently beleaguered Oscar Isaac, Llewyn Davis is arguably the most vivid and complex character the Coens have dreamed up since Marge Gunderson,” wrote Chris Cabin of Slant Magazine.

Watch the trailer for Inside Llewyn Davis

The outside bet here is Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine, despite his torrid history with the Academy. But this could be the year for change, and given the undoubted quality of Blue, and his 66/1 odds, it’s certainly worth a punt.