From Gravity to DiCaprio: Five potential Oscars 2014 upsets

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In 1991 it was Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves winning Best Picture ahead of Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, while in 1994 Tommy Lee Jones snatched the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the Fugitive ahead of Ralph Fiennes memorable turn in Schindler’s List, but what will be the big Oscars shock in 2014?

While the likes of Gravity and 12 Years A Slave dominate the nominations, with Cate Blanchett and Matthew McConaughey also hotly-tipped for success, make sure you aren’t left open mouthed this Sunday, by picking one of these outsiders for Oscars glory.

Best Actor

Matthew McConaughey may be the overwhelming 1/6 favourite to take home the award for his performance as Ron Woodruff in Dallas Buyers Club, but internet rumours have long suggested that it may be fellow nominee Leonardo DiCaprio’s time to shine.

The 39-year-old is up for his role as Jordan Belfort in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street and having been overlooked on three separate occasions for this particular honour, looks a decent outside shot at 5/1 with Ladbrokes.

Best Actress

After claiming the BAFTA award for Best Actress this year, Cate Blanchett has been priced as the overwhelming 1/25 favourite to pick up the award, but that shouldn’t deter you from putting a little on rank outsider Meryl Streep.

The three-time academy award winner is a 66/1 shot to win, but having previously picked up the award twice in the space of three years, it wouldn’t be a massive shock to see her claim victory again following her standout performance in August: Osage County.

Best Supporting Actress

The closest thing to a genuine Oscars battle sees 12 Years A Slave breakout star Lupita Nyongo priced as the 4/6 favourite to win with Ladbrokes, but in Jennifer Lawrence she faces strong competition, with the US actress just 5/4 to claim a second Academy Award.

Arguably the best thing in David O. Russell’s crime-caper ensemble American Hustle, Lawrence won rave reviews and amid suggestions she is set to take a break from acting, this could be one memorable way for her to bow out – for now.

Best Director

Alfonso Cuaron picked up the BAFTA gong for best director in a development that saw him move to the 1/25 favourite, but don’t count against Steve McQueen taking to the stage as part of a move that could see the pair switch award wins this time round (see below).

The 12 Years A Slave director is an enticing 12/1 shot to take home the award and given the praise heaped on the film and, in particular, the work of McQueen, it wouldn’t be the strangest thing in the world to see him win here.

Best Picture

While 12 Years A Slave picked up this honour at the aforementioned British film awards, it could be a case of role reversal at the Oscars, with McQueen’s picture the 2/7 favourite to win but facing a challenge from Cuaron’s much-heralded special-effects space saga Gravity.

Available at a handy 7/2 this could be the one big shock to look out for on the night, though if one of the big awards goes Gravity’s way, expect the other to go to 12 Years A Slave.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.