The Aviator is the bookmakers favourite to scoop the Best Picture OSCAR at next month's (FEB05) Academy Awards, at odds of 4/9.

Just 24 hours after nominations were announced, gamblers are already backing the Martin Scorsese movie to take the top prize.

Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby is the second favourite at odds of 8/13 - according to British bookmakers LADBROKES and WILLIAM HILL.

Jamie Foxx is meanwhile favourite to scoop the Best Actor prize for his role in Ray Charles biopic RAY. Hilary Swank is tipped to take the Best Actress honour for Million Dollar Baby.

SIDEWAYS actor THOMAS HAYDEN CHURCH is favourite to take the Best Supporting Actor award, just ahead of British Golden Globe winner CLIVE OWEN - with the Best Supporting Actress award expected to go Cate Blanchett for her role in THE AVIATOR.

Scorsese is meanwhile hotly tipped to take his first ever Academy Award, as Best Director, for The Aviator - 24 years after he was first nominated for Raging Bull in 1981.

26/01/2005 17:31