"In the past Brad Pitt's looks have worked against him," Jacobs explains. "This year he found a great role for himself playing real life baseball manager Billy Beane. He showed heart, he was articulate, he was very smart, and for a while there, people thought he might even win the Oscar."
Unfortunately for Angelina Jolie's partner, The Descendants' Clooney, 50, has 5 to 6 odds of nabbing the win. "He played a grieving dad, he had a big crying scene, he gained a little bit of weight -- everybody loves this role for him."
Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Demian Bichir (A Better Life) and Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) are also nominated in the Best Actor in a Motion Picture category.
Many industry experts predicted Meryl Streep would win the Best Actress in a Motion Picture award for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, but "she hasn't won in 29 years," Jacobs points out.
"When critics finally saw the movie, they loved Meryl as Margaret Thatcher, but the film? Not so much. That may hurt her on Oscar night."