Ever since the nominees for the 54th Grammy Awards were announced late last year, we've asked everyone from Vegas-tested professionals to cubicle-dwelling amateurs to predict just who will take home the golden gramophones during Sunday's big show. And basically, they keep telling us the same thing: Adele is just going to win everything.
And they're probably right. After all, her 21 album is an unstoppable juggernaut, selling more than 6 million copies in less than a year, spawning two massive singles and almost singlehandedly keeping the industry afloat during dour times. So, yeah, we feel pretty comfortable referring to her as "the favorite."
Still, it's not as if Adele's Grammy-night triumph is a sure thing (not entirely anyway): In three of the so-called "Big Four" categories — Album, Record and Song of the Year — she'll face stiff challenges from the likes of Mumford & Sons, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Kanye West, to name just a few. In the other "Big Four" category (Best New Artist), she's not nominated — mostly because she won it in 2009.
So with music's biggest night just around the corner, here's a refresher on just who our expert oddsmakers — and resident awards-show expert (uh, me) picked to win at the 54th Grammys:
Record of the Year
Not surprisingly, the U.K.-based oddsmakers at Ladbrokes like Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" here, installing it as the favorite at 2/1 odds. Mumford & Sons' "The Cave" was next, at 9/4 odds, followed by Bruno Mars' "Grenade" at 4/1. I decided to go out on a limb and predict Bon Iver's "Holocene" would build on Arcade Fire's unlikely Album of the Year win at last year's Grammys and shock everyone by winning ROTY. Who's right? Well, probably the pros, but we'll just have to wait until Sunday to know for sure.
Song of the Year
Ladbrokes once again goes for Adele, giving "Rolling in the Deep" 1/1 odds to win. Kanye West's "All of the Lights" is next at 2/1, followed by Mumford & Sons' "The Cave" at 5/1. Me? I'm taking "Deep" too — mostly because it was the year's biggest track, and one look back at previous SOTY winners ("Rehab," "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," etc.) shows you which way this category tends to go.
Album of the Year
Ladbrokes has Adele's 21 as the slight favorite here, giving the disc 11/8 odds. Close behind are Bruno Mars' Doo Wops & Hooligans and the Foo Fighters' Wasting Light, each of whom got 3/1 odds. I also picked 21 to win, but unlike the betting Brits, I didn't think this one would even be close.
Best New Artist
Absent of Adele, BNA may very well be the night's most-competitive category. Ladbrokes certainly seems to agree with that sentiment, as they've installed Nicki Minaj as the slight favorite (6/4 odds), but also kept the Band Perry (9/4), Bon Iver (4/1) and J. Cole (5/1) within striking distance. As for me, I took Minaj too, though I'm not sure how confident I feel about it now. I could certainly see the Band Perry winning instead, though my gut tells me that perhaps it'll be Bon Iver who takes this one home — we'll just have to wait until Sunday to see.
Chaos! Profanity! Wardrobe malfunctions! Don't miss Sway and James Montgomery live from the Grammys red carpet this Sunday, February 12, for a full three hours of mayhem, starting at 5 p.m. ET on MTV.com. And the fun doesn't end Sunday: MTV News has you covered until the Grammy hangover wears off!