Is it possible to win Best Actor Oscar without taking SAG first?

Less than half of the Best Ensemble winners at the SAG Awards have gone on to win Best Picture at the Oscars, but SAG has much greater predictive power in the acting races. Consider Best Actor: 81% of nominees (81 out of 100) line up with the Oscars, as do 80% of winners (16 out of 20). That makes SAG a crucial stop on the campaign trail for leading men.

Past SAG champs do battle for Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon …

Click here  to start entering your predictions in all five of SAG’s top races, or use our easy drag-and-drop menu below to get started. Your predictions determine our racetrack odds, and you can keep editing them right up until the day SAG nominations are announced. You score points based on how accurately predict the nominees (you get more points if you correctly predict a long-shot candidate before anyone else does), and if you’re one of our most accurate predictors, you’ll be included next year among our elite Top 24 Users, who have even greater influence over our odds. See the chart on the right to find out who some of our top users are currently predicting.

The four times SAG and Oscar disagreed occurred four years in a row, though it depends on how you count Benicio Del Toro. He won Best Actor at SAG in 2000 for “Traffic,” but while he technically didn’t go on to repeat at the Oscars, that’s only because the academy awarded him in the supporting category instead of lead. That was good news for Russell Crowe, who took the Best Actor Oscar for “Gladiator.”

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Crowe won SAG the following year for “A Beautiful Mind,” but the Oscars preferred Denzel Washington (“Training Day”).

In 2002, Daniel Day-Lewis won his first of three SAG Awards, for “Gangs of New York,” but the Oscar went to Adrien Brody, who became the youngest ever Best Actor Oscar champ, for “The Pianist.”

2003 was the last disagreement. Johnny Depp won SAG for “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” but Sean Penn won the first of his two Oscars for “Mystic River.”

That means the last 10 Best Actor winners at SAG have all repeated at the Oscars. Because of SAG’s close correlation with Oscar, it’s no surprise that we find many of the same names among this year’s top contenders at both events.

A pair of this year’s top contenders have history with the SAG Awards, but mostly for their TV work. Michael Keaton (“Birdman“) previously earned a bid for the telefilm “The Company” in 2007. And Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher“) earned 12 nominations and two TV Comedy Ensemble wins for “The Office,” though he also picked up a big-screen win as part of the ensemble of “Little Miss Sunshine.”

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Benedict Cumberbatch could prevail for both film and TV roles at this year’s awards. He’s eligible for his recent Emmy-winning work as the title character in “Sherlock,” and also for his standout film performance as gay code-breaker Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game.” The actor earned SAG nominations twice last year as a member of two film ensembles: “12 Years a Slave” and “August: Osage County.”

The Theory of Everything” star Eddie Redmayne is also looking for his first individual honors. He was previously nominated with the cast of “Les Miserables” in 2012. Timothy Spall won in 2010 with the cast of “The King’s Speech” and could earn his first individual bid for “Mr. Turner.”

Joaquin Phoenix (“Inherent Vice“) has four previous SAG nominations, but no wins. Bill Murray (“St. Vincent“) has one previous SAG bid, for “Lost in Translation” in 2003.

Bradley Cooper won Best Ensemble last year for “American Hustle” and this year may contend for his role in “American Sniper.” Ben Affleck won Best Ensemble the year before for “Argo” as well as for “Shakespeare in Love” in 1998 and could add to his haul with “Gone Girl.” David Oyelowo was nominated last year with the cast of “The Butler” and could be back as Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma.”

Who do you think will win? Will it line up with Oscar for an 11th straight year? Use our drag-and-drop menu below to predict Best Actor:

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