Oscar predictions: Experts vs. Top 24 Users clash over Best Picture, Best Actress

When it came to predicting last year's Oscar nominations, our Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who had done the best predicting the 2013 nominations) led the way with an accuracy rate of 76.67% while the Experts (journalists who cover this beat year-round for major media like Variety, USA Today and Yahoo) got 71.11%. That difference of more than five points has our pro pundits determined to do better than any other group this year. By comparison, our in-house panel of Editors scored 74.44% and all Users had 68.09%. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)

With our experts numbering 22 this year, it is relatively easy to compare their predictions with that of the  Top 24 Users. They disagree on what will win Best Picture. Our pro pundits are forecasting a victory for "Spotlight" while the best of our users are touting "The Revenant." And they do battle over Best Actress as well, with our experts giving the edge to ingenue Brie Larson ("Room") while the Top 24 tout two-time Oscar champ Cate Blanchett in "Carol."  

While the two sides agree on the winners of the other half dozen top Academy Awards, they do wrangle over who are likeliest to play spoilers in these races. Below, a breakdown of their number-one votes in each of the top eight races. (Click on each group name to see the full rankings by all in that category.)

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BEST PICTURE
Experts
1. "Spotlight" – 8
2. "Joy" – 5 
3. "The Martian" – 3 

Top 24 Users
1. "The Revenant" – 6
2. "Spotlight" – 5
3. "Joy" – 5


BEST DIRECTOR
Experts
1. David O. Russell, "Joy" – 9
2. Tom McCarthy, "Carol" – 4
3. Alejandro G. Inarritu, "The Revenant" – 3

Top 24 Users
1. David O. Russell, "Joy" – 8
2. Alejandro G. Inarritu, "The Revenant" – 5
3. Tom McCarthy, "Carol" – 3


BEST ACTOR 
Experts
1. Michael Fassbender, "Steve Jobs" – 10
2. Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant" – 7
3. Eddie Redmayne, "The Danish Girl"  – 2

Top 24 Users
1. Michael Fassbender, "Steve Jobs" – 14
2. Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant" – 5
3. Eddie Redmayne, "The Danish Girl"  – 3


BEST ACTRESS
Experts
1. Brie Larson, "Room" – 13
2. Cate Blanchett, "Carol" – 5
3. Jennifer Lawrence, "Joy" – 4

Top 24 Users
1. Cate Blanchett, "Carol" – 9
2. Brie Larson, "Room" – 6
3. Jennifer Lawrence, "Joy" – 5


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Experts
1. Michael Keaton, "Spotlight" – 8
2. Idris Elba, "Beasts of No Nation" – 5
3. Mark Ruffalo, "Spotlight" – 3

Top 24 Users
1. Michael Keaton, "Spotlight" – 10
2. Mark Rylance, "Bridge of Spies" – 5
3. Idris Elba, "Beasts of No Nation" – 2


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Experts
1. Rooney Mara, "Carol" – 14
2. Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl" – 4
3. Kate Winslet, "Steve Jobs" – 3

Top 24 Users
1. Rooney Mara, "Carol" – 18
2. Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl" – 3
3. Jennifer Jason Leigh, "The Hateful Eight" – 2

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Experts
1. "Spotlight" – 9
2. "Joy" – 7
3. "Inside Out" – 3

 

Top 24 Users
1. "Spotlight" – 10
2. "Joy" – 7
3. "The Hateful Eight" – 4


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Experts
1. "Steve Jobs" – 16
2. "Room" – 2
3. "Carol" – 1

Top 24 Users
1. "Steve Jobs" – 17
2. "Carol" – 4
3. "The Revenant" – 2

Oscar odds and rankings: Combined Experts, Editors, Top 24 Users & All Users

What are your predictions for Oscar nominations?

Score high enough in our contest and you could  you could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users.

Get started by making your picks for Best Picture to the right or at the bottom of this post. 

Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it's important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

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