Experts’ Oscar predictions update: ‘Spotlight’ widens lead, Leonardo DiCaprio & Brie Larson far in front

Our 22 Oscar experts drawn from major media outlets have now seen all the top contenders (save for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens") and have been busy updating their predictions. We have clear frontrunners in five of the eight top races. However, Director, Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay are turning into real contests. 

"Spotlight" has widened its lead for Best Picture, with 16 Experts backing it compared to three apiece for "The Martian" and "The Revenant." That gives this docudrama chronicling the efforts of Boston Globe reporters to expose pedophile priests leading odds of 5/1 versus 15/2 for the others. 

"Spotlight" helmer Tom McCarthy has 11 Experts predicting him to win Best Director; that is good enough for leading odds of 5/2. However, "The Martian" director Ridley Scott, who has lost this race  three times, has the support of seven experts. And last year's big winner for "Birdman," Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has five of us in his corner. Both of them have odds of 4/1. McCarthy does look like a lock for Original Screenplay with 15 Experts predicting him and co-writer Josh Singer to win.

Leonardo DiCaprio is all but certain to win Best Actor for "The Revenant." He has the votes of 20 Experts, with just two still backing one-time frontrunner Michael Fassbender ("Steve Jobs"). That translates into odds of 7/4 for DiCaprio, a five-time Oscar also-ran, and just 4/1 for Fassbender. 

Likewise, Brie Larson has 16 votes for her breakout performance in "Room" and odds of 19/10 to win Best Actress. Her nearest rivals are both past category champs: Cate Blanchett ("Carol") has three votes and odds of 4/1 while Jennifer Lawrence ("Joy") has one vote and odds of 9/2. 

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Last year Michael Keaton lost the Best Actor Oscar race for his star turn in "Birdman." He just won the Best Actor award from the New York Film Critics Circle for his performance as a tough-talking newspaper editor in "Spotlight." However, the studio is campaigning him in supporting and our experts give him and co-star Mark Ruffalo six votes apiece. Because Keatonis ranked higher by those putting him in first than Ruffalo he has odds of 7/2. Ruffalo, who has lost this category twice before, has odds of 5/1. And Mark Rylance, who won the supporting award from the NYFCC, is in third with two votes and odds of 6/1.

Supporting Actress looks like a lock for Rooney Mara, assuming that the acting branch puts her there for her performance in "Carol." The Globes have bumped her up to lead. She has the support of 15Experts and odds of 21/10. Her closest rival, Alicia Vikander ("The Danish Girl") also got promoted to lead at the Globes; she has five votes and odds of 10/3. 

While Aaron Sorkin remains the frontrunner to win Adapted Screenplay for "Steve Jobs," his lead has narrowed. He is down to eight votes and odds of 10/3. Coming on strong are Emma Donoghue for adapting her bestseller "Room" (5 votes, odds of 4/1) and NYFCC winner Phyllis Nagy for "Carol" (4 votes, odds of 9/2).  

Click here to see odds and rankings of our Oscar Experts

Here's the Best Picture winner predictions of our 22 Oscarologists.

"Spotlight" (16 Experts)
Thelma Adams (Gold Derby)
Edward Douglas (ComingSoon)
Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post)
Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood)
Michael Musto (Out.com)
Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby)
Kevin Polowy (Yahoo)
Christopher Rosen (EW)
Keith Simanton (IMDB)
Nicole Sperling (EW)
Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood)
Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)
Brian Truitt (USA Today)
Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere)
Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times)
Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com)

"The Martian" (3 Experts)
Tim Gray (Variety)
Jack Mathews (Gold Derby)
Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily)

"The Revanant" (3 Experts)
Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair)
Tariq Khan (Fox News)
Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby)

And below, the Experts' odds for the leading contenders in the top eight Oscar categories. Click on the category title for a more in-depth look at each race. And click here to see the Experts' predictions in 21 categories

BEST PICTURE
"Spotlight" – 5/1
"The Revenant" – 15/2
"The Martian" – 15/2
"Carol" – 11/1
"Room" – 11/1
"Brooklyn" – 12/1
"Bridge of Spies" – 12/1
"Joy" – 14/1
"Steve Jobs" – 18/1
"Inside Out" – 33/1

BEST DIRECTOR
Tom McCarthy, "Spotlight" – 5/2
Alejandro G. Inarritu, "The Revenant" – 4/1
Ridley Scott, "The Martian" – 4/1
Todd Haynes, "Carol" – 10/1
David O. Russell, "Joy" – 14/1

BEST ACTOR
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant" – 13/8
Michael Fassbender, "Steve Jobs" – 4/1
Matt Damon, "The Martian" – 7/1
Eddie Redmayne, "The Danish Girl" – 17/2
Johnny Depp, "Black Mass" – 10/1

BEST ACTRESS
Brie Larson, "Room" – 21/10
Cate Blanchett, "Carol" – 4/1
Jennifer Lawrence, "Joy" – 4/1
Saoirse Ronan, "Brooklyn" – 5/1
Charlotte Rampling, "45 Years" – 14/1

Click here to see ups and downs of Oscar races over entire awards season

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Michael Keaton, "Spotlight" – 7/2
Mark Ruffalo, "Spotlight" – 5/1
Mark Rylance, "Bridge of Spies" – 6/1
Idris Elba, "Beasts of No Nation" – 15/2
Sylvester Stallone, "Creed" – 8/1

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Rooney Mara, "Carol" – 11/5
Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl" – 10/3
Kate Winslet, "Steve Jobs" – 11/2
Jennifer Jason Leigh, "The Hateful Eight" – 8/1
Jane Fonda, "Youth" – 11/1

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
"Spotlight" – 21/10
"Inside Out" – 9/2
"The Hateful Eight" – 5/1
"Joy" – 6/1
"Bridge of Spies" – 12/1

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
"Steve Jobs" – 3/1
"Room" – 4/1
"Carol" – 5/1
"Brooklyn" – 13/2
"The Martian" – 17/2

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