Our BAFTA Awards contest winner predicts Best Picture/Director split at Oscars

“I think there will be a split in Picture and Director [at the Oscars],” says Gold Derby’s latest contest champ Chris Herlihy (Bird is his username) who scored the best while predicting the 2014 BAFTA Awards. “But I am currently predicting ‘Boyhood‘ to take both only because I have no clue how the split will go.”

Herlihy, a 19-year-old student from Loyola Marymount University, earned the #1 position on our BAFTAs leaderboard thanks to his 91% accuracy and 3,450 point score. His prize is a $100 Amazon gift certificate and a spot on Gold Derby’s winners list. (See all of Herlihy’s predictions here. To see how you scored, click here.)

Birdman or ‘Boyhood’? Editors battle over what DGA and BAFTAs mean for Oscars

How was Herlihy able to do so well predicting the BAFTAs? “When predicting, I try to ignore the odds for each nominee and set my lineup using what I’ve read and what I know. I think the biggest secret to my success was my use of the 500 and 200 bets. I used these increased bets on my predictions with the worst odds, greatly increasing my return points when I got all of them right. This allowed me to edge out the equally good predictions of SxECanadianFanSxE and Troye.”

Did Herlihy make any changes to his predictions at the last moment that affected his accuracy? “I usually do have last-minute switches, but for the BAFTAs I didn’t. I had wanted to switch out my prediction of Best Adapted Screenplay from ‘The Imitation Game‘ to ‘The Theory of Everything,’ but I could not convince myself that ‘The Imitation Game’ was going home empty-handed.”

As for categories that Herlihy was proud of, “I’m glad that I never bought the hype around ‘Birdman’ taking Best Editing. Usually Editing goes to the showiest nominee, not the least showiest, which is why I predicted ‘Whiplash.'”

What do BAFTAS mean for Oscars?

Back to the Oscars, Herlihy tells us, “I think there’s equal chance of a “Birdman“/Picture “Boyhood”/Director split as a “Boyhood”/Picture “Birdman”/Director split. For Best Actor, I’m pretty confident that Eddie Redmayne is going to take it. The only way he doesn’t win is if ‘Birdman’ sweeps and takes Michael Keaton along.”

Make your own Oscars picks now — click here — or scroll down to predict the Best Actor winner using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Best predictions will win $1,000 prize. And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. See who’s in our current Top 24 and their early Oscar predictions. Meet the guy who won our contest to predict Oscar nominations this year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. Register/log in to your account so you can also compete to predict “The Walking Dead,” “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race” and more.

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