MTV Movie Awards cliffhanger: Can Shailene Woodley beat Jennifer Lawrence at her own ‘Games’?

For me, one of the most difficult categories at the MTV Movie Awards to predict is Best Female Performance. Normally, it’s a no-brainer – is Jennifer Lawrence nominated? Yes? Then she wins. But that’s not so clear this year with Shailene Woodley breathing down her neck.

Lawrence has won the award the last three years in a row. Two of those wins (2012 and 2014) were for her role as Katniss Everdeen in the blockbuster “Hunger Games” franchise, but voters love her so much they also awarded her in 2013 for her Oscar-winning turn in “Silver Linings Playbook.” MTV fans don’t usually gravitate towards such prestige fare. That’s the power of Lawrence’s fan base.

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But Lawrence has never had to face Woodley in this race. Woodley is nominated for her role as a cancer patient in “The Fault in Our Stars,” a young-adult novel adaptation that rivals “Hunger Games” for passionate fandom. Woodley has the added benefit of also starring in the “Divergent” series, another young-adult dystopian franchise that appeals to the same fans as “Hunger Games.”

And last year, Woodley’s role in “Divergent” won Favorite Character, taking out Lawrence’s Katniss in their first head-to-head contest. So Woodley will win this, right?

I’m not so sure. For the moment, I’m sticking with Lawrence, because MTV fans haven’t been interested in spreading the wealth in recent years. The “Twilight” films won Movie of the Year four years in a row. Star Kristen Stewart won Female Performance three years in a row, and Robert Pattinson won twice – they never lost, in fact. The only reason “Twilight” stopped sweeping the awards was that MTV, perhaps realizing how invincible it was, stopped nominating it.

If Lawrence and the “Hunger Games” juggernaut are as powerful as “Twilight” was, then there might not be much Woodley can do to stop her, except maybe wait a year. If Lawrence and “Hunger Games” win again, MTV might decide to bench them in 2016 just like they did to “Twilight,” whose last installment, “Breaking Dawn, Part 2” received only one nomination, for Best Shirtless Performance (Taylor Lautner) – which, of course, it won.

But I seem to be in the minority thinking Lawrence is too big to fail. Woodley is favored to win by our Users, who give her 8/13 odds.

Of our Top 24 Users (the best predictors of last year’s winners), 15 are backing Woodley, including last year’s predictions champ, JDMintz, who wiped the floor with the rest of us by correctly forecasting 65% of the winners (I had a lowly 36% by comparison). This year, he’s betting on a clean sweep for “The Fault in Our Stars,” favoring it for Male Performance (Ansel Elgort), Female Performance (Woodley), and Movie of the Year.

But I’m not alone on the Lawrence bandwagon. Nine of the Top 24 are betting on a fourth consecutive victory for the “Hunger Games” star: BerryBest, JosephAlejandroBaello, Espinosa89, JoseGonzalez, Felipe Miranda, Explorer801, Povalles, Ogrostov and Carlos.

So I’m not crazy … right?

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Last year’s Top 24 team didn’t do any better than Editors or Users – we all scored 35.71% correct, down from the previous year when we all forecast 50% of winners, which was down from the year before that, when the Top 24 and All Users scored 66.67% correct and Editors had 58.33%.

That means all of Gold Derby’s predictors are hoping to make a comeback, and you can help. If you think you know who will win this year’s MTV Movie Award races, click here to make your predictions. Your picks will be pooled together to generate our official racetrack odds, and if you have this year’s best predictions, you’ll win a $100 Amazon gift card (if you qualify according to our contest rules).

And don’t forget to use your big bets. Longshots pay out bigger if they upset, so if you place your two 200-point bets and one 500-point bet on a 100/1 underdog and they win, you score even higher. We use those scores to break ties if multiple users have the highest predictions percentage, so don’t take them for granted.

Register/log in to your account so you can also compete to predict the Daytime Emmys, Primetime Emmys, “The Voice,” “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “American Idol” and more.

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