Oscar slugfest: Last year’s predictions contest winner explains how BAFTA has shaken up the 2017 race [WATCH]

Elizabeth Myers won our Oscar predictions contest in 2016, so we decided to pick her brain about this year’s awards race, especially now that the BAFTAs have changed the balance in many contests. “I think the two from BAFTA that I’m waffling on are still Best Actor … and then Supporting Actor,” she explains. Watch our complete video slugfest above.

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The BAFTA for Best Actor went to Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”). Denzel Washington (“Fences”) had won SAG, but wasn’t even nominated at the BAFTAs — he’s never been nominated by the British academy, in fact, but that hasn’t stopped him from winning two Oscars, so who’s really out front?

Myers is also unsure of the race for Best Supporting Actor. Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) has been the frontrunner for most of the awards season (see our latest odds), but his loss at the BAFTAs to Dev Patel (“Lion”) combined with his loss at the Golden Globes to Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Nocturnal Animals”) prove that he’s vulnerable.

BAFTA Awards 2017: Full list of winners

But “I’ve seen nothing so far this year,” admits Myers. She’s behind on all of this year’s Best Picture nominees, and she’s planning to get caught up at special movie showcases over two weekends before the Oscars. “Usually I’ve seen one or two and I can plan a nap time during the showcase, but that’s not the case this year. I have to stay alert.”

That might be part of what gives Myers her winning edge — objectivity. She hasn’t let personal biases, rooting factor or confirmation bias cloud her judgment when reading the tea leaves. She was already predicting “Spotlight” last year “from the day the nominations were announced,” and finally seeing it didn’t change her mind, even as most of us had strayed towards “The Revenant” or “The Big Short.”

Will that strategy prove successful again this year? See Myers’s predictions here.

Predict the Oscar winners now; change them till February 26

Be sure to make your Oscar predictionsWeigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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