Twelve of 18 experts in the survey are evenly split on both films. Six pundits choose "Silver Linings Playbook," director David O. Russell's comedy about a former teacher (Bradley Cooper) who falls in love with a mysterious woman (Jennifer Lawrence) after he checks out of a mental hospital. Picking it to prevail: Dave Karger (Entertainment Weekly), Steve Pond (The Wrap), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Alex Suskind (Moviefone) and Chuck Walton (Fandango).
"Lincoln" – Steven Spielberg's biopic starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the martyred Civil War president – also has six prognosticators behind it: Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Richard Horgan (MediaBistro/ FishbowlLA), Kevin Polowy (NextMovie), Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily) and me.
Three pundits opt for "Les Miserables," a screen adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical by director Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech"): Edward Douglas (Comingsoon), Tariq Khan (Fox News) and Keith Simanton (IMDB).
See here how each expert ranks the contenders in the top races. When the rankings are combined, they translate into these racetrack odds, which give "Silver Linings Playbook" a slight edge (10 to 3) over "Lincoln" (7 to 2) in the Best Picture derby.
Below: the tally of pundits backing each top contender to win the four acting races.
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln" – 10
Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master" – 8
Jennifer Lawrence, "The Silver Linings Playbook" – 15
Keira Knightley, "Anna Karenina" – 1
Marion Cotillard, "Rust and Bone" – 1
Naomi Watts, "The Impossible" – 1
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master" – 12
Alan Arkin, "Argo" – 2
Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook" – 2
Leonardo DiCaprio, "Django Unchained" – 2
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables" – 8
Amy Adams, "The Master" – 4
Helen Hunt, "The Sessions" – 4
Sally Field, "Lincoln" – 1
Earliest Oscars Predictions Ever
Our Oscarologists are busy updating their predictions as they see more and more contenders. Make your early picks now -- click here -- and change them later as the derby heats up.