Oscars predictions: Experts split on Director with 20 for Alejandro G. Inarritu (‘Birdman’), 8 for Richard Linklater (‘Boyhood’)

While 20 of our Oscars Experts are predicting that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will win Best Director for helming “Birdman,” eight expect Richard Linklater to prevail for “Boyhood.”

Inarritu has leading odds of 1/2 thanks to the predictions of the following 20 experts: Thelma Adams (ZEALnyc), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Kyle Buchanan (Vulture), Thom Geier, Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Mary Milliken (Reuters), Michael Musto (Out.com), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Claudia Puig (USA Today), Jenelle Riley (Variety), Keith Simanton (IMDb), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere), Glenn Whipp (LA Times), Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com) and Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil and Paul Sheehan.

This is the second Best Director bid for Inarritu. He was nominated in 2006 for helming “Babel,” but lost to Martin Scorsese for his direction of the Best Picture champ “The Departed.” Inarritu also contended as a producer of “Babel” and is also a nominee this year for producing and writing “Birdman.”

Linklater has odds of 12/5 with the votes of these eight experts: Mike Cidoni (Associated Press), Edward Douglas (Coming Soon), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter), Dave Karger (Fandango), Steve Pond (The Wrap), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Nicole Sperling (Entertainment Weekly) and Sasha Stone (Awards Daily).

UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 24 categories

That octet of Oscarologists is betting against the Directors Guild Awards, which went with Inarritu. The DGA and Oscars have disagreed on Best Director in only seven of the last 66 years. The most recent of these was in 2012, when the DGA went with Ben Affleck (“Argo“) who had been snubbed by the directors branch of the academy. 

Linklater has also done well throughout the awards season, winning Best Director at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, and BAFTA awards. Like Inarritu, he’s also a five-time Oscar-nominee, though this is his first bid for directing. He previously earned writing Adapted Screenplay nods for “Before Sunset” (2004) and “Before Midnight” (2013). This year, he is also nominated for writing and producing “Boyhood.”

Wes Anderson (“The Grand Budapest Hotel“) is a distant third in the race with 50/1 odds. This is his first directing nominationm, though his sixth overall. He previously earned bids for writing “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001) and “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012), as well as Best Animated Feature for “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009). This year, he also contends for Picture and Original Screenplay.

See Oscar rankings when Experts’ predictions are combined

Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game“) and Bennett Miller (“Foxcatcher“) both trail at 100/1. Tyldum is the only contender this year without any past nominations. Miller contended for Best Director for “Capote” (2005) but lost to Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”).

Review the individual predictions of our Experts here. And be sure to check out the Experts’ collective rankings and racetrack odds.

Make your Oscars picks now — click here — or scroll down to predict the Best Director 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 Indie Spirits, Razzies, “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race” and more.

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