Experts’ Oscar predictions update: ‘Spotlight’ still ahead but ‘The Big Short’ is rising fast

Our 24 Oscar experts drawn from major media outlets have been busy updating their predictions in the wake of the first wave of nominations announcements from the various guilds. While “Spotlight” continues to hold the top spot (as seen in light blue in the graph above), look at the rapid rise of “The Big Short” (the dark blue line). Adam McKay‘s seriocomic film is based on Michael Lewis‘ bestseller and profiles four high-finance fellows (Christian BaleSteve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt) who foresaw an opportunity with the impending collapse in 2008 of the credit and housing bubble. 

Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), who was tops among our experts at predicting last year’s Oscar nominations, just switched to “The Big Short” because it is the only film this year to contend for Best Ensemble at SAG as well as with the editors and producers. That support, coupled with other experts moving it up their rankings, gives this late entry into the Oscar race odds of 9/1 to pull off an upset. 

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While “Spotlight” was snubbed by the editors, Tom McCarthy‘s docudrama chronicling the efforts of Boston Globe reporters to expose pedophile priests still has the support of a whopping 21 experts and enjoys leading odds of 9/2 to win Best Picture. 

The remaining two experts are backing Ridley Scott‘s sci-fi thriller “The Martian,” which didn’t even make the top 10 at the start of the season. However, a combo of critical praise and boffo box office boosted it up high on our chart and it now has odds of 8/1 to win Best Picture. 

“The Revenant” started out awards season in first among the current top 10 contenders (“Joy” was ahead of it then but has since fallen far behind). However, “Spotlight” took the lead in mid-September after it swept through the festival circuit and has never lost it since. “The Revenant” is now in third with odds of 17/2. 

By way of a consolation prize for “The Revenant,” our experts are all agreed that Leonardo DiCaprio will finally win an Oscar after five losses. He is spellbinding in his portrayal of real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass who trekked 200 miles to exact revenge on the hunters that abandoned him after a bear attack.

In fourth place is “Mad Max: Fury Road” which continues to rise up the ranks as it racks up wins from key critics groups and nominations from the precursor prizes. It now has odds of 9/1 to win Best Picture. 

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Carol,” Todd Haynes‘s bittersweet love story between a 1950s housewife (Cate Blanchett) and a shopgirl (Rooney Mara) has odds of 10/1.  

Brooklyn,” a charmer about an Irish immigrant to America in the early 1950s, warmed the hearts of enough experts to have odds of 12/1. 

Bridge of SpiesSteven Spielbergs Cold War thriller with two-time Oscar champ Tom Hanks as James Donovan, a lawyer defending accused Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (three-time Tony winner Mark Rylance) has odds of 14/1. 

Room,” Lenny Abrahamson‘s dark drama with Best Actress frontrunner Brie Larson as a kidnap victim and newcomer Jacob Tremblay as the son she conceived in captivity has odds of 16/1.

Boosted by SAG and PGA nominations, the biopic “Straight Outta Compton” returns to round out the top 10 with odds of 25/1. It bumped “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” which was snubbed by the PGA. 

Click here to see odds and rankings of our Oscar Experts

Below, the Best Picture winner predictions of each of our 24 Oscarologists. With whom do you agree? Be sure to cast your vote at the bottom of this post.

“Spotlight” (21 Experts)
Thelma Adams (Gold Derby)
Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes)
Edward Douglas (ComingSoon)
Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair)
Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post)
Dave Karger (Fandango)
Tariq Khan (Fox News)
Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood)
Michael Musto (
Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby)
Kevin Polowy (Yahoo)
Christopher Rosen (EW)
Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby)
Keith Simanton (IMDB)
Nicole Sperling (EW)
Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood)
Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)
Brian Truitt (USA Today)
Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere)
Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times)
Susan Wloszczyna (

The Martian” (3 Experts)
Tim Gray (Variety)
Jack Mathews (Gold Derby)

“The Big Short” (1 Expert)
Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily)

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