Forget what movie you actually liked. And forget the experts. The hot new way to predict winners is by using quantifiable data and rigorous statistical analyses. As one quantitative Oscar-predictor wrote in the Huffington Post, “This method is entirely mathematical: no personal hunches are taken into account.” A little impersonal, but hey. This is life in the Nate Silver era. Herewith is our guide to some of the top mathematical models for predicting the Oscars:


PredictWise is run by David Rothschild, an economist now with Microsoft Research.

How it works
PredictWise’s Oscar projections combine data from several prediction markets, as well as data gathered from a game people can play to help with Rothschild’s research. PredictWise’s political forecasts use some numbers that don’t apply to the Oscars, such as past election results and the state of the economy.

Past performance
Rothschild correctly predicted 50 out of 51 jurisdictions (the 50 states plus Washington, DC) in last year’s election, but he doesn’t seem to have tackled the Oscars before.

The predictions
Argo for best picture, Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) for best director, Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) for best actor and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) for best actress.

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