Last week our expert guest contributor Dave Guthmann asked the question, “Who Has the Best Oscar Predictions?” Dave had scoured the internet over the past 18 years and examined over 4500 sets of Oscar predictions. He plugged all his findings into a database, making sure his sources were comparable, and was able to determine which kind of predictions are most likely to help awards-watchers win Oscar contests.
His conclusion? Online surveys and casual mainstream journalist observers have a dismal track record. The best individual predictors are hardcore stats geeks, and close behind are a category of Oscar aficionados that Dave calls Top Users. “This is a category invented by the folks at Gold Derby. Their 48 expert users have a strong Oscar prediction track record.”
I’m proud to say that AwardsDaily’s own Oscar Squad charts ranks high in the top tier of Dave’s list of specific prediction groups. (And the only reason I made his list is because I’m always lurking the comments here and learning the tricks you readers have taught me.)
Not surprisingly, topping all the various online predictors, with a consistent accuracy higher than 75% are betting odds sites.
As Dave points out: “Yes, the professional odds makers are good at what they do. There’s a lot of incentive to be accurate in their business.”
Nowadays, you can even track how the Oscar odds change over a period of time. The biggest change, obviously, is when the nominations are released and when other award shows (like SAG) take place.
Falling outside the scope of Oscar indicators that Dave Guthmann studied is the simulated ballot unique to AwardsDaily that we’ve done annually for going on 12 years now. Thanks to the meticulous number crunching done by AD’s own Dr. Rob, our simulated ballot is not so much an Oscar prediction system as it is a teaching tool to help illuminate our understanding of the preferential ballot process. (We run a parallel Oscar Contest for the friends and readers in our own community of experts to show off their prognostication skills.) The result of each year’s experiment represents a set of alternative Oscar winners.
The Awards Daily Oscar simulation isn’t meant to predict what the Academy will do. It’s to show what we would do if we each got our own Oscar ballot. And that’s the ballot we’re launching today.
As Dr. Rob puts it: