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How to Win Your Oscar Pool

Saturday, 23 Feb 2013 | 9:40 AM ET
Oscar Pool Strategy
Social media analytic firm BrandWatch analyzes 60 million websites and nearly half a million conversations to calculate the critics and public pick for the Oscars, reports CNBC's Julia Boorstin.

The secret to winning your Oscar pool lies in social media and critics.

The 6,000-member Academy may be older and more male than the average movie fan on Twitter, but when the numbers are crunched, all the various data points can provide a good indicator of how the envelope-opening will play out Sunday.

Social media analytics firm Brandwatch analyzes millions of news data sites and social conversations on Twitter and Facebook to deliver the "Critics Choice" and the "Public Choice" for the various categories. The firm said its technology weeds out mentions of actors that are unrelated to the Academy Awards, and what results is an accurate representation of what the masses and the critics think.

(Read More: Predicting the Real Winners of the Oscars)

In several cases, critics and consumers are on the same page, like with "Argo," which is expected to take home the top prize for Best Picture. In the case of best actress they're split— critics pick Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty" and the public picks Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook."

Brandwatch crunched the critical and social statistics and gave CNBC it's official predictions.

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It expects "Argo" (Warner Brothers) to win Best Picture and Steven Spielberg to win Best Director for "Lincoln" (Dreamworks). If this does indeed happen, it would be a rare occasion in which the Best Picture winner was not nominated for Best Director.

(Read More: The Oscars Social TV Ad Bonanza)

Best Actor is widely expected to go to Daniel Day-Lewis for his role as "Lincoln."

The Best Actress race is the most contentious of any of the big awards, said Sebastian Hempstead Brandwatch's head of North America. But taking all the data into consideration, he said Brandwatch is putting its money on Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings."

If your Oscar pool bets on which film will garner the most awards, Brandwatch expects a tie. It's no surprise that "Lincoln" is projected to draw three Oscars, especially considering it had the most nominations—12 total. But "Life of Pi" is expected to tie "Lincoln" with three as well, including Best Cinematography.

(Read More: Best Picture Winners With the Biggest 'Oscar Bump')

When predicting Sunday's results, movie fans should remember to vote not for their favorite, but what the Academy is likely to go for. As we saw last year with "The Artist," movies about the movie-making process tend to be beloved, as do films with a message ("The Hurt Locker") or those with historical scale ("Schindler's List").

It's a love for historical films that explains why "Lincoln" was the most-nominated. But "Argo" is both about film-making and about a big historical event, which gives it's own kind of advantage.

—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin; Follow her on Twitter: @JBoorstin

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.