By Dave Karger
Updated February 24, 2011 at 05:00 PM EST

Each day leading up to Sunday’s 83rd Academy Awards, we will share Dave Karger’s Oscar picks in a major category, as well as his prediction of how the votes will break down (based on previous awards won and conversations with insiders and Academy members). Today, we have his picks for Best Supporting Actor and Actress. Check back tomorrow for his predictions for Best Actor and Actress.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESSImage Credit: Wilson Webb

Dave Karger’s pick: Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)

The Oscar category with the biggest history of upsets could have one in store this year as well. Leaving aside Helena Bonham Carter and Jacki Weaver, who may not have delivered showy enough performances to catch the Academy’s eye, it’s a three-way race that could lead to the shock of the night. Melissa Leo has picked up most of the big pre-Oscar prizes, but vote-splitting with her Fighter costar Amy Adams, not to mention blowback from her recent self-styled for-your-consideration ads in the Hollywood trades, might torpedo her chances. In that case, precocious 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld could become the latest child actor to score Oscar gold.

Vote percentage prediction:

Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit): 30 percent

Melissa Leo (The Fighter): 25 percent

Amy Adams (The Fighter): 20 percent

Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech): 15 percent

Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom): 10 percent

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTORImage Credit: JoJo Whilden

Dave Karger’s pick: Christian Bale (The Fighter)

A trio of ace character actors — John Hawkes, Jeremy Renner, and Mark Ruffalo — should feel satisfied that they stood out in a year filled with strong supporting turns. But this race comes down to two men of different generations who just about stole the show from their titular castmates. Geoffrey Rush (a Best Actor winner for 1996’s Shine) delightfully went toe-to-toe with Colin Firth in The King’s Speech and could pull an Oscar upset as part of a sweep for the film. But by completely disappearing into his role as a boxer–turned–crack addict, The Fighter’s Christian Bale not only snagged his first nomination but a likely Academy Award, too.

Christian Bale (The Fighter): 35 percent

Geoffrey Rush(The King’s Speech): 30 percent

Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right): 20 percent

John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone): 10 percent

Jeremy Renner (The Town): 5 percent

More Oscars 2011:

Oscars: Who’ll win (and who should!)

Oscars: A peek behind the curtain

Oscars: ‘Social Network’ backlash?

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