The acts tipped to be on the shortlist include poet and rapper Kate Tempest, alt-R&B singer FKA Twigs, Blur's Damon Albarn and electro-funk duo Jungle.
The nominations will be revealed at London's Hospital club before the winner is named on 29 October.
Last year, the £20,000 prize went to downtempo dubstep maestro James Blake.
Other recent winners have included Alt-J, PJ Harvey, The xx and Speech Debelle.
The prize is judged by a panel of 12 critics, DJs, musicians and other industry figures who often use the shortlist to champion left-field choices as well as more obvious contenders.
This year, predictions have also included electronic producer East India Youth, soulful pop star Sam Smith and indie bands Bombay Bicycle Club and Wild Beasts.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes has Tempest and FKA Twigs as joint favourites to win the prize, followed by Jungle and Brighton rock duo Royal Blood.