Will ‘Game of Thrones’ finally break Emmys curse?

While “Breaking Bad” won Best Drama Series at the last two Emmys, it’s no longer in contention leaving a power vacuum at TV’s biggest event and no one is quite sure what will fill it. Our Top 24 Users —  those two dozen folks who racked up the best scores among the thousands predicting last year’s Emmy nominations — say their is a three-way battle going on between four-time champ “Mad Men,” four-time nominee “Game of Thrones” and two-time contender “House of Cards.”  

Compare that to our Experts who give the edge to “Mad Men” while our Editors and All Users favor “House of Cards.” Of these four groups, the Top 24 Users did the best forecasting last year’s Emmy nominations (78.55%) compared to the Editors (77.68%), All Users (74.78%) and the Experts (74.64%). 

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While only five of the Top 24 are predicting HBO’s epic fantasy series to prevail, compared to 10 for “Mad Men” and eight for “House of Cards,” all three are tied for first. Each has leading odds of 9/2 because of how they are ranked further down the ballots of these savvy Emmy prognosticators. (The final one of the Top 24 thinks “Orange is the New Black” will take the prize, giving it odds of 13/2.)

The five Top 24 Users predicting “Game of Thrones” are: JOSHUA, BurnBook, Duke Silver and our very own contributing editor Charles Bright. (Click on the names of the Top 24 to see all of their predictions, including their respective rankings.)

Last year, Duke Silver finished second in our contest, predicting 79% of nominees, including all of the Drama Series and Comedy Series contenders. He also foresaw that surprise Drama Supporting Actress bid by “Thrones” star Lena Headey.

The 10 betting on “Mad Men” are: Psychadelicboy33, Ashkan, cnmem10, Irishmovielover4everWriter12, Jed Reifer, mjroberts97, victor, GriffRus and jonjon893.

And the eight who give the edge to “House of Cards” are: alexaalawkapil857, Trevor, AndMore, Aquila_Henry, Jaime Chile, helmetz and PierceUNC. It’s worth noting that PierceUNC was our champ last year with 80% accuracy predicting nominations.

Max is alone forecasting a win for “Orange is the New Black.” However, he finished fifth last year when predicting nominations with 78%, so we shouldn’t dismiss him. And he has 8% of all Users backing him up.

The Top 24 rank “Orange” fourth overall with 13/2 odds, which is slightly better than the 8/1 odds the show gets in our combined predictions.

Downton Abbey” is fifth, also with 13/2 odds. While none of our Top 24 are predicting it to win, almost all of them (22 out of 24) agree it will be nominated.

And 19 out of 24 predict a bid for breakout FOX hit “Empire,” placing it sixth with 12/1 odds.

But the TV academy has expanded the top series races to at least seven nominees, so what will take that last slot? Thirteen of the Top 24 say it will be “Better Call Saul.” That support is good enough for seventh place and 20/1 odds. Seven say that Golden Globes champ “The Affair” will get that last spot and give it 33/1 odds.

Three apiece say “The Good Wife” and “Homeland” will return to the race after being dropped from the TV academy’s lineup in recent years, but they’re underdogs with odds of 100/1.

What do you think will win Best Drama Series? Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our User racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

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Make your predictions and you could win a place of honor on our leaderboard, a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmys line-up), and one of three contest prizes: $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. Prizes will be bestowed as gift certificates to be redeemed at Amazon. See our contest rules for more info.

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