SAG Awards predictions: Can ‘Game of Thrones’ cast finally defeat two-time champs ‘Mad Men’ & ‘Downton Abbey’?

game of thrones mad men downton abbey sag awards best tv drama ensemble

Will "Game of Thrones" continue its awards romp this weekend at the SAG Awards? It is undefeated in the race for Best Stunt Ensemble (2011-2014), but it has never won Best TV Drama Ensemble for its principal on-screen cast despite three previous bids (2011, 2013, 2014). But last year it swept the Emmys in historic fashion, taking Best Drama Series and a record 11 other prizes, and last weekend it claimed the Producers Guild Award for Best Drama Series. So perhaps the industry's actors are also ready to finally award the cast of HBO's fantasy epic.

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Our Top 24 Users, who had the highest scores predicting last year's SAG TV winners, give "Thrones" best odds to win, but it's far from a runaway. 11 of them place it out front, giving it 11/8 odds: Tony Thomas, Draz, eastwest, KingJay, SenanL, MovieMania, smor, steo, Awardzilla, AayaanUpadhyaya and wienrdog0.

But watch out for "Mad Men." The AMC series won this award twice (2008-2009), and though it hadn't been nominated for this award since 2012, the guild brought the show back to compete for its final season. Nine of our Top 24 think it'll get a farewell hug, giving it 15/8 odds: Harley Diamond, Bird, Eng Keat, bondzzz, Jonathan Masongsong, GermnArturoCortsMatus, Nika Litt, Noe and OberynShmartell.

"Downton Abbey" is another two-time winner (2012, 2014). It's the defending champ, and it has only ever lost this award once, to the final season of "Breaking Bad" (2013). Four top users think it will prevail again, giving it 4/1 odds: Chels725, dosmax, FreemanGriffin and SupaDupa Fly.

If "Mad Men" or "Downton" wins a third time, it will become the second-most awarded drama in the category's history, behind NBC's "ER," which prevailed four times in a row beginning in 1995. Currently, both shows are tied at two wins apiece with "Boardwalk Empire," "Six Feet Under," "The Sopranos" and "The West Wing."

Gold Derby's Editors, who cover awards year-round for the site, agree with the consensus that "Game of Thrones" will prevail, but we're not unanimous either. Four out of six of us – Chris Beachum, Rob Licuria, Matt Noble and I – favor HBO's epic fantasy, while Marcus Dixon and Paul Sheehan say "Downton" will repeat. None of us are currently forecasting "Mad Men." Are we underestimating it?

Compare SAG odds: Experts vs. Editors vs. Top 24 Users vs. All Users

What do you think will win at the SAG Awards? Make your predictions beginning with Best TV Drama Ensemble to the right or at the bottom of this post.

You could win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's SAG winners). Be sure to read our contest rules.

Photo credits: "Game of Thrones" by HBO; "Mad Men" by AMC; "Downton Abbey" by PBS

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