“House of Cards” will be the leading drama series when SAG Award nominations are announced on Wednesday, December 14, according to our predictions, but it’s not the frontrunner to win the top prize, Best TV Drama Ensemble, where it has been nominated for the last two years in a row.
These official odds are derived from the predictions of Gold Derby Editors who cover awards year-round, the Top 24 Users who got the top scores predicting last year’s SAG TV nominations, the All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ SAG noms, and hundreds of total Users who make up the largest (and often savviest) bloc of predictors.
We expect “House of Cards” to be nominated three times: Best TV Drama Ensemble, Best TV Drama Actor (Kevin Spacey) and Best TV Drama Actress (Robin Wright). It has received those same nominations for the last two years, with Spacey winning his individual acting category both times. But the series only ranks third in the top category with 7/2 odds.
Instead, we predict a farewell hug for “Downton Abbey,” which has won Best Ensemble for the last two years in a row and three times in the last four years. It gets leading 11/5 odds to win again for its final season, which aired last January. We also think star Maggie Smith will win Best TV Drama Actress; she won that award once before, in 2013.
In second place with 5/2 odds is HBO’s epic fantasy “Game of Thrones,” which has swept the Emmys for the last two years but has never won the top SAG Award. We think it will give “Downton” a run for its money and they it will also earn Peter Dinklage his fourth straight nom for Best TV Drama Actor. And though we’re not predicting Best Stunt Ensemble in our predictions center, “Game of Thrones” has never lost that award in the last five years, so it’s a likely nominee there again, which would ultimately tie it with “House of Cards” with three bids.
Ranked fourth with 6/1 odds is the ensemble of AMC’s “Better Call Saul.” That cast hasn’t been nominated before, but star Bob Odenkirk received an individual acting nom last year for his performance, and the series is spun off from “Breaking Bad,” which won the top award in 2013, so there’s evidence of support for the series, and this year we’re betting on nominations for both the ensemble and Odenkirk.
Rounding out the category with 9/1 odds is “Westworld,” HBO’s new sci-fi mind-bender about a Wild West theme park gone awry that features an all-star cast including Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright and James Marsden, among others. The Screen Actors Guild is often slow to embrace new shows — the opposite of the Golden Globes, which generally prefer to laud TV’s hottest newcomers — but the caliber of the talent in front of the camera on “Westworld” may convince voters to recognize it right away.
Find out who else we’re betting on below. The predicted winners are indicated in gold, and potential spoilers are in italics.
BEST TV DRAMA ENSEMBLE
“Downton Abbey” — 11/5
“Game of Thrones” — 5/2
“House of Cards” — 7/2
“Better Call Saul” — 6/1
“Westworld” — 9/1
Spoilers: “Mr. Robot” (11/1); “This is Us” (12/1); “The Crown” (14/1)
BEST TV DRAMA ACTOR
Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot” — 21/10
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards” — 13/5
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul” — 7/2
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones” — 4/1
Kiefer Sutherland, “Designated Survivor” — 13/2
Spoilers: Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan” (11/1); Kyle Chandler, “Bloodline” (14/1); Matthew Rhys, “The Americans” (14/1)
BEST TV DRAMA ACTRESS
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey” — 11/5
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder” — 5/2
Robin Wright, “House of Cards” — 7/2
Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black” — 4/1
Taraji P. Henson, “Empire” — 6/1
Spoilers: Winona Ryder, “Stranger Things” (11/1); Keri Russell, “The Americans” (12/1); Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld” (14/1)
Be sure to make your SAG Awards predictions. How do you think “House of Cards” will do with guild voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this show is faring in our SAG Awards odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on December 14 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the SAG Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.