Daytime Emmy predictions: Heather Tom (‘B&B’) gets 23-to-10 odds to win historic Best Actress title

Heather Tom (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is the frontrunner to win Best Actress according to our Daytime Emmy predictions. She gets leading 23/10 odds. Tom has played Katie Logan since 2007, but her daytime career extends much farther back than that. She became a star on “The Young and the Restless” as Victoria Newman, winning two Emmys for Best Younger Actress (1993, 1999) out of nine nominations. Then she played Kelly Cramer on “One Life to Live” for three years, earning two more Emmy nominations (2005, 2007). Finally she joined “B&B” as Katie and has won three more Emmys out of five nominations: Best Supporting Actress once (2011) and Best Actress twice (2012-2013). To date she’s been nominated a remarkable 16 times, and her five victories put her one win shy of Erika Slezak‘s record as daytime’s most awarded actress. Now it looks like that record is within her reach.

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These official odds are based on the combined predictions of Gold Derby Editors who cover awards year-round, the Top 24 Users who did the best at their Daytime Emmy nomination picks last year, the All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ Daytime Emmy nominations, and all Users, who are our largest and often savviest bloc of predictors.

Tom has unanimous support from our Editors, but our other prediction groups aren’t quite as confident. Seven of our Top 24 Users and 11 of our All-Star Users also predict Tom to win, as do more than 170 of all Users. Her biggest competition is Nancy Lee Grahn (“General Hospital”), and it looks like it’s going to be a close race. Grahn gets 3/1 odds for her role as Alexis Davis, whom she has played continuously on the show since 1996. She has been nominated six times for this performance, winning Best Supporting Actress in 2012. She also won Best Supporting Actress in 1989 for her prior role on “Santa Barbara” and has one other nomination for co-hosting the special class special “SOAPnet Reveals ABC Soap Secrets” in 2006.

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Despite three Best Actress nominations for “GH” (2003-2005), Grahn has yet to win in the lead category. But that will change this year according to 10 of our Top 24 Users and seven All-Stars. She actually has more support from our Top 24 than Heather Tom does, so watch out for a potential upset.

Grahn’s “GH” co-star Laura Wright is close behind in third place with 7/2 odds based on support from two of our Top 24 and three All-Stars. Wright has played Carly Corinthos since 2005, earning three Best Actress nominations and one win (2011). Before Wright took over as Carly the character won three Emmys for her original portrayer Sarah Brown: Best Younger Actress (1997-1998) and Best Supporting Actress (2000).

Daytime Emmy predictions: Lexi Ainsworth (‘GH’) is Best Younger Actress frontrunner with 9-to-4 odds

Next in line with 4/1 odds is yet another past Emmy champ: Gina Tognoni (“The Young and the Restless”), who has played Phyllis Newman since 2014. One of our Top 24 and one All-Star are predicting her to win. Tognoni has one previous Emmy nomination for this role (2015), but she won two Emmys for her previous supporting turn as Dinah Marler on “Guiding Light” (2006, 2008). Before Tognoni assumed joined the cast as Phyllis, the role was played for almost 20 years by Michelle Stafford, who earned 10 nominations for her performance and two wins: Best Supporting Actress (1997) and Best Actress (2004).

Kristian Alfonso (“Days of Our Lives”) ranks fifth with 5/1 odds. She has starred as Hope Williams Brady on the NBC soap on-and-off since 1983, but she has only earned one Emmy nomination: Best Younger Actress in 1985. Three of our Top 24 and one All-Star say she’ll finally win her first Emmy.

Daytime Emmy predictions: Maurice Benard (‘GH’) is the Best Actor frontrunner with 5-to-2 odds

Perhaps surprisingly, last year’s upset winner in this category, Mary Beth Evans (“Days”), ranks outside of nomination position in sixth place with 11/2 odds with one of our Top 24 and one All-Star forecasting a repeat victory. Evans first played Kayla Brady on “Days” from 1986 to 1992. Then she returned to the show in 2006, and she’s been on a roll at the Emmys for the last two years. She won Best Digital Drama Series in 2015 as a producer of the web series “The Bay.” And in 2016 she won that award again in addition to Best Digital Drama Actress for “The Bay” and Best Actress for “Days.” That’s four victories in four nominations, so while it took her decades of work to finally receive her first bid, she’s currently undefeated. Could we be drastically underestimating her?

Make your Daytime Emmy predictions now; change them till March 22

Make your Daytime Emmy picks and tell industry insiders which shows and performers you have out front for nominations on March 22. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before the announcement. Be sure to make your predictions right here. You’ll compete for 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 nominees). Read our contest rules.

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