‘Saturday Night Live’ is the one Emmy winner you can count on: It has 1/10 odds of winning Best Variety Sketch Series

At this year’s Emmys we’re all challenged more than ever before in making our predictions. The Emmy voting system has changed drastically in the last two years. There is also a slew of new programs competing for the first time like “Stranger Things,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “Atlanta” — since they’re untested at the Emmys we can’t be entirely certain how they’ll do. And we can’t count on “Game of Thrones,” which swept the awards for the last two years but didn’t have any new episodes in this Emmy cycle. But there is one thing we can count on: “Saturday Night Live” will definitely win Best Variety Sketch Series — probably.

I say probably because nothing is 100% certain at this year’s Emmys, but “SNL” is closer than any other nominee in any other category. As of this writing it leads our predictions with odds of 1/10, which translates to a tremendous 90% chance of winning. No other frontrunner in any other category is that far ahead. These racetrack odds are based on the latest predictions of Expert TV journalists, Gold Derby’s own Editors, the Top 24 Users who got the high scores in last year’s Emmy predictions, the All-Star Top 24 who scored high in the last two years’ combined Emmy predix, and thousands of total Users who are our largest and often smartest predictions bloc. Every single one of our Experts, Editors, and top users is predicting “SNL.”

But there is still a 10% chance of an upset because under this Emmy system we don’t have nearly enough precedent to make any 100% guarantees. “SNL” actually hasn’t won Best Variety Series since 1993, and even when the TV academy split the category into Variety Talk and Variety Sketch races — a move that seemed custom-made to win “SNL” an Emmy — the long-running NBC staple lost twice: to “Inside Amy Schumer” in 2015 and “Key and Peele” in 2016.

Luckily for “SNL” both of those Comedy Central series are out of contention. And following a year with viral sketches and news-making performances by Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton and Kellyanne Conway, and Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer (McCarthy already won an Emmy last weekend for her guest performance), “SNL” has more Emmy support than ever, with 22 nominations, tied with “Westworld” as the year’s biggest show.

So there’s still a chance for “SNL’s” closest Emmy rivals “Portlandia” (40/1 odds, 2.5% chance of winning) and “Billy on the Street” (40/1 odds, 2.3% chance of winning), but if you’re going all in on anyone in this year’s race, make it “SNL.”

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on September 17. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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