2018 Billboard Music Awards predictions: Complete racetrack odds in 14 top categories

Who will win at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, handed out this weekend on Sunday night, May 20? Prizes will be handed out in 57 categories across a variety of genres based on record sales, radio airplay, streaming performance, touring and social engagement. We’re predicting 14 of those categories including Top Artist of the Year, Top New Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album and Top Hot 100 Single. Scroll down to see our complete predictions listed in order of their racetrack odds with the projected winners highlighted in gold.

SEE 2018 Billboard Music Awards live stream online: How to watch ceremony hosted by Kelly Clarkson on May 20 without a TV

The race for Top Artist may come down to a three-way battle between Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Kendrick Lamar, who led the nominations with 15 bids apiece. But all of them would be first-time winners in the category. They’re up against Drake, who is the defending champ, and Taylor Swift, who has won the prize twice before.

SEE 2018 Billboard Music Awards: Full list of nominations in 55 categories led by Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran

Bruno Mars is coming off of a massively successful Grammys, where he swept all six of his nominations including Record of the Year (“24K Magic”), Song of the Year (“That’s What I Like”) and Album of the Year (“24K Magic”). “That’s What I Like” was also a number-one hit on the Hot 100 singles chart and one of the biggest hits of 2017 overall.

Ed Sheeran also enjoyed massive success on the charts in 2017. His album “Divide” went triple-platinum and produced the biggest hit single of Sheeran’s career: “Shape of You,” which spent 12 weeks at number-one and broke the all-time record for the longest run in the top-10 with a whopping 33 weeks. A follow-up single, “Perfect,” spent six total weeks at number-one with a little help from Beyonce, who recorded a duet version with Sheeran.

And Kendrick Lamar had the most critically acclaimed album of the year with “Damn,” which was also the number-one album of the year on Billboard’s year-end list and produced a chart-topping single (“Humble”). It won him five Grammys earlier this year — and, oh yeah, it also won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. But these awards don’t track critical or cultural plaudits, so it’s his commercial success as measured by the Billboard charts that will decide whether he prevails.

So who will win? See who we’re predicting below, and make or update your predictions here before the winners are announced.

TOP ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Bruno Mars — 8/5
Ed Sheeran — 19/10
Kendrick Lamar — 7/2
Drake — 4/1
Taylor Swift — 9/2

TOP NEW ARTIST
Cardi B — 5/6
Camila Cabello — 10/3
Khalid — 4/1
21 Savage — 9/2
Kodak Black — 5/1

TOP FEMALE ARTIST
Taylor Swift — 21/20
Cardi B — 14/5
Camila Cabello — 7/2
Halsey — 4/1
Demi Lovato — 9/2

TOP MALE ARTIST
Ed Sheeran — 5/4
Bruno Mars — 11/5
Kendrick Lamar — 7/2
Drake — 9/2
Post Malone — 5/1

TOP DUO OR GROUP
Imagine Dragons — 9/10
The Chainsmokers — 3/1
Migos — 4/1
Coldplay — 9/2
U2 — 9/2

TOP R&B ARTIST
Bruno Mars — 8/11
The Weeknd — 7/2
SZA — 9/2
Khalid — 9/2
Chris Brown — 5/1

TOP RAP ARTIST
Kendrick Lamar — 5/6
Drake — 14/5
Migos — 9/2
Post Malone — 9/2
Lil Uzi Vert — 9/2

TOP ROCK ARTIST
Imagine Dragons — 4/5
Portugal. The Man — 7/2
Linkin Park — 4/1
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers — 9/2
Twenty One Pilots — 9/2

TOP COUNTRY ARTIST
Chris Stapleton — 10/11
Sam Hunt — 13/5
Thomas Rhett — 9/2
Kane Brown — 9/2
Luke Combs — 5/1

TOP TOURING ARTIST
Bruno Mars — 6/5
U2 — 27/10
Ed Sheeran — 3/1
Coldplay — 9/2
Guns N’ Roses — 9/2

TOP BILLBOARD 200 ALBUM
Kendrick Lamar, “Damn” — 10/9
Taylor Swift, “Reputation” — 13/5
Ed Sheeran, “Divide” — 7/2
Drake, “More Life” — 4/1
Post Malone, “Stoney” — 5/1

TOP HOT 100 SONG
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber, “Despacito” — 10/11
Ed Sheeran, “Shape of You” — 27/10
Bruno Mars, “That’s What I Like” — 4/1
Kendrick Lamar, “Humble” — 9/2
Post Malone feat. 21 Savage, “Rockstar” — 9/2

TOP COLLABORATION
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber, “Despacito” — 8/11
Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug, “Havana” — 7/2
The Chainsmokers feat. Coldplay, “Something Just Like This” — 9/2
Post Malone feat. 21 Savage, “Rockstar” — 9/2
French Montana feat. Swae Lee, “Unforgettable” — 5/1

TOP SOUNDTRACK
“Black Panther” — 3/2
“The Greatest Showman” — 13/8
“Moana” — 4/1
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” — 9/2
“The Fate of the Furious” — 5/1

Be sure to make your Billboard Music Award predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see this year’s contenders are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until winners are announced. And join the discussion on this and more taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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