ACM Awards: Can Cole Swindell overtake Sam Hunt for New Artist of the Year?

There’s a clear frontrunner in this year’s race for New Artist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. The initial list of eight finalists was narrowed down to three men – Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett, and Cole Swindell – and the final decision belongs to fans, who can vote online right up until the moment the show starts on Sunday night, April 19.

So who do you think will take home this award?

Be sure to make or update your predictions in this category if you haven’t already. Get the best score predicting the champs in 11 races at this Sunday’s kudos and you could win a $100 Amazon gift card. (Read our contest rules to see if you qualify.)

ACM Awards: Complete list of nominations

According to our combined predictions, Hunt is the man to beat. Four out of five Gold Derby Editors, 19 of our Top 24 Users (those readers who got the best scores predicting last year’s awards), and 73% of all Users say the 30-year-old singer-songwriter is on track for a victory at Sunday’s event, giving him 8/13 odds.

Swindell trails, but he has support from Editor Chris Beachum, four of our Top 24 Users – TDYanks23, Ritchie Hunley, Jason Nolette and Derek Schultz – and 12% of all Users, resulting in 6/1 odds for the 31-year-old singer.

25-year-old artist Rhett is the youngest man in this contest and is even further behind with 16/1 odds based on support from just one of our Top 24 Users – Riaan – and 12% of all Users.

The ACM Awards have gotten progressively harder to predict in recent years. Last year, our overall odds managed a score of 18% while our Top 24 Users did slightly better with 27%. That was down from 2012, when we collectively predicted 36%, and way down from 2011, when we scored 55%. That means all of Gold Derby’s predictors are hoping to make a comeback, and you can help.

If you think you can predict this year’s ACM Awards better then our Editors, Top 24 and Users, click here to enter or edit your picks, or use our easy drag-and-drop menu below to get started. Your picks will be pooled together with the rest of ours to generate the official racetrack odds

Remember that coming out on top doesn’t just mean predicting the right winners. You also have to use your three big bets (one of 500 points and two of 200 points) strategically to score the most game points. If you bet on a long shot who pulls off an upset you can really rack up the points. As we use those point totals to break ties when more than one user tops our leaderboard with the same number of correct answers, don’t take them for granted.

Register/log in to your account so you can compete to predict the ACM Awards, as well as the Daytime Emmys, Primetime Emmys, and reality shows like “The Voice,” “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “American Idol” and more.

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