Will Bob Odenkirk (‘Better Call Saul’) be the next Bryan Cranston at Emmys?

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“And the Emmy goes to … Bryan Cranston!” That’s a phrase we heard four different times (2008-2010, 2014) during “Breaking Bad‘s” run on AMC over the past decade. With Cranston no longer eligible, might Bob Odenkirk, the star of spin-off series “Better Call Saul,” follow in Cranston’s Emmy footsteps for Best Drama Actor?

Click here to see the updated list of all 2015 Emmy episode submissions

After all, Odenkirk won Best Drama Actor at the Critics’ Choice TV Awards in June while the show was just named Best New Program of the Year by the Television Critics Assn. And, don’t forget, “Better Call Saul” comes from the same creative minds — Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould — that earned “Breaking Bad” a whopping nine acting Emmys: four for Cranston, three for Aaron Paul and a pair for Anna Gunn

Before Cranston took home his first trophy in 2008, many pundits had dismissed this one-time sitcom star (“Malcolm in the Middle”). His new show was small and played on a basic cable channel. He wasn’t as well-known as some of his rival Emmy nominees, including fellow freshman contenders Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) and Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”) as well as the returning Hugh Laurie (“House”). But Cranston prevailed thanks, in no small part, because of his socko Emmy episode submission, the pilot.

Like Cranston before him, Odenkirk has submitted a stand-out episode to Emmy judges (“Pimento”) in which his character Jimmy/Saul has an emotional blow-up with his loving brother, played by Michael McKean. We chatted with the actor before nominations came out and he revealed why he wanted to make this his Emmy submission. “It’s not even a challenging question. The ninth episode of the show, where Jimmy realizes that his brother has [turned on him],” he revealed. “It took the most to do and the most out of me, and I’m very proud of the work that I did.” Watch our entire webchat below.

Gold Derby’s combined predictions overwhelmingly favor Hamm to finally win the Drama Actor race for the final season of “Mad Men.” However, while he has odds of 1/4, I still think that pick is risky. Remember, none of the “Mad Men” cast has ever won, despite 34 previous bids. Odenkirk is already a two-time Emmy champ, for writing “Saturday Night Live” (1989) and “The Ben Stiller Show” (1993), proving voters aren’t afraid of giving him the gold.

If the “Mad Men” Emmy curse continues for this show’s final hurrah, we can expect Hamm to lose and Odenkirk (8/1 odds) to claim the easy victory. Rounding out the Best Drama Actor category are Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”) in third place with 16/1 odds, Kyle Chandler (“Bloodline”) in fourth place at 50/1, and Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom”) and Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”) tied for last place with odds of 100/1.

Who do you think will win on Sept. 20?

Experts Emmy predictions: All 32 categories

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Last year, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 58.62% when it came to predicting the Emmy winners. That score tied them with both Gold Derby’s Editors and the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best at predicting last year’s Emmys). Our Users scored  51.72% (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)

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Photo: Bob Odenkirk, Bryan Cranston. Credit: AMC/Everett/REX

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