Emmy experts clash over predictions: ‘Mad Men’ vs. ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Veep’ vs. ‘Transparent’

Our 18 Emmy Experts are divided over what will win Best Drama Series and Best Comedy Series on Sunday. Eleven are forecasting “Mad Men” will win a record fifth time while seven expect “Game of Thrones” to finally prevail on its fifth straight bid. That support gives “Mad Men” leading odds of 8/10 while “Game of Thrones” is at 21/10. Our Experts are split 10 to six in favor of four-time nominee “Veep” over freshman contender “Transparent” as the laffer to break the “Modern Family” five-year winning streak. That translates into odds of 1/1 for “Veep” and 21/10 for “Transparent.” (See the complete breakdown in odds for these races as well as the four lead acting categories below.)

When it came to predicting the results of last year’s Emmys, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 58.62%. That tied them with both Gold Derby’s Editors and the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best at predicting the 2013 winners). And our Users scored 51.72% (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.) Which group will be victorious this year?

While these other three groups are also forecasting victory for “Veep,” they are going with “Game of Thrones,” which won a record eight Emmys at the Creative Arts awards last Saturday. The 11 Experts listed below predicting “Mad Men” to prevail are mindful that Emmy voters may want to give it a farewell hug. The AMC period drama went undefeated for Best Drama Series in its first four seasons (2008 – 2011). That haul ties it with three classic series — “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law” and “The West Wing” — for most wins in this category. 

See the Experts’ odds in 24 Emmy races. See how each Expert ranks the nominees according to likelihood of winning. (Click on the image below to see how all 18 Experts rank the Drama Series nominees.)

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“Mad Men”  (11 Experts)
Robert Bianco (USA Today)
Debra Birnbaum (Variety)
Eric Deggans (NPR)
Joyce Eng (TV Guide)
John Griffiths (Us Weekly)
Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post)
Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair)
Sarah Ricard (Rotten Tomatoes)
Ken Tucker (Yahoo)
Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times)
Jarett Wiselman (Buzzfeed).

“Game of Thrones” (7 Experts)
Michael Ausiello (TV Line)
Lynn Elber (Associated Press)
Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood)
Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby)
Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly)
Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine)
Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby)

Freshman series “Better Call Saul,” three-time contender “House of Cards” and newly classified drama “Orange is the New Black” are all at 66/1 while three-time also-ran “Downton Abbey” and 2013 champ “Homeland”  are at 80/1. 

Experts Emmy predictions: All 24 categories

Our Experts are also betting on “Mad Men” in the race for Best Drama Actor, where star Jon Hamm is heavily favored to finally win after seven straight losses. More history will be made in the Drama Actress race, where Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder”) is predicted to become the first African American ever to win that category. Our Editors, Users and Top 24 Users agree with those predicted outcomes.

Alll four groups concur on both Best Comedy Actor, where Jeffrey Tambor is the overwhelming favorite to prevail for the first time as a transgender woman in “Transparent,” and Best Comedy Actress, where Julia Louis-Dreyfus is forecast to win for the fourth year in a row for “Veep.”

Below are the Experts’ odds for the top six Emmy categories. Click on the category title for a more in-depth look at each race. And click here to see the Experts’ predictions in all 24 categories

“Mad Men” – 8/13
“Game of Thrones” – 21/10
Better Call Saul” – 66/1
House of Cards” – 66/1
Orange is the New Black” – 66/1
Downton Abbey” – 80/1
Homeland” – 80/1

Jon Hamm, “Mad Men” – 2/9
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul” – 7/1
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards” – 50/1
Kyle Chandler, “Bloodline” – 66/1
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom” – 66/1
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan” – 100/1

Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder” – 8/13
Taraji P. Henson, “Empire” – 7/1
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men” – 15/2
Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black” – 8/1
Robin Wright, “House of Cards” – 50/1
Claire Danes, “Homeland” – 80/1

“Veep” – 10/11
“Transparent” – 11/5
“Modern Family” – 12/1
“Parks and Recreation” – 16/1
“Louie” – 80/1
“Silicon Valley” – 80/1
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” – 80/1

Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent” – 2/11
William H. Macy, “Shameless” – 14/1
Louis C.K., “Louie” – 50/1
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish” – 66/1
Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth” – 66/1
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies” – 80/1
Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes” – 80/1

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” – 1/2
Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer” – 7/1
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” – 12/1
Lisa Kudrow, “The Comeback” – 14/1
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie” – 14/1
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” – 100/1

As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

Make your own Emmys picks now starting with Best Drama Series at the bottom of this post.

You could win one of our three prizes ($500, $300 and $200 Amazon gift certificates) as well as 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 Emmys line-up).

Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Emmys last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. 

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