3 Emmy longshots to bet on for Best Drama Actress: Caitriona Balfe, Tatiana Maslany and …

Do you want to do better in your Emmy predictions this year and win Gold Derby’s $1,000 grand prize? Then I urge you to reconsider three potential Best Drama Actress contenders as you go about making or updating your predictions: Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander“), Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black“) and Katey Sagal (“Sons of Anarchy“).

Related: Emmy nomination for ‘Outlander’ star Caitriona Balfe?

These three leading ladies currently all have lowly 100/1 combined odds at Gold Derby, which means you’ll earn more points if you predict them and end up being correct. Don’t forget, if there’s a tie amongst users for the highest prediction accuracy, the tie-breaker will be determined by the person with the most points. That’s when it becomes advantageous to place your special 500 and 200 point bets on categories where you’re predicting longshots to be nominated.

Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can change your picks later as often as you wish. The Top 24 Users did the best at predicting last year’s Emmy nominations (78.55%) when competing against Gold Derby’s Editors (77.68%), all Users (74.78%) and the Experts (74.64%). Which group will come out victorious this year?

Let’s examine the pros and cons of the three Drama Actress contenders that I think deserve better than 100/1 odds:

Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”)


“Outlander” is one of Starz’s all-time biggest hits and a bona fide international sensation. Compelling Irish star Balfe has received unanimous praise for her role as Claire Randall, including this from the Hollywood Reporter: “Balfe is reason enough to watch; she’s a confident actress who brings various shades to her character.” The second half of Season 1 airs on Starz during April and May, the perfect time to get seen (and remembered) by Emmy voters as that’s the tail-end of the eligibility period.


The Emmys are notorious for failing to embrace shows with a genre bias, and “Outlander” includes elements of time travel. Also, the fact that the Golden Globes snubbed this hot new show doesn’t bode well for its Emmy chances, as Globe voters love putting foreign shows and stars on the map.

Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”)


Maslany is beloved by TV critics, winning the Critics’ Choice Award twice in a row as well as the Television Critics Association kudos in 2013. The TV Academy usually goes crazy for actors and actresses who undergo multiple personalities or play various characters (like Toni Collette on “United States of Tara”), and Maslany has taken on close to a dozen clones over the show’s two seasons.


Just like Balfe, Maslany is on a genre show so Emmy voters might be turned off. When Maslany was snubbed last year, there was a huge (and expected) outcry from sci-fi fans reminiscent of the years when Sarah Michelle Gellar (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and John Noble (“Fringe”) weren’t invited to the party. The Emmys could have made it up to Maslany by asking her to be a presenter during the telecast. They didn’t. Do older voters even know who she is?

Katey Sagal (“Sons of Anarchy”)


Perennially-snubbed Sagal gave her blood, sweat and tears (and more blood) each and every episode of the final season, so she has multiple potential Emmy submissions to send to judges. And don’t forget, Matthew Fox finally received his first career Emmy nomination for the last year of “Lost,” so there is such a thing as a goodbye hug from voters.


Six years being snubbed as Gemma Teller and 11 years ignored as Peggy Bundy (“Married with Children”) should be all the evidence we need to realize that the Emmys just don’t like her. “Sons of Anarchy” may be a fan favorite, but it’s far from an awards juggernaut. The show has only mustered two measly Creative Arts nominations throughout its run, losing both.

Gold Derby MVP: Snubbing Katey Sagal (‘Sons of Anarchy’) should get Emmys whacked

Make your Emmys picks now — click here — or scroll down to predict the Best Drama Actress winner using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Best predictions will win $1,000. And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. 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. See contest rules.

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