Emmy Experts: Jon Hamm to finally win, Viola Davis will break color barrier

Another top Emmys expert — Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly) — has made her predictions for this year’s awards, which will be handed out on Sept. 20 with nominations announced on July 16. See all of Rice’s predictions here

She joins nine other Emmyologists: Robert Bianco (USA Today), Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Matt Roush (TV Guide), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Glenn Whipp (Los Angeles Times) and me.

Mad Men” is predicted to win Best Drama Series for a record fifth time. Before the finale aired on May 17, just three of our Experts — Birnbaum, Eng and Jacobs — expected the Emmys to give it a farewell hug. Since then, O’Neill and Tucker have switched their predix from “House of Cards” and Roush cast his first vote for this final season. That gives this AMC staple leading odds of 4/1. Bianco still forecasts a victory for “Game of Thrones” after four straight losses and I still expect “House of Cards” to prevail as does Rice; these two are tied for second at odds of 11/2. Whipp is backing “Empire” (15/2). See the odds in all the top races here.

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There has been a similar shift in the Drama Actor race to “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm. Before the finale, this perennial Emmy also-ran had the backing of just Bianco, Birnbaum and Jacobs while Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”) had the votes of four Experts. Since then, two of them — O’Neil and Tucker — switched to Team Hamm as did Roush and Whipp. Now, with seven Experts in his corner, this perennial also-ran has odds of 10/3 to finally take home an Emmy. And with only Eng, Rice and I supporting Spacey, he now has odds of 4/1. 

Six of us are predicting Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder“) will win Drama Actress; that collective support gives her odds of 10/3 to become the first African American to win this category. O’Neil and Whipp expect that it will be Critics’ Choice winner Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) who breaks this barrier; she now has odds of 9/2. Rice is predicting Golden Globe champ Robin Wright (“House of Cards”) to win here too; she has odds of 11/2. And Bianco expects Olivia Colman (33/1) to pull off an upset for season two of “Broadchurch.”

Rice is the eighth Expert to predict that “Modern Family” will win Best Comedy Series for a record sixth year running; that gives it leading odds of 4/1. Jacobs opts for “Veep” (5/1) while Tucker is now touting “Transparent” (6/1).

And she joins the overwhelming majority in predicting that Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep“) will tie two Emmy records this year with her fourth straight Comedy Actress win (Helen Hunt did that with “Mad About You”) and her fifth overall (Candice Bergen has as many for “Murphy Brown” while Mary Tyler Moore has two for “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and three for her own). Louis-Dreyfus, who also won this award in 2006 for “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” has leading odds of 10/3. Whipp is predicting Golden Globes champ Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin“) who has odds of 6/1 to pull off an upset. 

Likewise, Rice is Expert #9 to predict that Allison Janney (“Mom“) will repeat as Comedy Supporting Actress. That support translates into leading odds of 10/3. With Whipp casting his vote for “Saturday Night Live” featured player Kate McKinnon, she has odds of 9/1. 

Rice is the lone Expert not backing Jeffrey Tambor to win Comedy Actor for the first season of “Transparent.” He has odds of 10/3 while Rice’s pick, four-time victor Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory“), is at 4/1. 

Comedy Supporting Actor is turning into a real race. Rice joins Bianco, Tucker and I in giving the edge to two-time champ Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”) while Birnbaum and Roush are backing 2013 winner Tony Hale (“Veep”); they are tied at 4/1. Jacobs and Whipp like the looks of Andre Braugher (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine“) who now has odds of 11/2. Eng and O’Neil go with newcomer Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt“) who sits at 8/1.

Rice makes it five of us to predict that 2012 Drama Supporting Actress champ Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey“) will pick up a bookend and that gives her leading odds of 4/1. Birnbaum, O’Neil and Roush forecast a first win for Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”)  and Jacobs does the same for Christine Baranski (“The Good Wife“); both have odds of 5/1.

And she is the fifth of us to predict 2011 Drama Supporting Actor Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”) will win again; he has odds of 10/3. Birnbaum, Eng and Whipp are expecting this race to go to Critics’ Choice winner Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul“) who has odds of 5/1 while Roush backs Jon Voight (“Ray Donovan”) who is at 11/2. 

And it looks like HBO has locks with “Bessie” for Best TV Movie, “Olive Kitteridge” for Best Limited Series and its stars Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins.

WATCH: Our Editors clash over Emmy predictions (Video Slugfest)

When it came to predicting last year’s Emmy nominations, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 74.64%. They were edged out by Gold Derby users just like YOU who scored 74.78%. However, both groups were bested by the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who’d done the best at predicting the 2013 Emmy nominations) at 78.55% and Gold Derby’s Editors with 77.68%.

Which group will be victorious this year?

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 User racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

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