Luke Bryan is predicted to win his third CMA Award in a row for Entertainer of the Year according to our official racetrack odds. He gets leading 1/1 odds. The 2016 ceremony airs tonight at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific live on ABC and hosted by Brad Paisley and one of Bryan’s Entertainer of the Year rivals, Carrie Underwood.
Bryan has only ever lost the top category once, in 2013 when veteran George Strait prevailed. But Bryan trails in total nominations — his only other bid is Musical Event of the Year for “Home Alone Tonight” with Karen Fairchild — so does he have enough overall support this year to repeat? It’s certainly possible: he has already managed to win the top award twice without ever winning any other categories.
Underwood is close behind Bryan with 17/10 odds. She has four total nominations this year. Underwood has won five CMA Awards, including the Horizon Award in 2006, but shockingly has never even been nominated for Entertainer of the Year until now despite a decade as one of country music’s biggest crossover stars. The CMAs have historically been stingy to female artists: the only woman to win the top prize in the last 15 years was Taylor Swift (2009, 2011).
Also nominated for the first time is Chris Stapleton, who ranks third in our predictions with 15/8 odds. He swept all three of his CMA nominations in 2015, and this year he comes in tied as the most nominated artist with five bids. Given his dominance last year, could we be underestimating him this year?
Veteran Keith Urban is in fourth place with 9/2 odds. He’s no stranger to this category: this is his ninth nomination for Entertainer of the Year. His only previous win was in 2005, but he has four total nominations this year, which may indicate broad support from the Country Music Association.
Rounding out the category with 28/1 odds is Garth Brooks, who is in the unusual position of underdog. This is his 11th nomination in this category, and he has won it four times before (1991, 1992, 1997, 1998). But this is his only nomination this year; can he win without any other support?
Weigh in now with your CMA predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how she’s faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on November 2 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over this fall’s music awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.