Emmy for Best Drama Actor: Kevin Spacey, Rami Malek, Bob Odenkirk locked in tight three-way race

With the departures of recent Emmy Awards champs Jon Hamm (“Mad Men” in 2015), Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad” in 2014, 2010-08) and Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom” in 2013), a new winner will be crowned in the Best Drama Actor race this year. According to Gold Derby’s experts drawn from major media outlets, Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”), Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”) and Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) are locked in a tight three-way race to claim Emmy gold. But who will prove to be victorious?

2016 Emmy Awards: Complete list of nominations

Despite being a two-time Oscar champ (“American Beauty” in 1999 and “The Usual Suspects” in 1995), Spacey has never won an Emmy (he has contended four times for acting and four for producing). However, three of our nine experts think his losing streak will finally end: Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Robert Rorke (New York Post) and Adnan Virk (ESPN).

Meanwhile, four experts predict that newcomer Malek will prevail on his first bid for the red-hot USA drama: Eric Deggans (NPR), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).

And a pair of journalists — Joyce Eng (TV Guide) and Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo) — think that Odenkirk will win an acting Emmy to along with his two writing trophies for “Saturday Night Live” (1989) and “The Ben Stiller Show” (1993).

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Two Best Drama Actor nominees from 2015 earned repeat nominations this year: Kyle Chandler (“Bloodline”) and Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”). Chandler was a surprise winner in 2011 for the final year of “Friday Night Lights,” so it’s clear voters are fans of his work. And while Schreiber has yet to win an Emmy, things are looking good as “Ray Donovan” over-performed in nominations with five bids.

Also in contention is critical favorite Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”). After four seasons playing Russian spy Philip Jennings on the FX drama, Rhys finally earned his first nom. The show also was nominated for Best Drama Series, while his co-star Keri Russell earned an inaugural bid as well. Might voters at last be ready to salute “The Americans”?

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