Experts’ Emmy predictions: Jean Smart (‘Fargo’) far ahead with 3-to-10 odds to win Movie/Mini Supporting Actress

The Emmy nominees for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress are probably breathing a sigh of relief that there are no “People v. O.J. Simpson” nominees in contention, as that FX anthology series is the frontrunner to win every award it’s up for this Sunday night. But this award is still expected to go to an FX anthology: Jean Smart is far ahead to win for her performance as crime-family matriarch Floyd Gerhardt in “Fargo.”

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Fifteen out of 18 experts predict Smart, giving her leading 3/10 odds: Michael Ausiello (TV Line), Robert Bianco (USA Today), Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Lynn Elber (Associated Press), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Adnan Virk (ESPN) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).

Smart is a television veteran and a longtime TV academy favorite. She’s an eight-time Emmy-nominee and a three-time winner, having prevailed twice for Best Comedy Guest Actress (“Frasier,” 2000-2001) and once for Best Comedy Supporting Actress (“Samantha Who?,” 2008). Starting last year supporting nominees for miniseries have had to submit episodes for consideration, and Smart entered “Fear and Trembling,” in which Floyd tries to negotiate peace with a rival crime syndicate, then tells her family to prepare for war.

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Regina King (“American Crime”) ranks second with 7/1 odds based on support from two experts: Eric Deggans (NPR) and Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes). This is the second straight nomination for King, who won this award last year for playing a different role in the first season of “American Crime.” In season two she played Terri LaCroix, a mother whose teenage son becomes embroiled in a rape investigation. She submitted “Episode Eight,” in which Terri reacts to a deadly school shooting and the fact that her son had also been targeted.

Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood) is the sole expert predicting Olivia Colman (“The Night Manager”), giving her 14/1 odds. Colman plays Angela Burr, a British intelligence operative trying to take down an international arms dealer. This is her first Primetime Emmy bid, though she was nominated for Best Actress at the International Emmys in 2014 for the crime drama “Broadchurch.” She submitted “Episode Six,” in which Angela closes in on her target and is nearly killed in an Egyptian hotel.

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None of our experts are predicting the other three nominees. Melissa Leo (“All the Way”) ranks fourth overall with 50/1 odds for playing Lady Bird Johnson in the HBO telefilm about the presidency of her husband Lyndon Johnson. This is Leo’s third Emmy nomination, including a bid in this category for “Mildred Pierce” (2011) and a win for Best Comedy Guest Actress for “Louie” (2013). Because she’s nominated for a film instead of a miniseries, she submitted it for consideration in its entirety.

Kathy Bates (“American Horror Story: Hotel”) is next with 66/1 odds for playing Iris, the manager of the eerie Hotel Cortez. This is Bates’s 14th career nomination and her third in a row for “American Horror Story.” She’s a two-time winner, including in this category for “American Horror Story: Coven” (2014). This year she submitted the episode “Battle Royale,” in which Iris tends to her dying son.

Emmy Awards breakdown for Best Movie/Mini Actor: Courtney B. Vance, Bryan Cranston, Benedict Cumberbatch …

Rounding out the category is another “American Horror Story” actor: Sarah Paulson, who trails with 80/1 odds for her role as Sally McKenna. Paulson has been a regular fixture at the Emmys for the last five years, already earning six nominations in that brief time, but she has yet to win. This year’s she’s favored to prevail in the lead category for “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” but in this contest she submitted the episode “The Ten Commandments Killer,” in which Sally reveals to Detective John Lowe that the serial killer he’s been hunting is himself.

Gold Derby’s Editors, who cover awards year-round, are mostly in agreement. Six out of seven of us agree with the overall consensus that Smart is out front: O’Neil, Sheehan, Chris Beachum, Marcus James Dixon, Rob Licuria, and myself. Matt Noble is the sole renegade editor predicting King to repeat.

Our Top 24 Users, who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Emmys, are slightly more divided: 19 predict the frontrunner Smart, while three are betting on Colman and one says it will be King.

Our All-Star Top 24, who got the highest scores when you combine the results for the last two years’ Emmys, are split two ways, with 17 predicting Smart and three others predicting King.

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