Like a classic TV series, the Emmy Awards love repeats. According to Gold Derby’s 20 experts, who cover the Emmy beat year-round, two of the three frontrunners for Best Drama Actress are recent winners: reigning champ Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder”) and Julianna Margulies , who won for “The Good Wife” in both 2011 and 2014. Hoping to take them down is three-time nominee Robin Wright for the heralded fourth season of “House of Cards.” Each of these three has the backing of five experts but we give the edge to Davis because of how she is ranked by those who don’t have her in first place. See racetrack odds in all top Emmy races.
Davis, who currently enjoys leading 17/10 odds to win, has the support of Robert Bianco (USA Today), Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
Wright has 9/5 odds, with these experts predicting her to win: Lynn Elber (Associated Press), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Ent. Weekly), Robert Rorke (New York Post) and Ken Tucker (Yahoo).
And Margulies (19/10 odds) comes in third place with the backing of Eric Deggans (NPR), Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby) and Glenn Whipp (LA Times).
Of the remaining five experts, Anne Thompson (Indiewire) and Adnan Virk (ESPN) both forecast recent two-time champ Claire Danes (“Homeland”), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood) and Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes) predict a win for last year’s surprise nominee Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”), while Don Kaplan (NY Daily News) stands alone in backing Golden Globe winner Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”).
Last year’s Best Drama Actress nominees were Davis, Wright, Danes, Henson, Maslany and Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”). Moss is no longer eligible, leaving at least one open slot this year. Will Emmy voters return Margulies to the lineup after her strange snub last year? If not, perhaps they’ll want to welcome back three-time nominee Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”) or one-time contender Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”)?
If the voters choose to honor some new blood, watch out for red-hot “Outlander” star Caitriona Balfe for the well-received second season of the Starz hit. She’s coming off of a Golden Globe nomination and eight of our 20 experts now think she’s a lock for an Emmy bid.
And then there’s Keri Russell (“The Americans”), who seems to always be in the Emmy conversation but just can’t seem to get that elusive nomination. Since Season 4 of her FX drama was such a hit with fans and critics, maybe this is finally the year that Russell can add “Emmy-nominated” to her name?
Below, see current odds for the Top 10 set by the experts’ picks. Make your predictions right here and compete against these experts and your friends.
BEST DRAMA ACTRESS – Odds to win
1.) Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder”) – 17/10
2.) Robin Wright (“House of Cards”) – 9/5
3.) Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”) – 19/10
4.) Claire Danes (“Homeland”) – 10/3
5.) Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) – 4/1
6.) Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”) – 6/1
7.) Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”) – 8/1
8.) Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”) – 9/1
9.) Keri Russell (“The Americans”) – 10/1
10.) Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”) – 11/1
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions right here. You’ll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmy nominations). Be sure to read our contest rules.