2018 Emmy predictions slugfest: Can Brandon Victor Dixon sing his way to victory over Jeff Daniels and Edgar Ramirez?

“He has a hell of [an episode submission]. You get the full arc of this character’s complicated past,” Zach Laws says about Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor Emmy nominee Finn Wittrock’s performance in “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” from “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” Laws discussed that and more during a slugfest with me, Charles Bright, Riley Chow and Tony Ruiz (watch above). While most of us feel Wittrock should be considered more formidable than he currently is, our Emmy predictions place him fifth with odds of 66/1.

But the race appears to be Jeff Daniels‘s to lose. As Laws argues, “‘Godless’ is the one limited series that could upset ‘Versace’ [in the top category]. If that’s true then Jeff Daniels should be an easy win for them. He is the winking devil, big villain. It’s a fantastic performance.” Indeed, Daniels is the current front-runner with odds of 4/11, and he recently received a SAG Award nomination for his fiendish performance. But this category has seen more than its fair share of upsets.

Daniels will need to watch out for Brandon Victor Dixon, who stole the show on live television with his performance as Judas in “Jesus Christ Superstar.” I consider it the category’s “biggest drop-the-mic performance.” But Ruiz points out that the last time an actor won an Emmy for a theatrical performance was 1993 when Robert Morse won Best Movie/Mini Actor for “Tru,” which was a filmed play.

But Chow thinks that “under the new voting system, the academy really likes its discoveries.” They won’t just want a “reliable performance. They want to find somebody like Brandon Victor Dixon who has a lot of passion for his performance.” But Dixon, like Wittrock, is an underdog. He’s currently in third place in our predictions with odds of 18/1.

What about Edgar Ramirez? He plays the title character in “Versace” and is currently in second place with odds of 6/1, and Chow explains why we might be underestimating him: “He does have a cool factor. He is also somewhat of a veteran as well. He’s in the Limited Series front-runner. He’s the title character.” But Laws is “hesitant.” Ramirez seems like an “obvious winner, but the same was true of John Travolta in the last installment of ‘American Crime Story’ where he was the biggest star in the most makeup.”

And we couldn’t finish the conversation without mentioning Michael Stuhlbarg (“The Looming Tower”), a wildcard who’s coming off a great year in film. Bright thinks a Stuhlbarg win is possible. “He really captured [Richard Clarke] perfectly,” Bright explains. And he might have residual goodwill “if there’s enough love from last year’s movies where we saw him in ‘The Post,’ ‘The Shape of Water‘ and ‘Call Me by Your Name.'” But Stuhlbarg currently sits in fourth place with odds of 50/1.

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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