Emmy Experts predict Sterling K. Brown will win Best Drama Actor by slimmest of margins over Matthew Rhys

Twenty-three of Gold Derby’s Emmy Experts from major media outlets have piped in with their Best Drama Actor predictions, and things are still looking good for Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”). Last year’s winner in this category is expected to repeat by the slimmest of margins over perpetual nominee Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”). As a reminder, last month when about a dozen Experts were making their predictions, eight picked Brown and four chose Rhys. Now, the race has tightened as 12 Experts are predicting Brown and 10 are picking Rhys. Who do YOU think will win?

SEE 2018 Emmy nominations complete list: All the nominees for the 70th Emmy Awards

The 12 Experts backing Brown are Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Debbie Day (Rotten Tomatoes), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Bonnie Fuller (Hollywood Life), Chris Harnick (E), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo), Kelly Lawler (USA Today), Ed Martin (Media Village), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) and Adnan Virk (ESPN). Brown plays family man Randall Pearson on NBC’s “This Is Us,” who in his Season 2 episode submission, titled “Number Three,” deals with becoming a foster parent. He also won an Emmy in 2016 for the limited series “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

These 10 Experts believe that Rhys will win his first-ever Emmy Award this year: Jen Chaney (Vulture), Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Kaitlin Thomas (TVGuide.com), Ben Travers (Indiewire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Matt Webb Mitovich (TVLine), Glenn Whipp (LA Times) and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby). After six seasons playing Russian spy Philip Jennings on FX’s “The Americans,” Rhys is finally hoping to prevail for the dramatic series finale, “START.”

The remaining Expert is Eric Deggans (NPR), who goes out on a limb for Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”) for his role as robotic host Bernard on HBO’s “Westworld.” He was nominated in the supporting category last year, but this year jumped up to lead and has submitted the episode “The Passenger” for Emmy consideration.

Gold Derby’s nine in-house Editors are also divided on the Brown vs. Rhys showdown. Joyce Eng, Matt Noble and Paul Sheehan think that Brown will prevail while Chris Beachum, Marcus James Dixon, Rob Licuria, Daniel Montgomery, Tom O’Neil and Susan Wloszczyna are forecasting a victory by Rhys.

When the predictions of our Experts, Editors and Users are combined together, Brown earns leading 11/10 racetrack odds with Rhys in second place at 3/2 odds. Following those two frontrunners, there’s a big drop-off on the combined chart with Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”) at 18/1 odds, Wright at 28/1 odds, Jason Bateman (“Ozark”) at 50/1 odds and Ed Harris (“Westworld”) at 80/1 odds.

PREDICT the Emmy winners now; change them until September 17

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.

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

More News from GoldDerby