Emmy predictions: Darren Criss (‘Versace’) seems unstoppable, but Benedict Cumberbatch (‘Patrick Melrose’) has surprised before

Darren Criss is about to be christened an Emmy winner. According to our combined odds, the “Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” star is the 4/11 favorite to take home Best Limited Series/TV Movie Actor at Monday’s ceremony.

This would be Criss’ first Emmy win in two nominations, having contended for Best Music and Lyrics for writing “This Time” from “Glee” three years ago. At 31, he’d be the second youngest winner in the category, behind Anthony Murphy, who was 17 when he triumphed for “Tom Brown’s Schooldays” in 1973. This category usually favors older actors — no one has won in their 20s and only 11 people have won in their 30s, including 34-year-old Riz Ahmed (“The Night Of”) last year — but the majority of our Experts, Editors and Top 24 Users believe Criss has enough oomph to overcome that bias with his chilling turn as serial killer Andrew Cunanan. He also has the advantage of being on “Versace,” which has the most nominations, 18, of the limited series/TV movie field.

SEE Darren Criss (‘Versace’) would defy odds to win Emmy, based on past decade of winners

His closest competition is Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”), who has 11/2 odds to prevail. Cumberbatch upset in this race four years ago for “Sherlock: His Last Vow,” defeating favorites Mark Ruffalo (“The Normal Heart”) and Billy Bob Thornton (“Fargo”), so you’d be a fool to underestimate him. An unexpected Best Limited Series nomination for “Patrick Melrose” also indicates stronger support than anyone realized.

“Genius: Picasso” star Antonio Banderas is in third with 20/1 odds. Of the nominees, he goes through the biggest transformation to play the famed artist through multiple decades of his life.

Newly minted EGOT winner John Legend (“Jesus Christ Superstar Live”) is in fourth with 33/1 odds. He already got his Emmy last weekend as a producer on the Best Variety Special (Live) winner, so this nomination is like the cherry on top. Also working against him is the fact that theatrical performers don’t historically do well here.

SEE 2018 Gold Derby TV Awards winners: ‘Versace’ and ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ are top winners, but ‘Game of Thrones’ takes Best Drama

With 50/1 odds, Jesse Plemons is in fifth place for his performance in “USS Callister: Black Mirror,” which won Best TV Movie at the Creative Arts Emmys. Plemons is 30, so he’d be the second youngest champ if he pulls off a shocker.

Back in sixth place with 66/1 odds is Jeff Daniels, who is the only nominee whose project, “The Looming Tower,” was not nominated for a program award. Daniels, however, is the favorite to win in supporting for “Godless,” so don’t feel too bad for him.

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. 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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