Emmy predictions: Matthew Rhys will narrowly defeat Sterling K. Brown in nail-biting Best Drama Actor race

This year’s Emmy race for Best Drama Actor is a true nail-biter for awards pundits. Just a few weeks ago Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”) led Gold Derby’s predictions to win, but now he’s officially been overtaken by Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”). Of Gold Derby’s 26 Emmy Experts from major media outlets, Rhys now has the support of 14 of them while only 11 are backing Brown; the remaining Expert is predicting an upset victory for Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”).

SEE Creative Arts Emmys 2018: ‘SNL’ wins 7 over the weekend, tying ‘Game of Thrones,’ while Anthony Bourdain takes 6 [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

Rhys has leading 9/10 odds to win Best Drama Actor during Monday’s live ceremony. In addition to the 14 Experts who think he’ll win his first-ever Emmy for this final season of FX’s “The Americans,” he also has the support of eight of our nine staff Editors, 13 of our Top 24 Users and 13 of our All-Star Users. After six seasons playing Russian spy Philip Jennings on FX’s “The Americans,” Rhys is finally hoping to prevail for the well-received series finale, titled “START.”

Brown comes in second place on our charts with 7/4 odds. As family man Randall Pearson on NBC’s “This Is Us,” Brown already took home the trophy in this category last year, in addition to his 2016 Emmy for the limited series “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” In his Season 2 episode submission, titled “Number Three,” Randall continues dealing with the loss of his biological father (Emmy winner Ron Cephas Jones) as he struggles to become a foster parent.

SEE EGOT club welcomes 3 more: John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice (‘Jesus Christ Superstar’) win at Creative Arts Emmys

Milo Ventimiglia, Brown’s co-star on “This Is Us,” has third-place odds of 25/1. After starring on television in everything from “Gilmore Girls” to “Heroes,” Ventimiglia enjoyed his first-ever Emmy nomination last year for playing patriarch Jack Pearson. The second season focused even more on Jack, including revealing the way in which he died. Ventimiglia submitted his funeral episode, titled “The Car,” for Emmy consideration, a smart move as it’ll no doubt have voters reaching for the tissues.

Rounding out the category are Wright for “Westworld” (28/1 odds), Jason Bateman for “Ozark” (50/1 odds) and Ed Harris for “Westworld” (80/1 odds). Bateman is notably brand new to the drama category after previously being nominated for Best Comedy Actor for “Arrested Development” (2005 and 2013). He’s also recognized for directing “Ozark,” giving him two nominations at the Primetime ceremony. Wright and Harris moved up to the lead race this year after being on the supporting ballot last year. Wright is looking for Emmy #2 after previously winning for “Angels in America” (2004) while Harris is hoping to hear his named called for the first time.

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.

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

More News from GoldDerby