Grammys 2018: Alessia Cara leads Best New Artist predictions with 1/2 odds, but watch out for SZA

The 2018 Grammy Awards are fast approaching on Sunday night, January 28, and with only days to go before prizes are handed out Alessia Cara maintains a significant advantage in our predictions for Best New Artist with leading odds of 1/2. But don’t count out breakthrough R&B singer-songwriter SZA, who is close behind with odds of 7/2. Who do you think will win?

Our racetrack odds are based on the combined predictions of more than 1,700 users who have entered their picks at Gold Derby as of this writing. Of those, six of the eight Expert journalists we’ve polled are betting on Cara: Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Glenn Gamboa (Newsday), Edna Gundersen (Gold Derby), Lyndsey Parker (Yahoo Music), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), and Adnan Virk (ESPN). She’s also backed by five of our seven Editors who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby: Chris Beachum, Eng, Marcus James Dixon, Paul Sheehan, and myself. Cara has four total nominations including Song of the Year as a co-writer of the suicide-awareness single “1-800-273-8255.”

But she’s not the most nominated new artist in this race. SZA is. She’s backed by our other two Experts, Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), and Chris Willman (Variety), and two of our Editors, O’Neil and Rob Licuria. SZA has five total noms, though this is her only bid in the general field. The rest of her categories are in the rap and R&B genre fields. Does that leave her at a disadvantage?

If so, it could be good news for Julia Michaels, who ranks third overall with 18/1 odds. She only has one other nomination this year, but it’s also in the general field: she competes against Cara for Song of the Year for “Issues.” None of our Experts or Editors are predicting her to win, but she does have support from two of our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Grammy winners, and two of our All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ results.

Khalid is an underdog in fourth place with 28/1 odds, but we might be underestimating him. The teenage R&B breakout is tied with SZA with five nominations, and he actually shares the Song of the Year bid with Cara for “1-800-273-8255.” On top of that he won the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist last summer. That was a fan-voted prize, but still indicates the strength of his year.

Rounding out the category is rapper Lil Uzi Vert with 80/1 odds. He’s also nominated for Best Rap Performance for “Bad and Boujee” with Migos, but he’s far behind in that race as well according to our predictions.

Be sure to make your Grammy predictions so that Hollywood record executives and top name stars can see how their songs and albums are faring in our Grammy odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on January 28. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Grammys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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