This is ‘This Is Us’ star Justin Hartley’s Emmy to lose, bets one Expert

“Number One” is the No. 1 pick of one Expert to win the Best Drama Supporting Actor Emmy. While most of our pundits are backing David Harbour (“Stranger Things”), Matt Roush (“TV Guide Magazine”) is rolling the dice with Justin Hartley, aka the first of “This Is Us”’ Big Three.

In our overall odds, Hartley is in third place behind Harbour, the choice of nine Experts, and two-time champ Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”), who has four Experts predicting him. Hartley quickly rose up the ranks after Gold Derby exclusively broke the news that “Westworld” stars Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright will be campaigning in lead this year, opening two more slots in a race that will have a lot of turnover this year with defending champ John Lithgow (“The Crown”) and perennial nominee Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”) out. Gold Derby also exclusively revealed Monday that Hartley’s co-star Ron Cephas Jones, who was nominated in supporting last year, will shift to the guest category this go-around.

SEE Emmys exclusive: 20th Century Fox Television categories for ‘This Is Us,’ ‘Modern Family’ and more

In addition, 45 percent of our readers think Hartley will be the biggest beneficiary from Harris’ and Wright’s absence, and another 63 percent feel that all five main “This Is Us” stars will score nominations for the first time.

If it were still the old tape system, Hartley definitely has the goods to win. He got a showcase hour in Season 2 with “Number One,” which chronicled Kevin’s plummet to hit rock bottom. Hartley broke fans’ hearts with two key scenes in which he gave a monologue about Kevin’s injury that derailed his football aspirations and when he broke down crying on his one-night stand’s lawn after losing a necklace given to him by his father Jack (Milo Ventimiglia).

The good news for Hartley if he makes the cut is that he’s still competitive under the new system. Like “Stranger Things” and “Game of Thrones,” “This Is Us” is a populist hit — and it won the SAG ensemble award over both those shows in January.

PREDICT the Emmy nominees and winners now; change them until July 12

And now we move from film to television awards! 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 nominees are announced on July 12. 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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