28 Emmy Experts predict Best Drama Series: ‘Succession’ tops ‘Ozark’ and ‘The Crown’ in racetrack odds

The virtual Emmy ceremony doesn’t take place until Sept. 20, but Gold Derby’s 2020 Experts already think they know what’ll win Best Drama Series. As of this writing, 28 awards pundits from major media outlets have chimed in with their Emmy predictions and “Succession” leads their combined odds, with “Ozark” and “The Crown” next in line. ABC’s Emmy broadcast airs Sunday night, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

Do you agree or disagree with our Experts’ Emmy picks? Be sure to show everyone how much of a savvy awards prognosticator YOU are by making your own predictions right now. Read on for the full racetrack odds as of Sep. 18.

SEE 2020 Emmy nominations complete list: All the nominees for the 72nd Emmy Awards

“Succession” (AMC) — 39/10 odds to win
Even though Season 2 aired way back in the summer of 2019, “Succession” is still red-hot and top of mind thanks to buzz that never seemed to die. It reaped 18 nominations this year, up from only five for its debut season. With “Game of Thrones” out of the way, HBO is now hoping “Succession” follows in its Emmy-winning footsteps. These 27 Experts predict it’ll happen: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Jen Chaney (Vulture), Debbie Day (Rotten Tomatoes), Eric Deggans (NPR), Lynn Elber (Associated Press), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Tim Gray (Variety), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Libby Hill (Indiewire), Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo), Kelly Lawler (USA Today), Wilson Morales (BlackFilm), Hanh Nguyen (Salon), Nikki Novak (Fandango), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Ent. Weekly), Robert Rorke (unaffiliated), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine), Jazz Tangcay (Variety), Kaitlin Thomas (TVGuide.com), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Ben Travers (Indiewire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Ken Tucker (Yahoo), Emily VanDerWerff (Vox), Matt Webb Mitovich (TVLine) and Susan Wloszczyna (Gold Derby).

“Ozark” (Netflix) — 11/2 odds to win
The hit streaming series won a pair of Emmys last year: Julia Garner for Best Drama Supporting Actress and Jason Bateman for Best Drama Director. This year it’s up for 18 bids, tying it with “Succession” as the most-nominated drama. The final Emmy Expert — Shawn Edwards (WDAF-TV Fox) — now thinks “Ozark” will prevail for its bingeable third season, in which the Byrd family continued their money laundering business for the Mexican cartel.

“The Crown” (Netflix) — 7/1 odds to win
Season 3 of the regal drama went through a major cast overhaul to reflect the show’s new era, with Olivia Colman (as Queen Elizabeth), Tobias Menzies (as Prince Philip) and Helena Bonham Carter (as Princess Margaret) replacing Claire Foy, Matt Smith and Vanessa Kirby, respectively. Colman and Carter number among “The Crown’s” 13 Emmy bids, which just so happens to be the same tally it racked up in both Season 1 and Season 2.

“Better Call Saul” (AMC) — 15/2 odds to win
Surprisingly, this “Breaking Bad” prequel has never won a single Emmy despite multiple nominations for Best Drama Series, Actor (Bob Odenkirk), Supporting Actor (Jonathan Banks), etc. Could Season 5, which was universally hailed by TV critics, finally do the trick? Only one cast member was singled out this year — Giancarlo Esposito, who’s also up for guesting on “The Mandalorian” — but “Better Call Saul” still has seven overall bids including two for writing.

SEE 2020 Gold Derby TV Awards nominations: ‘Succession,’ ‘Schitt’s Creek’ and ‘The Good Place’ among top contenders

“The Mandalorian” (Disney Plus) — 8/1 odds to win
One of the more surprising Emmy stories of the year is “The Mandalorian” and its whopping 15 nominations — thanks Baby Yoda! This “Star Wars” spin-off stars Pedro Pascal as Mando, a bounty hunter who finds himself in all kinds of trouble when he takes a job involving the 50-year-old cute baby. Can the show become the next fantasy/sci-fi offering to win Best Drama Series after “Lost,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Game of Thrones”?

“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu) — 9/1 odds to win
This 2017 winner for Best Drama Series scored 10 nominations for Season 3, which ironically is less than the 11 bids it earned in 2019 when it didn’t even air a full season. Two supporting players made the cut this year, Samira Wiley and Bradley Whitford, both of whom won Emmys as guest stars the last time they were nominated there. Even though lead actress Elisabeth Moss was snubbed by Emmy voters, she still contends as a producer of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“Killing Eve” (BBC America) — 19/2 odds to win
The cat-and-mouse thriller continues to be a favorite of the TV academy, adding eight more nominations this year including for lead actresses Jodie Comer (last year’s winner) and Sandra Oh and supporting star Fiona Shaw. As per tradition, the showrunner swapped out again for Season 3, with Suzanne Heathcote taking the reigns and furthering the fascinating relationship between psychopathic assassin Villanelle (Comer) and British intelligence investigator Eve Polastri (Oh).

“Stranger Things” (Netflix) — 10/1 odds to win
Many awards pundits counted out this sci-fi hit this year, but Emmy voters still honored it with eight nominations. The third season of “Stranger Things” aired in the summer of 2019 and focused on a monster invasion in which townspeople were being replicated. This marks the first time the 1980s nostalgia series is nominated without any corresponding actors (fan-faves David Harbour and Millie Bobby Brown were both snubbed), which might be why it trails in our Experts’ odds.

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