Emmy predictions: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is overwhelming favorite to dethrone ‘Game of Thrones’ in first head-to-head battle

This year’s Best Drama Series race has awards pundits on the edge of their seats as it notably showcases the first-ever Emmys face-off between TV’s two most recent winners: “Game of Thrones” claimed victory in 2015 and 2016, but “The Handmaid’s Tale” prevailed last year as “GoT” was ineligible, so they’re both defending champions in a sense. According to Gold Derby’s Emmy predictions, Hulu’s streaming hit will overwhelmingly dethrone HBO’s fantasy epic in their first head-to-head battle, despite “Game of Thrones” earning more trophies (seven) than “Handmaid’s Tale” (three) at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” has leading 1/2 odds to win Best Drama Series on Monday night. Of Gold Derby’s 26 Emmy Experts from major media outlets, a whopping 16 of them think the show will win a bookend trophy. In addition, eight of our nine staff Editors think the show will prevail, as do 21 of our Top 24 Users and 19 of our All-Star Users. While this marks the first time that “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Game of Thrones” have faced off at the Emmys, don’t forget that both shows competed (albeit for different seasons) earlier this year at many of the industry guild awards; “Handmaid’s” beat “GoT” almost every time.

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

“Game of Thrones” comes in second place with 6/1 odds. If the series does end up winning another trophy in this category, that would tie it with three-time champs “The Defenders,” “Playhouse 90” and “Upstairs, Downstairs.” That number is also one more than HBO’s previous drama juggernaut “The Sopranos,” which could only muster two victories in 2004 and 2007. “Game of Thrones” is already Emmy’s favorite drama or comedy of all time, winning a whopping 45 trophies (and counting).

Third place with 8/1 odds is the final season of FX’s “The Americans.” While this spy thriller has only managed to win two Emmys before (both for guest actress Margo Martindale), five of our Experts think the show will be given a farewell salute from voters in the form of a Best Drama Series triumph. “The Americans” is also many pundits’ picks to win Best Drama Actor (Matthew Rhys) and Best Drama Writing, the same two categories that “Friday Night Lights” scored touchdowns for in its final season.

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

There’s a two-way tie for fourth place on our charts with NBC’s family drama “This Is Us” and Netflix’s regal series “The Crown” both coming in at 50/1 odds. “This Is Us” is an acting favorite at the Emmys, with guest Ron Cephas Jones winning this weekend and lead Sterling K. Brown and guest Gerald McRaney prevailing last year. Without any writing or directing nominations to speak of, might “This Is Us” be in trouble? As for “The Crown,” it took home three Creative Arts trophies earlier this week including a big one for Best Drama Casting. There is often a correlation between casting and series, so “The Crown” could be poised to score an upset on Emmy night.

In the last two positions are Netflix’s ’80s sci-fi show “Stranger Things” (66/1 odds) and HBO’s robot western “Westworld” (80/1 odds). While both series are technical marvels, prevailing in various below-the-line categories, they went empty-handed at last year’s Primetime Emmys ceremony. Will the same happen to these fan-faves this time around?

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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