Best Actor in a Drama Series
Will Win - Matthew Rhys "The Americans"
Could Win - Sterling K. Brown "This is Us" or Milo Ventimiglia "This is Us"
Should Win - Jeffrey Wright "Westworld" or Rhys
Commentary - An interesting race has unfolded here, and it has swung towards another contender. This year, Sterling K. Brown could easily win another Emmy for This is Us. I think three things are going against him. First, This is Us dipped in terms of overall popularity with voters, and missed some big acting nominations that many were predicting. Second, last year he was a shoo-in, easily the best of the bunch, which meant there was no worry of vote splitting. This year, Milo Ventimiglia had an incredibly emotional arch that makes both really palatable to vote for. Finally, there is some nostalgia at play that could force another contender into the race. Like Kyle Chandler, I think Matthew Rhys could benefit from a need to reward The Americans before it is too late. It will most likely not win Drama series, but like Friday Night Lights, it could take a few consolation prizes and still get big moments on the Emmy stage. It is probably not the safest bet to go against Brown, but I am predicting the upset.
Best Actress in a Drama Series
Will Win - Elisabeth Moss "The Handmaid's Tale"
Could Win - Claire Foy "The Crown", Sandra Oh "Killing Eve", or Keri Russell "The Americans"
Should Win - Evan Rachel Wood "Westworld" or Oh
Commentary - Six months ago, everyone would have been predicting Elisabeth Moss to repeat. I am still predicting her, because The Handmaid's Tale rose in popularity with Emmy voters, and they love repeat winners. But I think that the last two or three episodes of this season (which were not eligible for Emmy voting and aired after the nomination votes were in), and that some other folks have risen in buzz. Keri Russell could benefit like Rhys is in Actor, but this category is a lot tougher. Sandra Oh should be in the mix, and has seen her stock rise and the historic nature of her nomination get positive press. Finally, after The Crown scored that Casting win, and did well in acting nominations, I would watch out for SAG winner Claire Foy, who beat Moss this year. This is their last chance to honor her for this role, and there is clearly some love there for the show. I would not be shocked if it had a big moment on Sunday either her or in supporting actor, defying all odds.