Emmy Awards 2020 Betting Guide

emmys 2020

Awards season is starting to rev up now that the Emmys are upon us. This Sunday night, some of the top names in the world of television will be competing to see who the best actors, actresses and shows were this past year. And you can take advantage of it all with this 2020 Emmys betting preview.

You might be familiar with the world of sports wagering. And you could also be well acquainted with wagering in casinos and gambling websites on games like blackjack or poker. But for those who like to step outside the beaten path every now and again, entertainment betting can be a fun and lucrative option.

Awards shows are the most popular format for entertainment wagering. It’s a pretty simple process, as the nominees are all given a set of odds. You pick the winner and you reap the rewards if you choose correctly.

We are starting to enter that time of the year where these awards shows start popping up. And the first really big one to come down the pike will be seen this Sunday. The Emmy Awards will be taking place, honoring the best that there is in the world of television.

It’s not surprising that the Emmys would garner some intense betting attention. After all, everybody watches television, especially in this era of streaming and so-called “Peak TV.” With prop bets on top gambling websites, you can put your money where your opinions are.

You’ll also be able to get some help from the publicity surrounding these awards. Many entertainment websites will offer you their professional opinions about who they think will win each award. There are even sites that are specifically devoted to awards shows like these in terms of tracking the favorites and long shots.

2020 Emmy Prop Bet Opportunities

But you also have to consider that the oddsmakers at the various gambling websites offering prop bets on the 2020 Emmys have all this information as well. They will bake all that into their own odds for each nominee. As a result, it’s not like you can just waltz in and take advantage of your expertise without having to think long and hard about your bets.

There will be several categories in the 2020 Emmys that are bound to go to heavy favorites. The key for those bettors looking for value will be to track down nominees with favorable odds who have a legitimate chance to win. If you can take advantage of these, you could very easily make a nice profit from your wagers.

You also have to try to get into the minds of the people who vote for these awards. Often, the winners aren’t necessarily the ones that you feel are most deserving. After all, entertainment is a subjective matter.

Instead, the winners might be the ones who fit the best storylines. For example, it might be an actor or an actress that is long overdue for a win that plays on the sentiment of the voters.

In terms of shows, you could see support for a new show that is buzzworthy and speaks to the times. It could also be a case of a show that has been winning acclaim for a long time that has just closed out its run of episodes for good. Basically, there are a lot of things that factor into the Emmy picks, much more than just which shows and performers are the best.

With that in mind, we’re here to help you make your selections by giving you our 2020 Emmys betting preview. For each major category, we’ll take a look at the betting favorites while also checking out the longer shots who could provide you with excellent value on your wagers. Finally, we’ll take you through what we expect to happen by picking the winner of the 12 major awards so you can use our advice to make the most informed wagers possible.

The 2020 Emmys Categories

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees Odds
Eugene Levy -225
Ramy Youssef +125
Ted Danson +1000
Anthony Anderson +1500
Don Cheadle +1600
Michael Douglas +2000

The Favorites

Eugene Levy is nothing short of a comedy legend, somebody who has carried credibility from his SCTV days all the way through his time as one of the most reliable laugh-getting supporting actors in film. On Schitt’s Creek, he was more or less the straight guy while others did a lot of the attention-grabbing antics. But his reaction shots alone deserve recognition.

The only other nominee within shouting distance of Levy in terms of the odds is Youssef. It’s probably not a good sign for him that his show wasn’t nominated. But there are a lot of Emmy voters who would like to shed the image of the show as one that isn’t tuned into the here and now by awarding an exciting up-and-comer like Youssef.

The Long Shots

Danson has been around the Emmy block before, winning in this category twice as Sam Malone in Cheers. It’s his third nomination for The Good Place, which, like Schitt’s Creek, has finished its run. He has proven himself again and again as one of the greatest television performers of his generation, so there could be some willing to award him for that.

As for the others, it’s not looking likely that any of them will break through in 2020. Anderson is deserving of some notice as a six-time nominee in this category, but the buzz for his show has somewhat dimmed. Cheadle and Douglas might get a stray vote here or there, but neither of their shows has the kind of groundswell that the top two can boast.

  • The Likely Winner: It would be a shock if Levy doesn’t get his first acting Emmy award (he earned two as a writer on SCTV.)
  • The Possible Upsetter: Danson is one of the most well-liked guys in the industry, and he’s worked on so many shows that the foundation of voters he has might prove handy.

Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Nominees Odds
Catherine O’Hara -750
Rachel Brosnahan +350
Christine Applegate +650
Issa Rae +1200
Linda Cardellini +1800
Tracee Ellis Ross +3300

The Favorites

O’Hara has followed pretty much the same trajectory as her longtime co-star Levy, and, like Levy, it seems like the recognition is about to come her way. In Moira Rose, she created one of the most indelible matriarchs in all of television history. And it doesn’t hurt that her character is an ex-actress on the show, which gives other performers another reason to vote for her.

Brosnahan is a former winner of this category, and were it nor the Fleabag hot streak a year ago, she’d probably have won two in a row. The concern is that Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, while still great, suffered through its weakest season. It doesn’t seem likely that Brosnahan can overcome that as she tries to bounce back to her winning ways.

The Long Shots

Ross, like Anderson, had a much better chance of breaking through back when Black-ish was first starting out its run and was receiving more attention. Applegate and Cardellini are superb in Dead To Me, somehow making all the plot twists seem like natural manifestations of all their psychological wounds. But the fact that they’re both in the same category likely mean a cancel-out situation.

That leaves Rae, whose Insecure might not be as highly-seen as some of the other shows here but might be the best-reviewed of the bunch. Her 12 to 1 odds are very tempting, especially if you don’t want to get the minimal payback of betting on the favorite. Still, her chances of winning this award will be much better in future years.

  • The Likely Winner: There is a reason that O’Hara is the biggest favorite of anybody on this page, and she should be the choice here.
  • The Possible Upsetter: Rae has fetching odds and most likely strong support, which means if anyone can knock off O’Hara, it’s her.

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees Odds
Daniel Levy -200
Tony Shalhoub +150
Mahershala Ali +900
Alan Arkin +1600
Kenan Thompson +1800
Sterling K. Brown +1800
Andre Braugher +3300
William Jackson Harper +3300

The Favorites

A father-son duo both taking home Emmys? According to the oddsmakers, Dan Levy will be joining his father Eugene for their work on Schitt’s Creek. His character David Rose got the happy ending all the fans had hoped, and Levy made every step of that journey a memorable one.

Still, it is a bit concerning that it is his first ever nomination in the category, perhaps leaving him a bit vulnerable. Shalhoub is the second choice, but, like Brosnahan, he might be hurt by the relative weakness of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel this past season. As a result, this feels like the one category where there could be an upset coming from the cheap seats.

The Long Shots

About the only award that has eluded Ali in his career is the Emmy, so there could be a scenario where his name recognition pushes him up the list here. Arkin was nominated for his first Emmy 43 years ago and could get a sentimental push. Thompson deserves some respect as the longest-running cast member in Saturday Night Live history.

Even the longest of shots here might have an outside shot. Harper proved an invaluable part of The Good Place ensemble. And Braugher’s winning for his expert deadpan work on the always-underrated Brooklyn Nine-Nine could provide a great compliment to the Best Actor in Drama award he captured back in the day in Homicide.

  • Likely Winner: The most likely outcome is still Dan Levy winning, but there is enough doubt to make him a somewhat poor bet considering the odds.
  • Possible Upsetter: Placing bets on Arkin, Thompson and Braugher would be a nice way to hedge some possible winning long shots.

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Nominees Odds
Alex Borstein -450
Annie Murphy +350
Kate McKinnon +600
D’Arcy Carden +1600
Marin Hinkle +1600
Betty Gilpin +2500
Yvonne Orji +2500
Cecily Strong +3300

The Favorites

McKinnon and Borstein have dominated this category over the last four years, winning two apiece. McKinnon’s middling odds suggest that, while she’s still amazing on SNL, she already has hers, not to mention the fact that the quarantined episodes that took up the last part of the season were a bit of a dud. Borstein was the best part of a subpar Maisel season, although the precedent is there for a single performer to dominate a category over a stretch of years.

In between those two on the odds board is Murphy, who has a chance to give Schitt’s Creek a clean sweep of the Comedy acting categories. That has never happened before, although All In The Family came real close once. It would be a fitting ending for this Little Show That Could story that figures to dominate the 2020 Emmys.

The Long Shots

Strong, Hinkle and Orji are probably off the board here, as none had quite the showcase needed to step forward to be among the ones with lower odds. Hinkle does subtler work on Maisel than Borstein, but, again, her show as a whole might be downgraded a bit this year. On top of that, her and Shalhoub’s characters were the ones who took the worst hit in terms of the plotting.

That leaves Carden, whose work as Janet on The Good Place consistently earned some of the best laughs of all. Remember that The Good Place, like Schitt’s Creek, will be getting some sentimental push for it being their final season. That makes Carden’s 16 to 1 odds pretty fetching, all things considered.

  • The Likely Winner: The possibility of a Schitt’s Creek sweep is real and that’s why Murphy is the wise choice here.
  • The Possible Upsetter: Carden could ride whatever emotion there is for The Good Place’s farewell into a surprising victory.

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Nominees Odds
Helena Bonham Carter -300
Sarah Snook +225
Julia Garner +500
Meryl Streep +1400
Laura Dern +4000
Fiona Shaw +4000
Samira Wiley +4000
Thandie Newton +4000

The Favorites

Just like Schitt’s Creek figures to dominate the conversation on the comedy side, so too does Succession figure to be the big bully on the dramatic side. Hence, the excellent odds for Snook, whose work as the daughter who is promised the world only to have it snatched away by her scheming father was outstanding. Meanwhile, Garner’s grounded performance has always been one of the best things about Ozark, even when it spins out of control, which is why she won this award last year.

Yet Carter is the favorite here for what she did as Princess Margaret on Season 3 of The Crown. Carter is excellent, just as Vanessa Kirby was before her. But does she deserve an award when the character is mostly backgrounded with the exception of a few showcase episodes, as great as those episodes might be?

The Long Shots

The fact that Newton, who won this award two years ago, is now 40 to 1 should tell you everything you need to know about the estimation of Westworld these days. In much the same way, Shaw and Wiley are part of shows that don’t have the buzz they once did. That means that your best upset choices come down to the two Big Little Lies contenders.

Streep is Streep, so she can’t be discounted, but her work on Lies was a bit polarizing. That leaves Dern, whose freakouts about her husband’s infidelity breathed life into a show that spun its wheels for much of its second season. Fresh off her Oscar win for Marriage Story, she has an outside shot to double up with her second win in the category (the previous was three years ago.)

  • Likely Winner: Whereas the Succession men might cancel each other out in their respective categories, Snook could be in the right spot here as the only representative from her show in this group.
  • Possible Upsetter: Dern is enjoying an incredible run right now in her career, so we shouldn’t write her off, even at 16 to 1.

Best Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees Odds
Brian Cox -175
Jeremy Strong +115
Jason Bateman +600
Billy Porter +1400
Sterling K. Brown +1600
Steve Carell +2500

The Favorites

The biggest issue facing Succession on Emmys night is that it could be a victim of its own, well, success. Cox centers the show with his blustering, modern-day King Lear performance that elicits sympathy even when he is at his nastiest (Boar On The Floor, anyone?) Yet Strong is riveting as the son who can’t ever please his father, even with impromptu rap songs.

There is a good possibility that the love for the show will be divided between the two of them when it comes to the voting. Which is where Bateman could slide in and pick up the pieces. Ozark is inferior to Succession, but Bateman is a respected TV lifer who could swoop in while the Succession men, almost fittingly when you think of the show, pick each other off.

The Long Shots

Brown won this award back in 2017 when This Is Us was a juggernaut, back when a traditional network show could still be a juggernaut. But, as great as he is as a versatile actor (he’s also nominated in the Supporting Actor in a Comedy category for his work on Maisel), the momentum of his show has largely sputtered. Carell is beloved, but his role in the Morning Show wasn’t as showy as those for the female leads.

That leaves Porter at 14 to 1, and he should be on your radar if you’re long shot player. His work on Pose was just as electrifying as it was in 2019 when he won this award. And he would be a good alternative choice for those who don’t like Ozark and aren’t on board with the Succession train.

  • Likely Winner: This is your big upset of the night, as Porter will surprise for his second consecutive trophy.
  • Possible Upsetter: See above.

Best Actress in a Drama Series

Nominees Odds
Laura Linney -250
Jennifer Aniston +225
Olivia Colman +400
Zendaya +1000
Jodie Comer +2000
Sandra Oh +2000

The Favorites

This is one of the more interesting categories of the entire night. Linney has four Emmys for four different roles, and could make it a fifth with her Lady MacBeth-ish turn in Ozark. Colman took over from former winner Claire Foy on The Crown and gave us a different take on Queen Elizabeth II that was no less compelling, even if the stories were a bit more muted.

Then there’s Aniston, making the transition to the drama category after winning comedy Emmy honors for Friends back in 2002. The fact that Reese Witherspoon is missing from this category seems to bode well for Aniston’s support. But the other two top choices have the high profiles and impressive C.V.’s to do damage here as well.

The Long Shots

Comer is the defending champ in this category, while Oh is overdue for her work on Killing Eve as well. But there is a strong feeling among many that show has jumped the proverbial shark. Otherwise, you’d have these two talented actresses with much better odds than they currently possess.

Watch out for Zendaya. Say what you will about Euphoria, but it is a bold show that will definitely grab the attention of those who sample it. If the voters are looking for somebody new instead of familiar names, Zendaya could easily make serious hay at a nice price of 10 to 1.

  • Likely Winner: it feels like Aniston has the momentum, not just for her career-long excellence in the medium but also as a way to introduce Apple TV to the awards.
  • Possible Upsetter: Next to Aniston, Zendaya feels like the most likely winner here, which is surprising considering the odds.

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees Odds
Billy Crudup -130
Kieran Culkin +150
Matthew Macfadyen +400
Giancarlo Esposito +1000
Bradley Whitford +1200
Jeffrey Wright +2500
Mark Duplass +4000
Nicholas Braun +4000

The Favorites

Here we are are again talking about the difficult problem of choosing between Succession actors. Culkin did an amazing job with his character Roman, not losing his whiplash sense of humor while still seeming to grow up just a little. Macfayden’s work as the Roy family whipping boy is as nuanced as it gets; even at his most pompous, his Tom can’t help but show off his insecurity around the sharks.

If there is a Succession bloodbath, Crudup is ideally placed to swoop in for the win. His work is typical of what we’ve seen from him in so many films, understated and yet completely owning the screen with his natural charisma. He is an incredible foil for Aniston and Witherspoon and would be a deserving winner.

The Long Shots

You could make a pretty good case for many of those down the line on this list being worthy of awards consideration, but it doesn’t feel like any can muscle past the top three mentioned above. Esposito has been nominated for playing Gus Fring three times now over two different shows, which is an interesting accomplishment. But the fact that Better Call Saul was generally underrepresented probably doesn’t bode well.

Whitford is a good story with his first nomination in this category since The West Wing days (he won in 2001), but the other leads from The Handmaid’s Tale went unnoticed. Duplass probably won’t be able to get attention from his castmate Crudup, although he could pull votes away from him. Braun’s character on Succession is sneakily savvy; maybe he can find a way to win at 40 to 1.

  • Likely Winner: Culkin will be able to overcome the votes going to his co-stars and should sneak out with a tight victory.
  • Possible Upsetter: Sentiment for Esposito having been overlooked could help him if the Succession and Morning Show contingents cancel each other out.

Best Comedy Series

Nominees Odds
Schitt’s Creek -300
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel +200
Curb Your Enthusiasm +1000
The Good Place +1400
Dead to Me +1600
The Kominsky Method +2000
Insecure +2800
What We Do in the Shadows +4000

The Favorites

If you wrote a how-to book on how to win an Emmy, you’d likely be tracing the path that Schitt’s Creek has taken to this point. Start from humble origins, build word-of-mouth through the streaming scene, and then go out on top leaving them wanting more. People adore this show, not just because it’s funny, but because it is comforting, which can’t be overstated in these tough times.

The only show near it on the odds board is The Marvelous Maisel, which, as we’ve said several times above, struggled this past season. Putting the main character on the road in concert didn’t work quite as well as when the characters visited the Catskills in Season 2. As a result, the odds for it winning here seem way too low.

The Long Shots

Larry David is a national treasure and Curb Your Enthusiasm was at its prickly best, but it will probably never win because David is too contrary to ever announce a season as its final one so it can get sentimental backing. The Good Place does have that working for it, but consensus was that its final season wasn’t its best. Dead To Me somehow managed to pull itself out of a plot corner for another high-adrenaline ride, but, as a comedy, it’s rarely laugh-out-loud funny.

The Kominsky Method may get some veteran votes, but that’s it. Insecure is more likely to get Rae recognized that to win on its own. If the Emmy voters really wanted to get subversive, they’d honor What We Do In The Shadows and the funniest vampires to ever grace Staten Island.

  • Likely Winner: Let’s all go back to Schitt’s Creek one last time to celebrate a wonderful show.
  • Possible Upsetter: It’s hard to imagine anyone watching What We Do In The Shadows and not recognizing its brilliance, which makes it an interesting dart throw at 40 to 1.

Best Drama Series

Nominees Odds
Succession -450
Ozark +350
The Crown +600
Better Call Saul +1000
The Handmaid’s Tale +2000
Stranger Things +2800
Killing Eve +3500
The Mandalorian +5000

The Favorites

Is there any scenario where Succession doesn’t win this thing? Unlike the acting categories, there will be no way for votes to get split, which means that its quality should win out. Maybe you could make an argument that rich people squabbling isn’t what everyone wants to celebrate in this day and age.

Ozark is a show that has definitely gained momentum on Netflix, which certainly makes it a serious player, even if it tends to substitute wild plot twists for substance. The Crown was typically well-written and affecting. But Season 3 didn’t benefit from a lot of the big events that the previous two series got to cover, and it missed the presence of John Lithgow’s bellowing Churchill to pierce the pomp every once in a while.

The Long Shots

Is The Mandalorian a great show, or is it just great in comparison to many of the train-wreck efforts of the Star Wars franchise lately? We’ve already spoken about Killing Eve being a show that is perceived to be on the downswing. The Handmaid’s Tale still takes bold swings, but it always going to be unfairly held up to the perfection of that first season.

Stranger Things blasted through a wildly uneven season (Good: anything with Steve; Bad; anything with Coop.) That leaves Better Call Saul as the only long shot with even a remote chance here. As good as it is though, it has never quite captured the zeitgeist quite like the show (Breaking Bad) from which it spun off.

  • Likely Winner: Let’s hope voters are wise enough to recognize Succession just enjoyed a picture-perfect season of television.
  • Possible Upsetter: If you must go for value here, go with Better Off Saul, but you’re much better off choosing from among the top three instead.


We hope that this 2020 Emmys betting preview helps you out with your wagers at top entertainment betting sites. Remember that you’re always better off thinking of the bets in terms of the voters who will be deciding the outcome. If you can put yourself inside their heads and remember some of the trends we talked about here, you could find yourself making a lucrative profit from your favorite shows.

Jim Beviglia

Jim Beviglia joined Gamblingsites.org as a staff writer in 2018, parlaying his years of freelance writing into contributions on a number of different topics. He handles the sport of horse racing for GamblingSites.org and the intersection between the worlds of cryptocurrency and online gambling in a weekly blog.
For his full-time job, Jim handles the television and track announcing duties at a h …

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