Anna Gunn ranks as our favorite to win the supporting actress drama Emmy for her work on "Breaking Bad."
Anna Gunn ranks as our favorite to win the supporting actress drama Emmy for her work on "Breaking Bad." (Frank Ockenfels / AMC)

Will Anna Gunn join her "Breaking Bad" co-stars in the Emmy winners circle? Can "Homeland's" Mandy Patinkin best "Bad's" Aaron Paul and Jonathan Banks? Do Emmy voters watch any other comedy beside "Modern Family"?

With the Emmys coming Sunday, we're considering these questions as well as laying odds on the primary categories. First, the four series supporting acting races. Here's how we see them playing out:



Mandy Patinkin, "Homeland"

Odds: 2-1. That look he gives Claire Danes when Carrie shows up in Saul's office in the season finale is just the cherry on the top of an impeccable episode and fantastic season.

Jonathan Banks, "Breaking Bad"

Odds: 3-1. He owns the most memorable death scene since ... Giancarlo Esposito's Gus Fring on the same show. But Esposito lost the Emmy last year to Aaron Paul, and we don't see a better fate for the deserving Banks in this competitive category.

Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad"

Odds: 7-2. Paul won his second Emmy last year and is beloved beyond compare. It would not be surprising in the least if he took it again for his soulful work on the show.

Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones"

Odds: 8-1. Dinklage, like the actors listed above him, has a great Emmy submission, "Second Sons," an episode that actually showcases his character even more than the other nominees. If voters truly go by submission episodes alone, he'd win going away.

Bobby Cannavale, "Boardwalk Empire"

Odds: 20-1. Punch a priest, win an Emmy nomination. (Jon Hamm pulled off that trick too, though the target of his character's fist's fury belonged to a different denomination.) Cannavale's acting bordered on the cartoonish at times this season, but, for some, his seething remains a reason to watch.

Jim Carter, "Downton Abbey"

Odds: 50-1. He won't win. His character remains alive, though, and for this show, that's something.



Anna Gunn, "Breaking Bad"

Odds: Even. Skyler stages a suicide and later tells Walt she's waiting/hoping/wishing for him to die. It's the episode that turned even the haters into ardent fans.

Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"

Odds: 3-1. Because you never discount Dame Maggie's chances, especially when she's seen putting Shirley MacLaine in her place.

Morena Baccarin, "Homeland"

Odds: 4-1. Baccarin stepped up her game this season, especially in her Emmy submission, "State of Independence," which requires her long-suffering Jessica to fill in for Brody at an important fundraising dinner. Voters dig big speeches, and Baccarin has a beauty here.

Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"

Odds: 20-1. Let's face it: If Hendricks couldn't win last year for the episode where Joan prostitutes herself for a partnership, it's probably not going to happen. This year's Emmy episode, "A Tale of Two Cities," isn't as dramatic, though watching Joan wrangle the Avon account had its rewards.

Emilia Clarke, "Game of Thrones"

Odds: 30-1. If there was an Emmy for episode stealing, she'd win.

Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife"

Odds: 50-1. A pro's pro. And voters still like "The Good Wife" enough to give it nominations and, in the case of Carrie Preston, who took the Emmy on Sunday for guest actress drama, victories. But the other nominees have showier episodes.


Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"

Odds: 2-1. Burrell's submitted episode, "Mistery Date," has more laughs than his "Modern Family" competitors. His reaction shot after Matthew Broderick kisses him probably wins him the Emmy all by itself.

Ed O'Neill, "Modern Family"

Odds: 3-1. O'Neill has never won, and this could well be his year. His submission, "Bringing Up Baby," gives him the chance to mix sweet and sour, something he does so well. He's overdue ... but then, voters didn't think so last year when they gave O'Neill's castmate, Eric Stonestreet, a second Emmy. There's a point where overdue becomes overlooked.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, "Modern Family"

Odds: 8-1. Ferguson is on his fourth nomination but is unlikely to win his first Emmy simply because Burrell and O'Neill have stronger episodes.

Tony Hale, "Veep"

Odds: 10-1. Between the "Arrested Development" reboot and his brilliant work on "Veep," the huggable Hale had a great year. If voters finally tire of giving this Emmy to a "Modern Family" cast member, he'd be the likely recipient. Against him: It's such an ensemble show, it limits Hale's screen time.

Adam Driver, "Girls"

Odds: 25-1. Driver's submitted episode, "It's Back," showcases his ability to be charming and likable, qualities one doesn't always associate with his "Girls" character. (In other words, it's not the "On All Fours" episode.) Deserving, but probably too divisive to win.

Bill Hader, "Saturday Night Live"

Odds: 30-1. Hader won a second consecutive nomination for his farewell "SNL" season. Though the show's quality dipped, Hader remained a bright spot, as demonstrated throughout his Emmy episode, which is highlighted by his turn as the dishonorably discharged puppet student Anthony Peter Coleman.

Julie Bowen, "Modern Family"
Odds: 2-1. Yes, this would make it three consecutive Emmys. No, we're not particularly thrilled about it. But her character is "relatable" and has more screen time than her competition.
Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock"
Odds: 5-2. As always, Krakowski nails every comic moment. But they're moments. This being "30 Rock's" swan song, sentiment is on her side to win her first Emmy. It could happen. It should happen.
Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory"
Odds: 10-1. No woman could put up with Sheldon in the real world, but Bialik at least makes the possibility believable and at times poignant.
Jane Lynch, "Glee"
Odds: 10-1. She does Niki Manaj better than Niki Manaj.
Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"
Odds: 20-1. Vergara as a ventriloquist? OK, it doesn't quite work in "Yard Sale," her Emmy submission, but, in the scheme of things, Bowen shouldn't have three more Emmys than Vergara. They're equally good.
Anna Chlumsky, "Veep"
Odds: 50-1. Chlumsky delivers an epic meltdown in her submitted episode, "First Response," and her work on "Veep" has been a revelation. But, like Hale, she's part of a great, deep bench and probably doesn't have enough moments to persuade voters to check her name.
Merritt Weaver, "Nurse Jackie"
Odds: 50-1. She's superb, but the show's profile is almost non-existant at this point.