Top Sleepers for the 2019 Emmy Awards

| July 25, 2019 5:59 am PDT

Hollywood award shows tend to be fairly predictable. While often true, the 2019 Emmy Awards have a different feel to them following the conclusion of hit HBO show Game of Thrones.

The show itself enters September’s red carpet event as a massive favorite across most entertainment betting websites, while stars like Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, and others are individually nominated for acting awards.

Due to much public outcry over how the show unfolded and ultimately ended in its final season, there will undoubtedly be intense campaigns for and against GoT taking home some hardware.

As a past winner at the Emmys, though, Game of Thrones is a very real threat to rack up some trophies. Bettors will ideally be hunting down a little more value, however, which could call for some unexpected value.

Surprises still happen at the Emmy Awards, and in this year’s case, they certainly should. Before you finalize your Emmy wagers, consider these sneaky Emmy sleepers and their tantalizing odds (via

Outstanding Comedy Series – Barry +450

If you’re wondering where to bet on the 2019 Emmy Awards, my pick is They have the best collection of Emmy prop bets, and they also happen to offer some of the best Emmy Award odds.

You can see that right away with the Outstanding Comedy Series category, which pegs long-standing veteran Veep as the likely winner (+100). The Julia Louis-Dreyfus political comedy finished its last season this year and provides really nice value as the all but certain victor.

Be sure to check out all of the 2019 Emmy Nominees before finalizing any bets.

That’s where most of your money should be geared towards in this category at the 2019 Emmys, but there are still other bets to like.

My favorite has to be Barry, which has taken the comedy genre by storm with Bill Hader’s devilishly delightful take on a hitman turned actor.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel won in 2018 and returns as an equally intriguing Emmys pick, while Veep has dominated this category with three wins in the last four years. All true, but Barry is dark and hilarious, and after paying its dues last year, it may be time for this show to truly shine.

Even if Barry doesn’t get the nod, this is a real threat and offers some solid bang for your buck. If you need a longshot bet worth cheering for, consider Russian Doll. It’s not really a comedy, but it was absolutely brilliantly done.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Ted Danson +700

Barry may not be a lock to win Outstanding Comedy Series, but Bill Hader is looking like a strong bet (-600) to take home the nod for best lead actor in that category.

Bettors need to pay mind to that likely reality, but you’re getting zero betting value at his current price tag. That makes this a category worth leaving alone unless you can find some Emmy Award odds you can get behind.

Michael Douglas (+400) looks like your next best bet, but I’d much rather aim a bit higher and target comedy legend Ted Danson (+700). Danson does a terrific job in The Good Place, which offers a fun moral dilemma in the afterlife.

Danson navigates his character and his show’s landscape with the same observational humor and timing that made him a comedy icon. He hasn’t taken home an Emmy since 1993 when he was still with Cheers, but sometimes the great ones deserve a nod before they bow out.

Outstanding Drama Series – This Is Us +3300

I really don’t understand what is going on with the 2019 Emmys, whether it just be the people who provide nominations or the actual Emmy Award betting websites. Whatever the case, Game of Thrones is a massive favorite (-400) going into September’s award show for Outstanding Drama Series.

How and why?

Don’t get me wrong, GoT was a fantastic overall show, and for the first seven seasons, it was borderline impeccable. In fact, through the first three episodes of its final season, it was trending toward an epic finale that could have had it registering as one of the best TV shows ever.

That wasn’t to be, as the show completely flamed out with major plot holes, drastic character arc deviations, and flat-out bad writing. Regardless, it’s being honored in a big way simply by being the perceived favorite.

This is a thing at the Emmys, as an iconic show (one that won in this category three times before, including last year), is finally done. The Emmys could pay homage to it with one more win here, but that’d be pretty cheap.

Bettors won’t want to bet on that happening for that reason, but also because there isn’t any upside to that wager. I’d prefer to aim high, as even your second-best bet (Killing Eve at +450) offers insane betting value.

I don’t see why you can’t just up the ante and aim higher, though. Better Call Saul (+1900) is beautifully priced and a tear-jerker. This Is Us delivers routine emotional gut punches without flinching.

This Is Us seems watered down at the surface, but that show finds a way to craft excellent storytelling and draws amazing acting performances out of its ensemble. It’s high time it got the respect it’s due, and it could be a fun wager worth backing come September.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series – Sterling K. Brown +2200

Jason Bateman may be set to finally get the respect he deserves, as he’s the tentative favorite here (+100) for his stellar work on Ozark. I hope he gets the win, but there is value to be had in this genre.

Bob Odenkirk is just as deserving and offers a little more bang for your buck at +300, while there’s always the chance Game of Thrones fever props up Kit Harington (+1200).

I don’t really see that happening, and this feels like Bateman’s award to lose after being a sneaky sleeper last year. If I aim high here, I’ll just roll with Sterling K. Brown, who won this very award two years ago and probably should have repeated in 2018.

Brown is arguably the best overall acting talent in this list, and if he weren’t slightly overshadowed by a fantastic cast and beautiful writing on This Is Us, he may be a stronger candidate.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Emilia Clarke +450

Sandra Oh (-300) feels like a lock for her great work on Killing Eve, but she has some stiff competition with The Queen of Dragons hoping to storm the castle.

Emilia Clarke has staying power thanks to her brilliance as the powerful and vengeful Daenerys Targaryen. The weird thing here is she handed in an exceptionally complex performance in her final season on Game of Thrones, largely because terribly forced (and rushed) writing turned her beloved character into a heel in a matter of hours.

There has always been a quiet power in Clarke’s performance, as well as true grit and raw emotion behind a scorned woman who was both seeking revenge and trying to do what was right. The show ruined her story, but Clarke crushed it from beginning to end.

The Emmys tend to reward shows and actors before their time dries up on television, and this is one spot where bettors need to consider the top contender over the favorite.

Need a deeper dive? It’s hard not to root for Laura Linney, who smashed in Ozark as a mother/criminal doing everything she has to in order to keep some kind of normalcy for her family.

Clarke and Linney aside, this category is positively loaded with elite acting talent. Sandra Oh may be the trendy favorite for now, but she very much has her work cut out for her to nab the win.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Natasha Lyonne +900

Lastly, I am in love with Natasha Lyonne’s performance in the incredibly underrated Russian Doll. There may be more likely Emmys sleepers to get behind when you decide to bet on the 2019 Emmy Awards, but none may be more deserving.

Russian Doll itself isn’t yet going to get the recognition it deserves, as it was very well crafted and perfectly blends off-beat comedy with seriously dark material.

You’ll remember Lyonne’s awkward and cynical character from Orange Is the New Black, but she ups the ante as she takes death head-on in a morbid/hilarious on-the-hunt detective series.

My only beef is that Lyonne (while she is personally hilarious) is thrust into the comedy category when her show was anything but. That probably keeps her behind near-guaranteed winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus (-500) and top challenger Rachel Brosnahan (+700), but this is a sleeper I’ll be willing into reality.


None of these 2019 Emmys sleepers are locks to win and return a crazy investment. They’re sleepers — if not deep sleepers — for a reason. They’re not the only sleepers, either.

Technically, when it comes to Hollywood award shows, anyone that’s not a massive favorite could be pumped up as a sneaky sleeper. The point is the top threats are expected to win, and they often do.

I wouldn’t actively bet a ton of money against the huge favorites at the Emmys, but there is always room for taking shots at some fun sleepers. Having rooting interest in a few like Clarke, Danson, and others could make the actual viewing of the Emmys more entertaining for you, too.

However you decide to bet on the 2019 Emmy Awards, hopefully this list of sleepers finds you well. Good luck and happy betting!

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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