It pays to have friends in high places — or in Hollywood's case, in the Screen Actors Guild. Why? Because actors vote for each other at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The 17th annual ceremony takes place Sunday (8/7c on TNT and TBS), and as the final ballots are being tallied, let's take a stab at who we think will be honored by their peers. Check out our predictions below and tell us your picks for the big prizes.
TV Guide Network's red carpet coverage begins Sunday at 6 ET/3 PT with Screen Actors Guild Awards with Chris Harrison. And be sure to tune in to the Red Carpet Fashion Wrap hosted by Lawrence Zarian on Monday at 8/7c.
Check out the full list of SAG nominees
Will win: Mad Men
SAG voters are notoriously repetitive in the TV races (the cast of ER won this award for four consecutive years), so expect a third straight win for the Mad Men crew, who continued to bring it week in and week out last season. One question: Where's Breaking Bad?
Watch out for: The Good Wife
The SAGs was the first group to embrace the CBS drama last year outside of Julianna Margulies, giving it a surprise ensemble nomination. In Season 2, the cast is as compelling and entertaining as ever, thanks to the addition of a few new faces.
Will win: Modern Family
No one else can touch the Pritchetts, Dunphys and Delgados when it comes to cast chemistry, wit and just straight-up laughs. Also working in their favor: The show leads the TV field with four nominations.
Watch out for: Glee
The defending champ could repeat if voters are still under its song-and-dance spell.
Will win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hamm's acting clinic in "The Suitcase" ought to be enough to help him snag his first individual SAG award.
Watch out for: Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
The Golden Globe winner is a veteran who has practically worked with everyone in the biz. They won't hesitate to vote for him in a hot new show.
Will win: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
A SAG darling, Margulies has won more statuettes — seven — than any other actor in SAG history. With her dynamic turns inside and outside the courtroom, it's hard not to see her extending her lead to eight trophies.
Watch out for: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Moss' tremendous performance in "The Suitcase" makes her a very worthy winner. And frankly, someone's got to start awarding her in individual categories for her consistently excellent work.
Will win: Ty Burrell, Modern Family
What makes the SAG TV races interesting is the fact that there are no supporting categories, forcing lead and supporting performers to face off when they normally would not elsewhere. This is usually more prevalent in the comedy races. This year is no different: Three supporting actors (Burrell, Ed O'Neill, Chris Colfer) are up against two leads (Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell). We give Burrell the ever-so-slight edge for making what easily could've been a poor man's Michael Scott so endearingly lovable.
Watch out for: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Never count out the four-time defending champ, who is undefeated in this category.
Will win: Jane Lynch, Glee
SAG is also very fond of three-time defending champ Tina Fey (30 Rock), but Sue Sylvester has the chops, not to mention the barbs, to take down Liz Lemon.
Watch out for: Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Another thing to know about the SAGs is that it's very respectful of its elders. Because the awards show is so young, many older stars and acting legends have never won any SAGs, let alone been nominated for one. This is White's first individual SAG nomination (the Hot in Cleveland cast is also up for comedy ensemble) and with the year she's had, would anyone be surprised if she won?
TV Movie/Miniseries Actor
Will win: Al Pacino, You Don't Know Jack
Duh. A win would complete Pacino's acting trifecta (Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG) for the role and make him the second person to triumph in this category twice, following Gary Sinise. Can someone just please promise to play him off before he starts rambling?
Watch out for: Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
Absolutely riveting as terrorist Carlos the Jackal, Ramirez has the best chance of upsetting Pacino.
TV Movie/Miniseries Actress
Will win: Claire Danes, Temple Grandin
Another duh and another win to complete the trifecta. Notable in this category: Danes' competition includes two of her Little Women co-stars, Winona Ryder (When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story) and Susan Sarandon (You Don't Know Jack). Even better: Laurie himself, Christian Bale, is nominated for The Fighter (see below). Can you say "reunion"?
Watch out for: Susan Sarandon, You Don't Know Jack
If for some reason Danes splits votes with her Temple Grandin co-stars, Julia Ormond and Catherine O'Hara, Sarandon could sneak in there. As for Ryder, the nomination is the reward.
EnsembleWill win: The FighterThis is a real toss-up, but we'll call it for the Fighter, which boasts powerhouse performances from very well-seasoned and respected stars.
Watch out for: The Social NetworkThe nuanced performances from all of Network's up-and-coming stars are well beyond their years, but Andrew Garfield's omission from the supporting race (and subsequent Oscar snub) hurts the gang's chances a tiny bit. Our one issue with this category: Due to quirky SAG rules, Network's notable gals, Rooney Mara, Brenda Song and Rashida Jones, are not eligible for the win, but Josh Pence — Armie Hammer's body double whose face is never seen — can walk away with a trophy.Lead Actor
Will win: Colin Firth, The King's SpeechSuperb as the stammering duke-turned-king, Firth should cruise to the Oscar after nabbing his first SAG. Of the individual SAG acting categories, lead actor is the best predictor for the Oscars: Only four times have the winners not matched, which, incidentally, occurred during a four-year stretch a decade ago.Watch out for: James Franco, 127 HoursNo one knows how difficult it is to put on a one-man show better than your fellow actors.Lead ActressWill win: Natalie Portman, Black SwanPortman was snubbed by SAG for her Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated performance in Closer, but her transcendent Black Swan turn, so fearless and fearful, unsurprisingly made voters take notice. And we don't think they'll be able to deny her a win.Watch out for: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All RightAs a highly regarded vet, Bening, who won 11 years ago for American Beauty, has her best shot of stopping (or at least slowing down) the Portman Express here for her subtle turn in Kids.Supporting ActorWill win: Christian Bale, The FighterPerhaps the biggest favorite of the night, Bale should probably clear some more room on his mantel. As if an explosive performance is not enough, his charming acceptance speeches this awards season have no doubt won over more folks who probably remember him for some, um, less pleasant things he's said.Watch out for: Geoffrey Rush, The King's SpeechIf voters aren't feeling Bale's loud and brash Dicky Ecklund, Rush's subtle, but no less impressive turn as speech therapist Lionel Logue is surely the next option.Supporting ActressWill win: Melissa Leo, The FighterA win would officially cement Leo as the Oscar front-runner. Though we won't know the final vote tally, it could easily be a runaway victory and not just for her arresting performance. Leo's a longtime character actress who's hitting it big later in life — a story line that could be eaten up by the large contingent of average working SAG members who continue to grind away at a very unpredictable career.Watch out for: Amy Adams, The Fighter On her third individual nomination in five years, Adams has been playing runner-up to her co-star most of the season. But she's equally award-worthy for imbuing what on paper could've have been a one-dimensional character — the supportive significant other — with mettle and her own fighting spirit.