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SAG Awards Predictions: Who Will Win?

Will Game of Thrones finally win its first SAG?

Joyce Eng

It pays to have friends in the Screen Actors Guild -- because they just might vote for you to win! The 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards take place Sunday (8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on TNT and TBS), the latest stop in the Oscar race, or in Sarah Paulson's case, the final stop in her Marcia Clark awards sweep.

So who will win? Check out our predictions and tell us yours.

SAG Awards: Here's the full list of nominees

Drama Ensemble
The Crown
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Stranger Things

Will win: Game of Thrones
It might finally be time for Game of Thrones to win this. It's basically winning everything else in the industry (read: Emmys), and with three new hit shows in the running, it might not be enough to push one over the edge, especially since SAG voters are notorious creatures of habit and love familiarity. Thrones has won the stunt ensemble award every years since it's been eligible, but it's never won a SAG trophy.
Watch out for: Downton Abbey
The three-time champ would tie ER with a record four wins in the category, but having been off the air for a year might hurt it (it used to air during voting), not unlike Alec Baldwin finally losing after seven straight wins, when his eighth nod came a year after 30 Rock ended.

Comedy Ensemble
The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family

Orange Is the New Black

Will win: Orange Is the New Black
SAG loves large, sprawling casts ( Orange boasts 37 people), so the two-time defending champ is in prime position to three-peat, especially following a resurgent season. It would tie Seinfeld with three trophies.
Watch out for: Black-ish
Veep, the two-time reigning Emmy champ has never won this award, but Black-ish has been steadily, deservedly picking up awards steam over the past year. And its flawless post-election episode, "Lemons," aired during voting.

Drama Actor
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
John Lithgow, The Crown
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Will win: John Lithgow, The Crown
Lithgow is exactly the type of respected veteran SAG loves to award. He won twice on the comedy side for 3rd Rock From the Sun and would be the first person to win individual trophies in both genres.
Watch out for: Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
A two-time nominee, Brown is also up for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, so if voters really like him, they could toss him a bone here, which would free them up to vote for his O.J. co-star Courtney B. Vance in the TV movie/miniseries actor race. Of course, he could win neither or he could pull an Idris Elba and go two-for-two. Also keep an eye out for Rami Malek, who's "due" after his Emmy win. Kevin Spacey is the two-time defending champ here and would be the first to three-peat in the category.

Drama Actress
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Claire Foy, The Crown
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Will win: Claire Foy, The Crown
This is probably the most unpredictable race of the night. Two-time defending champ Viola Davis is out (don't worry, she'll still get her SAG; see below), and the field is comprised of four people from new shows and a returning nominee who's never won before. We'll tip Globe winner Foy, not just for her winning, restrained turn as Queen Elizabeth, but her show's snob appeal edge over her competition.
Watch out for: Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Breakout characters fare very well with a populist group like SAG. Brown, 12, would be the youngest individual winner ever.

Comedy Actor
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Will win: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Transparent got dropped from comedy ensemble, but defending champ Tambor should have enough pull to become the fourth person to win this category twice.
Watch out for: Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Like I said about the Globes, Anderson will break through at one of these shows eventually. Helping his cause: His TV wife Tracee Ellis Ross won the Globe and the cast is up for comedy ensemble.

Comedy Actress
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Will win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
JLD's record five straight Emmys -- and her moving tribute to her late dad in her Emmy speech -- should propel her to a second SAG win for Veep and first in four years. She also has two wins for Seinfeld and would tie Tina Fey with four overall wins in the category.
Watch out for: Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Crazy Eyes' popularity alone could carry Aduba to a third straight win, mirroring Megan Mullally's and Tina Fey's three-peats.

TV Movie/Miniseries Actor
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Bryan Cranston, All the Way
John Turturro, The Night Of
Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Will win: Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Besides being fully deserving, Vance fits the profile of a longtime, well-liked actor up voters' alley. It's really a shame and unfair that there is no TV movie/ensemble award because you know O.J. would clean that up easily.
Watch out for: Bryan Cranston, All the Way
If the two O.J. guys and the two Night Of guys split the vote, four-time champ Cranston could sneak through.

TV Movie/Miniseries Actress
Bryce Dallas Howard, Black Mirror
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill
Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Kerry Washington, Confirmation

Will win: Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
The sweep will be complete.
Watch out for: Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Again, someone has to finish second.

SAGs snubs and surprises: Viola Davis, Transparent out; lots of new faces in


Captain Fantastic
Hidden Figures
Manchester by the Sea

Will win: Moonlight
The moving triptych is full of rich performances and gets bonus points with its multiple actors so vividly realizing one character. And casts of critical darlings have won here over loftier competition before, including Sideways and Little Miss Sunshine. Since it honors acting, the SAG ensemble prize has only matched the Oscar Best Picture winner 11 times in its 21-year history.
Watch out for: Hidden Figures
It's not only the feel-good movie of the moment but also a box-office hit, and popularity goes a long way with SAG. Also keep an eye on Fences, whose inherently stage-y feel would help it here.

Lead Actor
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Will win: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
The frontrunner all season, Affleck ought to snag his first SAG with his bone-deep performance. Manchester leads the field with four nominations and this is the best and perfect place to honor the film.
Watch out for: Denzel Washington, Fences
Washington has the loudest performance and is one of a few surprising A-listers who has never won a SAG award (fellow nominee Nicole Kidman has also never won a SAG trophy).

Lead Actress
Amy Adams, Arrival
Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Will win: Emma Stone, La La Land
La La Land was snubbed in ensemble, so voters can funnel all their love for the Oscar frontrunner to Stone. Plus, she plays an aspiring actress, which would speak to every struggling actor in the guild.
Watch out for: Natalie Portman, Jackie
After losing the Golden Globe to Elle's Isabelle Huppert, who's not nominated here, Portman needs this to stay competitive. Her transformative, exacting turn into Jackie Kennedy is certainly worthy and enough to get her the win. If she pulls this off, she'd be the first person to win this category twice.

Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion

Will win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Ali's loss at the Globes to Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals) was a shock, but also one of those losses he can recover from (and Taylor-Johnson is not nominated here or at the Oscars). The House of Cards and Luke Cage star will also have further support from TV voters. Of all the acting categories, SAG supporting actor has the worst correlation with Oscar: Only 13 of 22 winners have gone on to win the Oscar.
Watch out for: Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Never count out a beloved veteran.

Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Will win: Viola Davis, Fences
Davis is still cruising to her inevitable Oscar victory for her powerhouse performance and this should be her easiest win of all the precursors. SAG voters have always loved her -- remember the rapturous standing O they gave her when she won for The Help? -- and this would be her fifth win overall.
Watch out for: Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
If Davis hadn't decided to run in supporting instead of lead (only borderline category fraud), it might have been Williams dominating this season. Her final scene with Affleck in the film ought to be studied in future acting classes.

Who do you think will win?

The 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards airs Sunday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on TNT and TBS.