Emmy Awards Betting Is Made for TV



The long-running marriage of television and betting will be on picture-perfect display when 2011 Emmy Awards betting culminates with the statues for TV excellence being handed out in Hollywood, Sept. 18. Cash, which signifies betting excellence, will be dispensed the next day.

Let's take a look at the leading contenders in some of the more popular categories:

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

John Hamm ("Mad Men")                        4/9

Steve Buscemi ("Boardwalk Empire")        5/2

Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights")        15/1

Timothy Olyphant ("Justified")                 16/1

Michael C. Hall ("Dexter")                        16/1

Hugh Laurie ("House")                            25/1

The Skinny: This is the fourth straight year that Hamm has been nominated and most feel that it's finally his time to take home the hardware. Buscemi won the Golden Globe and SAG awards in this category and is the main contender. Kyle Chandler is a worthy longshot to score an upset against stiff competition.

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Steve Carell ("The Office")                      1/5

Jim Parson ("Big Bang Theory")               9/2

Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")                         10/1

Johnny Galecki ("Big Bang Theory")          25/1

Louis C.K. (Louie")                                33/1

Matt Leblanc ("Episodes")                       40/1

The Skinny: With his sixth nomination in as many years Carell is a heavy favorite to finally get a long-awaited victory. Parsons was a popular winner last year and Baldwin succeeded in both 2008 and 2009. Comedian Louis C.K. is a spoiler possibility but the well-liked Carell should prevail.

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife")        4/5

Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men")                    3/2

Mireille Enos ("The Killing")                      12/1

Kathy Bates ("Harry's Law")                    12/1

Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights")        16/1

Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU")       33/1

The Skinny: Margulies was supposed to win last year when she copped the Golden Globe and SAG awards but was upset by Kyra Sedgwick, who was snubbed in the nomination process this season. The Academy usually makes amends for past indiscretions so Margulies would be wise to have her acceptance speech prepared. Moss is the main competition from a series loved by critics.

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Laura Linney ("The Big C")                      2/3

Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation")       7/4

Tina Fey ("30 Rock")                              8/1

Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie")                      16/1

Martha Plimpton ("Raising Hope")             28/1

Melissa McCarthy ("Mike and Molly")         35/1

The Skinny: Showtime ladies have won the last two years (Edie Falco in 2010, Toni Collette for "US of Tara" in 2009) and Linney, who somehow brings humor to the role of a cancer patient, is likely to make it three years in a row. Poehler and former "Saturday Night Live" alum Fey are the main competition but it's Linney's to lose.

BEST DRAMA SERIES

"Mad Men"                                           4/7

"Boardwalk Empire"                               3/1

"The Good Wife"                                   5/1

"Game of Thrones"                                12/1

"Friday Night Lights"                               20/1

"Dexter"                                               35/1

The Skinny: "Mad Men," with a leading 19 nominations, is an odds-on choice to join "Hill Street Blues," "LA Law," and "The West Wing" as a rare four-time Best Drama winner. With 18 overall nominations and boasting a pilot lensed by Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese, "Boardwalk Empire is capable of springing the upset. Odds on "The Good Wife" seem stronger than the show's actual chances.

BEST COMEDY SERIES

"Modern Family"                                    1/7

"30 Rock"                                            8/1

"The Office"                                         12/1

"Glee"                                                 14/1

"The Big Bang Theory"                           20/1

"Parks and Recreation"                           33/1

The Skinny: As the shortest price on the board, it would be a monumental shock if "Modern Family," which boasts 17 nominations, didn't win its second consecutive Emmy. "30 Rock," the winner in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and the 2006 champion "The Office," have the track records to surprise.

BEST REALITY COMPETITION SERIES

"The Amazing Race"                               2/3

"Top Chef"                                           13/8

"American Idol"                                     7/1

"Dancing With the Stars"                         14/1

"So You Think You Can Dance"                14/1

"Project Runway"                                   16/1

The Skinny: "American Idol" and "Dancing With the Stars" have the ratings but look for either "The Amazing Race" or "Top Chef" to take home the hardware. Voters will have to decide whether they prefer adventure or food.

Many sportsbooks also are offering odds in the four supporting actor categories, and some enterprising bet shops have prices posted on a variety of propositions, including whether "Mad Men," "Boardwalk Empire" or "Modern Family" earns the most statues.

Even with the NFL in full bloom and baseball in its critical final month of the regular season, Emmy Awards betting not only remains an attractive betting diversion but an excellent example of the impact television has had on gambling.