The 2010 Emmys: Handicapping Lead Actor in a Drama

In the days leading up to Sunday night's Emmy awards, PopcornBiz will be sizing up the nominees in the 10 biggest categories. Here comes the testosterone: Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series.

Matthew Fox, "Lost"
It goes against every bit of conventional wisdom to go against the star of an epic series which has JUST ended with a cosmic bang and then say Matthew Fox is not going to win the award. After all, Fox was the center of "Lost." His eye opened at the beginning of the series and closed in the final shot. What a great image. But it just shows how strong this field is. Fox could easily take it especially if voters go with their nostalgic heart, especially as he has never taken the award before (while favorite Cranston has won twice in a row). I'm still saying no. Odds of winning: 8 to 1

Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
It pains me to vote against the greatest character on the greatest show on television right now. He should win just for the subtle looks of contempt he gives in every episode or the way the vein on his forehead bulges ever-so slightly when stressed -- the only sign that something is amiss on the blank slate of a face. But while Don Draper continues to sort his life out, Jon Hamm is going to find out a way to get around the Bryan Cranston Emmy bypass.  Odds of winning: 7 to 1.

Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"
A consistent critical darling on a show that manages to barely hang on every year. Just fielding a team for "Friday Night Lights" is a victory in itself. Coach Taylor has even moved to the wrong side of the tracks and is coaching even greater underdogs in shoddy uniforms. You don't just watch "Friday Night Lights," you root for it. And the charismatic Chandler is the central reason. He makes me want to jump off the couch and try a push-up. Another dark horse candidate, but hopefully Chandler will keep in mind that winning isn't everything. Odds of winning: 5 to 1

Hugh Laurie, "House"
A five-time nominee, the Brit clearly has the chops voters like to snack on. And his emotionally-pained character has enough mustard-filled lines to service Yankee stadium hotdog vendors for a year. Throw in life-and-death drama and it's an Emmy force to be reckoned with. But I'd rather watch "Black Adder" without sound than one episode of "House."  Odds of winning: 4 to 1.

Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Never count out Michael C. Hall and his devoted following. With another great season of Dexter under his belt, a slew of recent statuettes, and personal triumphs that have everyone rooting for him -- an Emmy win would be icing on the cake. Besides would you ever admit to a serial killer that you voted for someone else. It's the safe vote; Odds of winning 3 to 1

Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
His portrayal of a high school chemistry teacher turned drug king ping is consistently gripping. Cranston could easily pull off an Emmy three-peat. While it would be nice to hear a speech from someone else this year, his performance was once again undisputedly great. Odds of winning: 2 to 1

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