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SAG Awards Predictions 2017: Who Will Win

SAG predictions Moonlight Game of Thrones
Courtesy of A24/HBO

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be held Sunday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET. Could Denzel Washington upset the season’s strongest overall contender, Casey Affleck? Is “Veep” poised to finally bring home an ensemble win on the TV side? And might “Hidden Figures” surprise with the evening’s final prize? See what our experts think below.

FILM

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Jenelle Riley’s Pick: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
It’s time to see if Affleck’s run of critical awards is reflected by his peers. It could go several ways — don’t underestimate Denzel Washington — but I’m sticking with Affleck at this point.

Kris Tapley’s Pick: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Indeed, Washington has somehow never won a SAG Award. They have a chance to rectify that by honoring one of his greatest performances yet, but Affleck has been too dominant to ignore.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Riley’s Pick: Emma Stone, “La La Land”
It’s a tight race between Stone and Natalie Portman, but how can actors resist the chance to reward the stellar Stone in a movie that celebrates their craft?

Tapley’s Pick: Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Plus: Where else are they going to honor the likely best picture winner? The film didn’t make the ensemble cut because it’s more of a two-hander. Stone will rep the ones who dream, the hearts that ache, and the mess we make.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Riley’s Pick: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Expect the journeyman actor to cap off a phenomenal year with his first SAG Award win — he’ll probably take home a second as he’s up as a member of both the “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures” ensembles.

Tapley’s Pick: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Journeyman is a good word for it, and the guild will no doubt be happy to finally honor a guy who has been recognized as part of the ensembles of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “House of Cards,” but now finally has his moment in the spotlight.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Riley’s Pick: Viola Davis, “Fences”
Anything else would be shocking.

Tapley’s Pick: Viola Davis, “Fences”
Yeah…

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Riley’s Pick: “Moonlight”
Honestly, it’s too close to call — I would not be surprised by a “Fences” or “Hidden Figures” win here. But it’s tough to deny the flawless work by actors both new and established.

Tapley’s Pick: “Fences”
Oh good, we finally differ. “Moonlight” almost seems like a no-brainer, but I’m going with “Fences,” an excellent piece of drama packed with roles every actor would love to sink his or her teeth into.

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Riley’s Pick: “Doctor Strange”
“Hacksaw Ridge” might be the smart call, considering how vital the stunts are to the story and it’s the “prestige” nominee. But I’m going with a sentimental pick here because, well, “Doctor Strange” just LOOKS SO COOL.

Tapley’s Pick: “Hacksaw Ridge”
I don’t know if it’s the smart call but it’s my call. War films usually win out here, such as “Lone Survivor” and “Unbroken.” If there’s a surprise I’d say “Jason Bourne.” Remember, “The Bourne Ultimatum” won this inaugural prize (though that was admittedly a much better film).

TELEVISION

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Berkshire’s Pick: Courtney B. Vance, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
He may have lost the Golden Globe, but the Emmy winner’s riveting turn as Johnnie Cochran should put him on top in a very competitive field.

Birnbaum’s Pick: Courtney B. Vance, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Perhaps the toughest category of all, with two sets of co-stars competing against each other. But the lawyer who won the case should win the award, too.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Geoff Berkshire’s Pick: Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning sensation can’t lose.

Debra Birnbaum’s Pick: Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Yes, Sarah will have a complete set for her trophy case.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Berkshire’s Pick: John Lithgow, “The Crown”
It wouldn’t be a shock to see two-time consecutive winner Kevin Spacey make it three in a row, but Lithgow’s one-and-done role on the Netflix hit is a powerful alternative for those who enjoy politically-themed scenery-chewing.

Birnbaum’s Pick: John Lithgow, “The Crown”
There’s nothing actors love to recognize more than an on-screen metamorphosis, and somehow the tall, lithe Lithgow transforms himself into the famously squat Winston Churchill without making it a caricature.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

Berkshire’s Pick: Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
The most interesting category given all the newcomers. It’s possible actors will want to honor the industry survivor stories of Thandie Newton or Winona Ryder, while returning nominee Robin Wright has yet to win. But between the category’s two ingenues, I’ll go with buzzy young breakout Brown.

Birnbaum’s Pick: Claire Foy, “The Crown”
Sorry, Geoff, but the Queen gets my vote — and should get SAG’s, too. Golden Globe winner Foy delivered the performance of the year as the emotionally conflicted monarch.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

Berkshire’s Pick: Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
There’s nothing SAG voters love more in the TV categories than repeat winners.

Birnbaum’s Pick: Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
No argument from me.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Berkshire’s Pick: Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black”
There’s nothing SAG voters love more in the TV categories than repeat winners.

Birnbaum’s Pick: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
With all due respect to SAG tradition: How much longer can SAG voters ignore the reigning Emmy champion?

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Berkshire’s Pick: “Game of Thrones”
“Downton Abbey” has won this category two years in a row (and once before), so chances are it’ll triumph again in its final season. But if “The Crown” siphons off enough votes, look for “Game of Thrones” to score its first ever win. (Dark horse alert: “Stranger Things.”)

Birnbaum’s Pick: “Game of Thrones”
If any cast can finally dethrone “Downton,” it’s the army from the north — and the rest of Westeros.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Berkshire’s Pick: “Veep”
Two-time winner “Orange Is the New Black” could take it again for one of its strongest seasons, but HBO’s political satire has never prevailed and that may finally change in a post-election year.

Birnbaum’s Pick: “Black-ish”
“Orange” feels like a distant memory, and yes, “Veep” does hit the political notes. But “Black-ish” is that rarest of shows — a feel-good family comedy that can also strike poignant social issues. And it’s on broadcast.

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series

Berkshire’s Pick: “Game of Thrones”
After five consecutive wins, it feels like no other show can win this category. And with the “Battle of the Bastards” episode, “Thrones” should have no problem keeping the streak alive.

Birnbaum’s Pick: “Game of Thrones”
The sixth time’s the charm, indeed.