Column: Sports Predictions Central — Edition 1

Predictions for the best games around the sports world this week

Brent Gelick / Talon

Welcome to the first edition of Sports Predictions Central, a hub for predictions of the best games on the sports slate this week. 

In this first edition, we will be predicting and breaking down the outcomes of the following games: Celtics vs Heat, Lakers vs Nuggets, Rams vs Bills, Packers vs Saints and Chiefs vs Ravens. 

There will be a running standings for this recurring column, keeping track of who is in the lead with the most accurate predictions. And away we go!

Celtics vs. Heat game five: Friday, Sept. 25 at 5:30 p.m.

Adam: I’ve got the heat edging out the Celtics in this one. Tyler Herro is the x-factor for the Heat. After his 37-point performance in game five, he should be a primary option for the heat every time down the floor. Aside from his tremendous shooting ability, he is an incredibly well-rounded player who can get it done on both sides of the floor. Bam Adebayo will continue his string of dominant defensive performances to help the Heat close out the series.

Heat 107, Celtics 106

Alex: I see the Boston Celtics taking game five of their explosive series with the Miami Heat.  Small errors have plagued them in their previous games, but they will clean it up in this game. Jayson Tatum will rise to the occasion and prove why he is the future of the league.

Celtics 104, Heat 98

Eric: I think that the Celitics come out with the win after game five. The momentum that they carry will help them beat the Heat on Friday night. The Celtics stars will come out strong at the beginning of the game and not look back.

Celtics: 115, Heat 107

Final Score: Celtics 121, Heat 108

Lakers vs. Nuggets game five, Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.

Adam: The Lakers will ride Anthony Davis and LeBron James en route to a commanding game five victory, and it won’t even be close. While they have been playing exceptionally well, the Nuggets will falter in this game as the Lakers will simply overwhelm the inexperienced Denver team.

Lakers 108, Nuggets 94

Alex: I believe that the Denver Nuggets will take the victory here. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray will continue to churn out impressive performances, so I see the Nuggets keeping their foot on the gas pedal in this one. Jokic will lead the team in scoring and rebounds, once again proving himself on the big stage.

Nuggets 112, Lakers 108

Eric: I predict that the Lakers will beat the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night. Lebron James and Anthony Davis will score in bunches with key plays from role players. In addition, the Laker’s suffocating defense will lead to more offensive possessions for the purple and gold, which they will take advantage of.

Lakers: 119, Nuggets: 103

Final Score: Lakers 117, Nuggets 107

Rams vs. Bills, Sunday, Sep. 27 at 10 a.m.

Adam: As good as the Rams have been playing, I am going to have to go with the Bills here. Josh Allen has been playing at an elite level and is taking care of the ball much better to start this year, with no interceptions as of yet. Stefon Diggs is proving to be a genius acquisition by the Bills front office and is currently tied for tops in the lead in receiving yards. I’ll take the Bills in a close one.

Bills 21, Rams 20

Alex: This is a tough one. On one hand you have the Los Angeles Rams, looking like their past selves, while on the other you have the Buffalo Bills, eager to prove themselves. I see the Buffalo Bills, under the helm of Josh Allen taking the victory here. Allen’s athleticism and ability to throw down field will push the Bills over the edge on Sunday morning.

Bills 24, Rams 14

Eric: Both these teams are 2-0, coming off of wins on the road versus the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins. I see this game being close, but ultimately going to the Los Angeles Rams. Aaron Donald will be a force on the defensive side of the ball and the plethora of weapons that the Rams have will be overwhelming for the Bills defense. 

Rams 28, Bills 24

Final Score: Bills 35, Rams 32

Packers vs. Saints, Sunday, Sep. 27 at 5:20 p.m.

Adam: The Saints are coming off a concerning loss to the Raiders on Monday night football last week. With both teams having their number one receiver’s status in limbo, this game will come down to who can get stops on defense. Z’darius Smith, Jaire Alexander, and Kenny Clark will get the job done — Packers in a close one.

Packers 21, Saints 17

Alex: I think the Green Bay Packers will take the victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night. The Packers offense has been explosive in the first two weeks, with Aaron Jones posting a ridiculous stat-line in week 2. Even though Drew Brees has been letting down the Saints as of recent, he will have a bounce-back game. It’s going to come down to the wire, but veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers will nonetheless lead the Packers to win number three on the year.

Packers 38, Saints 35

Eric: I predict that the Packers win against the Saints on Sunday night football. As of late, Aaron Rodgers has turned back the clock and is looking like his old self. Even with a minor injury to star wide-receiver Davante Adams, the Packers still should be able to pull out the win. The Saints will likely not have Michael Thomas and are coming off a disappointing loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Packers: 34, Saints: 27

Final Score: Packers 37, Saints 30

Chiefs vs. Ravens, Monday, Sep. 28 at 5:15 p.m. 

Adam: This will be the battle of arguably the two most explosive offenses in the league and likely a preview of the AFC Title Game. While potent offenses will be the headline, both of these defenses have been impressive as well. I believe down the stretch, the best player in the league will put his team in a position to win. I’ve got the Chiefs in a Monday night thriller.

Chiefs 38, Ravens 34

Alex: The best game of the week, and perhaps the season. The number one spot in power rankings is on the line, and quite honestly I couldn’t ask for a better matchup on a Monday night. The explosivity of the two offenses will be great to watch, but at the end of the day, I believe that defense is what will win this closely-matched game. The Ravens defense edges that of the Chiefs, and I believe they will come up with huge plays down the stretch, crowning the Ravens victorious on Monday night.

Ravens 24, Chiefs 21

Eric: This game will be one of the most anticipated games of the season, featuring the two most electric quarterbacks in the league. However, I believe that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson currently has more potent weapons around him. This game will be high scoring and exciting, but I believe the Ravens’ offense will be too much for the Chiefs’ defense. 

Ravens: 37, Chiefs, 30

Final Score: Chiefs 34, Ravens 20