Early Predictions for the 2018 NBA Playoffs

We are not yet at the All-Star Break in the NBA, so it might not be the most opportune time to start talking about the playoffs. There are some teams that are definitely going to be part of the postseason, and we can probably guess at the top 3 in each of the two conferences. Things get a little tougher after that, as the battle for playoff spots in the lower half of each conference tends to get seriously heated, especially in the second half of the season. Injuries and streaky runs can have a major impact on how things might end up playing out, and there are still an awful lot of games ahead of us. Despite all of that, we are still going to take an early look at the playoffs and how things might go.

Eastern Conference Prediction:

The Boston Celtics have a 1.5 game lead over the Toronto Raptors at the top. The Cleveland Cavaliers are in third and appear to be in a bit of a freefall, which would suggest that the current top 2 will be the ones gunning it out for the Eastern Conference crown. The Celtics have done enough to keep Toronto at bay all season long, and we like them to continue doing so. Cleveland will right the ship in the second half, but whether or not they can catch Toronto remains to be seen. We like Washington to leapfrog Miami into 4th.
Miami will drop, but only to 5th, with the remaining three playoff spots filled by Milwaukee, Indiana, and Philadelphia, in that order. Getting to the playoffs would be big for the 76ers, but they would be on to a beating in round one. Toronto would have their hands full with Indiana, but will win, while the Cavaliers will get past the Bucks. The Washington/Miami series would be a coin flip, with the edge going to the Wizards.
Boston move on, and then we think we get the real surprise of the playoffs with the Raptors taking out the Cavaliers. Let’s go with the Celtics to represent the East in the NBA Finals.

Western Conference Prediction:

As usual, no-one is touching the Golden State Warriors on top, and it’s tough to imagine anyone getting past the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs in second and third. Oklahoma City appear to be getting hot, which is why we think they move on up into the #4 seed, pipping out the Minnesota Timberwolves in the process and dropping them to #5.
We don’t see much in the way of change as the standings are now, which means the New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers in #6 and #7, respectively. We worry about the Denver Nuggets being able to hold on to the final spot, especially given how brutal they are on the road, so let’s take the LA Clippers in the #8 spot.
We don’t see any of the top 3 teams going down in the opening round, and we also like OKC to move on. The Spurs have lost a step as we see it, which is why we think we are destined for a Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors Western Conference Final. The Warriors move on after an epic battle and win the NBA Finals in 5 over the Celtics.

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FF-Winners.Com Releases 5 Shocking Predictions for the Coming NFL Season

The Cincinnati Bengals  Win the AFC North: We absolutely loved the Bengals draft class, they got two future stars in WR John Ross and RB Joe Mixon. The Bengals relied heavily on WR A.J. green early in the season and had no one step up when Green got injured late in the season. The Bengals went 6-9-1 last year basically relying on Green, a non-existent ground game and defense. Ross will take pressure off Green as he is a true deep threat that will force the defense to account for him. He can also take a slant or screen and use his blazing speed and quickness to score from anywhere on the field. Mixon would have been a top 15 pick if he had not punched a woman in 2014, he has kept his nose clean for 3 years and the Bengals took a chance on him. He was the 2nd best RB in the draft in our opinion behind Dalvin Cook as he is explosive, powerful and has great hands out of the backfield. The Bengals will bounce back and win the AFC North with a healthy Green, and two new stars to help him.

The Indianapolis Colts  Fail to Win the AFC South Again: The Colts drafted the best coverage safety in the draft in Malik Hooker, and also got a solid cover CB in Quincy Wilson to help their weak secondary, but they once again failed to upgrade their most pressing need. The Colts offensive line is a disaster and they still have not made the proper effort to upgrade it. Andrew Luck is overrated and a mediocre system QB  but not even Tom Brady could be successful with that offensive line. The combination of Luck’s mediocrity, the lack of run game and a horrible offensive line will result in yet another failed division crown. The Colts may even miss the playoffs because the Houston Texans drafted QB Deshaun Watson and the Tennessee Titans are on the rise. The Colts will once again fail to win the weakest division in professional football.

The New England Patriots  Win Yet Another Super Bowl:

The Patriots won the off-season, there is no question about that. They signed WR deep threat Brandon Cooks from the New Orleans Saints and signed shutdown CB Stephon Gilmore and power RB Mike Gillislee from the Buffalo Bills. They also drafted a solid edge rusher in Derek Rivers in the 3rd round. The Patriots are the overwhelming favorites to win it all again next year, and they will. The AFC is not as strong as the NFC and the only real challengers we see the Patriots having are the Oakland Raiders with a healthy Derek Carr and then probably the Pittsburgh Steelers as they are always dangerous in the postseason. The Patriots just came back down 25 at halftime to the red hot Atlanta Falcons and stunned the entire world to cap the most improbable super bowl victory last year. They actually improved this off-season with their first real deep threat since Randy Moss and a great CB to help their secondary. The Patriots will repeat as super bowl champs this year.

The New York Giants  Have The Best WR Corps:

The New York Giants will give opposing secondary’s nightmares as they already have one of the best three WRs in the NFL in Odell Beckham Jr. and a rising star in the slot in 2nd year Sterling Sheppard. They also added veteran WR Brandon Marshall, and with those three alone they would be one of the best WR corps in the NFL. Most people believed it could not get any better for QB Eli Manning, but that was before the 2017 NFL Draft. They got a steal with the 23rd pick in hybrid TE/WR Evan Engram, who is 6’3″ 215 Ibs and runs a 4.42 40 time. Engram will be a matchup nightmare for LBs and safeties, and then defenses will be scrambling to try and figure out who to cover and who to double. Marshall and Beckham both are stars and Sheppard and Engram are matchup problems down the seam and over the middle. Eli Manning will light up opposing defenses with all his new weapons and the Giants will win games because of the best WR corps in the NFL.

The Dallas Cowboys Do Not Win 10 Games :

The Dallas Cowboys shocked everyone by winning 13 games with two major rookie contributors last year with QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. What people forget is that they were 4-12 the previous season so they played a weak schedule. This season the Cowboys will play a first place schedule which will be much tougher, plus the division rival New York Giants will be a lot better and more explosive. The Cowboys must travel to the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons and the Oakland Raiders as well as play the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks at home. All of these games are potential losses especially because the Cowboys did not give their defense much help. They drafted DE Taco Charlton in the first round but passed on stud MLB Reuben Foster who was a top 5 talent in this class. Teams will have an entire off-season to plan for Dak Prescott, and if we add that to the fact that they play a much tougher schedule as well as did not upgrade their defense, the Dallas Cowboys will fail to win 10 plus games this year.

These Harvard NFL Season Predictions are Weird!

Judge for yourself :