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Predictions can be wildly uneven, as we saw last week when it looked like Adele’s “21” was a lock to go back to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as of the Friday before the chart’s Sunday close.
However, Lionel Richie’s CBS special, which aired Friday night after Hits Daily Double had already run its predictions, propelling “Tuskegee” to the top spot.
So this week, it’s even more of a horserace to see who will snag the No. 1 spot when the chart is released on Wednesday. Right now, “Tuskegee” and “Love is a Four-Letter Word” from Jason Mraz are in a dead heat, with both targeted to sell between 100,000 and 110,000.
Mraz will be joined in the top 10 by two other debuts, Train’s “California 37,” which will likely bow at No. 4 and hip hop artist Future’s debut studio set, “Pluto,” looks strong for No. 7.
Adele’s “21” continues to be in the Top 5, and should easily claim the No. 3 spot with up to 90,000 copies sold. Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” rounds out the top 5 at No. 5 (although at this point, “Roman Reloaded” and One Direction’s “Up All Night” are too close to call, so she may be at No. 6 and the boy band at No. 5.
Top 10 veterans round out the rest of the top slots: Gotye, whose “Somebody That I Used To Know” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, will likely be at No. 8 with “Making Mirrors,” Bonnie Raitt at No. 9 with “Slipstream” and Rascal Flatts at No. 10 with “Changed.”