Column: Sports Prediction Central, Edition 3

Predictions for the best games around the sports world this week


Brent Gelick/Talon

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

In this edition, we will be predicting and breaking down the outcomes of the following games: #8 Penn State vs Indians, #18 Michigan vs #21 Minnesota, Dodgers vs Rays, Steelers vs Titans, and Bears vs Rams.

#8 Penn State vs Indiana, Saturday Oct 24, 12:30 pm 

Adam: Big Ten football is finally back, and this is a criminally underrated matchup in the first weekend. Penn State had a huge loss this offseason with their star linebacker Micah Parsons opting out. Indiana is coming off a solid season last year, finishing 8-5. Ultimately, Penn State is the more talented squad, and they’ll come out with the win.

Penn State 31, Indiana 21

Alex: The return of Big Ten football. Coming off an extended offseason, this game might be a bit rocky and certainly not mistake-free, but I see both offenses hitting their strides down the stretch. In the end, the more talented Penn State team will come up with the victory. 

Penn State 35, Indiana 24

Eric: With the first week of Big Ten football, Penn State vs Indiana is an exciting game. Penn State has high expectations for this year, coming off a great year last season. I think they continue their momentum and handily defeat the Hoosiers. 

Penn State 40, Indiana 24

Final Score: Indiana 36, Penn State 35

#18 Michigan vs #21 Minnesota, Saturday Oct 24, 4:30 pm

Adam: Probably the biggest game of Big Ten opening weekend, Michigan and Minnesota will be an incredibly entertaining game to cap off the night. Minnesota, led by quarterback Tanner Morgan and receiver Rashod Bateman, is coming off of a breakout year, finishing 11-2. Michigan, on the other hand, fell short of expectations last year, finishing 9-4. Minnesota will keep up the momentum from last season and pull out a close one against the Maize and Blue.

Minnesota 28, Michigan 27

Alex: This is a great game to open up the Big Ten’s season, with both of these teams being highly ranked. Just based on past history against ranked opponents early on, I see Michigan making critical errors down the stretch, leading to their ultimate demise late in the second half. I got the Golden Gophers taking the win in this one. 

Minnesota 17, Michigan 14

Eric: In a matchup of two ranked teams, I think this game between two Midwestern teams goes down to the wire. Minnesota receiver Rashod Bateman is a star and will be a big factor in this game. However, I think the Michigan defense comes up big and gets some huge stops to ice the game.

Michigan 35, Minnesota 30

Final Score: Michigan 49, Minnesota 24

Dodgers vs Rays, game four, Saturday Oct 24, 5:08 pm

Adam: The Dodgers will fall short of their lofty goals in this one. A close game throughout, I believe the Rays will take this one, with the game being settled in the last two innings.

Rays 4, Dodgers 3

Alex: Although the Rays come into this one with amazing pitching, I believe the Dodgers hitters will get the best of them. I have the Dodgers coming out victorious based on some solid hitting from Corey Seager and Will Smith late in the game.

Dodgers 7, Rays 4 

Eric:  Though the Rays pitching has been outstanding, the Dodgers offense has been on another level and I think that will be the difference in this game. The game will be close throughout, but I think the Dodgers pull away in the later innings. 

Dodgers 6, Rays 2

Final Score: Rays 8, Dodgers 7

Steelers vs Titans, Sunday Oct 25, 10:00 am

Adam: Two undefeated teams will go in, and only one undefeated team will come out. Derrick Henry has been on an absolute tear for Tennessee and the Steelers demolished a sneaky-good Browns team last week. I believe the Steelers fantastic defense will shut down the Titans potent offense, and Pittsburgh will win a nailbiter.

Steelers 24, Titans 21

Alex: The game I’m most looking forward to this entire week. The undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the undefeated Tennessee Titans. Both proved worthy of their undefeated status last week, but only one must come out victorious in this one. The Steelers defense absolutely dominated a strong Browns offense last week, and I don’t see them stopping this anytime soon. Despite going against one of the best runners in the league, Derrick Henry, the Steelers defense will hold sturdy and Big Ben will get it done for Pittsburgh down the stretch. 

Steelers 27, Titans 17

Eric: Both the Titans and Steelers proved why they are both undefeated in Week 6, but one team will suffer a loss in Week 7. Both Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill have been unbelievable and will figure out the tough Steelers’ defense. The game will be close throughout but I think the Titans pull out the win.  

Titans 24, Steelers 17

Final Score: Steelers 27, Titans 24

Bears vs Rams, Monday Oct 26. 5:15 pm

Adam: The Bears are, quite possibly, the worst 5-1 team in league history. The Rams, coming off a disappointing loss in week 6, bounce back in a big way against the overrated Bears.

Rams 31, Bears 14

Alex: Coming off a loss to the 49ers prior to this matchup, the Los Angeles Rams will have a bounceback week, shocking the Chicago Bears entirely. The Bears are, quite honestly, weak for a 5-1 team, and I don’t see them locking up the Jared Goff to Robert Woods connection. The Rams take this one in a blowout. 

Rams 35, Bears 17

Eric: Week 7’s Monday night game will be a matchup between two teams with respectable records. I think the Rams defense will have a comeback from their disappointing performance in Week 6 against the 49ers and I think they will destroy the Bears’ offense. Jared Goff and the Rams offense revert to their high scoring offense once again in Week 7. 

Rams 28, Bears 13

Final Score: Rams 24, Bears 10

Current Prediction Standings (Through Second Edition):

Adam: 7-3 (3-2 last week)

Alex: 6-4 (3-2 last week)

Eric: 6-4 (3-2 last week)