Column: Sports Prediction Central, Edition 5

Predictions for the best games around the sports world this week

Welcome to the fifth 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: #9 Indiana vs. #3 Ohio State, #14 Oklahoma State vs. #18 Oklahoma, Titans vs. Ravens, Rams vs. Buccaneers and #22 UCLA vs. San Diego State.

College Football: #9 Indiana vs. #3 Ohio State, Saturday, Nov. 21, 9 a.m.

Adam: A top 10 battle in Columbus on Saturday should make for must-watch TV. Indiana is off to a fantastic start to the season, led by star quarterback Michael Penix Jr. On the other side, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has surged to the top of the Heisman race with a near-perfect string of performances. While Indiana will give the Buckeyes a run for their money, they’ll ultimately fall just short.

Ohio State 38, Indiana 31

Alex: In a battle between two great teams, ultimately I see this once coming down to pure talent. Ohio State has looked sharp this year, and their talent will carry them above an over-achieving Indiana team. 

Ohio State 27, Indiana 14

Eric: In a matchup between two top ranked teams, I think that this matchup will not be as close as many think. Ohio State has looked dominant, with superstars all over the field. Although Indiana has overachieved, they do not have the talent or coaching to keep up with Ohio State.

Ohio State 45, Indiana 21

Final Score: Ohio State 42, Indiana 35

College Football: #14 Oklahoma State vs. #18 Oklahoma, Saturday, Nov. 21, 4:30 p.m.

Adam: Once-dominant Oklahoma now finds themselves behind the eight-ball this season due to some early losses, while Oklahoma State will be looking to solidify themselves at the top of the conference in this big time rivalry matchup. Spencer Rattler, freshman quarterback for the Sooners, has been sporadic in his performances this year, to say the least. However, I see him stepping up on Saturday, leading the Sooners to a victory in a thriller over Chuba Hubbard and Oklahoma State. 

Oklahoma 56, Oklahoma State 52

Alex: Since the hype was formed for this matchup, it has slowly begun to decline. Oklahoma hasn’t had their best year, and I don’t see them turning it around against their rival in this one. Spencer Rattler will disappoint yet again, with Oklahoma State taking the victory on Saturday afternoon. 

Oklahoma State 24, Oklahoma 21

Eric: This matchup was highly anticipated at the beginning, but both teams have disappointed. I see Oklahoma State pulling off the win over an inexperienced Oklahoma team. Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler has looked rattled in his first season and I think the Oklahoma State defense will put him under pressure early and often, leading to several turnovers.

Oklahoma State 34, Oklahoma 27

Final Score: Oklahoma 41, Oklahoma State 13

Titans vs. Ravens, Sunday, Nov. 22, 10 a.m.

Adam: This game is critically important to both of these teams. The Ravens find themselves bumped to a wild card spot as they head into this one, and the Titans are fighting for an AFC South title due to their collapse against the Colts in week 10. I believe Lamar Jackson will return to being his old self in Baltimore on Sunday, breaking the back of a fatigued Titans defense.

Ravens 24, Titans 14

Alex: Both the Titans and Ravens are having solid, but not ridiculous seasons. Both teams have had great wins and losses, and ultimately, I see this as being one of the best matchups of the week. Both teams seemingly oppose each other in every aspect. However, at the end of the day, I see Ryan Tannehill getting the job done towards the end of the game, leading the Titans to victory.

Titans 21, Ravens 17

Eric: Both of these teams are coming off of primetime losses, but I see the Titans bouncing back with their high-powered offense. Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson has not looked the same this season for the Ravens, so I see the Titans exploiting the Ravens’s offense. 

Titans 27, Ravens 20

Final Score: Titans 30, Ravens 24

Rams vs. Buccaneers, Monday, Nov. 23, 5:15 pm

Adam: A primetime Monday Night Football Matchup, the Rams are coming off an impressive win over a loaded Seahawks team. The Buccaneers have been on-and-off this season, with their mighty offense struggling at times. I think the Rams will take this one on the backs of Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, who will shut down the Buccaneers offense.

Rams 21, Buccaneers 20

Alex: These teams have been on-and-off all year, making it difficult to predict the outcome of this one. Coming off a great defensive week against the Seahawks, I see the Rams coming out strong once again on the defensive side of the ball, but I just don’t think it will be enough to halt the Buccaneers versatile offense. Tom Brady will prove himself yet again, leading Tampa Bay to a sound victory on Monday night.

Buccaneers 34, Rams 24 

Eric: In a Monday night game, these two teams are both currently in playoff position. The Rams stuffed a high-scoring Seattle Seahawks offense in Week 10 and the Buccaneers blew out a mediocre Carolina squad. Tom Brady looks very good and I see him and the running game of the Buccaneers exploiting a good Rams defense.

Buccaneers 24, Rams 17

Final Score: Rams 27, Buccaneers 24

College Basketball: #22 UCLA vs. San Diego State, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 7:30 pm

Adam: A criminally underrated matchup on college basketball’s premiere day, a veteran San Diego State squad takes on an up-and-coming UCLA team. The Bruins return eight of their nine leading scorers from the 2019-20 season and add in coveted Kentucky transfer Johnny Juzang. San Diego State will hope to continue their impressive run from last season, where they were set up to receive a top two seed in the NCAA tournament, before it was cancelled. I believe UCLA senior Chris Smith will come up huge on the defensive side of the ball, leading the Bruins to an opening day victory.

UCLA 65, San Diego State 52 

Alex: With the start of PAC-12 basketball, comes the start of a disappointing season for UCLA.  Although they seem to have finally created a top-tier squad, I feel that they still will have some early season kinks to work out. The highly-experienced Aztecs will stun the Bruins in an overtime thriller, winning this heavyweight fight.

San Diego State 82, UCLA 78

Eric: PAC-12 basketball is finally starting, blue-blood UCLA has high hopes for the season, as they return the majority of their team. I see UCLA winning on Wednesday by a comfortable margin. 

UCLA 80, San Diego State 68

Final Score: San Diego State 73, UCLA 58

Current Prediction Standings (Through Fourth Edition):

Adam: 11-9 (1-4 last week)

Alex: 11-9 (3-2 last week)

Eric: 9-11 (1-4 last week)