Sports Prediction Central: Season 2, Edition 2


Brent Gelick/Talon

Welcome to the second edition of Season 2 for Sports Predictions Central, a column for predictions of the most exciting games on the sports docket this week. 

In this edition, we will be predicting and breaking down the outcomes of the following games: #6 Michigan vs. #8 Michigan State, #10 Ole Miss vs. #18 Auburn, Hawks vs. 76ers, Browns vs. Steelers, Cowboys vs. Vikings.

#6 Michigan vs. #8 Michigan State, Saturday, Oct. 30, 9 a.m.

Adam: Undoubtedly the biggest matchup of the weekend, this should be a thriller in East Lansing. Both of these teams are undefeated and red hot. The Michigan running game is a two-headed monster with Corum and Haskins, while Michigan State is led by their star running back and Heisman candidate Kenneth Walker III. Honestly, these teams are extremely evenly matched. However, Michigan’s defense is one of the best in the nation. I expect future top 10 pick Aidan Hutchinson to make some big impact plays, powering Michigan to their biggest win in a long time.

Michigan 24, Michigan State 21

Alex: Rivalries are always good. Top ten rivalry matchups are even better. Michigan, off to a hot start, look to solidify their college football playoff resume versus an unexpectedly undefeated Michigan State roster. The Wolverines run game is explosive, and too much for any team in college football to handle. The Spartans will give them a run for their money, but late in the game the Wolverines will find a way to pull away behind a dominant rushing attack. 

Michigan 31, Michigan State 28

Eric: Cade McNamara is exceeding all expectations for Michigan as quarterback, with freshman JJ McCarthy nipping at his heels. Both teams are undefeated going into this rivalry game, and the whole country will be watching. Michigan State has been a surprising team this season, and look to sustain their momentum with Kenneth Walker III being the star. 

Michigan 30, Michigan State 23

Final Score: Michigan State 37, Michigan 33

#10 Ole Miss vs. #18 Auburn, Saturday, Oct. 30, 4 p.m.

Adam: Matt Corral is one of the leading Heisman candidates and spearheads an offense that is borderline unstoppable. I think they will end up being too much for Auburn, with Matt Corral putting up a massive stat line in a shootout.

Ole Miss 35, Auburn 31

Alex: Ole Miss has looked promising up until this point, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Unless Auburn puts immense pressure on Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral, and Bo Nix plays the game of his life, I don’t see them having a chance. Corral and the Rebel’s offensive machine will simply overpower the cracked Tigers defense, opening this game up during the second half. Head coach Lane Kiffin and the Rebels will secure the victory in the classic Jordan-Hare Stadium.  

Ole Miss 42, Auburn 28

Eric: Ole Miss has been a very competitive team this year, with quarterback, Matt Corral, leading the Rebels into a SEC rivalry. I think that Ole Miss’s offense will be too explosive and Bo Nix and Auburn will not be able to keep up with their pace. 

Ole Miss 40, Auburn 24

Final Score: Auburn 31, Ole Miss 20

Hawks vs. 76ers, Saturday, Oct. 30, 4:30 p.m.

Adam: In a rematch of last year’s playoff matchup that ended in a Sixers collapse, tempers should flare in this huge eastern conference battle. The Sixers will likely be without Ben Simmons, whose time with the team looks to be nearing its end. Seth Curry has been a revelation in his absence. Trae Young and the Hawks have been playing well, but the 76ers will remember what happened last year, winning this one in a revenge game.

76ers 107, Hawks 104

Alex: The epic rematch from last year’s playoffs between the Hawks and 76ers will unfortunately fall short of expectations. I have a gut feeling that this one won’t be close, or go the way that it did last year. Despite the Hawks being a respectable 4-1, the 76ers will knock their socks off behind a MVP-caliber performance from Philadelphia’s best Joel Embiid. The Sixers will take this one with ease. 

76ers 114, Hawks 106

Eric: Trae Young and the Hawks are currently 4-1 with wins over respectable teams. Trae Young has the ability to explode for 30+ points on any given knight. Star center, Joel Embiid, has been his usual self and lookslook to lead the 76ers past an eastern conference foe. 

Hawks 115, 76ers 106

Final Score: 76ers 122, Hawks 94

Browns vs. Steelers, Sunday, Oct. 31, 10 a.m.

Adam: The Browns should have Nick Chubb back, but they face one of the best defenses in the league with the Steelers. There are a lot of question marks with the Browns team, but I still think they’ll win. The Steelers offense is just flat-out not good, and I don’t think they can score enough points to keep up with the Browns.

Browns 24, Steelers 14

Alex: Last week, the Browns were missing immense star power and still found a way to win. That’s the pattern I see repeating itself this week versus a lack-luster offensive team such as the Steelers. With superstar running back Nick Chubb returning from injury, the Browns will run, run and run some more. I don’t think Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has enough in the tank to compete against competent rosters, and thus I see Cleveland taking this one in a low-scoring nail-biter. 

Browns 17, Steelers 14

Eric: After a big win over the Broncos, missing many key players, the Browns get some of their stars back. I expect Nick Chubb and D’Earnest Johnson to be a two-headed monster and even though the Steelers’ defense is one of the best, I do not expect them to contain the two running backs. The Steelers’ offense is stagnant and not explosive and I do not see them moving the ball down the field.

Browns 24, Steelers 14

Final Score: Steelers 15, Browns 10

Cowboys vs. Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 31, 5:20 p.m.

Adam: The Cowboys finally have seemed to put it all together and are playing like a Super Bowl contender. However, the Vikings are much better than their 3-3 record shows. I expect Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook to have huge games, leading the Vikings to an upset win.

Vikings 27, Cowboys 24

Alex: On Sunday night prime-time football, coming off a nice bye week last week, I don’t think the Cowboys will ever lose — as long as Dak Prescott is at the helm. Assuming Prescott plays through his minor injury from two weeks ago, the well-rounded Cowboys roster will be too much for the Vikings to handle. While it’s true the Vikings are levels better than their record may indicate, they’re not quite there in terms of what it takes to win games that they need to win. Dallas wins this one with slight push-back. 

Cowboys 24, Vikings 20

Eric: Both teams come off a bye in Week 7 and face off against each other in primetime. Dak Prescott and his two star receivers will shred the Minnesota defense. Dalvin Cook, running back for the Vikings, will run for at least 100 yards and a touchdown. Ultimately, I see Dallas winning in a close game. 

Cowboys 20, Vikings 17

Final Score: Cowboys 20, Vikings 16

Current Prediction Standings (Through First Edition):

Adam: 3-2 

Alex: 3-2

Eric: 3-2