‌Sports‌ ‌Prediction‌ ‌Central:‌ ‌Season‌ ‌2,‌ ‌Edition‌ 3


Brent Gelick/Talon

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

It was a rough week for all of us last week. We’ll look to get back on track this week. In‌ ‌this‌ ‌edition,‌ ‌we‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌predicting‌ ‌and‌ ‌breaking‌ ‌down‌ ‌the‌ ‌outcomes‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌following‌ ‌games:‌ CBB: #4 Villanova vs. #2 UCLA, CBB: #5 Texas vs. #1 Gonzaga, CFB: #7 Michigan vs. Penn State, Panthers vs. Cardinals, and Rams vs. 49ers.

CBB: #4 Villanova vs. #2 UCLA, Friday, Nov. 12, 8:30 p.m.

Adam: One of the best matchups of the first weekend of college basketball, this should be an incredible game in what should be a full house at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA put the world on notice last year during their Cinderella Run to the Final Four, as they lost on one of the greatest shots in Final Four history. This time around, they’re no longer the underdog. As good as Villanova is, I expect UCLA to continue their momentum from last season and get a huge early-season win.

UCLA 70, Villanova 68

Alex: In an early showdown between two top 5 teams, I genuinely believe this could go either way. Coming off an impressive Final Four finish, the Bruins hope to prove their dominance against the Wildcats. However, I think in a gut-wrenching fashion they’ll come just short of doing so. Villanova will win in stunning fashion.

Villanova 83, UCLA 79

Eric: In a battle of two top 5 teams, I think that this will be one of the best non-conference games of the season. UCLA is coming off a great season, and returning the bulk of their team, giving fans a promising outlook for this season. Villanova has always been competitive and well-coached so I think that they give more than a challenge for UCLA. In the end, I think UCLA comes out with the win in a close one. 

UCLA 74, Villanova 71

Final Score: UCLA 86, Villanova 77

CFB: #7 Michigan vs. Penn State, Saturday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m.

Adam: Michigan should be undefeated right now. A bad call against Michigan State lost them the game. Without that call, they would be undefeated and in a position to make the College Football Playoff. Nonetheless, they still have a shot to make it. They have to treat every game like a playoff game going forward. They’ll take care of business against a good Penn State team.

Michigan 27, Penn State 24

Alex: In an intense Big 10 rivalry, a strong, but unranked, Penn State Nittany Lions team faces the prowess of the 8-1 Michigan Wolverines. Unfortunately for Penn State, I think this loss will seal head coach James Franklin’s fate amidst the controversy that he’s searching for a different head coaching job. Penn State will rally late, but ultimately fall short of victory. 

Michigan 28, Penn State 17

Eric: Michigan comes into a rivalry game with only one loss on the season, with a strong defense and above average offense with Cade McNamara at quarterback. Penn State started off the season strong, but have lost a couple of games recently. I do not think this game will be relatively close, as Michigan will have a 10+ point lead the whole game.

Michigan 30, Penn State 17

Final Score: Michigan 21, Penn State 17

CBB: #5 Texas vs. #1 Gonzaga, Saturday, Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m.

Adam: It’s tough to pick against Gonzaga considering the talent that they bring in and have brought back. Even though Texas has been one of the biggest winners of the offseason bringing in several high-profile transfers, it’s too early in the season to take them over Gonzaga.

Gonzaga 85, Texas 79

Alex: With college basketball’s best player, Drew Timme, returning to action this season, Gonzaga will be the team to beat. Though they were shown up last year during the March Madness finals against Baylor and escaped by a sliver against UCLA in the final four, Gonzaga’s early season dominance will continue against Texas. The Bulldogs will dominate on all sides of the floor as usual and put away the Longhorns early in the second half. 

Gonzaga 86, Texas 74

Eric: Freshman star, Chet Holmgren, and Gonzaga come into a top 5 matchup with Texas. Gonzaga is reloaded and experienced once again for another season and looks to finally win an elusive championship this season. Texas looks very competitive this season, but I do think that it will take time to build chemistry and Gonzaga will roll over the Longhorns. 

Gonzaga 92, Texas 73

Final Score: Gonzaga 86, Texas 74

Panthers vs. Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 14, 1:05 p.m.

Adam: It’s clear now that the Sam Darnold we see in the first three weeks was a complete fluke. He is just not good … at all. The Panthers defense is the only reason that they have a fighting shot to win this game, but they can’t do it all themselves. Cardinals will roll.

Cardinals 24, Panthers 7

Alex: Quite frankly, I don’t see this game being close … at all. The Panthers are on an absolute cold streak, with quarterback Sam Darnold playing horrendously the last few weeks. Though the Panthers defense is superb, it won’t be enough to stop the high powered Cardinals offense. Expect a blow out on Sunday afternoon. 

Cardinals 34, Panthers 16

Eric: The star quarterback-wide receiver combination for the Cardinals in Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins look to be back for the week 10 matchup against the Panthers. After a 3-0 start to the season, the Panthers have self-destructed, losing 5 of the last 6 games. I do not think that this game will be close, and the starters for the Cardinals quite possibly could be rested by the start of the 4th quarter.  

Cardinals 45, Panthers 13

Final Score: Panthers 34, Cardinals 10

Rams vs. 49ers, Monday, Nov. 15, 5:20 p.m.

Adam: A huge divisional matchup for both teams, the 49ers will look to get back into the win column while the Rams will look to catch the Cardinals for the division lead. Despite their struggles last week, the Rams are looking elite this year. Stafford is playing at an MVP level and Cooper Kupp is putting up unheard-of numbers. Even though I feel the 49ers are much better than their record, the Rams will still win this one in primetime.

Rams 30, 49ers 24

Alex: In an NFC powerhouse matchup, potential MVP Mathew Stafford and breakout wide receiver Cooper Kupp hope to overpower the 49ers defense. In my opinion, the Rams will do just that. The Rams will be too much to handle for an underperforming 49ers defense. Jimmy Garopollo will do just enough to keep the score respectable, but in the end the Rams will take the W. 

Rams 26, 49ers 18

Eric: After coming off an embarrassing loss on Sunday night against the Titans, the Rams look to get back to their winning ways on Monday night, as many believe they are a top 3 team in the NFL. Matthew Stafford had a horrible game and they look to bounce back against a depleted 49ers defense. Newly acquired linebacker Von Miller will most likely make his Rams debut and I think the Rams will put on a defensive clinic on Monday night.

Rams 32, 49ers 17

Final Score: 49ers 31, Rams 10

Current Prediction Standings (Through Second Edition):

Alex: 5-5 (2-3 last week)

Adam: 4-6 (1-4 last week)

Eric: 4-6 (1-4 last week)