Sports Prediction Central: Season 2, Edition 5

Sports+Prediction+Central%3A+Season+2%2C+Edition+5

Brent Gelick/Talon

Welcome‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ fourth ‌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:‌ CBB: #4 UCLA vs. North Carolina, CBB: #15 Ohio State vs. #21 Kentucky, Patriots vs. Colts, CFB: #4 Cincinnati vs. #1 Alabama, CFB: #3 Georgia vs. #2 Michigan.

CBB: #4 UCLA vs. North Carolina, Saturday, Dec. 18, 12 p.m.

Adam: In a battle of two blue bloods, I expect UCLA to win this one. North Carolina picked up a big win over Michigan a couple games ago and are playing much better than they were to start the season. However, UCLA will just be too much for them, especially with their big man Cody Riley trending towards playing in this game.

UCLA 72, North Carolina 58

Alex: In a game some are suspecting a potential upset, I expect a real test for UCLA. UNC has been playing very well up to this point and I think they’ll give them a real run for their money. This game will come down to the very end, but I think the Bruins will squeak by with a win.

UCLA 71, North Carolina 68

Eric: UCLA has not lost since their loss against Gonzaga and have looked strong ever since. Juzang has been the star for UCLA and I expect them to beat UNC by a comfortable margin. UNC is a blue-blood and they should give UCLA a challenge in the first half. UCLA wins by 10+

UCLA 77, UNC 64

CBB: #15 Ohio State vs. #21 Kentucky, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2:15 p.m.

Adam: Kentucky had a disappointing loss against Notre Dame on the road recently. OSU, of course, has one of the biggest wins by anyone this season, beating then-number one Duke. I believe they’ll pick up another huge resume-boosting win over a Kentucky team that was anything but encouraging against an inferior Notre Dame. 

Ohio State 74, Kentucky 70

Alex: Ohio State has impressed as of recent, picking up a win against #1 Duke, but I do think that game was quite lucky. Ohio State was playing at home versus a worn-down Duke who came off a battle versus Gonzaga. Also, 4 of Duke’s superstars were all in foul trouble during the second-half of the game. Ohio State has shined at moments, but I don’t think they’ll be able to handle Kentucky.  Kentucky takes this one with ease. 

Kentucky 82, Ohio State 73

Eric: Ohio State has an impressive win against Duke and has looked impressive this season. Although having blue-chip prospects, Kentucky has looked shaky this season, but I expect them to play well in an important game. I think that this game will be close at a neutral site.

Ohio State 72, Kentucky 69

Patriots vs. Colts, Saturday, Dec. 18, Saturday, Dec. 18, 5:15 p.m.

Adam: Jonathan Taylor has been one of the most prolific players in the league this year, shredding opposing run defenses. After a rough start, the Colts have been way better of late. Even though the Patriots seem to be at their best, I believe the Colts will get some huge defensive plays from Darius Leonard and some electric runs from Taylor to push them over the top.

Colts 20, Patriots 14

Alex: In what I expect to be one of the greatest games of the week, the Colts will prove their ability to compete with the best of the best. Jonathan Taylor comes as a worry for any defense, and I don’t think the Patriots will have enough in the tank to handle the Indianapolis offense. It’ll be a good game, but in the end Carson Wentz and the Colts will be victorious.

Colts 24, Patriots 16

Eric: Jonathan Taylor has been the top running back this season, and I do not see him slowing down against the Patriots. The Patriots offense has been the more inconsistent part of their team, and I can see them stalling against an average Colts defense. This game will be low scoring, as the Patriots defense is very good.

Colts 17, Patriots 10

CFB: #4 Cincinnati vs. #1 Alabama, Friday, Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m.

Adam: Cincinnati is a good football team. That doesn’t seem like something that needs to be said, given that they’re undefeated and sitting at number four in the country, but it does. While I don’t think they’ll win this game, they’re not going to get completely destroyed, like some are predicting. With that said, it’s too tough to go against Bama. But, it’ll be closer than some people think.

Alabama 31, Cincinnati 21

Alex: To be honest with you, Cincinnati is a team that I don’t feel fully understands what they’re getting themselves into. Sure, Cincinnati had a prolific year for their program by going undefeated. Sure, Alabama has looked very beatable versus mid-tier teams such as Florida. However, Alabama is still Alabama. Nick Saban will not lose a first-round playoff game in general, let alone against an AAC team. The Tide rolls over the Bearcast with little to no opposition.

Alabama 42, Cincinnati 10

Eric: Cincinnati should not be in the playoffs, and I think that this game will show that when they play the number 1 team in the country. Bryce Young and Alabama’s high octane offense will tear the Bearcat defense apart. Nick Saban will dial up a well-planned gameplan, shutting down Cincinnati’s quarterback, Desmond Ridder. 

Alabama 54, Cincinnati 10

CFB: #3 Georgia vs. #2 Michigan, Friday, Dec. 31, 4:30 p.m.

Adam: Michigan is the most complete team in the country. Their running game is elite, led by the duo of Haskins and Corum. The same with their defense, anchored by Aidan Hutchinson, who is primed to be an extremely high pick in the next NFL draft and is an absolute game wrecker. Georgia has been dominant all season, but that loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game made them look beatable – very beatable. Michigan will win in a close one.

Michigan 30, Georgia 28

Alex: I think this game will be a much better matchup than the Cincinnati and Alabama game, but I think once again the SEC will prove their dominance over the other conferences. Georgia’s athletes are far too big and athletic for Michigan to handle and will give them a real test they’ve never faced up until this point. While it will be competitive, the Bulldogs will make their national championship bid over the Wolverines in a low-scoring bout. 

Georgia 21, Michigan 13

Eric: Cade McNamara and Michigan’s offense is clicking on all cylinders and I think they will be able to figure out Georgia’s shut down defense. Georgia’s offense has been inconsistent and unproven, getting shut down against the one excellent team that they’ve played in Alabama. I think that Michigan wins in a close one.

Michigan 24, Georgia 21

Current Prediction Standings (Through Fourth Edition):

Alex: 10-10 (3-2 last week)

Adam: 10-10 (3-2 last week)

Eric: 10-10 (3-2 last week)