The average person can expect to be correct in about 4.8% of their sports predictions.
Professional sports predictors like myself, however, are generally around the 5.6-5.7% mark.
In other words, predictors are in an entire different universe than just regular people.
There’s a reason weekend classes down at the Legion run upwards of $45 a session. Science ain’t cheap.
But me, I’m more than just science. I base my predictions on a seven-pronged approach. The first is knowledge, the second is confidence, the third is research, the fourth is supreme understanding of the task at hand, the fifth is corn chips, and the seventh is precise accounting.
This approach has seen me be correct on 19 of my 35 predictions this season. That’s 54.3% correct, and quite possibly an American record.
I went 3-of-5 last week, by the way.
Prediction 1: Northwestern will be held under 97 yards rushing.
Outcome: Failed it. Those dudes actually went for 157 yards somehow.
Prediction 2: The Buckeyes will intercept at least two passes.
Outcome: Nailed it. It took a little bit longer than expected, but Sevyn Banks and Amir Riep bailed me out.
Prediction 3: Chris Olave will score a touchdown.
Outcome: Nailed it. Twice.
Prediction 4: Ohio State will score at least 17 points from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm Eastern.
Outcome: Nailed it. In perhaps the most glorious and tension-ridden hour in Ohio State football history, the Buckeyes went over 17 points in the 9:00 pm window with just two minutes to spare.
Prediction 5: Justin Fields will be responsible for a play of at least 46 yards.
Outcome: Failed it. Technically, he actually nailed it because he handed the ball to JK Dobbins on his 68-yard run, and he didn’t have to do that.
So again, that was 3-of-5 on the week, which puts me at 19-of-35 on the season, and as I said, likely an American record.
I don’t really look globally when it comes to prediction records because soccer is too easy to predict. Anybody can suggest a 2-1 score and be correct in soccer.
In college football, however, there are no 2-1 scores outside of maybe Liberty at Rugers this weekend.
Anyway, let’s get to predicting this week’s gigantic matchup between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
1. JK Dobbins will rush for at least 84 yards.
Sure, that might not seem like a lot for a guy who is fourth in the nation in rushing, averaging 135.3 yards rushing per game. But you have to remember, Dobbins is facing a Wisconsin rush defense that is tops in the nation, allowing just 58.4 yards on the ground per game. How did I come up with 84 yards? Illinois running back Reggie Corbin went for 83 last week, which I believe is the most the Badgers have given up this season. I’m predicting Dobbins will go at least one better.
2. There will be at least three fumbles in this game.
Here’s something for you. Wisconsin is averaging 1.6 fumbles per game and Ohio State is averaging 1.4 fumbles per game. Put them both together and you get my three predicted fumbles. I didn’t know those stats prior to making this prediction and I’m not going to punish my unique foresight. In the last three games, however, Wisconsin is averaging 2.3 fumbles per game, while Ohio State is at 0.7. So again, three fumbles. Together, these two defenses are forcing four total fumbles per game. Add in some rain, and we could see some balls on the turf.
3. Chase Young’s 9-game sack streak will come to an end.
Wisconsin has only allowed five sacks in four conference games this season, which is tied for the best mark in the Big Ten. Buckeye defensive end Chase Young, meanwhile, is tied for the nation’s lead with 9.5 sacks this year. He has had at least a half a sack in each game this season, as well as the final two last year. All good things must come to an end, however, and this is one of them. Add in Wisconsin’s desire to avoid throwing the ball downfield, and most of Jack Coan’s passes are going to be gone quickly — even the play-action passes.
4. Ohio State won’t allow more than one rush of 20 yards or more.
Jonathan Taylor has 38 rushes of 20 or more yards in his 34 career games, but he only has two in four Big Ten games this season. Ohio Sate has given up five such rushes this season in seven games, so you might not be impressed by this statistic. If you add in the 2018 and 2017 seasons, however, that number jumps to 48 20-yard rushes allowed in 35 games. So as you can see, this is bordering on a bold prediction. And also, if you doubt this one too much, you’re liable to cause me to be wrong. Is that the kind of evil you want to put on your team? I didn’t think so.
5. There will be at least three touchdowns scored by Buckeye freshmen or sophomores.
And no, this doesn’t include a Justin Fields touchdown pass, unless it is to a freshman or a sophomore. I’m thinking Chris Olave scores again. Justin Fields probably runs one in. And then maybe Master Teague gets a goal line plunge or Fields finds Jeremy Ruckert in the red zone. Garrett Wilson has also failed to score in the last two Buckeye games, which is the longest drought of his career. He is very much due.
Bonus: Demario McCall catches a pass.
Hey, if he’s the third-down back, it’s time to get him involved.
Bonus: Justin Fields will rush for 60 yards, but lose at least 20 in sacks.
He’ll finish somewhere around 45 yards on the ground.
Bonus: Shaun Wade will get his first interception of the year.
This was also my bold prediction on our second Patreon-only podcast this week, though Tom made fun of my picks because he’s like that.