The Northmont Thunderbolts kick off the 2018 season as 6-point favorites over the Lima Senior Spartans. Northmont coming into Friday with a 73.06% chance of victory, this looks to be one of the harder fought matchups of week 1. Northmont ranks 22nd in the state, compared to Lima Senior, who ranks 238th in the state and 67th in Division 2. Northmont comes in expecting to come away with the road victory. However, it looks to be one of the more hotly contested matchups of the week and Lima Senior will be looking to defend their home field and finish the game on top. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Friday's game is a chance for each to test its skills and strategies against an unfamiliar opponent. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.
While it's a little early to be talking about playoffs, Northmont would be extremely disappointed if they missed out on the postseason - after losing in the Regional Quarterfinals in 2017 to the Pickerington Central Tigers by a score of 41 - 21, the Thunderbolts are poised to make another run at the playoffs. Coming in with a projected regular season record of 9-1, the goal is to improve each week so they can make a deep run when the time comes. They are projected to finish 3rd with 34.5500 playoff points. An offensive team in 2017, the Thunderbolts scored 35.5 points per game, which ranked 8th in their division. On defense, they gave up 21.7 points per game, which ranked 32nd.
Lima Senior looks to improve after a 4-6 season in 2017. They come into the season with a projected record of 5-5 and are expected to finish the regular season as the 11th ranked team in the regional playoff standings. In 2018, the Spartans will look to improve offensively and defensively. Last season, their offense ranked 43rd in Division 2 scoring an average of 26.6 points per game while their defense, allowing 29.8 points per game, ranked 29.8
Prediction: Northmont to win (73.06% chance of victory)