In the first matchup of the 2018 playoffs, the Barberton will play at home against the Tri-Valley Scotties in what looks to be one of the most competitive matchups of the season. The Scotties come into the game as 2-point favorites, projected to come away with the victory by a score of 28-26. The playoffs are the best time of the year but also come with a great deal of drama as many powerhouses will even see their seasons cut short. Each week, it's do or die and, after this week is complete, half of the current playoff teams will be eliminated. The Scotties rank 7th in the division while the Magics rank 10th. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Strategically, this might lead to complications that could throw off the gameplan of either team.
Looking to build upon their 2-game winning streak, Tri-Valley comes into the week at 9-1. After their 28-0 win against the Maysville Panthers, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Scotties rank 17th in Division 2 on offense, scoring an average of 36.9. However, over the last 4 weeks, their average is down to 27.25 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 8.6 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 6th in their division. Over the last 2 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 0 points per game.
Barberton is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 10-game winning streak, including last week's 21-14 win against the Highland Hornets. That brings their record to 10-0 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Magics offense is the 13th-ranked offense in Division 2, scoring an average of 37.8 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 2 games, however, they haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 34.5 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 14.3 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 19th in their division. Over the last 2 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 10.5 points per game.
Prediction: Tri-Valley to win (72.93% chance of victory)