In the first round of the playoffs, there are usually a few games in each division that serve as a preview to the rest of the excitement we'll see as we approach the state championships. This week's matchup between the McDonald Blue Devils and the Lucas Cubs looks to be one of those games as the Blue Devils comes into the game as 2-point favorites in what essentially amounts to a toss-up. 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 Blue Devils rank 14th in the division while the Cubs rank 12th. 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.
McDonald comes off of a 38-21 loss against the Springfield Tigers and will look to rebound this week as they hope to finish out the season strong. The Blue Devils have boasted one of Division 7's best offenses all season, averaging 30.5 points per game, which ranks 20th. In their last 5 games, they've been even better, scoring 40 points per game. Their defense gives up an average of 23.4 points per game, which ranks 48th in their division - in their last 3 games, they've improved, giving up an average of 19.33 points.
Coming off of a 14-7 loss against the Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds, Lucas, hopes to build some momentum and rebound strongly with a win. The Cubs offense is the 13th-ranked offense in Division 7, scoring an average of 33.5 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 17.5 points per game. While their defense has given up more points than usual in recent weeks, they deserve every bit as much of the credit for this season's successes as the offense. Over the course of the season, they've given up an average of 10.4 points per game, which ranks 5th in their division.
Prediction: McDonald to win (88.84% chance of victory)