Thursday night football forecast

Games to watch

Tampa Bay Tech at Gaither, 7:30

Outlook: The biggest matchup is the Titans’ passing game going up against the Cowboys and their air-tight defense. Tampa Bay Tech quarterback David Wright, who threw for more than 2,000 yards and 27 touchdowns last season, has plenty of weapons around him, including four-star prospect Greg Gaines III and Jamari Gassett, who committed to Buffalo this summer. Gaither’s secondary is loaded, led by Jordan Oladokun (Iowa) and Jordan Young (Florida), both Division I-A commits.   

Pinko’s pick: Gaither by 3

Putnam’s prediction: Gaither 28-26

[Total_Soft_Poll id=”9″]

Boca Ciega at Lakewood, 7

Outlook: This was a mismatch last year with the Spartans cruising to a 35-0 win. The outcome should be more competitive this time. The optimism stems from the number of returnees the Pirates have at the skill positions, including quarterback Taffery Peterman and running back Chris Phillips. Still, the key is going to be how well Boca Ciega’s offensive line does in containing Lakewood’s ferocious pass rush, something the Pirates were unable to do last year. 

Live stream: Fans can watch for free as part of Identity Tampa Bay’s Pinellas featured game of the night.

Pinko’s pick: Lakewood by 16

Putnam’s prediction: Lakewood 21-20

[Total_Soft_Poll id=”10″]

Bradenton Manatee at Plant City, 7

Outlook: This was a game the Raiders picked up early in the week. It also provides a much better gauge for Plant City’s high-octane offense, led by Oklahoma commit Mario Williams, to see where it stands against a consistent playoff contender. 

Pinko’s pick: Manatee by 3

Putnam’s prediction: Plant City 24-20

[Total_Soft_Poll id=”11″]

Plant at Armwood, 7:30

Outlook: Normally, this would be one of the marquee matchups on any regular season schedule. Now it looks more like a mismatch. The Hawks, who won last year’s meeting 38-0, are sure to be testy after losing their opener a week ago to Bloomingdale. 

Pinko’s pick: Armwood by 28

Putnam’s prediction: Armwood 42-7

[Total_Soft_Poll id=”12″]

The remaining schedule

Seminole at Dunedin, 7

Pinko’s pick: Seminole by 20

Putnam’s prediction: Seminole 22-20

PHU at Wharton, 7

Pinko’s pick: Wharton by 14

Putnam’s prediction: Wharton 28-7

Leto at Sickles, 7

Pinko’s pick: Sickles by 48

Putnam’s prediction: Sickles 42-7

Shorecrest at Bell Creek Academy, 7

Pinko’s pick: Shorecrest by 13

Putnam’s prediction: Shorecrest 14-13

Steinbrenner at Alonso, 7:30

Live stream: Fans can watch for free as part of Identity Tampa Bay’s featured Hillsborough game of the night.

Pinko’s pick: Steinbrenner by 34

Putnam’s prediction: Steinbrenner 31-6

Jesuit at Sarasota Booker, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: Jesuit by 49

Putnam’s prediction: Jesuit 40-14

Hollins at Sarasota, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: Sarasota by 7

Putnam’s prediction: Hollins 20-16

Jefferson at Middleton, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: Jefferson by 10

Putnam’s prediction: Jefferson 37-20

Bayshore at Chamberlain, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: Chamberlain by 24

Putnam’s prediction: Chamberlain 21-7

Blake at Sumner, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: Sumner by 7

Putnam’s prediction: Sumner 21-13

Brandon at King, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: King by 20

Putnam’s prediction: King 20-6

Freedom at Spoto, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: Freedom by 1 

Putnam’s prediction: Freedom 16-10

Haines City at Riverview, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: Riverview by 35

Putnam’s prediction: Riverview 20-18