Nothing artificial about Chick’s Picks’ intelligence as she makes Week 6 predictions

Thursday, October 15, 2020 | 4:05 PM

Chick’s Picks has seen a lot of news headlines lately about artificial intelligence (AI), and the role it is beginning to play in so many industries. While fascinated by this new science, Chick’s Picks also began to wonder if, someday, AI could be used in the prognosticating space.

She could see it now — some youngster in a college dorm room works tirelessly into the wee hours of many mornings perfecting a proprietary algorithm that predicts winners more accurately than any human ever could. Then — boom — Chick’s Picks and her trusty crystal ball are out like last night’s trash.

Though the thought of her uncertain prognosticating career was troublesome, Chick’s Picks reminded herself that there are games to play and predictions to make here and now. Until that fancy computer predictor comes along, there is no one in the business that does it better than Chick’s Picks (and her trusty crystal ball, of course).

Chick’s Picks finished last week with a 44-14 (76%) record, bringing her season total to 213-73 (74%).

Here are this week’s big games:


No. 5 Canon-McMillan Big Macs (2-2, 2-2) at No. 1 North Allegheny Tigers (4-0, 3-0)

The Big Macs take on the big dogs of Class 6A Friday night. Last week, Canon-Mac fell to Seneca Valley, 31-17, while North Allegheny routed Norwin, 49-13. … Ryan Angott heads the Big Macs ground game, rushing for 453 yards and five touchdowns on the year. Standout senior Khalil Dinkins has helped North Allegheny remain perfect with his 170 receiving yards, 121 rushing yards and six touchdowns. … Canon-Mac has been outscored by opponents 107-103 in its first four games. North Allegheny boasts the top defense in Class 6A, allowing only 51 points all season. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Tigers are too much for the Big Macs. … North Allegheny over Canon-McMillan


Fox Chapel Foxes (2-3, 2-1) at Penn Hills Indians (2-3, 2-1)

Penn Hills hosts Fox Chapel in Northeast Conference action Friday night. The Indians are coming off of a 14-7 victory over North Hills last week, while Fox Chapel held off Kiski Area, 28-24. … Foxes Junior quarterback Collin Dietz filled in nicely for the injured Justin Rice, passing for 267 yards and four touchdowns. Lorenzo Jenkins has been the favorite target of Fox Chapel quarterbacks this season, racking up 383 receiving yards and seven scores. … Freshman Julian Dugger leads a balanced Penn Hills offensive attack, throwing for 567 yards and three touchdowns. Derrick Topeck and Dontae Pollard have combined for 455 rushing yards and five scores. … The Foxes are averaging 20.8 points per game — nearly double that of the Indians. The Penn Hills defense, however, is allowing only 23.2 points per game to Fox Chapel’s 35 points per game. Chick’s Picks predicts that defense wins out for the home team. … Penn Hills over Fox Chapel


No. 2 Aliquippa Quips (5-0, 3-0) at Montour Spartans (4-1, 2-1)

The Spartans play host to the undefeated Quips in a Parkway Conference showdown Friday night. Last week, Montour rolled over Blackhawk, 34-8, while Aliquippa knocked off Chartiers Valley, 35-6. … Senior quarterback Vaughn Morris leads the Quips with 459 passing yards and nine touchdowns. Vernon Redd has racked up 736 rushing yards and eight scores. Morris and Redd have helped the Aliquippa offense become the best in the WPIAL, scoring 246 points in five games. … The Spartans also boast an offensive attack that can get it done both through the air and on the ground. Luke Persinger has passed for 471 yards and two touchdowns. Gannon Kadlecik has 577 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. … Montour is averaging 26.8 points per game — more than three touchdowns per game less than Aliquippa. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Quips remain perfect after this one. … Aliquippa over Montour


No. 3 Elizabeth Forward Warriors (4-0, 3-0) at No. 5 Mt. Pleasant Vikings (4-1, 4-0)

Elizabeth Forward faces off against Mt. Pleasant in an Interstate Conference battle between Class 3A powerhouses Friday night. Last week, the Warriors held off South Allegheny, 20-14, while the Vikings blanked Brownsville, 42-0. … Elizabeth Forward has found success with its running game this season. DaVontay Brownfield, Evan Lewis and Nico Mrvos have combined for more than 900 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. The Warriors also boast the WPIAL’s top defense, allowing only 20 points in four games. … Asher O’Connor leads Mt. Pleasant’s balanced offense, throwing for 400 yards and four touchdowns. Pete Billey and Aaron Alakson have rushed for 644 yards and eight scores. … The Vikings’ only loss came to Class 5A Latrobe, 35-7. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Warriors’ stingy defense will lead them to victory on the road. … Elizabeth Forward over Mt. Pleasant


Western Beaver Golden Beavers (5-0, 3-0) at Sto-Rox Vikings (4-1, 2-1)

The Golden Beavers head to McKees Rocks to take on the Vikings in Three Rivers Conference action Friday night. Western Beaver is coming off of a 35-22 victory over Brentwood last week, while Sto-Rox rolled over Seton-LaSalle, 56-14. … Xander Lefebvre captains the Golden Beavers’ offense, passing for 439 yards and five touchdowns. Cameron Irvine and Thad Gray lead the ground attack with 372 and 234 yards, respectively. … Sto-Rox quarterback Josh Jenkins appears to be the next in a long line of Vikings standout passers. Jenkins has thrown for 872 yards and eight touchdowns. Jaymont Green-Miller and Zay Davis — two more members of an exceptional group of sophomores at Sto-Rox — have combined for 723 rushing yards and nine scores. … The Vikings’ only loss this season was due to a forfeit to Carlynton in Week 1. Chick’s Picks predicts that the youngster Vikings will remind the Golden Beavers that age is nothing but a number. … Sto-Rox over Western Beaver


No. 5 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers (4-1, 4-1) at No. 2 Shenango Wildcats (5-0, 5-0)

Shenango looks to remain perfect when it plays host to OLSH in a Big Seven Conference battle Friday night. Last week, the Wildcats knocked off Northgate, 59-12, while the Chargers held off Union, 28-18. … Shenango boasts one of the top running backs in the WPIAL in Reis Watkins, who has rushed for 1,093 yards and 19 touchdowns. Behind Watkins, Shenango ranks atop Class A offensively, scoring 244 points in five games. … OLSH is led by standout sophomore quarterback Nehemiah Azeem, who has thrown for 763 yards and three touchdowns. Jaymar Pearson has been one of Azeem’s favorite targets, racking up 213 receiving yards, 412 rushing yards and 14 scores. … The Wildcats’ defense is allowing only nine points per game — less than half that of the Chargers. Chick’s Picks predicts that the Chargers will be handed loss No. 2 in this one. … Shenango over OLSH

Here’s a look at the rest of the Week 6 slate:


Seneca Valley over Baldwin

Mt. Lebanon over Norwin


Allegheny Six Conference

Peters Township over Bethel Park

Upper St. Clair over Moon

South Fayette over West Allegheny

Big East Conference

Penn-Trafford over Connellsville

Franklin Regional over Latrobe

Gateway over Woodland Hills

Northeast Conference

Pine-Richland over North Hills

Kiski Area over Shaler


Big Eight Conference

Belle Vernon over Trinity

McKeesport over Laurel Highlands

Thomas Jefferson over Ringgold

Greater Allegheny Conference

Mars over Greensburg Salem

Hampton over Indiana

Armstrong over Highlands

Plum over Knoch

Parkway Conference

Chartiers Valley over Beaver


Allegheny Seven Conference

Freeport over Burrell

North Catholic over Deer Lakes

Interstate Conference

Southmoreland over Brownsville

South Allegheny over South Park

Northwestern Six Conference

Avonworth over Hopewell

Central Valley over Ambridge

Keystone Oaks over Quaker Valley


Valley over Yough


Allegheny Conference

Steel Valley over Shady Side Academy

Century Conference

Frazier over Beth-Center

McGuffey over Chartiers-Houston

Washington over Charleroi

Midwestern Conference

Beaver Falls over Freedom

Laurel over Mohawk

Neshannock over New Brighton

Riverside over Ellwood City

Three Rivers Conference

Carlynton over Seton LaSalle

Brentwood over South Side


Big Seven Conference

Fort Cherry over Union

Burgettstown over Northgate

Rochester over Cornell

Eastern Conference

Jeannette over Bishop Canevin

Clairton over Greensburg Central Catholic

Springdale over Imani Christian

Leechburg over Riverview

Tri-County South Conference

Jefferson-Morgan over Mapletown

West Greene over Monessen

Avella over Bentworth

Carmichaels over California


West Mifflin over Uniontown


Perry over Brashear

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