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Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks Week 10

Every week, Mr. Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich, takes on his father, Michael J. Drakulich (MJD), in picking 10 games against the Vegas spread. Pitt, Penn State, and West Virginia, when they are playing, will always be on the slate among the five NCAA games chosen, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, covered by Mike Drakulich for, will be included alongside 4 other exciting NFL match-ups.

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers are rolling right now, unfortunately, I am not, as I was Jacksonville Jaguars-like while going a laughable 3-7 on the week. Though my dad was slightly better at 5-5, he still picked up two more games on me for the season, and I now trail by six games. I’m almost at the point of banning Pitt, Penn State, and West Virginia for infractions against me, as they again screwed me over by going 0-3 for me. Thank God Pitt is off this week so I don’t have to deal with them here, or as a fan.

Still, there is plenty of time to make amends, so let’s take a look for what we have on tap for Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks Week 10:


Lines as of 11/6/2014



(4-4) Penn State (-7) OVER Indiana (3-5), 12:00 PM / MJD picks Penn State

As a Pitt fan, my disdain for Penn State is great, and it grows weekly as they go in the opposite direction of however I pick them. This week they face an Indiana team that has been clobbered by the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, and Maryland. The closest they came was a 16 point whipping at the hands of the Hawkeyes. If Penn State can’t find a way to beat this team by seven points…


(7-1) 22 Duke (-3) OVER Syracuse (3-6), 12:30 PM / MJD picks Duke

Duke and it’s high powered offense travel to the Carrier Dome to face Syracuse. They should enjoy the indoor atmosphere. The Blue Devils should have been sent home with their pointed tails between their legs last week at Pitt, but Panther’s kicker Chris Blewitt shanked a 26-yard field goal as time expired that would’ve given Pitt a 41-38 victory. Instead, Duke took over in overtime and ran the ball down Pitt’s throats for a 51-48 win on the road. Pitt has a better offense than Syracuse, so unless Duke turns the ball over a few times, I can’t see the Orange keeping pace.


(6-3) 23 West Virginia (-3) OVER Texas (4-5), 3:30 PM / MJD picks West Virginia

West Virginia lost a heart breaker to TCU last week as they blew a nine point 4th quarter lead, ending on a Horned Frogs game winning field goal (unlike Pitt) as time expired to keep their National Title hopes alive. Now the Mountaineers head to Texas, where Charlie Strong is wishing he stayed at Louisville. Unless WVU suffers hangover from it’s kick in the gut from last week, the Mountaineers should have no problem laying the wood to a weak Longhorns team.


(7-1) 10 Notre Dame (+2.5) OVER 9 Arizona State (7-1), 3:30 PM / MJD picks Arizona State

The Irish take on Todd Graham’s “Dream Job” destination in Arizona State (he has A LOT of dreams, by the way), and will be looking to dash the Sun Devils hopes for greatness, while adding to their own in the 2014 season. Notre Dame is considered the underdog here, but as Mark Madden always says, “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news” for ASU fans. Notre Dame should’ve beaten Florida State, so playing in Tempe isn’t going to faze the Irish. ASU played one real opponent this season in UCLA and had their heads handed to them 62-27. Their luck runs out again this week vs ND.


(7-1) 8 Michigan State (-3.5) OVER 14 Ohio State (7-1), 8:00 PM / MJD picks Ohio State

The boys from ‘Lumbus face their ONLY test of the season in what has been a MAC-like schedule so far. They barely escaped against a mediocre Penn State team a few weeks ago. Now they face Sparty and Michigan State, who is trying to throw it’s hat into the National Championship talk. A win here should do the trick.




(6-3) Pittsburgh (-4.5) OVER NY Jets (1-8), 1:00 PM/ MJD picks Pittsburgh

Todd Haley finally figured out the sideways passes aren’t Ben Roethlisberger’s forte, and since then, all Big Ben has done is throw for 12 touchdowns in two games. Now the Steelers face a Jets team that feature a worse air defense than France in WWII. Long as the Steelers don’t fall back into the trap of playing poorly against lowly teams, as they did vs Jacksonville and Tampa, they should continue to roll offensively in this one. I think they’ve learned their lessons from those games. Could Roethlisberger possibly throw for six again?


(5-3) Buffalo (+1.5) OVER Kansas City (5-3), 1:00 PM / MJD picks Buffalo

Unless Fred Jackson makes a miraculous comeback this week, the Bills will be using their 3rd and 4th string running backs against a tough Chief’s defense that hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown all year long. Kyle Orton has looked good in replacing EJ Manuel and Sammy Watkins is living up to his billing as the 5th overall pick in May. Kansas City isn’t exactly gifted offensively, but they still have Jamaal Charles toting the rock. Alex Smith still has yet to toss a touchdown pass to one of his receivers. This game is basically a toss-up, and in a game like this, stick with the home team.


(6-2) Detroit (-2.5) OVER Miami (5-3), 1:00 PM / MJD picks Miami

Miami has been playing good of late, and they travel to Motown to face a Lions team that is lucky to be 6-2. But sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Megatron, aka Calvin Johnson, should be back in the fold this week for Detroit, which is good news for Matthew Stafford fantasy owners. Reggie Bush should return from his ankle injury that has sidelined him for the better part of three weeks. The Dolphins embarrassed the San Diego Chargers 37-0 last week down in South Beach. Ryan Tannehill has been excellent, and Mike Wallace is having a good bounce back year. Both teams have above average defenses. Should be a fun game to watch, however, look for Detroit’s good fortune to continue this week.


(2-6) Atlanta (-1.5) OVER Tampa Bay (1-7), 1:00 PM /MJD picks Tampa Bay

Fans attending this game may want to pretend it’s still Halloween by wearing masks or bags over their heads in this one. Atlanta has been a colossal disappointment this year, especially with the type of offensive talent their possess in Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Roddy White. Tampa is switching back to Josh McCown as it’s quarterback this week, and he will look to continue to get the ball to stud receivers in Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. Doug Martin is out, so Bobby Rainey will likely start, but don’t be surprised if you see a lot of action from recently activated Chris Simms, whom the Bucs will want to see what they have in their 3rd round pick. The Falcons should be able to find enough offense to notch the W in this one.


(6-2) Denver (-11) OVER Oakland (0-8), 4:25 PM/ MJD picks Denver

After being throttled last week by New England, the Broncos will be out for blood, and that is not good news for the 0-8 Raiders. If you have Peyton Manning in fantasy, or any of Denver’s weapons in Demaryius Thomas, Manny Sanders, or Julius Thomas, you should be in a for a good week. Oakland held their own against Seattle last week but will have to wait until next week against San Diego for any hope of recording their first victory of 2014.

*Home Teams in BOLD


Pick Results:

MJD: Last Week: 5-5 / Overall: 47-40-3  –

PSN: Last Week: 3-7 / Overall: 41-46-3  -6

Author Profile

Mike DrakulichYour source for Pittsburgh sports!
From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team.

There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all!

As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides the best opinions and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania.

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