NGSC Sports

Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks Thanksgiving Edition!

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.

It’s Thanksgiving week, and no matter how badly I suck again this week, at least I’m going to eat good and have fun with my family and friends.

Actually, not only am I going to have a good time, but I’m going to put it out there that I will finish no worse than 7-3–even with the return of my nemesis’s in Penn State, who I’m sure will contribute to one of my losses as they always do. If I have more than three losses, I will don a West Virginia jersey in my next column. Believe me, I’d rather wrestle alligators than wear that shirt.

From my family to yours, I wish you all the best of the holidays!

Both my dad and I finished with 4-5-1 records last week, and he continues to hold a six game lead on me. Luckily, we do this article up until the Super Bowl, so I have plenty of time to hand out a beating to him here.


Lines as of 11/27/2014 & 11/29/2014



Thanksgiving Night

(9-1) 5 TCU (-6.5)  OVER  Texas (6-5), 7:30 PM / MJD picks Texas

TCU is looking to lay the wood to one of it’s rivals in Texas, and keep it’s hopes alive in getting voted into the four team playoff. The Longhorns have played better of late, but the Horned Frogs will be too much for “Hook ’em Horns” to overcome. TCU will feast on Texas like the family dog left unattended at the dinner table.



(9-2) 8 UCLA  (-5.5)  OVER  Stanford (6-5), 3:30 PM / MJD picks UCLA

I went against UCLA last week against USC and they burned me. I never expected USC to suck so badly. Troy Polamalu must be bummed to see his beloved Trojans playing so badly. So must my cousin George. Hey, at least the Ducks are playing well! So I’ll be pulling for Carnell Lake’s Alma Matter in the Bruins this week, as they keep their faint hopes alive for a National Title shot.


(6-5) West Virginia  (-10)  OVER  Iowa State (2-8), 12:00 PM / MJD picks West Virginia

The high scoring Mountaineers should be able to put up plenty of points against Iowa State. Biggest question for WVU will be who they start at QB. Clint Trickett may sit out due to a concussion suffered in the previous week. If he sits, Skyler Howard will get the nod.


(9-2) 10 Michigan State (-13)  OVER  Penn State (6-5), 3:30 PM / MJD picks Michigan State

Here we go again with Penn State. One last shot to get these bums right. This time I’m taking Michigan State to bury them. Last time, I took Thee Ohio State University to crush them, only to watch the boys from Lumbus kick me in the groin and let Penn State cover. I’m hoping Sparty dances all day while I get my revenge. If not, I won’t be surprised.


(5-6) Pitt (+10)  OVER  Miami (6-5), 7:00 PM / MJD picks Pitt

The Panthers will be fighting for a Bowl bid as they take on the Hurricanes, who were pasted by Virginia last week. Pitt hopes RB James Conner will be able to go, as he is questionable with a hip injury. Pitt can score with the best of them, question is, can they put forth enough defense to overcome the Hurricanes…they will.



(5-6) Chicago (+7)  OVER  Detroit (7-4), 12:30 PM / MJD picks Detroit

Detroit has lived by the skin of their teeth all season, and the last two weeks, the chickens have come home to roost. Or can I say turkeys? Chicago is just God-awful, which is shocking considering they have Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey, and Matt Forte. I’m guessing that the Lions are hoping to play as good at home as the Buffalo Bills did at their venue. Detroit better be ready to play. One more bad loss, and they will be in danger of falling out of the playoff race. Regardless, the Lions, if they do win, won’t cover by an entire touchdown against the Bears. Matt Stafford is too inconsistent, Calvin Johnson is hobbled, and who knows who will be running the ball for Detroit. This game will come down to the last possession.


(8-3) Dallas (-3)  OVER  Philadelphia (8-3), 4:30 PM / MJD picks Philadelphia

In what will likely be a high scoring affair, I’ll take Tony Romo and Dez Bryant over Mark Sanchez and whatever receiver-de jour the Eagles have this week. DeMarco Murray has outplayed Shady McCoy all year, though Shady has come on of late. Will be a fun game to watch as we all go for seconds at the dinner table.


(7-4) Seattle (+1.5)  OVER  San Francisco (7-4), 8:30 PM / MJD picks Seattle

In a game that could go either way, I’m sticking with the defending champions as they have righted the ship after early season turmoil. Marshawn Lynch, “yeah”, has been the man the past month. The Seahawks don’t boast a powerful offense behind Russell Wilson, they are just efficient. Certainly more efficient than the Colin Kaepernick and 49ers are on offense. Seattle will come to town and take the win to keep within striking distance of division leader Arizona.



(7-4) Pittsburgh (-4.5)  OVER  New Orleans (4-7), 1:00 PM /MJD picks Pittsburgh

The Jekyll and Hyde Steelers’ offense will be looking to be a monster against the Saints’ terrible defense. Le’Veon Bell should put up big numbers in this one. Drew Brees and friends will be able to move the ball the ball at times, but with Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor, and Ryan Shazier returning to action on defense, the Steelers will be able do do enough to cover and send the Saints to their 4th straight loss, and still be the NFC South Division leader.


(3-8) NY Giants (-2.5)  OVER  Jacksonville (1-10), 1:00 PM/ MJD picks Jacksonville

Both teams are abysmal, so someone has to win, right? When in doubt, pick against Jacksonville.


*Home Teams in BOLD


Pick Results:

MJD: Last Week: 4-5-1 / Overall: 60-56-4    –

PSN: Last Week: 4-5-1 / Overall: 54-62-4    -6

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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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