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Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks Week 14

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 the final week for college football until the Bowl Season arrives on December 20th. All three local teams in Pitt, Penn State, and West Virginia qualified to play in the postseason. Hopefully, some of these selection committees will get their heads on straight and schedule a Bowl match-up between two of the three teams. It’s a disgrace that neither school plays each other at all. It’s a huge slap in the face to fans of old rivalries. The NCAA is a joke.

As for last week, my dad continued to destroy me and upped his lead over me to eight games after posting a 7-3 week to my 5-5 offering. I now get the luxury of wearing a Cleveland Browns jersey in a photo as well as a West Virginia Mountaineers jersey to boot for losing over three games the past two weeks after guaranteeing I wouldn’t.

It sucks to be me.

Still, four NFL weeks remain, as well as Bowl Season to right the ship. I will fight to the bitter end.


Lines as of 12/5/2014


Friday Night

PAC-12 Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA.

(11-1) 2 Oregon (-14.5)  OVER  7 Arizona (10-2), 9:00 PM / MJD picks Oregon

The Ducks will be looking for revenge from their only loss this season, and no matter how well PAC 12 Coach of the Year Rich Rodriguez’s team has played, it’s the end of the road on Friday night. Oregon is set to play for a National Championship, and the offense, as usual, has been humming. If the Wildcats do pull the unlikely upset again, it’s not outside the realm of possibility for them to get vaulted into the top four if a few other upsets occur. Expect a high scoring affair that eventually ends up in a blow-out by Oregon and Heisman favorite Marcus Mariota.



SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA.

(11-1) 1 Alabama  (-14.5)  OVER  16 Missouri (10-2), 4:00 PM / MJD picks Alabama

Alabama was impressive last week in dismantling Auburn. Now with just one tilt remaining to play for the National Title, don’t expect any letdowns from Nick Saban’s crew. Missouri is a nice story, as they’ve now played in the SEC Championship for the second year in a row since joining the conference two years ago. The Tide will roll in this one.


(10-1 ) 6 Baylor  (-7.5)  OVER  9 Kansas State (9-2), 7:45 PM / MJD picks Baylor

Baylor finds itself ranked sixth, behind #3 TCU, even though the Bears defeated the Horned Frogs earlier this year. This is why there needs to be more teams in a true playoff. How can you justify TCU being ahead of Baylor when they both have one loss, and Baylor the victor in their only meeting? Kansas State is a tall order, but I believe Baylor will be out to prove the doubters woefully wrong in where they have them ranked. This is the Bears chance to make a statement.


ACC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.

(12-0) 4 Florida State (-4.5)  OVER  11 Georgia Tech (10-2), 8:00 PM / MJD picks Florida State

Florida State has been playing with fire all season. They are the defending champions and have not lost since the 2012 season. It’s borderline ridiculous that they are not ranked #1 despite being the only team without a loss. How can you penalize a team simply for just winning all their games? The NCAA will find a way. I think the Seminoles will win this game, but barely cover. This smells of maybe even an overtime finish. If Jameis Winston starts turning the ball over to this high powered Yellow Jackets offense, Florida State is going to find itself in big trouble again. In the end, Tech’s defense simply isn’t good enough to stay with FSU if Winston protects the ball, which this time I believe he will.


Big 10 Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN. 

(10-2) 13 Wisconsin (-4)  OVER  5 Ohio State (11-1), 8:17 PM / MJD picks Wisconsin

Ohio State faces a tall order in overcoming the Nation’s leading rusher in Melvin Gordon and the Badgers without their Heisman quarterback in J.T. Barrett. The Buckeyes will give everything they have, but it’s just too much to ask of a redshirt sophomore in Cardale Jones to lead them to victory.




(7-5) Pittsburgh (+3)  OVER  Cincinnati (8-3-1), 1:00 PM / MJD picks Pittsburgh

The league’s Jekyll  and Hyde team in Pittsburgh comes to the Queen City in hopes of keeping their AFC North division title hopes alive. A loss here would certainly destroy those dreams. This points to an unlikely victory by Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers over Cincinnati, only to probably then lose to Atlanta the next week. I don’t think Andy Dalton the the Bengals are really that good anyhow.


(8-4) Indianapolis (-3.5)  OVER  Cleveland (7-5), 1:00 PM / MJD picks Indianapolis

The Browns are starting to look like the Browns again, and facing Andrew Luck and the Colts is not the recipe for success when not playing well. A QB controversy seems to be brewing as Browns fans want to see their 1st Round draft pick in Johnny Manziel play in favor of Brian Hoyer, whose play of late is seriously lacking. Colts will take care of business.


(7-5) Miami (-2.5)  OVER  Baltimore (7-5), 1:00 PM / MJD picks Miami

The hits keep coming for Baltimore, as stud defensive lineman Haloti Ngata was suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The Ravens lost a last second heart-breaker to San Diego last week, and now they face a desperate Miami team that cannot afford a loss in a tight AFC playoff race.


(8-4) Seattle (+1)  OVER  Philadelphia (9-3), 4:25 PM /MJD picks Philadelphia

The defending champs stroll into Philly where they face the high-powered Eagles offense. Philadelphia was impressive in smashing Dallas last week, but the Seahawks are a different animal. Seattle has righted the ship, and I believe their defense will not let a Mark Sanchez led team defeat them, no matter where the game is.


(9-3) New England (-3.5)  OVER  San Diego (8-4), 8:30 PM/ MJD picks New England

Tom Brady looked as if he was ready to kill someone after falling in Green Bay last week. Now the Patriots trade snow and cold weather for sunny and 68 on Sunday in San Diego. Brady had that look in his eyes, and that spells trouble for the Chargers. After losing to Aaron Rodgers last week, Brady isn’t going to settle for losing to Phillip Rivers in the very week. Patriots over San Diego big time.

*Home Teams in BOLD


Pick Results:

MJD: Last Week: 7-3 / Overall: 67-59-4    –

PSN: Last Week: 5-5 / Overall: 59-67-4    -8

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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