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Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks Week 15

From opening week of the NFL season through the Super Bowl, 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.

Like the Pittsburgh Steelers, I bounced back with a respectable week of 6-4, besting my dad who only went 5-5. I’m still six games under .500 for the season, but have plenty of games left to get above ground, something I’ve never failed to do while writing this column. The only college game left till the Bowls begin is the Army-Navy Classic on Saturday, so we’ll be adding four additional NFL games to round off to ten games chosen as usual. After this week, we’ll choose every Bowl game played, which starts December 20th.

Happy Birthday dad!! (You’re still going down this week)


Lines as of 12/12/2014



(4-7) Army (+15)  OVER Navy (6-5), M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD at 3:00 PM / MJD picks Army

When these two teams meet, you can toss out the records. Honor is on the line. Vegas must be on a good acid trip, ’cause there is no way this game is going to end in a blowout. Navy has won the last 12 in the series, and will more than likely be the victor again, but this game will come down to the 4th quarter before the Midshipmen pull out a close one.




(8-5) Pittsburgh  (-2)  OVER  Atlanta (5-8), 1:00 PM / MJD picks Pittsburgh

The roller coaster Steelers head to Atlanta after crushing Cincinnati last week by 21. Common sense says the Ben Roethlisberger and the Steeler offense obliterate the Falcon’s soft defense, but Atlanta is a 5-8 team, and for some reason, Pittsburgh ALWAYS under-performs against lightweights.  What Steelers team will we see this week? I’m probably a sucker for doing it, but I have the Steelers finally taking care of business against a sub .500 team.


(10-3) Green Bay  (-4.5)  OVER  Buffalo (7-6), 1:00 PM / MJD picks Green Bay

Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers have been rolling like Rob Ryan falling down the side of the Luxor Hotel. Buffalo has a nice defense, and their crappy weather can affect some teams, but not their climate equals from Wisconsin. Expect the Pack to keep the engine purring as Green Bay inches closer to a NFC North title.


(9-4) Indianapolis (-7)  OVER  Houston (7-6), 1:00 PM / MJD picks Indianapolis

With three weeks left in the season, it’s do or die for Houston if they have any hopes of stealing the division from the Colts. There’s a better chance of Jack Black wining Miss America, but hey, it’s a chance! Indy has was lucky to beat Cleveland last week. I think they’ll be more focused this week.


(2-11) Oakland (+10.5)  OVER  Kansas City (7-6), 1:00 PM / MJD picks Kansas City

Like Beavis and Butthead, not one Chief’s wide receiver has scored this season. That’s incredible in this day and age. Jamaal Charles isn’t 100% and I just don’t think KC is that good. Don’t get me wrong, neither is Oakland, but they have been playing better of late, even stuffing the ball down that smirking Jim Harbaugh’s throat last week as they pounded the 49ers last week. Kansas City will sneak out of their stadium with the W, but it won’t be by double digits.


(10-3) Denver (-4)  OVER  San Diego (8-5), 4:05 PM / MJD picks San Diego

First Tom Brady, now Peyton Manning. What a two game stretch for the Chargers and Phillip Rivers. Like last week, the Chargers will find themselves on the wrong end of the ledger and in danger of missing the playoffs.


(9-4) Seattle (-10.5)  OVER  San Francisco (7-6), 4:25 PM / MJD picks Seattle

The defending champions are starting to come together, and they have to be licking their chops at the opportunity to deliver a death blow to San Francisco. Start digging the hole… the 49ers are history after Sunday.


(6-7) Minnesota (+7.5)  OVER  Detroit (9-4), 4:25 PM / MJD picks Detroit

The Vikings have been playing solid ball over the last six weeks, and look to continue that trend vs Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and the Detroit Lions. They will keep it close, but it won’t be enough to stop the Lions from keeping the heat on Green Bay.


(9-4) Philadelphia (-3.5)  OVER  Dallas (9-4), 8:30 PM /MJD picks Philadelphia

On Thanksgiving, the Eagles throttled Tony Romo and the Cowboys. Philadelphia should be smarting from their defeat against Seattle last week. It’s their division to lose if they take care of business this Sunday vs Dallas. They will.



(5-8) New Orleans (-3)  OVER  Chicago (5-8), 8:30 PM/ MJD picks New Orleans

Enter two woefully under-performing teams with a wealth of offensive talent. Flip a coin on which team will suck less. Mine landed and said New Orleans.


*Home Teams in BOLD


Pick Results:

MJD: Last Week: 5-5 / Overall: 72-64-4    –

PSN: Last Week: 6-4 / Overall: 65-71-4    -7

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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