Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks- Wild Card and National Championship! From the opening weekend of the NCAA football season through Super Bowl LI, Mike Drakulich (PSN), founder of Pittsburgh SportsNation, takes on his father, Michael J. Drakulich (MJD), in picking 10 games against the Vegas spread.
Teams in our local coverage area, Pitt, Penn State, and West Virginia, when they are playing, will always be on the docket among the five NCAA games chosen, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, covered by your favorite Pittsburgh writer for NGSCsports.com, will be included alongside four other exciting NFL match-ups.
Itchy vs Scratchy. Black Spy vs White Spy. Cheers vs Gary’s Old Towne Tavern. History is full of rivalries, but none are better than father vs son! Who will rise above the other this season and become the 2016-17 Against All Odds Champion?
I feel Rhonda Rousey’s pain. I was once on top as well, only to be handed beat-down after beat-down. It looks as if the Against All Odds crown will belong to my dad for the 3rd consecutive year unless he blows a nine game lead with only 15 games remaining in the season.
That said, it’s hard to keep pace with someone’s record that could equal any expert that picks games against the Vegas Line. For the year, my dad is 107-88, good for a winning percentage of .548! For now, I am one game over .500 and looking to finish strong.
Let’s see what we have in store for Against All Odds in this week’s edition!
Lines as of 1/5/2017
Saturday, January 7th
5 Oakland (12-4) at 4 Houston (9-7), 4:35 pm | Line: Houston -3.5
Pick- PSN: Houston | MJD: Houston
You can’t help but feel bad for an Oakland team that finished 12-4 and could only attain the #5 seed in the AFC. To boot, David Carr broke his leg two weeks ago and now turn to Connor Cook to helm the team at quarterback. If Carr was healthy, the Raiders would probably bury this barely average Texans team, but Carr’s injury combined by a bad Raiders defense will lead to an early and disappointing exit for the Black and Silver.
6 Detroit (9-7) at 3 Seattle (10-5-1), 8:15 pm | Line: Seattle -8.5
Pick- PSN: Detroit | MJD: Seattle
Detroit was rolling along with the NFC North crown seemingly sewn up before pulling a Wile E. Coyote off a cliff. I doubt the Lions will find a way to pull off an upset in Seattle, but should have enough offense to scare a Seahawks team that is a shell of their former greatness.
Sunday, January 8th
6 Miami (10-6) at 3 Pittsburgh (11-5), 1:05 pm | Line: Pittsburgh -10.5
Pick- PSN: Pittsburgh | MJD: Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is on fire heading into the playoffs. They have home field advantage and the better overall team, especially at quarterback where two time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger takes on the Dolphins back-up in Matt Moore. The Steelers won’t have forgotten the 30-15 defeat handed to them earlier by the Fish either.
5 NY Giants (11-5) at 4 Green Bay (10-6), 8:30 pm | Line: Green Bay -4.5
Pick- PSN: Green Bay | MJD: Green Bay
Of all the games in the Wildcard Round, this one has a chance to be the best. Eli Manning vs Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay is rolling after looking like they would be candidates for an early round draft pick.
Monday, January 9th
National Championship Game
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL
2 Clemson (13-1) at 1 Alabama (14-0), 8:00 pm | Line: Alabama -6.5
Pick- PSN: Clemson | MJD: Clemson
Alabama is going for back-to-back National Championships, but Clemson is looking to exact their revenge from a year ago. Alabama has a great defense, but their resolve will be tested by a superb offensive unit the Tigers employ. I not only like Clemson to make the cover, but to raise the National Championship trophy at the end of what should be a fantastic end to the 2016-17 NCAA Football season.
MJD: Last Week: 11-4 | Overall: 107-88 .548 —
PSN: Last Week: 9-6 | Overall: 98-97 .502 9
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 top notch 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, including WPIAL High School Football.
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