Welcome to another season of Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks! From the opening weekend of the NCAA football season through Super Bowl LII, Mike Drakulich (PSN), the man behind Pittsburgh SportsNation, takes on his father, Michael J. Drakulich (MJD), in picking NCAA and NFL games against the Vegas spread.
Mike Drakulich covers both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers during the season for NGSCSports.com!
To appease the taste buds of Pittsburgh’s 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. The Pittsburgh Steelers will be chosen alongside four other exciting NFL match-ups.
Once Bowl Season arrives, we’ll bring you ALL 42 games and then continue throughout the conclusion of the NFL Playoffs.
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 2017-18 Against All Odds Champion?
As bad as I felt having my ass kicked by my dad for the 2nd consecutive year in a row in Against All Odds, I figured it couldn’t be any worse than blowing a historic 28-3 lead in a Super Bowl in front of the entire planet.
That is something that scars you for life.
I’ve lost track of how many seasons we’ve been doing this, but I’ve taken my dad behind the woodshed a few times in years past, so I guess I was due for a few seasons that mirrored the Cleveland Browns in terms of success.
Now we start fresh, and this opening week we are going to warm up by bringing you just five games since the NFL won’t join the party until next weekend. My goal this season is to hit the .600 mark or higher, all while laying the backhand to my dad for some payback.
Let’s see what on the docket for Week 1!
Lines as of 8/31/2017
Saturday, September 2nd
Akron Zips (0-0) at #6 Penn State Nittany Lions (0-0), 12:00 pm | Line: Penn State -30.5
Pick- PSN: Penn St | MJD: Penn State
Though I do not think Penn State is as good as their #6 ranking, they should have little trouble in trouncing Akron in the Lions warm-up game before they play their real rival in Pitt next week.
Even though Coach Franklin says Penn State is “Unrivaled” and some delusional Nitters stammer on about Michigan and Ohio State as being their true rivals, anyone with half a brain is licking their chops for September 9th, and bragging rights within the state of Pennsylvania.
Youngstown State Penguins (0-0) at Pitt Panthers (0-0), 1:00 pm | Line: Pitt -24.5
Pick- PSN: Pitt | MJD: Pitt
Pitt always finds a way to keep it’s fans on edge and eternally nervous. The Panthers will open the season with three starters suspended, including star safety Jordan Whitehead, for the first three games. The first game won’t–and shouldn’t matter with these three guys out, but the next two featuring Penn State and Oklahoma State, will force some younger Panthers to grow up and contribute right off the bat. Max Browne steps in as the new QB at Pitt, and his experience while at USC should be beneficial. He has two great targets in Jester Weah and the dynamic Quadree Henderson. Qadree Ollison was the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2015. He takes over for the great James Conner.
#11 Michigan Wolverines (0-0) at #17 Florida Gators (0-0), 3:30 pm | Line: Michigan -4.5
Pick- PSN: Michigan | MJD: Florida
Both teams are looking to work their ways back into the national spotlight as National Title Contenders. Michigan is one of the youngest teams in the country, but they are loaded. A convincing road win down in Florida will definitely put the Wolverines in the direction they want to be headed towards. The Gators will be shorthanded with no less than 10 players suspended, including starting RB Jordan Scarlett.
#3 Florida State Seminoles (0-0) at #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0), 8:00 pm | Line: Florida State -7.5
Pick- PSN: Alabama | MJD: Florida State
Two heavyweights meet up in the Game of the Week! I’m perplexed on how the Seminoles, though stocked, find themselves as 7.5 point favorites in this one. Bama is young, but they reload like no other. Technically a “home” game for Alabama, this game is actually being played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. I think Florida St will win, but to ask them to make that cover will be tough.
Sunday, September 3rd
#22 West Virginia Mountaineers (0-0) at #21 Virginia Tech Hokies (0-0), 7:30 pm | Line: Virginia Tech -4.5
Pick- PSN: Virginia Tech | MJD: West Virginia
Former Big East foes now face off in a tough early season test. Who will have the bragging rights between the ACC and Big 12? Bigger question is, if WVU wins, will the burning couches be visible from space?
MJD: Last Week: 0-0 | Overall: 0-0
PSN: Last Week: 0-0 | Overall: 0-0
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.
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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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