Welcome to Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks Week 3! 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 NCAA games chosen, as will the Pittsburgh Steelers for NFL games.
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?
Two weeks into the year and I’m batting at a .700 pace so far. Dad has had a stumble at the start, but the night is young!
After dipping our toes into the pool for the first two weeks and only having five games to choose from, we’re back to our customary five NCAA and five NFL games format.
At the moment, I have a four game lead over my dad, and for the upcoming week, we differ on two out of the ten games.
Off to the picks we go!
Lines as of 9/15/2017
Saturday, September 16th
#7 Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-0) at Pitt Panthers (1-1), 12:00 pm | Line: Oklahoma State -14.5
Pick- PSN: Pitt | MJD: Pitt
Pitt’s offense has yet to find the end zone as frequently as they did last season, so if they were going to pick a week to start finding pay dirt, this would be a good time to start. The Cowboys can light up the scoreboard in a hurry, and last season these two teams played an exciting match that ended in a 45-38 Oklahoma State win. Now Pitt looks to exact a little revenge and get their season back on track. Pitt outgained Penn State last week, but came up short inside the ten yard line three out of four times. I think the offense starts to heat up this week.
Delaware State Hornets (0-2) at West Virginia Mountaineers (1-1), 12:00 pm | Line: WVU -20.5
Pick- PSN: WVU | MJD: WVU
The Mountaineers will have little trouble taking care of business this Saturday. If they do, shame on them…
Georgia State Panthers (0-1) at #4 Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0), 7:30 pm | Line: Penn St -38.5
Pick- PSN: Penn St | MJD: Penn St
Penn State should have an easy lay-up this week in which perhaps they’ll find a way to both outscore and outgain their opponent on the field.
#3 Clemson Tigers (2-0) at #14 Louisville Cardinals (2-0), 8:00 pm | Line: Clemson -2.5
Pick- PSN: Clemson | MJD: Louisville
Clemson ventures on the road to a dangerous locale while Louisville looks to make an impression and vault into the Top Ten with a victory. I think Clemson survives and covers. Dad has the home team and the points.
Texas Longhorns (1-1) at #4 USC Trojans (2-0), 8:30 pm | Line: USC -15.5
Pick- PSN: USC | MJD: USC
It’s amazing how far the Longhorns have fallen and that trend will continue this week as USC takes it’s turn using Texas as a chew toy.
Sunday, September 17th
Minnesota Vikings (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0), 1:00 pm | Line: Pittsburgh -5.5
Pick- PSN: Pittsburgh | MJD: Pittsburgh
The Steeler offense didn’t exactly hum as we expected it to last week, but I guess when your first team plays only 3-4 series in the entire preseason, some rust is going to be evident. Ben Roethlisberger usually lights it up at home, and this being the home opener, I can see the Steelers pulling away late against a very good Vikings team, led by the resurgence of Sam Bradford.
Cleveland Browns (0-1) at Baltimore Ravens (1-0), 1:00 pm | Line: Baltimore -8.5
Pick- PSN: Baltimore | MJD: Baltimore
The Browns showed some moxie last week in hanging tough with the Steelers. The Ravens blew away the Bengals. I’m tempted to take a stab at Cleveland this week with this spread, but I’ll need another week of seeing them being competitive before I take that leap of faith. I see the Ravens winning by at least ten or more.
NY Jets (0-1) at Oakland Raiders (1-0), 4:05 pm | Line: Oakland -14.5
Pick- PSN: Oakland | MJD: Oakland
“The world needs ditch diggers, too.” That pretty much sums up the state of the Jets. Every week they will play the part of the limp dummy that gets kicked around by the opposing team. This week it’s the high powered Raiders who get to pad their stats and polish their boots.
Dallas Cowboys (1-0) at Denver Broncos (1-0), 4:25 pm | Line: Dallas -1.5
Pick- PSN: Dallas | MJD: Dallas
Tough game to choose from as the Broncos are tough to beat at home, but with Ezekiel Elliot not suspended, it is hard not to go with the Cowboys in this one.
Washington Redskins (0-1) at LA Rams (1-0), 4:25 pm | Line: LA Rams -1.5
Pick- PSN: Washington | MJD: LA Rams
I was considering going with the Rams here, but like with Cleveland, I want to see more from LA before I actually trust them. Plus, an 0-2 start for the ‘Skins would be a disaster. Somehow, I see Kirk Cousins escaping with a narrow victory and getting his team back on track. Dad believes in the magic of Tinsel Town for the Rams…
PSN: Last Week: 3-2 | Overall: 7-3 — .700
MJD: Last Week: 2-3 | Overall: 3-7 -4 .300
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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