Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks- Week 17

Welcome to Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks- Week 17! 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!

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 40 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?

I used to enjoy watching all of the Bowl games. Gave me some football to watch night in and night out when most of my TV shows are on Winter break.

Now I hate em.

A 3-7 week, 2-8 by my dad, saw me gain a game in the standings by one but also watching my once spectacular record fade away. For the season, I am now 84-66, which is still pretty good, but I’ve gone 11-19 the past three weeks, and that has me boiling mad.

This week we have 17 Bowl games lined up through next Thursday night, and three NFL games this Sunday.

Perhaps I can get back on track…


Lines as of 12/21/2017

NCAA Football

Friday, December 22nd

Bahamas Bowl

Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas

UAB Blazers (8-4) at Ohio Bobcats (8-4) 

12:30 pm | Line: Ohio -6.5

Pick- PSN: Ohio | MJD: Ohio

If I could pick a Bowl I’d wanna be other than in the College Football Playoffs, the Bahamas is a pretty good choice. I like Ohio to cover.


Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID.

Central Michigan Chippewas (8-4) at Wyoming Cowboys (7-5)

4:00 pm | Line: Wyoming -3.5

Pick- PSN: Wyoming | MJD: Central Michigan

Yes, the field you will be watching this game is blue, so don’t think you’re tripping on acid or anything. Dad and I differ on this one, dad going with Antonio Brown’s Chippewas from Central Michigan.


Saturday, December 23rd

Birmingham Bowl

Legion Field, Birmingham, AL.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-6) at South Florida Bulls (9-2)

12:00 pm | Line: South Florida -2.5

Pick- PSN: South Florida | MJD: Texas Tech

I’ve never known Alabama to be such a destination spot, but man, do they get a lot of Bowl games. South Florida looks to cap off a great season.


Armed Forces Bowl

Armon Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX.

San Diego State Aztecs (10-2) at Army Black Knights (9-3) 

3:30 pm | Line: San Diego State -6.5

Pick- PSN: San Diego State | MJD: San Diego State

Want to play a drinking game? Chug a beer every time Army runs the ball. Just kidding… Blutarski from Animal House wouldn’t survive that challenge.


Dollar General Bowl

Laad-Peoples Stadium, Mobile, AL.

Appalachian State Mountaineers (8-4) at Toledo Rockets (11-2)

7:00 pm | Line: Toledo -6.5

Pick- PSN: Toledo | MJD: Toledo

Another game in Alabama… Just a gut feeling Toledo rockets past the Mountaineers.


Sunday, December 24th

Hawaii Bowl

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI.

Fresno State Bulldogs (9-4) at Houston Cougars (7-4)

8:30 pm | Line: Houston -2.5

Pick- PSN: Houston | MJD: Fresno State

I mentioned the Bahamas as a pretty good spot to be in for a Bowl… checking out Magnum, Higgins and the lads in Hawaii ain’t a bad place either.


Tuesday, December 26th

Heart of Dallas Bowl

Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX.

Utah Utes (6-6) at West Virginia Mountaineers (7-5)

1:30 pm | Line: Utah -6.5

Pick- PSN: Utah | MJD: Utah

WVU has a wounded offense and that won’t be a good thing when they meet the Utes. “A what…? did you say utes?”


Quick Lane Bowl

Ford Field, Detroit, MI.

Duke Blue Devils (6-6) at Northern Illinois Huskies (8-4)

5:15 pm | Line: Duke -4.5

Pick- PSN: Duke | MJD: Duke

You can step outside Ford Field and even other sports in Detroit nowadays and not worry about being mugged as much when Axel Foley was running around town. Why Duke? Why not?


Cactus Bowl

Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ.

Kansas State Wildcats (7-5) at UCLA Bruins (6-6)

1:30 pm | Line: Kansas State -2.5

Pick- PSN: UCLA | MJD: Kansas State

This game could go either way, but I’ll go with the better quarterback in this one….


Wednesday, December 27th

Independence Bowl

Independence Bowl, Shreveport, LA.

Southern Miss Golden Eagles (8-4) at Florida State Seminoles (6-6)

1:30 pm | Line: Florida State -14.5

Pick- PSN: Florida State | MJD: Southern Miss

Florida State has had a nightmare season. Can they end 2017 on a high note and set the tone for 2018? I think so.


Pinstripe Bowl

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY.

Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) at Boston College Eagles (7-5)

5:15 pm | Line: Iowa -2.5

Pick- PSN: Iowa | MJD: Boston College

Can’t go against Iowa in those Steelers knockoffs….


Foster Farms Bowl

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA.

Arizona Wildcats (7-5) at Purdue Boilermakers (6-6)

8:30 pm | Line: Arizona -3.5

Pick- PSN: Arizona | MJD: Arizona

This game should as exciting as watching season highlights of the Cleveland Browns.


Texas Bowl

NRG Stadium, Houston, TX.

Texas Longhorns (6-6) at Missouri Tigers (7-5)

9:00 pm | Line: Missouri -1.5

Pick- PSN: Missouri | MJD: Texas

My, how far the Longhorns have fallen.


Thursday, December 28th

Military Bowl

Navy Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD.

Virginia Cavaliers (6-6) at Navy Midshipmen (6-6)

1:30 pm | Line: Navy -1.5

Pick- PSN: Virginia | MJD: Navy

This will be a tight game, but I think Virginia will spring the upset in Annapolis.


Camping World Bowl

Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL.

No.22 Virginia Tech Hokies (9-3) at No.19 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3)

5:15 pm | Line: Oklahoma State -6.5

Pick- PSN: Virginia Tech | MJD: Virginia Tech

I’ve seen both teams in action up close and personal… should be a great game that comes down to the wire. Tech will cover…


Holiday Bowl

SDCCU Stadium, San Diego, CA.

No.18 Washington State Cougars (9-3) at No.16 Michigan State Spartans (9-3)

9:00 pm | Line: Washington State -2.5

Pick- PSN: Michigan State | MJD: Washington State

Could be a shootout in which who has the ball last wins. I like Sparty here.


Alamo Bowl

Alamodome, San Antonio, TX.

No. 13 Stanford Cardinal (9-4) at No.15 TCU Horned Frogs (10-3)

9:00 pm | Line: TCU -2.5


I see TCU handing the Cardinal their lunch in this one… big time.


Sunday, December 24th

Buffalo Bills (8-6) at New England Patriots (11-3)

1:00 pm | Line: New England -13.5

Pick- PSN: Buffalo | MJD: Buffalo

The Patriots, fresh off of having last week’s game against the Steelers handed to them by the NFL, faces a Bills team with their backs against the wall… could be upset city and karma here.


LA Rams (10-4) at Tennessee Titans (8-6)

1:00 pm | Line: LA Rams -6.5

Pick- PSN: LA Rams | MJD: LA Rams

The Rams went up to Seattle last week and beat the hell out of the Seahawks… I doubt they’ll be intimidated by Titans fans.


Monday, December 25th 

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) at Houston Texans (4-10)

4:30pm | Line: Pittsburgh -9.5

Pick- PSN: Pittsburgh | MJD: Pittsburgh

The Steelers figure to be an angry bunch, and the woeful Texans could be in for a very long day in this Christmas Day affair.

Pick Results

PSN: Last Week: 3-7 | Overall: 84-66   —    .560

MJD: Last Week: 2-8 | Overall: 67-83  -17    .446


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 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.

For a refreshing view of sports, mixed with humor and uncensored opinions, check out Pittsburgh SportsNation today on Facebook, Twitter @PghSportsNation and videos with over 1,000,000 views on YouTube!
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