Welcome to Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks- NFL Wildcard and National Championship! 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 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?
Well, Bowl Season has come and gone, destroying my once great record, as in these ridiculous meaningless games, no one ever knows what team will be motivated to actually show up for the game or not. When you have jagoff teams like Memphis and Miami PLAYING IN THEIR OWN STADIUMS and still losing, all you can do is laugh.
Thankfully, only one college game remains, and you’ll see how I feel about that game in the synopsis below.
On the week, I went 7-13, once again seeing a win stolen away from me in the final minutes in eight of those contests. Dad went 9-11, gaining two games on me in the process.
Hard to believe only four weeks remain in Against All Odds for the 2017-18 year, but let’s see if I can bounce back and finish strong before I break this keyboard in half.
Lines as of 1/4/2017
NCAA Football before I
Monday, January 8th
National Championship Game
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA.
#4 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1) at #3 Georgia Bulldogs (13-1)
8:00 pm | Line: Alabama -4.5
Pick- PSN: Georgia | MJD: Alabama
Everyone at ESPN gets to rub themselves in oil and snuggle together in glee as they get their all SEC match-up for the National Championship Game. Both teams took their only loss of the season at the hands of the Auburn Tigers. It’s ridiculous that you have FIVE Power Conferences, along with teams like UCF that pop up every year, that deserve to be in a larger playoff field than just the four slots available. I don’t wanna hear any whining about how many games these poor players would be playing, as every other DIVISION of football does it the right way, unlike the current FBS system.
If the field was set at 10-12 teams, and this was the eventual match-up in the title game, I’d have no problem at all. As of now, I could care less about tuning in next Monday, other than to see the score now and then. This is nothing personal against Alabama, but they didn’t win their own conference, or conference title game, so to me, they don’t belong here. I’ll be happy to see Beaver County product Robert Foster on the field for the Tide, but I’ll be pulling for the Dawgs, as an older friend of mine, George Guisler, was a tremendous running back for Georgia before destroying his knee, so for him, I’ll be all in for them to win it all.
Georgia showed tremendous heart and perseverance coming back to defeat Oklahoma in the semifinals. Alabama is always incredible defensively. I think this will come down to the final possession, if not overtime, so with that being said, 4.5 going to Georgia makes the Dawgs my pick.
NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
Saturday, January 6th
#5 Tennessee Titans (9-7) at #4 Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
4:35 pm | Line: Kansas City -8.5
Pick- PSN: Kansas City | MJD: Kansas City
Tennessee finally made the playoffs, almost a decade after they stupidly desecrated the Terrible Towel during the 2008 season. They won’t enjoy their stay very long, especially at Arrowhead Stadium, where only the Pittsburgh Steelers reign supreme on the road. I like Alex Smith to carve up the Titans secondary and prepare to do the unthinkable the week later, that defeating New England twice in one season.
#6 Atlanta Falcons (10-6) at #3 LA Rams (11-5)
8:15 pm | Line: LA Rams -6.5
Pick- PSN: Atlanta | MJD: LA Rams
The Super Bowl finalists of last season face a perilous journey if they are to make it back to the Title Game. The Rams, even though their fans and crowds suck, are deadly at home, so I believe they will have just enough in the tank to hold off Atlanta and the under-performing Falcons, just not by more than 6.5 points.
Sunday, January 7th
#6 Buffalo Bills (9-7) at #3 Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)
1:00 pm | Line: Jacksonville -7.5
Pick- PSN: Jacksonville | MJD: Jacksonville
Both teams enter the postseason with little or no experience playing in do or die games. However, with Buffalo’s Shady McCoy a “game-time decision”, meaning if he does play, it’ll be with a bad ankle, it’s hard to like the Bills chances. I can’t see Tyrod Taylor beating the Jag’s secondary without a solid running game. As long as Blake Bortles doesn’t implode, they’ll be heading to Pittsburgh next weekend.
#5 Carolina Panthers (11-5) at #4 New Orleans Saints (11-5)
4:25 pm | Line: New Orleans -6.5
Pick- PSN: New Orleans | MJD: Carolina
Best game of the week! Both teams are dangerous and have the ability to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. It’s hard to choose against Drew Brees and the Saints in the Dome though. In the end, the duo of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara will be too much for the Panthers to contain.
PSN: Last Week: 7-13 | Overall: 100-90 — .526
MJD: Last Week: 9-11 | Overall: 84-106 -16 .442
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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