Welcome to Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks Week 1! 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 EVERY Bowl Game 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 2018-19 Against All Odds Champion?
The last time we all met up it was freezing cold out as we ended the 2017-18 Against All Odds season with Super Bowl LII. I had sewn up the Odds Championship well before the NFL Playoffs began, so the only pleasure I had was watching the Patriots lose another Super Bowl. Kinda. Picking between Philly and New England is like choosing death by gas or electric. I took the lesser of two evils.
So here we are again, as football season has arrived, which means another rivalry continues in father vs son in who can outperform who in choosing games against the Vegas Line.
After two years in a row of smacking me around in picks, I returned the favor last year in thumping my dad by quite a few games.
This week we start slowly with just five games on the docket, as the NFL doesn’t start till next week.
May you enjoy a great Labor Day Weekend filled with football, family, and food!
Lines as of 8/31/2018
Saturday, September 1st
Albany Great Danes (0-0) at Pitt Panthers (0-0), 3:30 pm | Line: Pitt -20.5
Pick- PSN: Pitt | MJD: Pitt
The Panthers are expecting great things behind the arm of Kenny Pickett. The offense should be well balanced and the defense is ready to take a step forward from all the lumps this unit has taken the past few years. Albany is coached by Pittsburgh native Greg Gattuso, so the Great Danes won’t give up without a fight. In the end, Pitt should wear the lesser team out and cover the spread easily. Coach Narduzzi has promised this year’s team will not hold back as they did a year ago vs Youngstown State, where they blew a 21-0 lead before defeating the Penguins 28-21 in OT.
Appalachian State Mountaineers (0-0) at #10 Penn State Nittany Lions (0-0), 3:30 pm | Line: Penn St -23.5
Pick- PSN: Penn St | MJD: Penn St
Penn State should have it’s way with the Mountaineers, provided they aren’t caught looking ahead to next week’s rivalry game at Pitt.
#17 West Virginia Mountaineers (0-0) at Tennessee Vols (0-0), 3:30 pm | Line: WVU -9.5
Pick- PSN: West Virginia | MJD: Tennessee
WVU has a chance to justify their #17 ranking with a tough road assignment at Tennessee. It’s never easy winning on the road vs a Power Five Conference Team, let alone in the season opener, where most teams opt for a cupcake to pound on. Dad believes the Vols will cover, where I’m confident the Mountaineers will find a way to win by ten or more.
#14 Michigan Wolverines (0-0) at #12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0), 7:30 pm | Line: Notre Dame -1.5
Pick- PSN: Michigan | MJD: Notre Dame
The seat is getting hot for Jim Harbaugh, but it could cool considerably with a season opening victory on the road vs the Irish. Maybe I’m a sucker for going with the Wolverines here, but I think Big Blue is ready to return to the limelight in college football, where they’ve been woefully missed. Dad is opposing me again, doubting UM has what it takes to pass such a big test this early on the road, especially this one being played under the lights in South Bend.
Louisville Cardinals (0-0) at #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0), 8:00 pm | Line: Alabama -24.5
Pick- PSN: Alabama | MJD: Louisville
Louisville is not your typical baby seal, set to be clubbed by the big bad Crimson Tide type team. Normally, this would be a decent game, but QB Lamar Jackson is now a Raven and they still have a pretty bad defense. That equation equals a drubbing at the hands of the defending National Champions. Dad somehow thinks Bama will allow Louisville to cover… can’t see it happening.
PSN: Last Week: 0-0 | Overall: 0-0 — .000
MJD: Last Week: 0-0 | Overall: 0-0 .000
2017 Champion: PSN
2016 Champion: MJD
2015 Champion: MJD
2014 Champion: PSN
2013 Champion: PSN
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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