Welcome to Against All Odds: NCAA Bowls/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 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?
Like the Steelers, Pittsburgh SportsNation was back with a vengeance, ripping off nine out of ten last week to bring my season total to 71-64. Dad put forth a great week at 6-4, but now trails his prodigy by five games.
This week we have 12 Bowl Games to choose from and three from the NFL to round the week off at 15 total games. Out of the 15, dad went oppo 10 times. We’ll see if his strategy works or backfires on him… but I’m feeling pretty confident right now in picking these games.
Catch you next week for week 18! May you and your families have a great and safe holiday! Merry Christmas to all!
Lines as of 12/19/2018
Friday, December 21st
Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas.
Florida International Golden Panthers (8-4) at Toledo Rockets (7-5), 12:30 pm
Line: Toledo -4.5
Pick: PSN: Toledo | MJD: Florida International
If I weren’t playing in the College Football Playoffs, this is the place I’d like to end up at. Toledo can put up some points, so I’ll feel quite comfortable in choosing the Rockets here.
Idaho Potato Bowl
Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID.
Western Michigan Broncos (7-5) at BYU Cougars (6-6), 4:00 pm
Line: BYU -11.5
Pick: PSN: BYU | MJD: BYU
The Cougars will prove to be too much for Western Michigan to handle in this one. Grab some fries and watch BYU roll.
Saturday, December 22nd
Legion Field, Birmingham, AL.
Memphis Tigers (8-5) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-6), 12:00 pm
Line: Memphis -2.5
Pick: PSN: Memphis | MJD: Wake Forest
Wake Forest has played some tough foes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually won this game, but at first glance, Memphis gets my nod in this one. They were handling UCF for over a half before collapsing like an Andy Reid coached team in the playoffs…
Armed Forces Bowl
Amon Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX.
Houston Cougars (8-4) at Army Black Knights (10-2), 3:30 pm
Line: Army -4.5
Pick: PSN: Army | MJD: Houston
Army will be gunning for their 11th win of the season, and with Houston missing D’Eriq King, it’s more than likely to happen.
Dollar General Bowl
Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL.
Buffalo Bulls (10-3) at Troy Trojans (9-3), 7:00 pm
Line: Buffalo -1.5
Pick: PSN: Buffalo | MJD: Troy
This one could go either way, but Buffalo is eager to win their first ever Bowl game and I say it’s gonna happen right here.
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (7-5) at Hawaii Rainbows (8-5), 10:30 pm
Line: Hawaii -1.5
Pick: PSN: Hawaii | MJD: Hawaii
Ok, if there is no playoffs, either the Bahamas or Hawaii Bowl would suffice. Heck, now, perks to paradise once again feature a trip to Robin’s Nest, where instead of being bored to death by an old wartime story by Higgins, you find yourself staring at her ass and going “Hey now, Higgy baby!”… just watch out as Zeus and Apollo haven’t become cute cuddly puppies.
Anyway, how the hell can you go against a team playing a Bowl game IN their house?
Wednesday, December 26th
First Responder Bowl
Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX.
Boston College Eagles (7-5) at #25 Boise State Broncos (10-3), 1:30 pm
Line: Boise St -2.5
Pick: PSN: Boise St | MJD: Boston College
I was close to going with BC here, but they were absolutely hammered in their last two games. Boise State will prove to be too much for the improving Eagles team.
Quick Lane Bowl
Ford Field, Detroit, MI.
Minnesota Gophers (6-6) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (7-5), 5:15 pm
Line: Georgia Tech -5.5
Pick: PSN: Georgia Tech | MJD: Minnesota
This will be a “Man Up!” game… I see Tech imposing their will with their vaunted rushing attack against the Gophers.
Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ.
California Bears (7-5) at TCU Horned Frogs (6-6), 9:00 pm
Pick: PSN: Cal | MJD: TCU
Like the line, this is a toss up, but I think Cal’s Patrick Laird will be the difference in this one. He is the only FBS players with over 900 yards rushing AND 50 plus receptions on the season.
Thursday, December 27th
Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA.
Temple Owls (8-4) at Duke Blue Devils (7-5), 1:30 pm
Line: Temple -4.5
Pick: PSN: Temple | MJD: Duke
Expect to see some points put up in this one, but when the chips finally fall, Temple will both win and cover.
Yankee Stadium, New York, NY.
Miami Hurricanes (7-5) at Wisconsin Badgers (6-6), 5:15 pm
Line: Miami -3.5
Pick: PSN: Miami | MJD: Miami
Two underachieving teams meet up here… a little birdie told me the Turnover Chain will be in use a lot at Yankee Stadium, which points to a decisive Hurricanes victory.
NRG Stadium, Houston, TX.
Baylor Bears (6-6) at Vanderbilt Commodores (6-6), 9:00 pm
Line: Vanderbilt -4.5
Pick: PSN: Vanderbilt | MJD: Baylor
The Bears are barley average and Vanderbilt, though not much better, will be the team that finishes above .500 after this game concludes.
Saturday, December 22nd
Washington Redskins (7-7) at Tennessee Titans (8-6), 4:30 pm
Line: Tennessee -9.5
Pick: PSN: Tennessee | MJD: Washington
Two teams that are as confusing as which bathroom to choose in California… The Titans have a playoff spot on the line, as does Washington. Not very confident here, but going with the Titans at home over a decimated Skins team.
Baltimore Ravens (8-6) at LA Chargers (11-3), 8:20 pm
Line: LA Chargers -4.5
Pick: PSN: LA Chargers | MJD: LA Chargers
The Chargers can put the heat on the Chiefs with a big victory here over the Ravens. A loss by Baltimore could be the end of both their season and John Harbaugh’s tenure as the Birdie’s head coach. I like the Chargers here.
Sunday, December 23rd
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1) at New Orleans Saints (12-2), 4:25 pm
Line: New Orleans -5.5
Pick: PSN: Pittsburgh | MJD: Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh proved they were still one of the best teams last week after taking care of New England. New Orleans is a tough venue to play in, but Saints lineman Cam Jordan sealed their fate when he opened his mouth questioning Ben Roethlisberger’s career and abilities as a quarterback.
PSN: Last Week: 9-1 | Bowls: 7-1 | Overall: 71-64 — .525
MJD: Last Week: 6-4 | Bowls: 4-4 | Overall: 66-69 -5 .488
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.
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.
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