Welcome to Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks! From the opening weekend of the NCAA football season through Super Bowl LIII, 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 line.
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 2019-20 Against All Odds Champion?
First week is in the books and neither my dad or I had the type of week we expected… kinda like the Pitt Panthers last week vs Virginia. My 5-5 record was good enough to give me a two game advantage heading into week two of the season.
This week the NFL begins it’s season, and that means we are back to five NCAA games and five NFL games.
Plenty of great contests to choose from, none of them very easy to pick, but let’s roll the dice and see where it lands.
Till next week, have a great weekend!
Lines as of 9/5/2019
Saturday, September 7th
Ohio Bobcats (1-0) at Pitt Panthers (0-1)
Game Time: 11:00 am at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA.
Line: Pitt -4.5
Pick: PSN: Pitt | MJD: Pitt
The Panthers laid an egg in their season opener vs Virginia. Kenny Pickett was missing wide open receivers downfield for touchdowns, and when he did hit the mark, his receivers dropped three crucial passes. Ohio’s QB Nathan Rourke is a dual threat passer, but Pitt did pretty well in keeping the Cavalier’s Bryce Perkins contained, so I’m confident the Pitt D will show up. This game rests squarely on the shoulders of Pickett. If he plays well, and the offense as a whole executes the plays as they were coached, they will win this game going away.
Play like they did last week and they could be in line for an 0-2 start…
West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0) at Missouri Tigers (0-1)
Game Time: Noon at Faurot Field, Columbia, MO.
Line: Missouri -13.5
Pick: PSN: Missouri | MJD: Missouri
WVU squeaked past James Madison last week. Missouri choked away a game vs Wyoming. With the Tigers coming home with a bitter taste in their mouth, this one could get ugly for the faithful in Morgantown. No couches will be burning this Saturday evening.
#12 Texas A&M Aggies (1-0) at #1 Clemson Tigers (1-0)
Game Time: 3:30 pm at Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC.
Line: Clemson -17.5
Pick: PSN: Clemson | MJD: Texas A&M
Texas A&M will become the latest victim of assault by the Clemson Tigers. They don’t call it Death Valley for nothing ya know…
Buffalo Bulls (1-0) at #15 Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0)
Game Time: 7:30 at Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA.
Line: Penn State -29.5
Pick: PSN: Penn State | MJD: Buffalo
Penn State had fun running the score up last week vs Idaho. Always cool to rub it in against a lesser opponent. Buffalo will put up a little more fight than Idaho did, but I’m sure, given the chance, James Franklin will score as many points as he can vs a team that could only beat Robert Morris by 28.
#6 LSU Tigers (1-0) at #9 Texas Longhorns (1-0)
Game Time: 7:30 pm at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX.
Line: LSU -6.5
Pick: PSN: Texas | MJD: Texas
Game of the Week in the NCAA… Could this be the game Texas steps back into the spot light? They have everything going for them, including being at home. LSU poses a major challenge, but it’s time for the Longhorns to put their hat back in the ring again. Hook ’em horns!
Sunday September 8th
Tennessee Titans (0-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-0)
Game Time: 1:00 pm at Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH.
Line: Cleveland -5.5
Pick: PSN: Cleveland | MJD: Tennessee
Is the hype for real in Cleveland? We will find out in week one as the under appreciated Titans roll into Browns Stadium. I, for one, think the Dawgs are going to fall flat on their faces, but I do like them to make some noise in their opener. God help them if they don’t…
Baltimore Ravens (0-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-0)
Game Time: 1:00 pm at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL.
Line: Baltimore -6.5
Pick: PSN: Baltimore | MJD: Miami
The Ravens think they are going to revolutionize football with the offense behind Lamar Jackson. What they are going to do is get Jackson killed. That aside, Baltimore should have no problems pasting the hapless Dolphins, who are doing everything they can to tank and acquire the #1 pick in next year’s NFL Draft.
LA Rams (0-0) at Carolina Panthers (0-0)
Game Time: 1:00 pm at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.
Line: LA Rams -3.5
Pick: PSN: Carolina | MJD: LA Rams
At first glance, you’d like the Rams in this one, but with this being the first game and the team having to travel across the entire continent, I smell a big time letdown by the Super Bowl runner-ups. Cam Newton is supposedly healthy and I think the Panthers will do just enough to come away with the win.
Kansas City Chiefs (0-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0)
Game Time: 1:00 pm at TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL.
Line: Kansas City -3.5
Pick: PSN: Kansas City | MJD: Kansas City
This game, like the LA Rams one, has the makings of a trap game for the Chiefs. Jacksonville is a year removed from being in the AFC Championship game, but poor play by Blake Bortles and injuries caused the Jags to free-fall in 2018. I like the combo of Nick Foles to Dede Westbrook. All that said, I still think the Chiefs will garner up enough offense under Patrick Maholmes and come away with a hard earned win on the road.
Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) at New England Patriots (0-0)
Game Time: 8:20 pm at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA.
Line: New England -5.5
Pick: PSN: Pittsburgh | MJD: Pittsburgh
Mention New England in Pittsburgh and everyone loses their minds. Relax… last time I check, if it weren’t for one of the most horrendous calls in NFL history, the Steelers would come into this game with a two game winning steak vs the Patriots. With New England missing their best center, and the services of Rob Gronkowski, I like the Steelers chances, especially with the size of the chip on their collective shoulders, Pittsburgh is set to prove all the doubters wrong right off the bat.
PSN: Last Week: 5-5 | Overall: 5-5 — .500
MJD: Last Week: 3-7 | Overall: 3-7 -2 .300
2018 Champion: MJD
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 Football.
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