Welcome to Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks! From the opening weekend of the NCAA football season through Super Bowl LIV, 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 odds.
Mike 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 the best five Bowl games of the week 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?
It’s Championship Week in NCAA Football, so we figured to make this edition of Against All Odds a jammed packed one, as we have 15 games on the docket!
Plus, both dad and I have had our asses kicked the past two weeks, me being the worst, going a horrific 5-15 in my past 20 games. That chopped my once pretty good record of being 14 games over .500 down to a barely average 72-68 for the year. Thankfully for me, dad hasn’t taken advantage of my free fall too much, but he is Joe Biden uncomfortably close to me at 70-70.
15 games could see plenty of action happening record-wise, so next week I will either be exceedingly happy or near a bridge.
Till then… have a great weekend!
Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks
Lines as of 12/5/2019
Friday, December 6th
#5 Utah Utes (11-1) at #13 Oregon Ducks (10-2)
Game Time: 8:00 p.m. at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA.
Line: Utah -6.5
Pick: PSN: Oregon | MJD: Oregon
Oregon will be looking for some payback for last season’s defeat to Utah, who currently sits in the College Football Playoffs. What better revenge than knocking the Utes out of the running for a National Championship? Utah may very well win, but both dad and I like Oregon to make Utah sweat and make the cover.
Saturday, December 7th
Big 12 Championship
#7 Baylor Bears (11-1) at #6 Oklahoma Sooners (11-1)
Game Time: 12:00 p.m. at AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX.
Line: Oklahoma -8.5
Pick: PSN: Oklahoma | MJD: Baylor
Lions, and Tigers, and Baylor Bears, oh, my! Oklahoma came back from 25 points down on WPIAL Championship Saturday, November 16th, to defeat the Bears 34-31. I have a feeling those points the Sooners were rolling along with will continue all the way to another Big 12 Championship, where the Sooners will hoping to have a shot at the CFP. Dad is going all underdogs on this day, so Baylor is his pick.
#4 Georgia Bulldogs (11-1) at #2 LSU Tigers (12-0)
Game Time: 4:00 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA.
Line: LSU -7.5
Pick: PSN: LSU | MJD: Georgia
LSU defeated Georgia 36-16 last year and two of three overall vs the Dawgs in the Title Game… The Tigers offense have scored 584 points this year, good for 48.7 points per game. With those numbers, Georgia just won’t be able to hang. Should be a doozy, but LSU will pull away in the end by 10+. Dad is going with the Dawgs.
#23 Virginia Cavaliers (9-3) at #3 Clemson Tigers (12-0)
Game Time: 7:30 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.
Line: Clemson -28.5
Pick: PSN: Virginia | MJD: Virginia
Clemson and Dabo Sweeney are in a foul mood, and that could spell trouble for the Cavaliers… That said, Virginia can put up some numbers on offense as well. Both dad and I like Virginia to cover. I see this one being just good at Clemson 51 Virginia 24.
Big Ten Championship
#8 Wisconsin Badgers (10-2) at #1 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-0)
Game Time: 8:00 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN.
Line: Ohio State -15.5
Pick: PSN: Ohio State | MJD: Wisconsin
The last time these two met, thee Ohio State smashed the Badgers 38-7. It may not be as brutal this time around, but the Buckeyes will cover easily.
Sunday, December 8th
Washington Redskins (3-9) at Green Bay Packers (9-3)
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI.
Line: Green Bay -12.5
Pick: PSN: Green Bay | MJD: Green Bay
Hopefully Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams are in the mood to connect for about 3-4 touchdowns in this one. It’s almost comical that the NFC East is so bad that the Redskins are both vying for a top three draft pick and the division title at the same time.
Detroit Lions (3-8-1) at Minnesota Vikings (8-4)
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN.
Line: Minnesota -12.5
Pick: PSN: Minnesota | MJD: Minnesota
These Lions have no bite anymore. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings, behind Dalvin Cook’s running, roll right over Detroit.
Carolina Panthers (5-7) at Atlanta Falcons (3-9)
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Line: Atlanta -2.5
Pick: PSN: Atlanta | MJD: Atlanta
Carolina just fired Ron Rivera. I expect an apathetic bunch this Sunday and for Atlanta and Matt Ryan to have a pretty good day.
Miami Dolphins (3-9) at NY Jets (4-8)
Game Time: 1:00 pm at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ.
Line: NY Jets -6.5
Pick: PSN: Miami | MJD: Miami
Where once we had an easy win picking against Miami, now we may have one picking for them… The Fish have been playing well of late, especially DeVante Parker. The Jets? I don’t see it. Adam Gase is a moron.
Indianapolis Colts (6-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7)
Game Time: 1:00 pm at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL.
Line: Tampa Bay -3.5
Pick: PSN: Tampa Bay | MJD: Tampa Bay
Indianapolis started off great but have stumbled like drunk coming out of the bar at 3:00 am… You never know what Tampa team will show on any given Sunday, but the little voice in my head says go with the Bucs. The little punk better not be wrong.
Denver Broncos (4-8) at Houston Texans (8-4)
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at NRG Stadium, Houston, TX.
Line: Houston -9.5
Pick: PSN: Denver | MJD: Houston
Houston choked the life outta the Patriots last week, so I see a little bit of a letdown in this game. The Texans will win, but I don’t see it by more than seven.
Tennessee Titans (7-5) at Oakland Raiders (6-6)
Game Time: 4:25 pm at RingCentral Coliseum, Oakland, CA.
Line: Tennessee -3.5
Pick: PSN: Oakland | MJD: Oakland
The Titans are fighting the Steelers for the #6 spot in the AFC Playoffs. As bad as Oakland is playing, I think the Raiders will find a way to pull the upset at home. WR Tyrell Williams breaks out of his slump for the Silver and Black.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) at New England Patriots (10-2)
Game Time: 4:25 pm at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA.
Line: New England -3.5
Pick: PSN: Kansas City | MJD: New England
I can see the cracks in the dam for the Patriots. Last week Houston took them down with the Patriot’s offense showing signs of weakness. Not a good time for that with the offensive minded Chiefs coming to town. I see Patrick Mahomes solving the New England defense and solidifying their spot atop the AFC West.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) at Arizona Cardinals (3-8-1)
Game Time: 4:25 pm at State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ,
Line: Pittsburgh -2.5
Pick: PSN: Pittsburgh | MJD: Pittsburgh
The Steelers, behind the rookie Duck Hodges at quarterback, continue to defy the odds and the experts. Pittsburgh has had their troubles playing out West, but this will look like Heinz Field Arizona this Sunday, and if Kyler Murray had problems with the LA Rams defense, he’s in for a miserable day when he sees what T.J. Watt and the Steelers will be bringing.
Seattle Seahawks (10-2) at LA Rams (7-5)
Game Time: 8:20 pm at Los Angeles Coliseum
Pick: PSN: Seattle | MJD: LA Rams
Huge implications in this one as the Seahawks could put a major crimp in the Rams odds of making the playoffs and defending their NFC Championship crown from a season ago. I like Russell Wilson and his Hawks to do just that.
PSN: Last Week: 3-7 | Overall: 72-68 — .530
MJD: Last Week: 4-6 | Overall: 70-70 -2 .507
Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks History
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 High School Football.
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