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 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 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?
After going with 15 games last week, we are back to our customary ten games in this edition, including the always incredible Army-Navy Game.
Both dad and I went 9-6, which elevated our records, but saw my three game lead maintained for time being. I’m shooting to end this season with a record of 20 games over .500, so Ihave some work to do in the next few weeks. I was at 14 games over vs the odds till I was clubbed for two weeks going 5-15, but hopefully we’re trending upwards after last week.
Happy Birthday to my dad today, and may all his wishes come true, that is, except for beating me this week, as we differ on five out of the ten games!
Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks
Lines as of 12/12/2019
Saturday, December 14th
Army Black Knights (5-7) at #23 Navy Midshipmen (9-2)
Game Time: 3:00 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA.
Line: Navy -10.5
Pick: PSN: Navy | MJD: Army
One of my favorite games of the year. I’d love for this to be at Heinz Field one day. In the 120th edition of the Army-Navy Game, Navy will be hungry for revenge as Army has beaten them the last three years in a row. All of the Black Knights victories were by seven points or less. The Middies are averaging 39.3 points per game this season. Army has rushed for 100 yards or more in 150 consecutive games.
Sunday, December 15th
New England Patriots (10-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-12)
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH.
Line: New England -9.5
Pick: PSN: New England | MJD: New England
If New England can’t get it’s offense and footing back vs the Bengals… just sayin’…
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) at Detroit Lions (3-9-1)
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at Ford Field, Detroit, MI.
Line: Tampa -3.5
Pick: PSN: Tampa Bay | MJD: Tampa Bay
I know one thing, and that’s Tampa likes to play some exciting, down to the last second football. They won’t be making the playoffs, but the Bucs will take care of the free falling Lions who have too many injuries to overcome.
Chicago Bears (7-6) at Green Bay Packers (10-3)
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI.
Line: Green Bay -4.5
Pick: PSN: Chicago | MJD: Green Bay
Green Bay may be the most overrated 10-3 team I’ve ever watched. They barely took care of the sad sack Redskins last week, and even at home, I see this game vs the stingy Bears coming down to the wire. The Pack will probably slither away with another win, but it will be by a field goal, possibly OT.
Houston Texans (8-5) at Tennessee Titans (8-5)
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN.
Line: Tennessee -3.5
Pick: PSN: Houston | MJD: Tennessee
I figured Houston would be in a for a let down after whipping the Patriots, but not getting their collective asses kicked like they did vs the Broncos. Now I see a bounce back game against a hot Tennessee team lead by the resurgent Ryan Tannehill.
Denver Broncos (5-8) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-4)
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO.
Line: Kansas City -9.5
Pick: PSN: Denver | MJD: Kansas City
Speaking of the Broncos… Drew Lock has breathed new life into the corpse that was Denver. Kid is cocky, that is for sure, but he is backing it up on the field, too. The Chiefs will go to double digits in wins after this one, but it will be a lot closer that 9.5 points, count on that.
Seattle Seahawks (10-3) at Carolina Panthers (5-8)
Game Time: 1:00 pm at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.
Line: Seattle -5.5
Pick: PSN: Seattle | MJD: Seattle
Seattle was rolling along until the Rams slapped them back into reality. Now they must travel across country and face a team in turmoil after firing it’s coach. This is a must win game for the Seahawks if they are to catch the 49ers for the NFC West crown, whom they beat earlier this year and are just one game behind.
Cleveland Browns (6-7) at Arizona Cardinals (3-9-1)
Game Time: 4:05 p.m. at State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ.
Line: Cleveland -2.5
Pick: PSN: Cleveland | MJD: Arizona
Cleveland and Baker Mayfield should have enough offense to take care of business vs the Cardinals. Question is, can the Brown’s defense contain Kyler Murray, and a possible revitalized David Johnson, who looked a little like himself last week vs the Steelers?
Minnesota Vikings (9-4) at LA Chargers (5-8)
Game Time: 4:05 p.m. at Dignity Health Sports Park
Line: Minnesota -2.5
Pick: PSN: Minnesota | MJD: Minnesota
Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook should be able to carve up the Chargers defense and stay one game ahead of the Rams for the final wildcard spot in the NFC.
Buffalo Bills (9-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5)
Game Time: 8:20 pm at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA.
Line: Pittsburgh -1.5
Pick: PSN: Pittsburgh | MJD: Pittsburgh
After an 0-3 start by the Steelers, this is the game where battling and slaying the odds will have it’s payoff. A win here would all but sew up a playoff spot for the Steelers, something no one (but a few, ahem) thought was possible after losing Ben Roethlisberger for the season in week two.
PSN: Last Week: 9-6 | Overall: 78-67 — .537
MJD: Last Week: 9-6 | Overall: 75-70 -3 .517
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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