Anyone can pick the winners of football games. It’s a different animal when you are choosing against the Vegas odds. Here, my dad, Michael J. Drakulich (MJD), and I, Mike Drakulich (PSN), put our money where our mouths are weekly, in Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks! From the opening weekend of the NCAA football season through the Super Bowl, I take on my father in picking NCAA and NFL games against the Vegas Odds.
I cover 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?
Last week, by all accounts, was a pretty good one, despite losing a game in the standings to my dad, who went 7-3. I was 6-4 and now sport a season record of 84-71, good enough for a slim two game lead as we wind down the NFL regular season, and enter the Bowl games.
This week we have five tough Bowl games to go along with five NFL contests. Normally I get my arse handed to me during the Bowls, as you just can’t ever predict what team is going to show up to play, unless they are in the College Football Playoffs.
Hopefully this will be the year I stand tall in these meaningless games.
Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks
Lines as of 12/18/2019
Saturday, December 21st
New Mexico Bowl
Central Michigan Warriors (8-5) at San Diego State Aztecs (9-3)
Game Time: 2:00 p.m. at Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, NM.
Line: San Diego State -3.5
Pick: PSN: Central Michigan | MJD: San Diego State
Bugs Bunny once took a wrong turn at Albuquerque, I’m hoping Central Michigan doesn’t… The Aztecs are 13-1-1 vs the MAC, but suffered that one loss last year vs Ohio, 27-0. The Warriors have lots four straight Bowl games. San Diego State doesn’t really light up the scoreboard, so I like Central Michigan to keep this close and maybe pull off the upset.
Liberty Flames (7-5) at Georgia Southern Eagles (7-5)
Game Time: 2:30 p.m. at Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL.
Line: Georgia Southern -4.5
Pick: PSN: Georgia Southern | MJD: Georgia Southern
Liberty has been racking up the points in their last six, scoring an average of 42.7 points per game. Georgia Southern rushes for 260.8 yards per game. More than likely, this game will work as a cure for insomnia. Keep some Red Bull handy.
Boca Raton Bowl
SMU Mustangs (10-2) at Florida Atlantic Owls (10-3)
Game Time: 3:30 p.m. at FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, FL.
Line: SMU -3.5
Pick: PSN: SMU | MJD: Florida Atlantic
FAU will be playing a home game, and they have yet to lose a Bowl game in their history, that being 3-0. SMU hasn’t won since 2012. The sun doesn’t shine on the same dog’s ass everyday. The numbers and the hidden vigorish point to a SMU victory.
Las Vegas Bowl
#19 Boise State Broncos (12-1) at Washington Huskies (7-5)
Game Time: 7:30 p.m. at Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV.
Line: Washington -3.5
Pick: PSN: Washington | MJD: Boise State
Boise State is 12-1, but they have yet to play anyone worth a dime, and Washington is going to prove just that.
New Orleans Bowl
#20 Appalachian State Mountaineers (12-1) at UAB Blazers (9-4)
Game Time: 9:00 p.m. at Superdome, New Orleans, LA.
Line: Appalachian State -16.5
Pick: PSN: UAB | MJD: UAB
The one time I picked Appalachian State this year they shafted me by losing their only game of the season. They should be able to pull off the win this time, but 16.5 points is a bit much for me.
Saturday, December 21st
Houston Texans (9-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-7)
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL.
Line: Houston -3.5
Pick: PSN: Houston | MJD: Houston
This should be one entertaining game. Deshaun Watson vs Jameis Winston. The Texans must win to stave off any division title dreams by the Titans, so they bess be prepared to play this week.
Buffalo Bills (10-4) at New England Patriots (11-3)
Game Time: 4:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA.
Line: New England -7.5
Pick: PSN: Buffalo | MJD: Buffalo
New England has been unbeatable at home, but they have shown some cracks in the armor the past month or so. Tom Brady and his offense have been below average, and that doesn’t bode well against a very stout Bills defense.
LA Rams (8-6) at San Francisco 49ers (11-3)
Game Time: 8:15 p.m. at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA.
Line: San Francisco -4.5
Pick: PSN: San Francisco | MJD: LA Rams
The Rams have their backs against the wall after making the Super Bowl a season ago. Unfortunately for them, their dreams die in Santa Clara, even with a depleted 49ers defense.
Sunday, December 22nd
Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9) at Atlanta Falcons (5-9)
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, FL.
Line: Atlanta -7.5
Pick: PSN: Atlanta | MJD: Jacksonville
Atlanta has been hot of late, and Jacksonville is just in utter turmoil. I like the Falcons to soar again.
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6) at NY Jets (5-9)
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ.
Line: Pittsburgh -3.5
Pick: PSN: Pittsburgh | MJD: Pittsburgh
The Steelers and Duck Hodges need to figure out a way to score around 17 points this week, and if so, they should be good to get the road win in New Jersey. I see this one as a 20-10 Steelers win, especially with how great the Pittsburgh defense has been playing.
PSN: Last Week: 6-4 | Overall: 84-71 — .537
MJD: Last Week: 7-3 | Overall: 82-73 -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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