Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks


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!

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?

The Curse of Bowl Season strikes again… 3-7 last week, as frustrating a week as could be, but luckily, my dad only went 4-6, which whittles my season lead down to just one game.

This week we have Pitt and Penn State playing in their respective bowl games, as well as the college football playoffs featuring LSU vs Oklahoma and Ohio State vs Clemson. Iowa vs USC looked like a good game, so they’re in, too.

In the NFL, we have five games with playoff implications, so they should all be great games to watch and bet on.

Next week we will have some more great bowl games and NFL Wild Card Weekend begins!

We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! May next week bring you and your families a very Happy New Year.


Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks

Lines as of 12/26/2019

NCAA Football

Thursday, December 26th

Quick Lane Bowl

Eastern Michigan Eagles (6-6) at Pitt Panthers (7-5)

Game Time: 8:00 p.m. at Ford Field, Detroit, MI.

Line: Pitt -12.5

Pick: PSN: Pitt | MJD: Pitt

It’s time for Pitt to play a complete game. Ride or die… H2P. Pitt’s defense will dominate, and the offense will finally play a complete game.


Friday, December 27th

Holiday Bowl

#22 USC Trojans (8-4) at #16 Iowa Hawkeyes (9-3)

Game Time: 8:00 p.m. at SDCCU Stadium, San Diego, CA.

Line: Iowa -2.5

Pick: PSN: Iowa | MJD: Iowa

Good Big Ten vs PAC-12 matchup. Why not go for the Hawkeyes who don the same uniforms as the Pittsburgh Steelers?


Saturday, December 28th

Cotton Bowl

#17 Memphis Tigers (12-1) at #10 Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2)

Game Time: Noon p.m. at AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX.

Line: Penn State -7.5

Pick: PSN: Memphis | MJD: Memphis

I like the Tigers of Memphis to keep this game close, especially with an offense scoring 40.5 points per game. Penn State will probably pull this game out, but by no more than a touchdown.


Peach  Bowl

#4 Oklahoma Sooners (12-1) at #1 LSU Tigers (13-0)

Game Time: 4:00 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA.

Line: LSU -13.5

Pick: PSN: Oklahoma | MJD: LSU

I like LSU a lot in this game, but by nearly two touchdowns is a bit much. Oklahoma won’t be a pushover, and will keep this game close till the 4th, where the cream will rise to the top. The Tigers take this by 10.


Fiesta Bowl

#3 Clemson Tigers (13-0) at #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (13-0)

Game Time: 8:00 p.m. at State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ.

Line: Clemson -2.5

Pick: PSN: Clemson | MJD: Clemson

Clemson is the defending National Champions and they are playing with a chip on their shoulders. I know how well Ohio State has played all season, but this time they are going to face a team that has it all together and that has very few, if any flaws. Clemson will get the chance to defend their championship, and it will be one helluva match-up vs LSU. Tigers vs Tigers, oh my!!


Sunday, December 29th

Green Bay Packers (12-3) at Detroit Lions (3-11-1)

Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at Ford Field, Detroit, MI.

Line: Green Bay -11.5

Pick: PSN: Green Bay | MJD: Detroit

Green Bay needs a win to possibly get the #1 seed if the 49ers falter, so they should come out guns a blazing… A win definitely gives them the #2 seed and a bye.


New Orleans Saints (12-3) at Carolina Panthers (5-10)

Game Time: 1:00 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.

Line: New Orleans -12.5

Pick: PSN: New Orleans | MJD: Carolina

New Orleans will be playing for a possible #1 or #2 seed, depending how the Green Bay and 49ers games goes… I doubt they come out flat against a team ready for this miserably season to end in Charlotte.

Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) at NY Giants (4-11)

Game Time: 4:25 p.m. at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ.

Line: Philadelphia -3.5

Pick: PSN: Philadelphia | MJD: Philadelphia

Philly needs this game to guarantee a playoff spot and the NFC East crown. They struggled last time vs the Giants, so this might be a problem making the cover.

Tennessee Titans (8-7) at Houston Texans (10-5)

Game Time: 4:25 p.m. at NRG Stadium, Houston, TX.

Line: Tennessee -3.5

Pick: PSN: Houston | MJD: Tennessee

If Tennessee wins they are in. It won’t be easy as the Texans may still have a shot at the #3 seed if Kansas City loses their game vs the Chargers. Either way, I think this one will be close.

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7) at Baltimore Ravens (13-2)

Game Time: 4:25 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD.

Line: Pittsburgh -2.5

Pick: PSN: Pittsburgh | MJD: Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh needs to win and hope the Titans lose to Houston. The Ravens will be playing the majority of their back-ups. The Steelers will rely on Duck Hodges to score more than one offensive touchdown. Robert Griffin III will be in for Baltimore.


Pick Results

PSN: Last Week: 3-7 | Overall: 87-78 —   .537

MJD: Last Week: 4-6 | Overall: 86-79   -1   .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

Author Profile

Mike DrakulichYour source for Pittsburgh sports!
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.

For a refreshing view of sports, mixed with humor and uncensored opinions, check out Pittsburgh SportsNation today on Facebook, Twitter @PghSportsNation and videos with over 1,000,000 views on YouTube!
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