Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks

Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks

Are you a degenerate gambler? Perhaps you’re someone who picks games against the spread just for fun and to see how smart you really aren’t? If this describes you, or if you just like to be entertained by a crazy sports columnist, you’re in luck, because you’ve stumbled across Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks, a weekly post from the start of the football season, all the way to the Super Bowl, where me, Mike Drakulich (PSN), the man behind Pittsburgh SportsNation, takes on my father, Michael J. Drakulich (MJD), in picking NCAA and NFL games against the Vegas line! Check out the Draftkings welcome offer to see how you can win big and find many bonuses.

I cover both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers during the season for the fabulous!

Normally, we always include the local teams here in Western Pennsylvania, which are Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, and the Pittsburgh Steelers among our weekly picks. This gives me the chance to take shots at the opposing teams I really dislike, enraging certain readers, and adding delight to my busy weekends.

All in all, both my dad and I are pretty good at picking these games, but don’t take our word for it. You’re on your own when you place your bets, so don’t blame us if you lose… but you can share your winnings with us if you wish.

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 2020-21 Against All Odds Champion?

Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks Week 16

Lines as of 12/30/2020

As we head down the stretch in the Against All Odds season, both my dad and I settled for 5-5 records in week 15, giving me a one game lead with just five weeks remaining. Next week will bring the College Football Championship and Wild Card Weekend in the NFL as the playoffs are finally here. We have some excellent games on tap, including games that will decide the NFL playoff field.

May you and your families have a Happy New Year… see you in 2021!



Thursday, December 31st

Liberty Bowl

West Virginia Mountaineers (5-4) at Army Black Knights (9-2)

Game Time: 4:00 PM at Liberty Bowl, Memphis, TN.

Vegas Line: West Virginia -6.5

The Pick: PSN: West Virginia | MJD: Army

WVU isn’t that good, but they should have enough offensive firepower to quell the Black Knights, who can be had if you stop their rushing attack.

Friday, January 1st

Peach Bowl

#9 Georgia Bulldogs (7-2) at #8 Cincinnati Bearcats (9-0)

Game Time: 12:00 PM at Peach Bowl, Atlanta, GA.

Vegas Line: Georgia -7.5

The Pick: PSN: Cincinnati | MJD: Georgia

Fun match-up, but Cincinnati deserves a shot in a bigger playoff field than this travesty the NCAA has with the College Football Playoffs, where it’s basically the same 4-5 teams every year. Boring. I like the Bearcats to show they belong, but it will be tough considering they are giving Georgia a virtual home game. Don’t be surprised if Cincinnati pulls off the upset, as they have significantly more to play for here.


College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl

#4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-1) at #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0)

Game Time: 4:00 PM at AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX.

Vegas Line: Alabama -19.5

The Pick: PSN: Alabama | MJD: Alabama

The semifinals of the CFP is going to be a yawner, as you can expect Bama to carve Notre Dame up just as bad as Clemson did two weeks ago. If you are paying attention to everything we provide here on Against All Odds, you really are seeing the ROSE BOWL being played at Jerry Jones’ house in Arlington, as the tyrant governor running California won’t allow people to leave their homes, let alone attend a game. Thank God for Texas… Roll Tide, roll.

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Sugar Bowl

#3 Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) at #2 Clemson Tigers (10-1)

Game Time: 8:00 PM at Superdome, New Orleans, LA.

Vegas Line: Clemson -7.5

The Pick: PSN: Clemson | MJD: Ohio State

Semifinal #2 of the CFP won’t be as boring as the first one, but expect Clemson to fully take this game over in the 2nd half and send Ohio State back to Columbus with their tails between their legs. You have to love to stones on Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney who put the Buckeyes as #11 in the Coaches Poll, not really giving a damn if Ohio State would use it as bulletin board material. The Tigers and Trevor Lawrence don’t care. They aren’t scared and they enjoy being the bullies here. Clemson by double digits.


Saturday, January 2nd

Orange Bowl

#5 Texas A&M Aggies (8-1) at #13 UNC Tar Heels (8-3)

Game Time: 8:00 PM at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL.

Vegas Line: Texas A&M -8.5

The Pick: PSN: UNC | MJD: Texas A&M

The Aggies were definitely shafted out of playing in the playoff field, as they were more deserving playing nine games to Ohio State’s six. All the more reason why the playoff field should have been a 12 team field at minimum. Make the winner earn the championship.

That said, as good as Texas A&M is, UNC has one helluva offense, so you can expect a shootout in this game, which may be one of the most entertaining games this bowl season. In the end, A&M will probably prevail, but I like the Tar Heels to make the cover.



Saturday, January 3rd

Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3) at Cleveland Browns (10-5)

Game Time: 1:00 PM at FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH.

Vegas Line: Cleveland -10.5

The Pick: PSN: Pittsburgh | MJD: Pittsburgh

The Steelers will be sending their JV team north to face the Browns, but don’t expect Pittsburgh to just roll over and die. Cleveland was pimp slapped by the Jets a week ago, and to boot, this is a must win game for Cleveland, so the nerves may get the best of Baker Mayfield and the Dawgs. Funny thing is, IF Cleveland does win, they will likely be heading back to Pittsburgh next week to face the Steelers in the AFC Wildcard playoffs. Bring it. Steelers cover and tell Cleveland see you soon, suckers.

Miami Dolphins (10-5) at Buffalo Bills (12-3)

Game Time: 1:00 PM at Bills Stadium, Orchard Park, NY.

Vegas Line: Buffalo -1.5

The Pick: PSN: Buffalo | MJD: Miami

Vegas must be thinking Buffalo is going to be resting their starters, which they just might with Pittsburgh resting most of theirs. However, should the Bills lose this game, and Pittsburgh overcome the odds and beat Cleveland, the Steelers will get the #2 seed over Buffalo. Big game for Miami as a win puts them in the dance, while a loss will likely send them home as Cleveland, Baltimore, and Indianapolis are all expected to win their games. Who knows… I flipped a coin here and it went in Buffalo’s favor.


Baltimore Ravens (10-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-10-1)

Game Time: 1:00 PM at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH.

Vegas Line: Baltimore -11.5

The Pick: PSN: Baltimore | MJD: Cincinnati

The Ravens have been chugging along clubbing the teams they are supposed to beat, and now they have one game left to overcome, which if they win, will vault them into the playoffs. The Bengals have been playing pretty good the last two weeks, both wins, so perhaps they will make Baltimore a little nervous in this one, right?

Nah… but Good God would it be hilarious if they did?


Green Bay Packers (11-3) at Chicago Bears (8-7)

Game Time: 4:25 PM at Soldier Field, Chicago, IL.

Vegas Line: Green Bay -5.5

The Pick: PSN: Green Bay | MJD: Chicago

Chicago needs a win to make the playoffs, OR an Arizona loss, while Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers will be trying to secure the #1 seed over the Saints. As good as the Bears have been playing, their luck runs out this week as the Packers won’t be resting anyone in going for the coveted bye. Maybe Chicago sneaks in through the back door…


Jacksonville Jaguars (1-14) at Indianapolis Colts (10-5)

Game Time: 4:25 PM at Lucas Oil Stadium Stadium, Indianapolis, IN.

Vegas Line: Indianapolis -13.5

The Pick: PSN: Indianapolis  | MJD: Indianapolis

Indianapolis blew a 24-7 lead in the 2nd half to the Steelers and now even a win doesn’t guarantee them a spot in the playoffs, as they need either the Browns, Ravens, or Dolphins to lose their game. The Colts and Phillip Rivers will roll the hapless Jags here, but they will certainly be scoreboard watching in the process.


Against All Odds Pick Results

PSN: Last Week: 5-5 | Overall: 78-72    —   (.520)

MJD: Last Week: 5-5 | Overall: 77-73    -1   (.513)


Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks History

2019 Champion: MJD

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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