Against All Odds
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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 and 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 NGSCSports.com!

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. Pepsi vs Coke. 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 2022-23 Against All Odds Champion?


The weeks are winding down for the Against All Odds season, and we finally have some Bowl games that don’t totally suck to choose from!

We went with the best six games, including Pitt vs UCLA in college this week, and four intriguing match-ups in the NFL.

For me, it was an average week at 5-5, but good enough to steal one more game from my dad, so my lead now stands at five games, with an 86-74 record to dad’s 81-79.

Out of the ten games, we differ on four, so things could get interesting as we enter the NFL playoffs in two weeks.

We hope everyone had a great Christmas, so let’s turn that into an amazing New Year’s Eve with some great football, family, and friends heading into 2023!

 

Week 18

Against All Odds Lines as of 12/29/2022

NCAA

Friday, December 30th

Sun Bowl

Pitt (8-4) at #18 UCLA (9-3)

Game Time: 2:00 PM at Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, TX.

Vegas Line: UCLA -5.5

The Pick: PSN: UCLA | MJD: UCLA

UCLA comes into this game almost at full strength, and Pitt has eight players who have opted out, including their best player on defense in Calijah Kancey, and on offense with Israel Abinikanda. Nick Patti will get the start at quarterback for the Panthers in what will be his final game at Pitt.

 

Orange Bowl

#6 Tennessee (10-2) at #7 Clemson (11-2)

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

Vegas Line: Clemson -5.5

The Pick: PSN: Tennessee | MJD: Clemson

Clemson has not looked like a powerhouse this year and it will be fun watching the Tigers handle to ultra fast offense ran by the Vols, who have Joe Milton under center over the injured Hendon Hooker.

 

Saturday, December 31st

Sugar Bowl

#5 Alabama (10-2) at #9 Kansas State (10-3)

Game Time: 12:00 PM at Superdome, New Orleans, LA.

Vegas Line: Alabama -7.5

The Pick: PSN: Kansas State | MJD: Kansas State

Alabama is used to playing for National Titles, not meaningless games, so I doubt their hearts will be in this game.

 

Fiesta Bowl

College Football Playoffs Semifinal

#3 TCU (12-1) at #2 Michigan (13-0)

Game Time: 4:00 PM at State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ.

Vegas Line: Michigan -7.5

The Pick: PSN: Michigan | MJD: TCU

The first game of the semifinals… TCU did not get the boot after losing the Big 12 Championship, but their luck will run out an the hands of the Wolverines who play tough defense, and can control the clock with their mix of run and pass plays.

 

Peach Bowl

College Football Playoffs Semifinal

#4 Ohio State (11-1) at #1 Georgia (13-0)

Game Time: 8:00 PM at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA.

Vegas Line: Georgia -6.5

The Pick: PSN: Georgia | MJD: Ohio State

The Dawgs are on a mission to nab up back to back National Championships, but they’ll have to go through Ohio State, who benefited from USC choking in the PAC-12 Championship. It would be the Title game of the Ages if it were Ohio State vs Michigan, but only one of those teams will be playing for a trophy, and it won’t be the Buckeyes.

 

Monday, January 3rd

Rose Bowl

#11 Penn State (10-2) at #8 Utah (10-3)

Game Time: 5:00 PM at The Rose Bowl, Pasedena, CA.

Vegas Line: Utah -2.5

The Pick: PSN: Utah | MJD: Penn State

Utah gets sort of a home game as Penn State has to fly across the country. The Utes looked pretty damn good vs the Trojans, and boast a potent offense, one that the Nittany Lions will be unable to keep up with.

 

NFL

Sunday, January 2nd

Miami (8-7) at New England (7-8)

Game Time: 1:00 PM at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD.

Vegas Line: New England -2.5

The Pick: PSN: New England | MJD: New England

Miami needs a win to get into the playoffs, but will be without Tua Tagovailoa, who is in concussion protocol… not good for the Fish. The Patriots are fighting for that last spot in the Wild Card. Pats win at home.

 

NY Jets (7-8) at Seattle (7-8)

Game Time: 4:05 PM at Lumen Field, Seattle, WA.

Vegas Line: NY Jets -1.5

The Pick: PSN: Seattle | MJD: Seattle

Seattle and the Jets both have fallen off a cliff as the season separated the pretenders from the contenders. I like the Seahawks to outlast the Jets playing in the comfy confines of Lumen Field, even with Mike Wilson back for New York.

 

Minnesota (12-3) at Green Bay (7-8)

Game Time: 4:25 PM at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI.

Vegas Line: Green Bay -3.5

The Pick: PSN: Green Bay | MJD: Green Bay

Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers have found their legs and are charging towards that last playoff spot. In their way stand a Vikings team that somehow finds a way to win every week. Their luck runs out this time, and the Packers head into next week with a real shot at the #7 Wild Card.

 

Pittsburgh (7-8) at Baltimore (10-5)

Game Time: 8:20 PM at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD.

Vegas Line: Baltimore -2.5

The Pick: PSN: Pittsburgh | MJD: Pittsburgh

The Steelers outplayed the Ravens the last time out, but Mitch Trubisky, who came in for an injured Kenny Pickett, threw three back breaking interceptions that cost Pittsburgh the much needed win. With their playoffs hopes still with a pulse upon kickoff, the Steelers with Pickett healthy, will payback the Ravens on Sunday night.


Against All Odds Pick Results

PSN: Last Week: 5-5 | Overall: 86-74  .537   —

MJD: Last Week: 4-6 | Overall: 81-79  .506   -5

 

Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks History

2021 Champion: MJD

2020 Champion: MJD

2019 Champion: MJD

2018 Champion: MJD

2017 Champion: PSN

2016 Champion: MJD

2015 Champion: MJD

2014 Champion: PSN

2013 Champion: PSN

(MJD leads series 6-3)

About Post Author

Mike Drakulich

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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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!

By Mike Drakulich

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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