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?
Three weeks remain in the Against All Odds season, and we have four great games forthcoming this weekend for the NFL Divisional Playoffs.
With just seven games left, I hold a three game advantage over my dad with a 98-88 record to his 95-91 tally.
I went 3-3 in Week 20, fully expecting a much better outcome, but what are you going to do when the Chargers blow a lead of epic proportions, and the Bills do everything in their power to lose to a shorthanded Miami team? The Bengals were just as disappointing not putting away a wounded Ravens team.
This week could decide it all, or have it all come down the wire, as we differ on three of the four games.
Against All Odds Lines as of 1/18/2023
NFL Divisional Playoffs
Saturday, January 21st
#4 Jacksonville Jaguars (10-8) at #1 Kansas City Chiefs (14-3)
Game Time: 4:30 PM at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO.
Vegas Line: Kansas City -8.5
The Pick: PSN: Jacksonville | MJD: Kansas City
The two teams met earlier this year with the Chiefs winning 27-17. Obviously, a lot has changed since then, as the Jaguars have won eight of nine after that loss.
Jacksonville and Trevor Lawrence are here after producing one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history, trailing the Chargers 27-0 before storming back to take LA’s heart with a last second field goal to win 31-30. Kansas City has the #1 seed, and Patrick Mahomes at quarterback. Many are assuming the Chiefs roll in this one, but the Jaguars are not going to settle for last week’s win as “good enough”.
While I don’t see Jacksonville pulling any miracles this time, expect them to give Kansas City everything they have, and take this game down to the wire before the Chiefs come away with a hard fought win. Jags will cover.
#6 New York Giants (10-7-1) at #1 Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)
Game Time: 8:15 PM at Lincoln Financial Stadium, Philadelphia, PA.
Vegas Line: Philadelphia -7.5
The Pick: PSN: NY Giants | MJD: Philadelphia
Jalen Hurts returned for the final game of the season with the Eagles needing a win to secure the NFC #1 seed, and they barely beat this same Giants team that played mainly back-ups.
New York has witnessed Daniel Jones playing some exceptional quarterback of late, especially with emerging weapons in Richie James and Isaiah Hodgins. The G-Men also have Saquon Barkley churning out tough yards.
Did Philadelphia peak too early? Can Hurts get the magic back with stud receiver A.J. Brown to throw to? Like Saturday’s earlier match-up, this will be a game won in the trenches and likely by the team that does not turn the ball over. In the end, the Eagles will survive, barely, to move onto the NFC Championship Game, but don’t be shocked if New York pulls off the upset.
Sunday, January 22nd
#3 Cincinnati Bengals (13-4) at #2 Buffalo Bills (14-3)
Game Time: 3:00 PM at Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY.
Vegas Line: Buffalo -5.5
The Pick: PSN: Cincinnati | MJD: Buffalo
The Bills and Bengals met just a few weeks ago, with the game being cancelled after Buffalo’s Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field after making a tackle. That cancellation had major implications on the standings, as had Buffalo won, they’d be the #1 seed right now, and had it been the Bengals, who were up 7-3, this game would be in Cincinnati.
Regardless, the good news is Hamlin is healthy and now these two squads can battle it out once again for the right to advance to the AFC Championship Game.
I was shocked on how poorly the Bills played last week vs a wounded Dolphins team that was down to their third quarterback, and same could be said about the Bengals who survived the Ravens who were missing Lamar Jackson. Was it possible both teams were looking ahead?
This should be a classic playoff battle that both teams will remember for a long time. This will go down to the wire, if not overtime, where the Bills will escape with their lives.
#5 Dallas Cowboys (13-5) at #2 San Francisco 49ers (14-4)
Game Time: 6:30 PM at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA.
Vegas Line: San Francisco -3.5
The Pick: PSN: Dallas | MJD: Dallas
49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is playing unbelievable football for a rookie, and it truly shows how many players can succeed if lucky enough to play in an elite designed offense, like Kyle Shanahan employs as head coach. Purdy did have his shaky moments in the Niners victory over Seattle, who led San Francisco at half, and the games are only going to get harder, and the pressure more intense.
Dak Prescott and the Cowboys laid down a whoopin upon Tom Brady and the Bucs on Monday night. Dallas has a game breaker in CeeDee Lamb at WR, and a two headed running game employing Tony Pollard and Zeke Elliott. They also have a physical defense with Micah Parsons leading the way.
The 49ers have the league’s best defense, giving up just 16.3 points per game and 300.6 yards per game. Add in one of the best RB’s in the game in Christian McCaffrey, and additional playmakers in Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle.
This will look like an old fashioned donnybrook from the 70’s when all is said and done. Honestly, I don’t know who will win this game, but I do like Dallas cover, if not win outright.
Against All Odds Pick Results
PSN: Last Week: 3-3 | Overall: 98-88 .526 —
MJD: Last Week: 2-4 | Overall: 95-91 .510 -3
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)
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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