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 (MPD), 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 2023-24 Against All Odds Champion?
If you are reading this, then by now you must realize it’s September, and that means the start of football season, and the return of Against All Odds!
After being taken behind the woodshed for four years in a row by my dad, I was finally able to come away with Odds Trophy in 2022-23. This will be the 11th year of this weekly column, and man, does time fly.
This week we start off with five games, as the NFL doesn’t start till next weekend. Out of the five games, my dad and I differ on three, so lets see who has the bragging rights heading into Week Two.
Against All Odds Lines as of 8/31/2023
Saturday, September 2nd
Wofford (0-0) at Pitt (0-0)
Game Time: 3:30 PM | Venue: Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA.
Vegas Line: Pitt -42.5
The Pick: MPD: Pitt | MJD: Pitt
Nice juicy warm-up game for Pitt, as former Pine-Richland and WPIAL star Phil Jurkovec will make his first start for his hometown after transferring from Boston College. Look for Jurkovec and wide receiver Bub Means to hook up several times, and for RB Rodney Hammond to put up some numbers vs an outmatched opponent.
Boise State (0-0) at #10 Washington (0-0)
Game Time: 3:30 PM | Venue: Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA.
Vegas Line: Washington -14.5
The Pick: MPD: Boise State | MJD: Washington
Are the Huskies truly back, or are they just ranked that high to make the PAC-12 look good? Boise State will give everything they have as the visitor, and maybe even pull off the upset.
West Virginia (0-0) at #7 Penn State (0-0)
Game Time: 7:30 PM | Venue: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA.
Vegas Line: Penn State -20.5
The Pick: MPD: West Virginia | MJD: Penn State
Good God, Drak, who are you going to root for when WVU plays Penn State?
I dunno, a plague of lantern flies overtaking Beaver Stadium? A freak sandstorm? Remember that scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark at the end…?
Yep, it’s the most belligerent fan-base on earth vs the most arrogant one this Saturday night. The Turnstile Champions will make up any excuse to duck Pitt, but at least the couch burning heathens from Morgantown have the balls to want to play Pitt on a yearly basis. Kudos to WVU head coach Neal Brown for requesting that. Look for this game to be closer than the odds suggest, as I expect Penn State to try to run the ball as much as they can, but that would favor the Mountaineers who are pretty good at keeping opposing running games at bay.
#21 UNC (0-0) at South Carolina (0-0)
Game Time: 7:30 PM | Venue: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.
Vegas Line: UNC -2.5
The Pick: MPD: UNC | MJD: South Carolina
The battle between states will be won by the team with the better QB, and even though the Gamecocks have Spencer Rattler, the Tar Heels boast Drake May, who will be the difference.
Sunday, September 3rd
#5 LSU (0-0) at #8 Florida State (0-0)
Game Time: 7:30 PM | Venue: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL.
Vegas Line: LSU -2.5
The Pick: MPD: Florida State | MJD: Florida State
The early season Game of the Year between two big time programs looking to get back into the spotlight. LSU is tough, but it will be hard to bet against the Seminoles who have the home field advantage playing in Orlando.
Against All Odds Pick Results
MPD: Last Week: 0-0 | Overall: 0-0
MJD: Last Week: 0-0 | Overall: 0-0
Against All Odds: NCAA/NFL Picks History
2022-23 Champion: MPD
2021-22 Champion: MJD
2020-21 Champion: MJD
2019-20 Champion: MJD
2018-19 Champion: MJD
2017-18 Champion: MPD
2016-17 Champion: MJD
2015-16 Champion: MJD
2014-15 Champion: MPD
2013-14 Champion: MPD
(MJD leads series 6-4)
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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