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NFL Picks, Week 8: It's Date Night!

Danny always tells me not to capitalize every word of the title. When he bugs me about this one, I plan on letting him know that "Date Night" is a proper noun. In typical nice guy fashion, he'll chuckle, and tell me it's fine then.

Christian Petersen

Hey guys! Guess what day it is!

It's Date Night! (Which pretty much equates to hump day amiright?!?)

When you have the full family thing going, two kids, a dog, all that stuff... It's damn hard to find time to get a night out, especially when you can't afford to pay babysitters with anything other than free sports advice!

Seriously though, when someone says they'll watch my children for an evening... I literally start locking plans down immediately. It's important to date your significant other guys, even after you've been together so long that they often seem predictable. Dating after you're past the dating stage is the very best way to make sure you don't have to wait for Wednesday's to yell at your coworkers, "It's HUMP DAY!"

With all that being said, I have a date tonight... So i'm jumping right into these bad boys.

Thursday 10/24

(-6) Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It's about time any remaining Bucs supporters jump off the train at this point guys. We should not be asking whether or not the Bucs will win this week, or ever, and instead ask whether or not the coach will make it through the remainder of the year.

The Pick: Panthers

Analyzing the Spread: 6 points sometimes feels high to me, but the Panthers are 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games, and the Bucs are a bad team and headed in the wrong direction. I've missed on Carolina a couple times this year. I'd imagine they pay me back this week. Bet on it.

Sunday 10/27

(-16½) San Francisco 49ers @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Who is starting for the Jaguars at quarterback this week? No really, I don't even care to google it because it doesn't matter, so I don't know.

The game is in London, so there may actually be more people in the stadium rooting for the Jags than the team is used to. Heh, I'm just fooling around... "Jaguars' Twitter" has made it clear to me in the past that Jags games always sell out. Props to them for taking the time to head to the stadium for a team that's scored something like 8 points at home all year, if the team were half as good as the fans they probably wouldn't be spending a "home" game in London.

You know this already but...

The Pick: 49ers

Analyzing the Spread: 16½ points is a hefty spread. The Jaguars have only beaten the spread once this year, and it was the biggest spread in the history of the NFL. While they are heavy underdogs this weekend, and 16 might seem like a big number, I wouldn't go putting money down on this one either way. There are better places to put your money.

Dallas Cowboys @ (-3) Detroit Lions

I've said this several times, and this likely won't be the last, but Tony Romo is good guys. Consistently good and at moments great this year, and barring one interception against the Broncos - late in a game they were in largely due to his very own career day - he's been a quarterback most teams fanbase would love to have on their team. And if they tell you otherwise they're either lying, or lacking - mentally speaking.

I like the Cowboys passing game going up against a poor Lions defense, but I have my concerns with whether or not they'll be able to get a run game going with Demarco Murray out.

I've been overly supportive of the Lions up to this point, and honestly, pretty skeptical of the Cowboys. So it might seem odd for me to do what I'm about to do here.

The Pick: Cowboys

Analyzing the Spread: I just told you the Cowboys will win, so I'm sure the assumption is that it's worth betting on them to beat the spread here. Don't do it, this game will likely be whatever you call the pass happy version of a dog fight. I haven't really been about the over/under in games, but at 55 points I'd point out this might be a decent game to bet the over.

New York Giants @ (-5½) Philadelphia Eagles

"Good luck figuring out this Giants team!"

That's what some overly optimistic Giants fan said in a bar after the teams first on Monday night. They're still a bad team, and Eli Manning is still their quarterback. One big difference this coming weekend though?

They're not playing a Minnesota Vikings team hell-bent on breaking a newly signed Josh Freeman's arm ego.

The Pick: Eagles

Analyzing the Spread: While I'm pretty confident the Eagles will win this, betting on them to win by nearly two field goals seems like a bad idea. This game could very easy end in some sort of ugly fashion, where the winner walks away feeling less like a winner and more like "the one who didn't lose." Those typically aren't the games you want to mess with.

Cleveland Browns @ (-7½) Kansas City Chiefs

I've heard enough of people talking about Kansas City's schedule. When a team wins seven consecutive games, they're good. You don't need to run around putting qualifiers on it anymore. Why are they good? What are they compensating for? Sure, go ahead and ask those questions.

They're defense is great, they have a quarterback that doesn't make very many mistakes, they've got a coach that is flexible in how he uses his talent and doesn't mind slowplaying games while favor swings in his teams direction. That's what I think makes this team a good team. Are they 7-0 good?

Trick question. YES. They are 7-0 good, because they are 7-0. Duh.

The Pick: Chiefs

Analyzing the Spread: Asking the Chiefs to cover a 7.5 point spread at home is one thing, asking them to do it against a Browns team that is being forced to start a quarterback they benched earlier in the year? That's another thing. I think this might be one of the better games to bet on this weekend. Chiefs should cover.

Buffalo Bills @ (-11½) New Orleans Saints

I'm all over the FAD Thad Lewis bandwagon buddy! I love that guy. Coming off a practice squad to start for a so so team and playing well is the kind of story that's easy to gravitate for most Americans because we love underdogs. Seeing an unexpected success in football is akin to watching the American Dream come true for someone.

If you're a regular reader you know I like this Bills team, but New Orleans is a very good great team who will be playing at home. The Bills chances here aren't great.

The Pick: Saints

Analyzing the Spread: 11½ is a tall order for a Saints team that may be missing their biggest offensive contributor. Both the Saints and Bills have done well against the spread this year, going 4-2 and 5-2 respectively. I am tempted to recommend you go with the Bills to beat the spread here, as I think this game will probably end in a single digit win. I'm having trouble committing to that notion though, so I'll leave it up to you.

Miami Dolphins @ (-6½) New England Patriots

These two teams are both in a kind of a funk, which makes it tough to judge for me really. The Patriots are one great play away from a three game losing streak that would equal that which the Dolphins are currently on.

At a glance, Gronkowski's return went swimmingly, but the Patriots' offensive inconsistencies still showed. I have trouble picking a struggling Dolphins team in New England though.

The Pick: Patriots

Analyzing the Spread: Simply put, don't touch this game. It's so easy for me to picture the Patriots running away with it, easily covering the spread. It's equally plausible that they find ways to keep the Dolphins in it, winning the game, but by some sort of late heroic.

New York Jets @ (-6½) Cincinnati Bengals

Just copy and paste the body text from the Dolphins/Patriots game and swap in positive thoughts for the negative.

Two teams that are on an uptick right now. More impressive wins for the Bengals though, and a game at home.

The Pick: Bengals

Analyzing the Spread: 6½ seems about right, the Bengals should win by about that. Sadly, you must pick one or the other right? Up? Or Down?

Pick neither, enjoy this contest without your pockets rooting alongside you.

(-2½) Pittsburg Steelers @ Oakland Raiders

I asked a Jersey girl what her thoughts on this game were. This is what she said.

"That Tyrell Pryor is all like ‘Oh lemme blow ya minds with a great game' then comes back and hasa real shitta ya know? I just don't get it. MAKE UP YA MIND PRYA!"

"He'll get it done though, I got faith."

The Pick: Raiders

Analyzing the Spread: The Jersey girl's logic is sound. Go with the Raiders to whack that spread.

Washington Redskins @ (-13) Denver Broncos

The Colts are on a bye so I'll just talk about them here, okay?

**Waits for response**

**You say "Sure"**

Thanks, reader.

I was wrong. I can make excuses no longer. Losses to teams like the Chargers mean far less than wins over the Niners, Seahawks, and Broncos. That team is worth fearing, truly.

With that out of the way, I'll say I like the Broncos here. The Redskins team is not defensively capable of keeping Manning's offense from finding the endzone at will this weekend.

The Pick: Broncos

Analyzing the Spread: That fast start in Denver has lead to regularly being pretty heavy favorites in each weeks game. A 3-4 record against the spread for a team that's winning by an average of two touchdowns would support that notion. Last week's loss to the Colts doesn't seem to have slowed things down too much though, as the 13 point spread would seem to say that people are still simply dumping money on Denver at a rate that justifies larger than ordinary spreads.

As great a bet as Denver was the first few weeks, well... the jigs up guys. Everyone has jumped into the pool and squeezed all the water out.

Atlanta Falcons @ (-2½) Arizona Cardinals

A loss to the Seahawks does not mean you are a bad team.

A win against the Buccaneers does not mean you are a great team.

Look for both teams fortunes to flip, as Carson Palmer puts together one of those games that doesn't lead Cards fans to run to the comment threads to pool prayers together in hopes of a new quarterback next year.

The Pick: Cardinals

Analyzing the Spread: NOPE.GIF

(-9) Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

I don't even. Yeah. Josh Freeman had best figure out how to get that coaching staff to lay off a bit.

He should really just start audibling into dives to Adrian Peterson. They'd have likely won last week with 60 handoffs to runningbacks, instead they went full Flacco and threw the ball half a billion times. Look for more stupid playcalling Sunday against the Pack.

The Pick: Green Bay

Analyzing the Spread: 9 points seems easy as pie if the Vikings continue to follow whatever advice Jim Caldwell is tweeting at them during warm-ups. It's plausible though that they play the Pack close if they embrace the beast they've got in their backfield. Without knowing which way they'll go, I wouldn't bet on this game.

Monday 10/28

(-10½) Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams


Offensive line issues for the road warriors are about the only hope the Bradford-less Rams have. Chris Long and Robert Quinn are capable of swinging this game, and I do mean that truthfully, it's not just to make Brandon Bate feel better.

Honestly though, the Seahawks should find a way. They're a much better team right now.

The Pick: Seahawks

Analyzing the Spread: I always hate picking apart spreads for my favorite team. I feel icky doing it. Also it's worth noting that the Hawks have had trouble with spreads recently, and are still getting lines that show an over-confident betting world still fully supports them.

They'll probably win by more then 10, but don't bother betting on it.

Teams on a bye:

Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans

It's been fun ladies and gentlemen! Enjoy your relationships if you have them! And if you don't... well...

Follow me on twitter, I'll keep you company! Whenever I'm not already watching some cheesy romance flick with the misses.