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NFL Pro Football 2013 Week 8 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 8 Picks - Early Games

Welcome to the very best in winning NFL and College Football picks.
Rick Gagliano | October 24-27, 2013

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, October 24

(Byes: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee)

Carolina Panthers (-5 1/2, 40) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:25 pm - Just in case nobody's noticed, pro football in the state of Florida isn't exactly top-shelf. The combined records of the three Sunshine State teams - Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Miami - is a woeful 3-16, Miami's 3-3 record providing all of the wins.

Tampa Bay is 0-6, their last win coming at the end of 2012, when they won at Atlanta, 22-17, in a game in which the Falcon starters were mostly on the bench. Prior to that they lost five straight, so they've lost 11 of their last 12, overall.

The Panthers are on the upswing. After winning their final four games in 2012, Carolina is 3-3, led by Cam Newton's renewed vigor on offense and a rapidly-improving defense. Oddly enough, Tampa Bay won both of last season's meetings, but that trend is about to change, Carolina - winners of their last two games - is the obvious choice.

Prediction: Panthers 34 Buccaneers 13

Sunday, October 27

Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions (-3, 51), 1:00 pm - As long as the Cowboys continue to play defense the way they have the past two weeks, in wins over Washington (31-16) and Philadelphia (17-3), it's impossible to go against them.

Detroit, of course, has weapons on offense that can riddle almost any secondary, but the combination of the Cowboys denying the run, pressuring the passer and playing tight, solid coverage has been neutralizing offenses of late.

The Cowboys are also 4-0 ATS at home; Detroit 2-2 ATS in road games.

Prediction: Cowboys 31 Lions 17

San Francisco 49ers (-17, 48) at Jacksonville Jaguars (Wembley Stadium, London), 1:00 pm - OK, you'd have to be crazy to take the Jaguars, even if they were getting 28 points. The 49ers are 5-2, winners of four straight and have scored 31 or more points in all of their wins.

Figuring that the 49ers will win this game easily, not simply putting on an "exhibition" for the Brits, and that they'll score at least 31, how many points can we figure the 0-6 Jags good for? 6? 10? 14?

Simple math demands San Francisco be the choice.

Prediction: 49ers 34 Jaguars 10

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Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs (-9, 39 1/2), 1:00 pm - As long as Brandon Weeden is starting at quarterback for the Browns, they will have difficulty winning any games the rest of this season. Weeden has proven to be wildly inaccurate at times and a poor decision-maker in the pocket. He is surely not the future for Cleveland, and the management might, at some point, opt for Brian Hoyer in replacement.

Hoyer is 2-0 as the Cleveland starter; Weeden's record is 1-4.

This is Cleveland's fourth road game and second in a row, after losing at Green Bay last week, 31-13. While the 7-0 Chiefs now are wearing targets for their perfect record, the Browns seem wholly incapable of scoring on the league's best defense, which will put even more pressure on Cleveland's struggling offense. Look for the Chiefs to take full control in the third quarter, as Cleveland's defense begins to tire. No team has scored more than 17 points on KC. The Browns won't either.

Prediction: Chiefs 37 Browns 13

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-7, 45), 1:00 pm - Last weekend was frustrating for both the Patriots and the Dolphins, as tight games resulted in losses for each.

New England was stunted by the Jets' defense, New York winning, 30-27 in overtime, while the Dolphins rallied from an early deficit to take a fourth quarter lead, only to lose to the Bills on a late field goal, 23-21.

With New England struggling offensively and both teams playing solid defense, this AFC East struggle should be tight to the finish. Wit the Dolphins at 3-3, the Jets at 4-3 and the Patriots at 5-2, a Dolphin win would make the division quite a competitive one. Tough to imagine New England losing two divisional games in a row, but it just may happen.

Prediction: Patriots 23 Dolphins 19

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Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints (-12, 49 1/2), 1:00 pm - Buffalo ventures to the Big Easy in a test not for the feint of heart. The Saints suffered their first loss of the season two weeks ago, to the Patriots, 30-27, but have had an extra week to prepare, while the Bills will be on the road for the second straight week after winning in Miami, 23-21.

While the Bills have been competitive in all of their games this season, they are 3-4 and at the bottom of the AFC East and they will be facing the top passing offense in the league (311 ypg) and the fourth-stingiest defense (18.1 ppg). This will be Buffalo's toughest encounter of the season and they are unlikely to remain competitive for long.

Prediction: Saints 37 Bills 17

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-5 1/2, 52), 1:00 pm - These two met just three weeks ago, the Eagles winning in a runaway, 36-21, but much has changed since then. The Eagles are planning to start Michael Vick, who was injured in the first meeting. Nick Foles and Matt Barkley have taken snaps the last two weeks, and Foles is likely not to be available.

The Giants got their first win of the season at home, beating Minnesota on Monday night, 23-10, while the Eagles were subdued by Dallas, 17-3 on Sunday and are significantly banged-up. As bad as the NFC East is - Dallas, with the only winning record, 4-3 - the Giants may be able to get back into the hunt by stringing together some victories.

Philly's secondary is still fairly sound, but the Giants may prefer to run more often, taking some pressure off Eli Manning. The result will be a low-scoring affair, and a close call, in which case the points may come into play.

Prediction: Giants 20 Eagles 17

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2013, 2014, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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