Greg Cote’s Thursday night NFL pick


Line: MIN by 6 ½

Cote’s pick: MIN 23-20

TV: 8:20 p.m., NFL Network

NFL Week 8 kicks off with a straight venue call, by which I mean the Vikes are 4-0 in the home dome this season while Tampa travels about as well as a colicky baby – nine straight road losses since winning in Minnesota a year ago. I like Bucs to keep it inside the bet-line, though. Tampa has won five straight in this occasional series, and Josh Freeman-to-Vincent Jackson has been as hot as any air duo in the league lately, contrasting a cold Christian Ponder. Perhaps more significantly, Tee Bees have the run defense – a Dolphin-esque 76-yard average and a miserly 3.1 per – to make Adrian Peterson work for his 100.