Greg Cote

Greg Cote’s Thursday night NFL pick: Buccaneers vs. Falcons


Line: ATL by 61/2.

Cote’s pick: ATL 27-17.

TV: 8:25 p.m., CBS/NFLN (airing in South Florida).

NFL Week 3 sets sail with a game that might elicit yawns outside these two markets, but that’s the beauty of the wager and the fantasy league. If you have money riding on the final margin or you start Matt Ryan (must be a huge fantasy league), you’ll be up near midnight, transfixed. Atlanta’s defense has been awful the first two games, but so has Tampa’s oh-no O, so both units will seek their remedy in the opponent’s struggles. An outright upset in this NFC South duel would not surprise, but give me the Dirty Birds in the home-dome. Ryan is 5-1 in the ATL against Tampa and has seven TD passes and zero picks in four career Thursday games. Think Lovie Smith is wishing yet that he’d waited for the next job offer?