NFL Gridiron Guide: Pick the Panthers to keep Bucs winless

Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers celebrates scoring Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers celebrates scoring a touchdown during the third quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. (Oct. 13, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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PANTHERS (3-3) at BUCS (0-6), 8:25 p.m.

Panthers by 6; O/U: 40.5

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TV: NFL Network Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9) joined in progress

As I tried to write something witty/entertaining/exciting about Thursday night's game, I kept coming back to one of my favorite all-time musicians, Bruce Springsteen.

Borrowing a line from Springsteen's '75 classic, "Thunder Road:" "You ain't a beauty but hey you're all right."

Well, this game is certainly not a beauty and it's certainly not all right with me! Couldn't we flex out of this game, commissioner Goodell?

But since it's too late, let's think of some things we could be doing instead of watching this game:

- Cleaning the house

- Exercising

- Having root canal

- Cleaning the gutters

- Hanging holiday lights

Tampa Bay is 2-5-1 against the spread (ATS) in its last eight games as an underdog of eight or fewer points. The Bucs are 1-5 ATS overall this season. The Panthers were 1-7 ATS in their previous eight games as a favorite of eight or fewer points, before Sunday's cover of St. Louis (Carolina is now 3-3 ATS overall).

The Bucs have covered at home vs. the Panthers in even years since 2006. Tampa Bay has not covered at home vs. the Panthers in odd years dating to 2003. To steal one more line from The Boss: "Show a little faith, there's magic in the night." Let's hope so in Tampa tonight, or I have some chores I can do.

The pick: Panthers

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