NFL picks and predictions Week 8: Buccaneers vs. Vikings

Hannah Foslien

Experts are nearly unanimous in their support for Minnesota in Thursday night's clash.

The Minnesota Vikings will attempt to continue their surprising 2012 season when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night at the Metrodome.

The Vikings enter the contest at 5-2 on the season. They're coming fresh off a 21-14 win over Arizona on Sunday in which quarterback Christian Ponder only attempted 17 passes and managed just 58 yards through the air. As always, Minnesota is dependent on the running game, with halfback Adrian Peterson the offensive focal point.

Tampa Bay, which has struggled to a 2-4 record for first-year head coach Greg Schiano, could nevertheless be a matchup problem for the Vikings. The Bucs are allowing just 76.0 rushing yards per game, good for third in the league. While they have struggled against the pass (323.0 yards per game), they've managed to hold opponents to just 22.7 points per game.

Any concern over the matchup is not registering with NFL experts, who are largely choosing Minnesota to win. Of the nine ESPN NFL experts to make selections this week, only one has chosen Tampa Bay to win. The VIkings get a clean sweep from the experts at CBS, and are a unanimous selection at Yahoo, as well.

Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast by NFL Network.

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