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NFL picks, Week 8: Straight up, and considering Survivor pool strategy

We’re back with more NFL picks, including a look at the 49ers, Week 8 straight up picks, a Survivor pool, and a look at Thursday Night Football against the spread.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Week 8 of the NFL season, which will put a sizable chunk of the NFL, including the San Francisco 49ers, through the halfway mark of the 2017 NFL season. We know the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers are good, and the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and New York Giants are bad. Most of the rest of the league is clumped together in the middle.

The 49ers are traveling this weekend in what is their final road game until December. They are traveling to face the Philadelphia Eagles in hopes of winning their first game of the season. The Eagles are rolling along at 6-1, and are a 13-point home favorite against the 49ers. After last week’s ugly loss against Dallas, will the 49ers bounce back, or are they headed into an uglier fall?

If I want to be optimistic, this is a potential let-down game for the Eagles. They are coming off a huge home win over Washington, which was preceded by a big road win against Carolina. I would be fairly stunned if the 49ers won this game, but maybe Philadelphia has a letdown.

While we wait for the 49ers on Sunday, it’s time to ponder options in NFL Survivor pools. I was knocked out of my own double elimination pool thanks to back-to-back picks of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos in Weeks 6 and 7. That ended ... poorly.

In a Survivor pool, you pick a different team each week. You can only pick a team once. If your team wins you stay alive. I have set it up so you get two strikes. If you lose once, you get another chance. If you lose twice, you’re out. Once you pick a team, you can no longer pick them this season.

I’m out of my pool, but I’m down to offer some strategy for your pool. Although, given my back-to-back losses, you probably want to take my advice with a grain of salt. The easy pick for people who have not used them yet is Philadelphia. They have likely been used a fair amount already, but if you have them, use them. I like the Saints at home against Chicago, the Vikings at home against the Browns, and the Patriots at home against the Chargers. Of all those, the Vikings might be the one to use now, and save the rest for later.

Tonight, things get going with the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. The Ravens are a field goal favorite, according to Odds Shark. We are looking at a matchup of Matt Moore vs. Joe Flacco, which is not exactly all that enticing. TNF has had some good matchups lately, and this is decidedly the opposite of that. I figure when in doubt this season, take the points. I think the Ravens win a close one, but the Dolphins can cover.

Who are you taking?

Dolphins @ Ravens: Ravens
Vikings @ Browns: Vikings
Raiders @ Bills: Bills
Colts @ Bengals: Bengals
Chargers @ Patriots: Patriots
Bears @ Saints: Saints
Falcons @ Jets: Falcons
49ers @ Eagles: Eagles
Panthers @ Buccaneers: Bucs
Texans @ Seahawks: Seahawks
Cowboys @ Washington: Washington
Steelers @ Lions: Lions
Broncos @ Chiefs: Chiefs