Turkey kicks off holiday
It’s difficult enough choosing winners and point-spread coverers and upsets when there is one Thursday night game each NFL week. As for three, well, c’mon.
Short breaks between games is ridiculously tough when there is only that one contest. And don’t get us started on how we feel about Thursday nighters overall. However, it’s Thanksgiving, and tradition calls for a feast at the table and a feast on the field. Except that there’s barely anything tasty on the menu for the early matchup of winless Detroit hosting Chicago.
No matter, says Lions coach Dan Campbell, who has played in the holiday game for both Detroit and Dallas.
“I do believe our guys still look at it as it’s a special thing,” he says. “Everybody is watching this game and everybody’s got their families at home and they’re all circled around the TV, they just ate or they’re going to eat afterwards. I think it still rings true that it is special.”
We’ll, uh, bite. The Lions, 0-9-1 and ranked 32nd in the AP Pro32, are a 3 1⁄2 -point favourite — yes, they are favoured over the No. 27 Bears (3-7). Pick: Lions, 17-16
No. 10 Buffalo (-5 1⁄2) at No. 19 New Orleans
Buffalo is almost in free-fall, and a loss here would put its playoff chances in danger. Pick: Bills, 23-15
No. 20 Las Vegas (+7 1⁄2)
at No. 8 Dallas
The Raiders are in free-fall, and the Cowboys will be undermanned. Still ... Pick: Cowboys, 27-16
No. 11 (tie) L.A. Chargers (-2 1⁄2) at No. 22 Denver
Maybe the Broncos will start a new winning string for Pro Picks.
Upset special: Broncos, 24-23
No. 9 L.A. Rams (+1) at No. 2 Green Bay
A toss-up game and potentially a look at the NFC championship matchup. Pick: Packers, 20-17
No. 5 Tennessee (+6) at No. 6 New England
Funny how the Patriots wind up facing a lot of injury-ravaged opponents. Pick: Patriots, 24-19
No. 3 Tampa Bay (-2 1⁄2)
at No. 11 (tie) Indianapolis
Both teams come off big weekends. Can the Bucs stop that runaway train named Jonathan Taylor? Pick: Buccaneers, 27-26
No. 14 Cleveland (+3 1⁄2)
at No. 7 Baltimore
A good time for the Browns to get out of Cleveland. A bad time to go to Baltimore. Pick: Ravens, 23-15
No. 17 Pittsburgh (+4 1⁄2)
at No. 13 Cincinnati
We’re beginning to believe the Bengals have some lasting power.
Pick: Bengals, 19-17
No. 18 Philadelphia (-3 ⁄ )
at No. 28 New York Giants
We began feeling positive about the Eagles a few weeks ago. That will continue. Pick: Eagles, 26-24
No. 31 N.Y. Jets (+3) at No. 29 Houston
We never feel positive about either of these tailenders.
Pick: Jets, 15-13
No. 15 Minnesota (+3) at No. 16 San Francisco
The winner will be in prime position for an NFC wild-card spot.
Pick: 49ers, 30-28
No. 21 Carolina (-1 1⁄2)
at No. 24 Miami
Hard to believe Miami will win four straight. Pick: Dolphins, 23-21
No. 25 Atlanta (-1) at No. 30 Jacksonville
Poor Matt Ryan has no weapons left. Not that Trevor Lawrence has many, either. Pick: Jaguars, 16-13
No. 26 Seattle (+1) at No. 23 Washington
The Seahawks leave the state of Washington to lose near the city of Washington.
Best bet: Washington, 23-20
Last week: 9-6 straight up, 10-5 vs. spread
Season: 103-61-1 straight up, 91-70-2 vs. spread