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Traditional Thanksgiving Day games are tricky for Pro Picks

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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.

“And yeah to your point, to be able to get a win on that day — look to get a win, period — is going to be freaking outstanding. But yes, to get it on Thanksgiving would make it that much more special.”

We’ll, uh, bite. The Lions, 0-9-1 and ranked 32nd in the AP Pro32, are a 3 1/2-point favorite — yes, they are favored over the No. 27 Bears (3-7).

LIONS, 17-16

KNOCKOUT POOL: Pro Picks took another Canelo-like shot to the jaw with the Titans. If you care, we’d favor BALTIMORE this week.

No. 26 Seattle (plus 1) at No. 23 Washington, Monday night

The Seahawks leave the state of Washington to lose near the city of Washington.

BEST BET: WASHINGTON, 23-20

No. 11 (tie) Los Angeles Chargers (minus 2 1/2) at No. 22 Denver

We finally missed on an outright win by an underdog. Maybe the Broncos will start a new winning string for Pro Picks.

UPSET SPECIAL: BRONCOS, 24-23

No. 20 Las Vegas (plus 7 1/2) at No. 8 Dallas, Thursday

The Raiders are in free-fall, and the Cowboys will be undermanned. Still …

COWBOYS, 27-16

No. 10 Buffalo (minus 5 1/2) at No. 19 New Orleans, Thursday night

Buffalo is almost in free-fall, and a loss here would put its playoff chances in danger.

BILLS, 23-15

No. 9 Los Angeles Rams (plus 1) at No. 2 Green Bay

A toss-up game and potentially a look at the NFC championship matchup.

PACKERS, 20-17

No. 5 Tennessee (plus 6) at No. 6 New England

Funny how the Patriots wind up facing a lot of injury-ravaged opponents.

PATRIOTS, 24-19

No. 3 Tampa Bay (minus 2 1/2) at No. 11 (tie) Indianapolis

Both teams come off big weekends. Can the Bucs stop that runaway train named Jonathan Taylor?

BUCCANEERS, 27-26

No. 14 Cleveland (plus 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.

RAVENS, 23-15

No. 17 Pittsburgh (plus 4 1/2) at No. 13 Cincinnati

We’re beginning to believe the Bengals have some lasting power.

BENGALS, 19-17

No. 18 Philadelphia (minus 3 1/2) at No. 28 New York Giants

We began feeling positive about the Eagles a few weeks ago. That will continue.

EAGLES, 26-24

No. 31 New York Jets (plus 3) at No. 29 Houston

We never feel positive about either of these tailenders.

JETS, 15-13

No. 15 Minnesota (plus 3) at No. 16 San Francisco

The winner will be in prime position for an NFC wild-card spot.

49ERS, 30-28

No. 21 Carolina (minus 1 1/2) at No. 24 Miami

Hard to believe Miami will win a fourth straight.

DOLPHINS, 23-21

No. 25 Atlanta (minus 1) at No. 30 Jacksonville

Poor Matt Ryan has no weapons left. Not that Trevor Lawrence has many, either.

JAGUARS, 16-13

___

2021 RECORD

Last Week: Straight up: 9-6. Against spread: 10-5.

Season: Straight up: 103-61-1. Against spread: 91-70-2.

Best Bet: Straight up: 5-5-1. Against spread: 7-4.

Upset Special: Straight up: 9-1. Against spread: 9-1.

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer

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