Thursday’s three-match slate was better than anyone could have hoped when the schedule was announced. Five of the six teams currently playing sit in the play-offs.
The early game traditionally featuring the Lions (4-6) is even more exciting now that Detroit has won three straight games. The visiting Buffalo Bills (7-3) are among the NFL’s best teams and have already won a game at the same stadium after a snowstorm forced them out of Western New York last week.
Just in time for dinner or dessert, the Dallas Cowboys (7-3) host the New York Giants (7-3) in a battle for second place in the NFC East. The Giants were projected to be vying for draft status at this point in the season.
Instead, they aim to get back on the winning track after losing to the Lions. The Cowboys pulled off a dominant 40-3 win in Minnesota.
Speaking of the Vikings, they will be looking to bounce back from that disappointing loss to Dallas in Cup Night against the New England Patriots (6-4).
Minnesota (8-2) trailed 64-10 in two losses.
The Pro Picks have been much better at predicting Sunday games than Thursday contests this season, but maybe three games are luckier than one.
Buffalo (minus 9 1/2) in Detroit
Josh Allen and the Bills face a different crowd in Detroit this week. The Lions have allowed 19 points per game during a three-game winning streak.
New York Giants (plus 9 1/2) in Dallas
The Cowboys were 1-10 for the difference in 11 games on Thanksgiving, but the Giants are dealing with several injuries.
New England (plus 2 1/2) in Minnesota
Kirk Cousins is 0-2 against Bill Belichick. Patriots can’t score.
Baltimore (minus 4) at Jacksonville
Struggling to beat the leopards attract the attention of the crows.
Best bet: Ravens, 24-17
Cincinnati (minus 2 1/2) at Tennessee
The AFC South’s top titans are getting no respect in a rematch against the team that finished their season in 2021.
Special Surprise: Titans, 24-23
Denver (minus 2 1/2) in the Carolinas
It’s Sam Darnold’s turn to start for the Panthers. At least Carolina Russell Wilson didn’t cost her price.
Atlanta (plus 4) in Washington
Taylor Heineke is 4-1 as a starter, the defense leads the way and the leaders roll. The Falcons remain just one game behind the Buccaneers in the NFC South.
Tampa Bay (minus 3 1/2) in Cleveland
Tom Brady and the Pirates are back from Bye. Jacoby Brissett starts his last match before Deshaun Watson returns.
Houston (plus 13) at Miami
After a bye, the Dolphins get another one against a team where one wins.
Chicago (plus 4 1/2) at the New York Jets
Justin Fields has a chance to make the Jets regret taking Zach Wilson ahead of him in last year’s draft even more.
Jet Planes, 19-17
Las Vegas (plus 3 1/2) in Seattle
The Raiders are trying to build a win comeback in Denver.
Los Angeles Chargers (minus 4) in Arizona
The right opponent for the Chargers to get back on the winning track after losing two in a row.
Los Angeles Rams (plus 14 1/2) in Kansas City
The defending Super Bowl champ is in a mess. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs look like the best team in the NFL.
New Orleans (plus 9 1/2) in San Francisco
Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers are rolling.
Green Bay (plus 7) in Philadelphia
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are desperate to salvage their season.
Pittsburgh (plus 2 1/2) at Indianapolis
The Colts would have beaten the Eagles if they hadn’t taken costly penalties.
Last week: Straight: 10-4. Against the spread: 7-6-1.
Season: Straight: 96-68. Against the spread: 85-75-4.
Thursday night: straight: 6-5. Against the spread: 4-7.
Monday night: straight: 6-6. Against the spread: 5-7.
Best bet: Straight: 7-4. Against the spread: 7-4.
Special Upset: Straight: 4-7. Against the spread: 5-5-1.
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