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 are ridiculously tough when there is only that one contest. And don’t get us started on how we feel about Thursday nighters over all.
However, it’s U.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 (12:30 ET) matchup of winless Detroit playing host to 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 3½-point favourite – yes, they are favoured over the No. 27 Bears (3-7).
KNOCKOUT POOL: Pro Picks took another Canelo-like shot to the jaw with the Titans. If you care, we’d favour 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 2½) 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 7½) at No. 8 Dallas, Thursday
The Raiders are in free-fall, and the Cowboys will be undermanned. Still …
No. 10 Buffalo (minus 5½) at No. 19 New Orleans, Thursday night
Buffalo is almost in free-fall, and a loss here would put its playoff chances in danger.
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.
No. 5 Tennessee (plus 6) at No. 6 New England
Funny how the Patriots wind up facing a lot of injury-ravaged opponents.
No. 3 Tampa Bay (minus 2½) at No. 11 (tie) Indianapolis
Both teams are coming off big weekends. Can the Bucs stop that runaway train named Jonathan Taylor?
No. 14 Cleveland (plus 3½) at No. 7 Baltimore
A good time for the Browns to get out of Cleveland. A bad time to go to Baltimore.
No. 17 Pittsburgh (plus 4½) at No. 13 Cincinnati
We’re beginning to believe the Bengals have some lasting power.
No. 18 Philadelphia (minus 3½) at No. 28 New York Giants
We began feeling positive about the Eagles a few weeks ago. That will continue.
No. 31 New York Jets (plus 3) at No. 29 Houston
We never feel positive about either of these bottom-feeders.
No. 15 Minnesota (plus 3) at No. 16 San Francisco
The winner will be in prime position for an NFC wild-card spot.
No. 21 Carolina (minus 1½) at No. 24 Miami
Hard to believe Miami will win a fourth straight.
No. 25 Atlanta (minus 1) at No. 30 Jacksonville
Poor Matt Ryan has no weapons left. Not that Trevor Lawrence has many, either.
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.