Pro Picks: 3 favorites should have a feast in division matchups on Thanksgiving Day

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Pro Picks is a weekly column where AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi shares his picks for upcoming games. For all previous Pro Picks, head here.

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These aren’t the same old Detroit Lions everyone is used to watching on Thanksgiving.

The Lions (8-2) enter Thursday’s game against the Green Bay Packers (4-6) with their best record through 10 games since 1962.

A turnaround that started with a 7-2 finish after a 1-6 start in 2022 carried over into this season and the Lions hold a 2 1/2 game lead over Minnesota in the NFC North.

Jared Goff bounced back from three picks to lead Detroit to a comeback win over Chicago last week. Jordan Love rallied the Packers to a comeback win last week over the Chargers.

The Packers-Lions kick off a holiday football feast that features three divisional matchups. Dallas hosts Washington in the late afternoon game and San Francisco visits Seattle in the nightcap.

The Lions are 7 1/2-point favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Pro Picks likes the first-place team.

LIONS, 27-17

PITTSBURGH at CINCINNATI

Line: Steelers minus 1 1/2

Maybe a new offensive coordinator and play-caller will get Kenny Pickett and the Steelers (6-4) going. The Bengals (5-5) turn to Jake Browning with Joe Burrow out for the season.

BEST BET: STEELERS, 22-16

BUFFALO at PHILADELPHIA

Line: Eagles minus 3

The Eagles (9-1) are flying high after a comeback win in their Super Bowl rematch against Kansas City. They’re the better team but it’ll be difficult to match the emotion and intensity after facing the Chiefs, especially in a short, holiday week coming off a Monday night road win with an NFC championship game rematch against the 49ers looming ahead. Josh Allen and the Bills (6-5) are the more desperate team.

UPSET SPECIAL: BILLS, 24-23

WASHINGTON at DALLAS

Line: Cowboys minus 12 1/2

The Cowboys (7-3) have won six games by 23 or more points but their schedule is going to get much tougher after the Commanders (4-7) so they need to take advantage against a losing team before a tough stretch. Washington has been inconsistent, playing Philadelphia close twice but getting swept by the Giants.

COWBOYS, 31-16

SAN FRANCISCO at SEATTLE

Line: 49ers minus 7

The 49ers (7-3) are healthy and back to playing at a championship caliber. The Seahawks (6-4) just finished being swept by the Rams and quarterback Geno Smith is banged up.

49ERS, 26-17

MIAMI at NEW YORK JETS

Line: Dolphins minus 9 1/2

The first Black Friday game features Tua Tagovailoa and Miami’s high-octane offense against the Jets (4-6) and their stingy defense. If only Aaron Rodgers was under center for New York to face the first-place Dolphins (7-3). Instead, Tim Boyle makes his first after replacing Zach Wilson.

DOLPHINS, 24-16

NEW ENGLAND at NEW YORK GIANTS

Line: Patriots minus 3 1/2

Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe will start for the Patriots (2-8) who somehow are road favorites despite their dismal record. The Giants (3-8) aren’t much better but Tommy DeVito led them to a win last week.

PATRIOTS, 23-18

JACKSONVILLE at HOUSTON

Line: Jaguars minus 1 1/2

This is an unexpected battle for first place in the AFC South. The defending division champion Jaguars (7-3) were supposed to be in this position. The surprising Texans (6-4) are in playoff contention thanks to rookie sensation QB C.J. Stroud and first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans.

JAGUARS, 27-23

NEW ORLEANS at ATLANTA

Line: Falcons minus 1 1/2

The first-place Saints (5-5) and the Falcons (4-6) face each other again in Week 17 in a game that could determine the NFC South. The winner this week gets a clear advantage. Desmond Ridder is back as Atlanta’s starting QB. Derek Carr began the week in concussion protocol so it could be Jamies Winston under center for New Orleans.

FALCONS, 22-20

CAROLINA at TENNESSEE

Line: Titans minus 4

Rookie No. 1 pick Bryce Young and the Panthers (1-9) are having a miserable season. So are the Titans (3-7). At least losing helps Tennessee get a better draft pick. Carolina’s first-round pick belongs to Chicago.

TITANS, 21-20

TAMPA BAY at INDIANAPOLIS

Line: Colts minus 2 1/2

The surprising Colts (5-5) are in playoff contention, but made a stunning move this week to release three-time All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard. The Buccaneers (4-6) are only in the playoff mix because they’re in a weak division.

BUCCANEERS, 24-23

KANSAS CITY at LAS VEGAS

Line: Chiefs minus 9 1/2

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs (7-3) aim to bounce back after beating themselves against Philadelphia. They’ve got issues on offense, especially in the second half. The Raiders (5-6) have won both of rookie QB Aidan O’Connell’s home starts.

CHIEFS, 24-16

LOS ANGELES RAMS at ARIZONA

Line: Cardinals minus 1 1/2

Kyler Murray has made the Cardinals (2-9) more competitive. The Rams (4-6) are hanging in the playoff mix thanks to their defense.

RAMS, 20-17

CLEVELAND at DENVER

Line: Broncos minus 1 1/2

Even with rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the Browns (7-3) are a contender because Myles Garrett and the defense have been dominant. Russell Wilson and the Broncos (5-5) have won four in a row and the defense has completely turned things around since giving up 70 points in Week 3.

BRONCOS, 19-16

BALTIMORE at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Line: Ravens minus 3 1/2

Losing tight end Mark Andrews hurts the offense, but the Ravens (8-3) have a real chance to hold onto the No. 1 seed if they win the games they’re supposed to the rest of the way. The underachieving Chargers (4-6) have been a major disappointment mostly because of a defense so bad even Justin Herbert can’t rescue them.

RAVENS, 27-24

CHICAGO at MINNESOTA

Line: Vikings minus 3 1/2

Joshua Dobbs and the Vikings (6-5) try to rebound after a turnover-filled game ended their five-game winning streak. Justin Field returned and invigorated the offense, but the Bears (3-8) blew a big lead and couldn’t hold on to upset Detroit.

VIKINGS, 24-21

Last week: Straight up: 8-6. Against spread: 7-7

Overall: Straight up: 103-61. Against spread: 89-69-6.

Best Bet: Straight up: 8-3. Against spread: 5-5-1.

Upset Special: Straight up: 7-4. Against spread: 8-3.

Thursday: Straight up: 8-3. Against spread: 8-2-1.

Monday: Straight up: 8-5. Against spread: 9-3-1.

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