Top Choices: Three top picks expected to dominate divisional games on Thanksgiving Day ::

Top Choices: Three top picks expected to dominate divisional games on Thanksgiving Day ::

Rewritten: Written by ROB MAADDI, a professional football writer for the Associated Press.

Each week, AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi shares his predictions for upcoming games in the column Pro Picks. To view past Pro Picks, visit this page.


The Detroit Lions that are typically seen on Thanksgiving have evolved from their past reputation.

The Lions have a record of 8 wins and 2 losses as they head into Thursday’s game against the Green Bay Packers, who have a record of 4 wins and 6 losses. This is their best record through the first 10 games of the season since 1962.

After beginning with a 1-6 record in 2022, the Lions turned things around and finished with a 7-2 record. This success has continued into the current season, where they currently have a 2 1/2 game lead over Minnesota in the NFC North.

Jared Goff recovered from throwing three interceptions and led Detroit to a comeback victory against Chicago in their last game. Jordan Love also made a comeback for the Packers, leading them to a win over the Chargers last week.

The Packers and Lions will start off a festive day of football with three games between divisional opponents. In the later afternoon, Dallas will welcome Washington for a game, followed by San Francisco traveling to Seattle for the final game of the day.

According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Lions are favored by 7 1/2 points. Pro Picks is in favor of the top-ranked team.

LIONS, 27-17

Line: Steelers minus 1 1/2

It’s possible that a different person in charge of the offensive strategy and play calling could help improve the performance of Kenny Pickett and the Steelers (6-4). The Bengals (5-5) will rely on Jake Browning as Joe Burrow is injured for the rest of the season.

The top choice is the Steelers, with a predicted score of 22-16.

Line: Eagles minus 3

The Eagles (9-1) are riding high following a victory in their Super Bowl rematch against Kansas City. While they are the stronger team, it may be challenging to maintain the same level of energy and focus after facing the Chiefs, particularly with a short week and a Monday night away win under their belts. They also have a rematch with the 49ers, last season’s NFC champions, on the horizon. Meanwhile, Josh Allen and the Bills (6-5) are feeling the pressure to win.


Line: Cowboys minus 12 1/2

The Cowboys, with a record of 7-3, have emerged victorious in six matches by a margin of 23 or more points. However, their upcoming schedule is anticipated to be more challenging following their game against the Commanders (4-7). Therefore, they must capitalize on their matchup against a struggling team before entering a demanding stretch. On the other hand, Washington has been unpredictable, putting up a good fight against Philadelphia on two occasions but failing to beat the Giants in both encounters.

COWBOYS, 31-16

Line: 49ers minus 7

The 49ers, with a record of 7-3, are in good health and performing at a championship level. On the other hand, the Seahawks, currently at 6-4, were recently defeated by the Rams and their quarterback Geno Smith is dealing with injuries.

49ERS, 26-17

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.


Line: Patriots minus 3 1/2

Either Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe will be the starting quarterback for the Patriots (2-8), who are surprisingly favored on the road despite their poor season. The Giants (3-8) are also struggling, but they managed to secure a win last week with Tommy DeVito at the helm.


Line: Jaguars minus 1 1/2

This was an unforeseen competition for the top spot in the AFC South. The Jaguars, who won the division last year with a record of 7-3, were expected to hold this position. However, the Texans, with a record of 6-4, have surprisingly entered the playoff race, thanks to their rookie QB C.J. Stroud and first-year coach DeMeco Ryans.

JAGUARS, 27-23

Line: Falcons minus 1 1/2

In Week 17, the Saints (5-5) and Falcons (4-6) will compete once more, potentially deciding the NFC South. The victor this week will have a significant edge. Atlanta’s starting QB, Desmond Ridder, has returned, while Derek Carr of New Orleans is currently undergoing concussion protocol, possibly making way for Jamies Winston to take the field.

FALCONS, 22-20

Line: Titans minus 4

The Panthers (1-9) and Titans (3-7) are both struggling this season, especially rookie No. 1 draft pick Bryce Young. However, Tennessee may benefit from their losses by receiving a higher draft pick. It should also be noted that Carolina’s first-round pick has been traded to Chicago.

TITANS, 21-20

Line: Colts minus 2 1/2

The unexpected Colts, with a record of 5-5, are currently in the running for the playoffs. However, they made a surprising decision this week to let go of three-time All-Pro linebacker, Shaquille Leonard. The Buccaneers, with a record of 4-6, are only in the playoff conversation due to being in a less competitive division.


Line: Chiefs minus 9 1/2

Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, with a current record of 7 wins and 3 losses, are determined to recover from their self-inflicted defeat against Philadelphia. The team has been facing challenges on the offensive side, particularly in the latter half of games. Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Raiders have emerged victorious in both games where rookie QB Aidan O’Connell played at home.

CHIEFS, 24-16

Line: Cardinals minus 1 1/2

Kyler Murray’s presence has increased the competitiveness of the Cardinals, who currently hold a record of 2-9. The Rams, with a record of 4-6, have their defense to thank for keeping them in the running for a spot in the playoffs.

RAMS, 20-17

Line: Broncos minus 1 1/2

Despite having a new quarterback in Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the Browns (7-3) remain a strong competitor due to the impressive performance of Myles Garrett and the defense. The Broncos (5-5), led by Russell Wilson, have also been on a winning streak of four games and have drastically improved their defense since their Week 3 loss where they gave up 70 points.

BRONCOS, 19-16

Line: Ravens minus 3 1/2

The Ravens (8-3) may struggle without tight end Mark Andrews, but they have a strong chance of maintaining their position as the top seed if they can win their remaining games. The Chargers (4-6), who have underperformed, are mainly hindered by their weak defense, even with the impressive efforts of Justin Herbert.

RAVENS, 27-24

Line: Vikings minus 3 1/2

The Vikings, led by Joshua Dobbs, are looking to bounce back from a game filled with turnovers that ended their five-game winning streak. The return of Justin Fields has injected new life into the offense, but the Bears (3-8) were unable to maintain their lead and upset Detroit.

VIKINGS, 24-21

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

Summary: Total record: 103 wins, 61 losses. Against the spread: 89 wins, 69 losses, 6 ties.

Top Pick: Win-Loss Record: 8-3. Point Spread Record: 5-5-1.

Surprise Pick: Wins: 7-4. Against the spread: 8-3.

On Thursday, the record was 8 wins and 3 losses straight up, and 8 wins, 2 losses, and 1 push against the spread.

On Monday, the straight up record was 8-5 and the against spread record was 9-3-1.


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