By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer
The tripleheader on Thanksgiving isn’t all that tasty, except for the traditional opener at Detroit.
The NFC North leader from Minnesota visits Ford Field this year, and carries a two-game edge over the Lions. So this is a particularly huge game for the hosts.
“They’re all big,” coach Jim Caldwell says. “Every single one of them’s a factor in the grand scheme of things. The most important one is the next one.
“Someone else might have a different philosophy. I don’t believe in functioning that way. My experience has been it can work against you more than it works for you when you start looking at the grand scheme of things.
‘You can’t act as if one game is going to make a complete difference in the season, because you don’t know what’s going to happen the rest of the season. You have no idea.”
Judging by Pro Picks’ struggles last week against the spread, having no idea is a familiar concept. Minnesota, ranked fourth in the AP Pro32, is a two-point favorite over No. 12 Detroit.
KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP
The Jaguars had an easy enough time with the Browns. Do we trust the Bengals to do the same? Why would we when we still have 9-1 PHILADELPHIA available?
No. 8 Jacksonville (minus 4) at No. 23 Arizona
Jaguars favored on road? You bet. And …
BEST BET: JAGUARS, 20-10
No. 16 Los Angeles Chargers (plus 3 1-2) at No. 15 Dallas, Thursday
Cowboys are rattled, on and off field. Chargers are dangerous.
UPSET SPECIAL: CHARGERS, 23-20
No. 30 New York Giants (plus 7) at No. 27 Washington, Thursday night
Redskins are ravaged by injuries, yet still should win close one.
No. 20 Houston (plus 7) at No. 14 Baltimore, Monday night
A lot of points for Ravens to give. Of course, they might get another shutout.
No. 28 Chicago (plus 12 1-2) at No. 1 Philadelphia
Not much “Roar, Bears, Roar” these days. Try “Fly, Eagles, Fly.”
No. 26 Miami (plus 16) at No. 2 New England
Patriots coasting toward AFC’s top seed?
No. 19 Green Bay (plus 13 1-2) at No. 3 Pittsburgh
Steelers tend to lollygag through these games.
No. 18 Buffalo (plus 9) at No. 11 Kansas City
Jim Kelly at QB next? Doug Flutie? Chiefs need rebound game.
No. 5 New Orleans (plus 2 1-2) at No. 6 Los Angeles Rams
Huge game in NFC seedings race between surprise division leaders.
No. 25 Tampa Bay (plus 8 1-2) at No. 9 Atlanta
Bucs struggle on road, though Falcons not that comfy in new digs.
No. 7 Carolina (minus 4 1-2) at No. 24 New York Jets
Panthers need to be careful here with Saints, Vikings on their schedule next. Could be trap game.
No. 13 Tennessee (minus 4) at No. 29 Indianapolis
Look for bounce back from Marcus Mariota.
No. 10 Seattle (minus 7) at No. 31 San Francisco
Like Redskins, Seahawks very banged-up, but good enough to survive this week.
No. 27 Denver (plus 5) at No. 21 Oakland
This looked like a blockbuster when schedule came out. No more.
No. 32 Cleveland (plus 8) at No. 22 Cincinnati
Bengals thinking wild card. Browns thinking “when does this end?”
Last week: Against spread (6-8). Straight up (8-6)
Season Totals: Against spread (73-77-3). Straight up: (96-63)
Best Bet: 7-4 against spread, 9-2 straight up.
Upset special: 7-4 against spread, 7-4 straight up
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