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NFL Thanksgiving picks: Dallas looks to bounce back; Can Detroit earn its first win?

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 07: Dak Prescott #4

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 07: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys scrambles with the ball during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium on November 07, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Credit: Getty Images/Tom Pennington

This year’s Thanksgiving lineup isn’t the best crop of games, but every team enters off a loss, so that’s interesting. The storylines: Will Detroit finally have something to be thankful for? Can Dallas regroup after not scoring a TD? And who rights the ship: Buffalo or New Orleans?

CHICAGO (3-7) AT DETROIT (0-9-1)

TV: Fox, 12:30 p.m.

Chicago by 3; O/U: 41.5

This is a "heart vs. head" pick: The lover of a great underdog story wants to see the winless Lions roar on national TV. The brain tells me to get serious. Chicago beat Detroit, 24-14, in Week 4, and the rematch could be a battle of backup QBs. Detroit is 6-4 against the spread after a 16-16 tie and 13-10 loss, but can it win? The Bears have lost five in a row and I’m not excited about backing them, but I put a lot of stock in teams being motivated in not wanting to be the first to lose to the Lions.

The pick: Chicago

LAS VEGAS (5-5) AT DALLAS (7-3)

TV: CBS, 4:30 p.m.

Dallas by 7.5; O/U: 51.5

The last time Dallas laid an egg, it scored 43 points the next week. Don’t expect the same kind of rebound because the Cowboys won’t have Amari Cooper and may not have their other top receiver, Cee Dee Lamb. They still have Dak Prescott and an opportunistic defense. If there’s one team that could benefit from a holiday at home, it’s the Raiders, who have endured so much off-the-field drama. They’ve lost three in a row, and while Derek Carr could keep this under a TD, the more likely outcome is Dallas by 7 to 10.

The pick: Dallas

BUFFALO (6-4) AT NEW ORLEANS (5-5)

TV: NBC, 8:20 p.m.

Buffalo by 6; O/U: 45.5

Two solid teams that have hit a bumpy patch: Buffalo has lost three of five and is no longer in first place; New Orleans is on a three-game skid. Alvin Kamara is out, as are some other key Saints, but I'm still banking on the 'D' and Sean Payton to find a way to keep this close in a backs-against-the-wall kind of spot. Buffalo hasn’t played up to its super expectations, with just one win against a current .500 team. Last week’s 41-15 loss to the Colts, plus the 9-6 loss at Jacksonville, equal a cause for concern.

The pick: New Orleans

STAFF PICKS

Joe Manniello: Chicago Dallas New Orleans

Bob Glauber: Detroit Dallas Buffalo

Tom Rock: Detroit Dallas Buffalo

Al Iannazzone: Chicago Dallas Buffalo

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