By ROB MAADDI
AP pro football writer
Thanksgiving will be filled with food and victorious soccer teams.
Thursday’s three-game table turned out better than anyone had hoped when the schedule was announced. Five of the six participating teams are currently sitting on playoff spots.
The early game, traditionally played by the Lions (4-6), is more interesting now that Detroit has won three games in a row. The Buffalo Bills (7-3) are among the best teams in the NFL and have already won a game at the same stadium after a snowstorm drove them out of western New York last week.
Just in time for dinner or dessert, the Dallas Cowboys (7-3) take on the New York Giants (7-3) in a battle for second place in the NFC East. The Giants were expected to be fighting for draft positioning at this point in the season.
Instead, they want to get back on track after losing to the Lions. The Cowboys win a dominant 40-3 win in Minnesota.
Speaking of Vikings, they’ll be looking to bounce back from that disappointing loss to Dallas in the nightcap against the New England Patriots (6-4).
Minnesota (8-2) was outplayed 64-10 in its two losses.
Pro Picks have fared far better this season in predicting Sunday games than they do in Thursday competitions, but maybe three games are luckier than one.
Buffalo (down 9 1/2) at Detroit
Josh Allen and the Bills meet a different crowd this week in Detroit. The Lions have allowed 19 points per game during a three-game winning streak.
New York Giants (up 9 1/2) at Dallas
The Cowboys are 1-10 against the spreads in their last 11 games on Thanksgiving, but the Giants are grappling with multiple injuries.
New England (up 2 1/2) in Minnesota
Kirk Cousins is 0-2 against Bill Belichick. The Patriots can’t score.
Baltimore (down 4) near Jacksonville
Trying to beat the Panthers caught the Ravens’ attention.
BEST BET: RAVEN, 24-17
Cincinnati (down 2 1/2) in Tennessee
The AFC South-leading Titans get no respect in a playoff rematch against the side that ended their 2021 season.
EXCITING SPECIAL: TITANS, 24-23
Denver (down 2 1/2) at Carolina
Sam Darnold’s turn to start for the Panthers. At least he didn’t taste the Carolina Russell Wilson award.
Atlanta (up 4) in Washington
Taylor Heinicke is 4:1 in the starting XI, the defense goes ahead and the commanders roll. The Falcons remain just one game behind the Buccaneers in the NFC South.
Tampa Bay (down 3 1/2) near Cleveland
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers return from a bye. Jacoby Brissett starts his last game before Deshaun Watson returns.
Houston (up 13) in Miami
After a bye, the Dolphins get another against a one-win team.
Chicago (up 4 1/2) at New York Jets
Justin Fields has an opportunity to make the Jets regret picking Zach Wilson over last year’s draft even more.
Las Vegas (up 3 1/2) in Seattle
The Raiders are trying to build a comeback win in Denver.
Los Angeles Chargers (down 4) in Arizona
The right opponent for the Chargers to get back on track after two losses in a row.
Los Angeles Rams (up 14 1/2) at Kansas City
The defending Super Bowl champion is a mess. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs look like the best team in the NFL.
New Orleans (up 9 1/2) in San Francisco
Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers roll.
Green Bay (up 7) in Philadelphia
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are desperate to save their season.
Pittsburgh (up 2 1/2) at Indianapolis
The Colts would have defeated the Eagles if they hadn’t taken costly penalties.
Last week: Straight up: 10-4. Against spread: 7-6-1.
Season: Direct: 96-68. Against scatter: 85-75-4.
Thursday evening: Straight up: 6-5. Against scatter: 4-7.
Monday night: Straight up: 6-6. Against scatter: 5-7.
Best Bet: Direct: 7-4. Against spread: 7-4.
Angry Special: Straight up: 4-7. Against spread: 5-5-1.
Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/robmaaddi
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
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