NFL picks, predictions for Thanksgiving: Bears beat lowly Lions; Cowboys, Bills get back on track

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The NFL tradition of Thanksgiving football continues Thursday with three matchups featuring six teams that lost in Week 11. 

Detroit remains winless, and the Lions have lost their last four Thanksgiving games. NFC North rival Chicago is in a similar slide, however, so maybe this is the game. 

Dallas is trying to keep pace with the top teams in the NFC playoff race, and Las Vegas is trying to break a three-game losing streak. Finally, Buffalo, an increasingly difficult team to figure out, travels to New Orleans in the prime-time matchup. 

Each week, Sporting News picks the NFL games straight up. A look at our track record so far: 

  • Week 11: 8-7
  • Total: 102-62-1

MORE NFL WEEK 12 PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up

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NFL picks, predictions for Thanksgiving 

  • Chicago Bears (-3.5) at Detroit Lions 

Thursday, 12:30 p.m., FOX 

Who will the quarterbacks be? Jared Goff could return for Detroit, but if not then Tim Boyle will get a second straight start. Bears coach Matt Nagy said Andy Dalton will get the start for the Bears with Justin Fields likely inactive with a rib injury. Ugly football can yield unexpected results, but Chicago has the better rushing attack and defense. The under (41.5) could be in play. 

Pick: Bears 23, Lions 13 

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  • Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys (-7) 

Thursday, 4:30 p.m., CBS 

Dak Prescott might be without both Amari Cooper (COVID-19) and CeeDee Lamb (concussion protocol), but the Cowboys remain a touchdown-favorite against the Raiders. Las Vegas is -4 in turnover ratio in their losing streak, so watch out for Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs and the big play on defense. The Cowboys break a two-game losing streak in Thanksgiving games. 

Pick: Cowboys 31, Raiders 22 

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  • Buffalo Bills (-4) at New Orleans Saints 

Thursday, 8:20 p.m., NBC 

The Saints are on a three-game losing streak, and Trevor Siemian is completing 57.3% of his passes in that losing streak. The Bills have averaged three turnovers lost per game the last three weeks, and if they don’t clean that up this could be a close one, too. We’re going to trust Josh Allen to right the ship in a tough game on the road. Buffalo is 2-3 ATS when favored by single digits, so this could be real close.

Pick: Bills 27, Saints 24

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