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NFL Thanksgiving games picks: Breaking down Thursday’s slate of games

Mark Potash breaks down the NFL’s slate of Thanksgiving Day games and gives his predictions.

Vikings at Lions

  • Time: 11:30 a.m., Fox-32.
  • Line: Vikings by 3. Total: 44½.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Vikings 8-2/7-3; Lions 6-4/5-4-1.
  • Outlook: These NFC rivals seem to have accelerated their pace since Aaron Rodgers’ injury opened the door in the division — Lions are 3-1 and Vikings 4-0. The x-factor is Vikes QB Case Keenum, who was mediocre in a loss to the Lions in Week 4 (16-of-30, 219 yards 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 76.9), but has been excellent the past two weeks — 71.6 percent completions, 584 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs and ratings of 117.0/100.8 in wins over the Redskins/Raiders. Lions are 4-0 SU/ATS in their last four Thanksgiving Day games.
  • Pick: Vikings 24, Lions 20.

Chargers at Cowboys

  • Time: 3:30 p.m., Ch. 2.
  • Line: Chargers by 1. Total: 48.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Chargers 4-6/5-4; Cowboys 5-5/5-5.
  • Outlook: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was a revelation as a rookie last year, but has looked like another struggling fourth-round QB since  All-Pro RB Ezekiel Elliott and All-Pro LT Tyron Smith both have been out the past two games. Prescott threw 3 INTs and had a 30.4 rating against the Eagles in a 37-9 loss last week. Now he faces another defense with some bite — Chargers had 5 INTs in the first half vs. rookie Nate Peterman and two defensive TDs last week in a 54-24 rout of the Bills. 
  • Pick: Chargers 27, Cowboys 20.

Giants at Redskins

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum throws a pass during the second half against the L.A. Rams, on Nov. 19, 2017, in Minneapolis. | Bruce Kluckhohn/AP

  • Time: 7:30 p.m., Ch. 5.
  • Line: Redskins by 7½. Total: 45.
  • Records (overall/ATS): Giants 2-8/4-6; Redskins 4-6/4-6.
  • Outlook: With injuries taking a toll, the Redskins have wilted against a difficult schedule —  losing to the Eagles, Cowboys (with Ezekiel Elliott), Vikings and Saints around a road victory over the Seahawks. With four more players on IR and 18 on the injury report, they didn’t have enough players for an 11-on-11 practice this week. Giants responded after Ben McAdoo was given a vote-of-confidence last week with a 12-9 overtime upset of the Chiefs. They could be due for a letdown and the Redskins could be primed for a blowout. 
  • Pick: Redskins 34, Giants 17.