Hat trick: All 3 visitors to win Thursday

Hat trick: All 3 visitors to win Thursday
November 21, 2012, 2:08 pm
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Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) greets Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) and J.J. Watt (99) after the Texans defeated the Jaguars 43-37 in overtime of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Houston. Gabbert was injured in the first quarter and did not play the rest of the game. (AP Photo/Patric Schneider)

(APWF)

Happy Thanksgiving. Welcome to our home. Feel free to take a victory with you when you leave.

That's how Pro Picks sees Thursday's three holiday games: all wins for the visitors.

Nice hosts, those Lions, Cowboys and Jets.

Houston heads into Ford Field as a 3-point favorite, and after the Texans barely squeezed past Jacksonville last weekend, they will be firmly focused on the Lions.

``We were trying hard the whole game,'' defensive end J.J. Watt said of the 43-37 overtime win. ``We just weren't having much success. You keep trying things and trying things and eventually, something starts to work.''

Not much works for the Lions when they play a better team. Houston, ranked No. 1 in the AP Pro 32, is a much better team than Detroit (No. 19, AP Pro 32).

TEXANS, 35-26

No. 18 Washington (plus 4) at No. 16 Dallas

The NFL's other Texas team plays just as much up-and-down football as the Lions do. Dallas is weak running the ball, Washington quite strong in that area, particularly with creative rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III complementing another outstanding first-year player, Alfred Morris.

Whichever team controls the ball and the clock in this renewal of a bitter rivalry that has featured some memorable Thanksgiving meetings - Clint Longley, anyone? - should take charge. That will be the Redskins.

REDSKINS, 24-20

No. 7 New England (minus 7) at No. 21 New York Jets

Anyone who believes the Jets revived their season with a win in St. Louis - even if it was, by far, their best performance in a month - will come away severely disappointed Thursday night. Another intense rivalry in which the guest will rudely treat the home team.

PATRIOTS, 33-16

No. 30 Oakland (plus 7 1/2) at No. 17 Cincinnati

Bengals have schedule that could see them grab a wild-card spot.

BEST BET: BENGALS, 33-17

No. 26 St. Louis (plus 3) at No. 25 Arizona

Unless the Cardinals coax Kurt Warner out of retirement this week ...

UPSET SPECIAL: RAMS, 17-10

No. 5 Green Bay (plus 2 1/2) at 9 New York Giants

Time for Giants to turn around their season, albeit barely.

GIANTS, 28-27

No. 3 Atlanta (pick `em) at No. 12 Tampa Bay

Bucs are scaring everyone with their offense. They will scare, but not beat, Falcons.

FALCONS, 30-27

No. 6 Baltimore (minus 2) at No. 20 San Diego

Confidence-boosting win over Steelers helps keep Ravens rolling.

RAVENS, 28-20

No. 4 Denver (minus 10) at No. 32 Kansas City

It's ugly in KC, and about to get much more so.

BRONCOS, 31-10

No. 10 Seattle (minus 3) at No. 24 Miami

If Seahawks truly are contenders, they can't falter here.

SEAHAWKS, 22-17

No. 22 Buffalo (plus 3) at No. 15 Indianapolis

Don't be fooled by Bills' win over Miami or Colts' collapse in Foxborough.

COLTS, 30-24

No. 23 Tennessee (minus 3) at No. 31 Jacksonville

Titans favored on road shows how shaky things are in Jacksonville. A hunch:

JAGUARS, 20-17

No. 14 Minnesota (OFF) at No. 8 Chicago

Jared Allen can't wait to face that sieve of a Bears offensive line.

VIKINGS, 17-16

No. 2 San Francisco (OFF) at No. 12 New Orleans

Imagine if Niners can play like they did last Monday night against Saints' so-so defense.

49ERS, 27-21

No. 11 Pittsburgh (OFF) at No. 29 Cleveland

Steelers might run the ball 60 times.

STEELERS, 13-9

No. 28 Carolina (OFF) at No. 27 Philadelphia, Monday night

Eagles are more of a mess than Panthers.

PANTHERS, 14-13

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2012 RECORD:

Against spread: 5-6-2 (65-88-5). Straight up: 12-2 (97-62-1)

Best Bet: 5-4-2 against spread, 9-2 straight up.

Upset special: 7-4 against spread, 5-6 straight up.

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Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL