No offense to the Lions, but NFL picks and predictions for this today’s Thanksgiving games are generally easier thanks to their annual appearance on the schedule.

Detroit, which has a 37-40-2 overall record in its 79 consecutive Thanksgiving game appearances, is a home underdog against Chicago with good reason. With Matthew Stafford out of the lineup with broken bones in his back the Lions have limped to a 3-7-1 record in a lost season. The Bears, though they’ve had their share of struggles, are still fighting for a playoff spot in the NFC.

Against the spread | Straight-up predictions

Of course, what we’re saying about the Lions can be said for the Falcons this year, too. Though Atlanta upset New Orleans a few weeks ago, the Falcons are big home underdogs on Thanksgiving Night against a Saints team that has a chance to clinch the NFC South with a win this week.

As for the Cowboys, who historically have been more trustworthy than the Lions on Thanksgiving with their 31-19-1 overall record on the holiday, they draw the Bills this year. Though Buffalo opened as a seven-point road underdog in Dallas, the Cowboys can’t take the Bills lightly. If they do, Jerry Jones’ wrath will get even uglier than it already is.

Below are our NFL picks and predictions for all three Thanksgiving games in 2019.

NFL picks, predictions for Thanksgiving games

    Chicago Bears (-1) at Detroit Lions

    Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET, Fox

    The Bears are desperate to remain a factor in the NFC playoff picture, and their dreadful offense shouldn’t be an issue this week against the Lions’ equally dreadful defense. That certainly was the case when these teams met back in Week 10. Mitchell Trubisky in that game passed for 3 touchdowns and managed a passer rating of 131.0.

    On the other side of the ball, Detroit likely won’t have Matthew Stafford available to put pressure on Chicago’s defense. His replacement Jeff Driskel did have a solid day against the Bears earlier this season (a career-high 269 yards and 3 total TDs), he has been ruled out, meaning rookie third-stringer David Blough will start. Since joining the Bears in 2018, Khalil Mack is tied for the league lead with 11 forced fumbles. He will eat again on this early Thanksgiving afternoon.

    Pick: Bears 24, Lions 14

      Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys (-7)

      Thursday, 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS

      This is a matchup between playoff contenders that have played well against bad teams and not so well against good teams. Even back home in the warm, climate-controlled environment of AT&T Stadium, the Cowboys will have problems against the Bills’ defense, especially if Amari Cooper continues his struggles with Tre’Davious White lined up against him. Overall, Buffalo has the NFL’s third best scoring defense with just 15.7 points allowed per game.

      Still, Dak Prescott should be able to make more game-changing plays than Josh Allen will manage against Dallas’ quietly still-good defense, and Prescott likely will get more help from his own running game. As great as the Bills have been defensively, they’ve been average against the run. Ezekiel Elliott, whose 27 games with 125 or more scrimmage yards since he entered the NFL in 2016 are most in the league, is looking for his third straight Thanksgiving game in which he has rushed for a touchdown and put up 120 or more scrimmage yards.

      Pick: Cowboys 27, Bills 21

        New Orleans Saints (-7) at Atlanta Falcons

        Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

        This game is about more than revenge for the Saints, who were upset at home by the Falcons a few weeks ago. New Orleans, against its most hated rival, has a chance to become the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season by virtue of winning the NFC South. A simple win over the Falcons would do the trick, but even if ther

        e’s a tie Thursday night, the Saints would clinch the division with a Panthers loss on Sunday.

        When Atlanta pulled off that upset in Week 10, it recorded six sacks of Brees. The Saints are getting healthier, and their offense is clicking with rushing production and Drew Brees’ efficiency, a repeat is highly unlikely. As long as New Orleans gets the ball to Michael Thomas effectively, it won’t lose to Atlanta twice this season.

        The Saints’ star wide receiver recorded 10 receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown last week and became the fourth player with at least eight receptions and 100 receiving yards in five consecutive games in a single season in NFL history. Thomas leads the NFL with 104 receptions and 1,242 receiving yards in 2019. He is the fifth player with at least 100 receptions and 1,200 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons in NFL history.

        Pick: Saints 30, Falcons 20