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Today's Top Picks: Thanksgiving best bets for the entire NFL day, including one underdog to jump on – CBS Sports

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CBS has granted me virtually limitless freedom to do what I will with this space. So long as three picks are presented, the lede belongs to me. That may well change after the following paragraph, but for now, I need to use this platform to share a food take that is near and dear to my heart. 

Mac and cheese should be a universal Thanksgiving food. It shows up at something like 15 percent of tables, and those who deny it scoff at the mere concept. Every manner of potato under the sun makes its way onto Thanksgiving menus, but mac and cheese combines the relative inoffensiveness of mashed potatoes with the mix-in options of sweet potatoes. Throw some bacon in there, or even some seafood if you’re so inclined. Cheese is the one area lacking on Thanksgiving tables. It’s time to induct everyone’s childhood staple into the holiday pantheon. 

Okay, we can talk about football now. All lines via William Hill.

1. Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions: Under 37

I’m a professional sportswriter and I had never heard of David Blough until today. He is starting at quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and it’s worth remembering that he was Detroit’s third-string passer because he couldn’t beat out Jeff Driskel, who is winless with four interceptions in three weeks, for the backup job. Mitch Trubisky isn’t a third-string quarterback, but he probably will be some day. The last time these teams played, they combined for 33 points. Detroit taking another step back should lead to fewer points, not more of them.

SportsLine expert R.J. White is an amazing 25-12 in his last 37 ATS picks involving Bears games, and he’s released a strong play for this matchup. While he’s also leaning to the Under, you’ll have to head to SportsLine to see his spread pick for the game. 

2. Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys: Under 46.5

The Cowboys have played only two top-10 defenses so far this season, the Patriots and Saints. All four teams combined to score 44 points in those two games. The Cowboys are not just playing a top-10 defense in the Bills here, but the No. 3 ranked unit in all of football. Amari Cooper is unlikely to be shut out two weeks in a row, but Tre’Davious White is perhaps the only cornerback in football as dangerous in coverage as Stephon Gilmore. The Bills have gone over this point total only twice in their 11 games this season. All indications point to a low-scoring game here.

SportsLine expert Emory Hunt is an impressive 24-13 in his last 37 ATS picks involving Cowboys games, and he’s locked in another play for their Thanksgiving matchup. Head over to SportsLine to see which side of the spread Hunt loves. 

3. New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons: Falcons +6.5

Virtually every factor that led to Atlanta’s upset over New Orleans in their first matchup remains in place for this game. Drew Brees was sacked six times in Round 1. Andrus Peat and Terron Armstead remain out Thursday. Marshon Lattimore left the first game with injury and is questionable for this matchup. Atlanta has the sixth-best rushing defense in the NFL in terms of yards per carry, so once they built a lead, they were able to largely make New Orleans one-dimensional. The Saints could easily win this game, but predicting a wide margin of victory when the Falcons handled them so easily just weeks ago on the road just seems irresponsible.

The SportsLine Projection Model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up over $7,000 for $100 players on its top-rated NFL picks since its inception four years ago. It has one side of this spread cashing in over 60 percent of its simulations; head to SportsLine to see which team presents great value in the primetime matchup.

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