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NFL Weekend Picks: AFC North rivals spice things up

    No. 22 New York Giants (minus 1) at No. 28 Washington
Surprised that NFL didn't flex out of this prime-time eyesore? So are we.

    No. 20 Miami (plus 1 1-2) at No. 23 New York Jets
Time to drop one of these teams from playoff talk.

    No. 2 New Orleans (plus 6) at No. 1 Seattle, Monday night
Now here's a tasty treat, with major Super Bowl implications. Spread is too big.

    No. 15 Green Bay (plus 6) at No. 13 Detroit, Thursday
Once a regular Thanksgiving matchup. Plenty of NFC North importance here.
LIONS, 33-30

    No. 27 Oakland (plus 9 1-2) at No. 12 Dallas, Thursday
Cowboys feeling very good about themselves. Raiders won't ruin it.
COWBOYS, 37-17

    No. 3 (tie) Denver (minus 4) at No. 6 Kansas City
Excuse us for not being all that excited by the rematch.
BRONCOS, 26-20

    No. 9 Arizona (plus 3 1-2) at No. 11 Philadelphia
Now this one does get the blood flowing with two teams on the rise.
EAGLES, 24-23

    No. 3 (tie) New England (minus 7 1-2) at No. 32 Houston
Look out, Patriots could steal AFC home-field advantage.

    No. 8 Cincinnati (plus 1) at No. 16 (tie) —San Diego
If Bengals are to be playoff threat, they need to win this type of game.
BENGALS, 23-21

    No. 21 Tennessee (plus 4 1-2) at No. 10 Indianapolis
Stumbling Colts could let Titans back in AFC South race with loss.
COLTS, 19-17

    No. 16 (tie) St. Louis (plus 9 1-2) at No. 7 San Francisco
Jeff Fisher's Rams have no fear of Niners, no matter where they meet.
49ERS, 20-16

    No. 25 Tampa Bay (plus 8 1-2) at No. 5 Carolina
Two streaking teams. Panthers' win string — and roster — far more impressive.

    No. 31 Atlanta (plus 3 1-2) vs. No. 24 Buffalo at Toronto
Falcons in running for top overall draft pick.
BILLS, 26-23

    No. 14 Chicago (pick-em) at No. 29 Minnesota
Vikings in running for top overall draft pick.
BEARS, 20-15

    No. 30 Jacksonville (plus 7) at No. 26 Cleveland
Jaguars in running for top overall draft pick.
JAGUARS, 16-13

2013 RECORD: Against spread: 2-11-1 (68-94-7). Straight up: 4-9-1 (99-75-1).
Best Bet: 4-8 against spread, 10-2 straight up.
Upset special: 3-9 against spread, 1-11 straight up.

    Normally a grudge match for AFC North supremacy, Thanksgiving night's visit by the Steelers to Baltimore doesn't carry quite such a lofty air this year.
    It still should be one of the more physical and contentious games of the holiday weekend. Or of the entire schedule, for that matter, even though both perennial powers are 5-6 and trail Cincinnati by two games in the division.
    The defending Super Bowl champion Ravens (No. 19 in the AP Pro 32) are 3-point favorites over Pittsburgh (No. 18, AP Pro32). But the Steelers have been the hotter team of late, winning three in a row, while Baltimore has taken two of three following a three-game slide.
    "We understand where we're at," said Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who has gotten the team into the playoffs in all five of his previous seasons in charge. "We know what everybody's record is. But we also know we have to win.
    "We haven't given up the division championship yet, either. But we've got to win games. We have to win the next one on our schedule."
    Sorry, John.