Pro Picks is a weekly column where AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi shares his picks for upcoming games. For all previous Pro Picks, head here.
The Detroit Lions are going back to Lambeau Field for the first time since ending Aaron Rodgers’ career in Green Bay.
The Packers look just fine with Jordan Love.
The two 2-1 teams meet Thursday night in an early season battle for first place in the NFC North.
Love, who led an impressive comeback win over the Saints last week, watched from sideline when the Lions knocked the Packers out of the playoffs with a win in the final regular-season game in 2022.
“We know we can win out there, we’ve done it before. But you’ve got to go earn it,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “It’s not going to be given. It’ll be loud, it’ll be a tough environment. They’re playing good, so here we go.”
The Packers haven’t had running back Aaron Jones and wide receiver Christian Watson the past couple of games because of hamstring injuries. If they can return on a short week, that’ll boost an offense that has played well behind Love.
The Lions are 1 1/2-point favorites on the road, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. It’s one of 11 games this week with odds under four points.
Pro Picks likes the road team.
Line: Eagles minus 8 1/2
The Eagles (3-0) are undefeated despite playing spotty and sluggish over the first three weeks. The Commanders (2-1) present an opportunity for Philly to put together a complete game.
BEST BET: EAGLES, 30-13
Line: Browns minus 2 1/2
Deshaun Watson had his best game with the Browns (2-1) and Jim Schwartz’s defense led by Myles Garrett is dominating. Facing the injury-depleted Ravens (2-1), the line should be higher.
UPSET SPECIAL: RAVENS, 23-22
Line: Jaguars minus 3
The Jaguars (1-2) have to get back on track across the pond in the first of two straight games in London. Trevor Lawrence and the offense have scored just 26 points combined in two losses. Jacksonville’s strong run defense gets a big test against Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier and the Falcons (2-1).
Line: Bills minus 3
Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane were unstoppable in a 70-point outburst vs. Denver. If the Dolphins (3-0) are going to uncrown the Bills (2-1) in the AFC East, they’ll need to beat them. Buffalo has rebounded from a season-opening loss to the Jets.
Line: Steelers minus 3
The Steelers (2-1) finally got their offense going. Somehow, the Texans (1-2) routed the Jaguars and an injury-depleted offensive line didn’t allow any sacks, giving C.J. Stroud time to make plays. Now, T.J. Watt is coming. He’s a game-wrecker with six sacks in three games.
Line: Colts minus 1 1/2
Gardner Minshew has filled in nicely for Anthony Richardson and kicker Matt Gay’s ability to make field goals from 50-plus yards is a big plus for the Colts (2-1). The Rams (1-2) look like the rebuilding team everyone expected to see.
Line: Vikings minus 3 1/2
A matchup of 0-3 teams headed nowhere. Hard to believe the Vikings were 13-4 last season. Panthers WR Adam Thielen faces his former team fresh off his best performance catching passes from Andy Dalton.
Line: Saints minus 3
Alvin Kamara returns just in time for the Saints (2-1) after Derek Carr went down. Jameis Winston could get another shot vs. his former team. The Buccaneers (2-1) came back to reality against Philadelphia. Tampa can’t run the ball so they have to rely on Baker Mayfield throwing against an excellent defense.
Line: Broncos minus 3 1/2
Sean Payton’s Broncos (0-3) are embarrassed and reeling following a 50-point loss. The Bears (0-3) have lost 13 in a row. Something has to give.
Line: Bengals minus 2 1/2
The Bengals (1-2) avoided an 0-3 start, but Joe Burrow’s lingering calf injury is a major concern. The Titans (1-2) are awful on offense despite the presence of Derrick Henry.
Line: Chargers minus 5 1/2
Justin Herbert’s heroics and Minnesota’s ineptitude at managing the clock helped the Chargers (1-2) avoid an 0-3 start. Jimmy Garoppolo is in concussion protocol for the Raiders (1-2) and Las Vegas has no chance if he’s out.
Line: Cowboys minus 6 1/2
The Cowboys (2-1) went from dominant to disappointing. Dak Prescott and Co. need to figure out their red zone issues. The Patriots (1-2) can’t keep up with teams that can score, but they’ve got a solid defense and Ezekiel Elliott will be motivated against his former team.
Line: 49ers minus 14
The 49ers (3-0) are clicking behind a dynamic, versatile offense and stingy defense. If the Cardinals (1-2) even stay close after shocking the Cowboys, that’s reason for optimism in Arizona.
Line: Chiefs minus 9 1/2
Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and the Chiefs (2-1) face a tough defense that knows it won’t get help from an offense quarterbacked by Zach Wilson. The Jets (1-2) refused to upgrade at QB after losing Aaron Rodgers and their season is in danger of spiraling.
Line: Giants minus 1 1/2
The Giants (1-2) are banged up and beaten up heading into a daunting schedule that starts with the Seahawks (2-1). Seattle is 5-0 in MetLife Stadium.
Last week: Straight up: 12-4. Against spread: 10-6
Overall: Straight up: 28-20. Against spread: 25-21-2.
Best Bet: Straight up: 3-0. Against spread: 2-0-1.
Upset Special: Straight up: 1-2. Against spread: 1-2.
Thursday: Straight up: 2-1. Against spread: 3-0.
Monday: Straight up: 4-1. Against spread: 4-0-1.
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