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Rejoice: Thursday night games end with a special matchup

For those fans who dislike Thursday night football, rejoice that this week is the final game of the season on such short rest.

Also rejoice that it’s one of the best matchups of the year, with hefty implications in the standings, as Kansas City hosts the Los Angeles Chargers.

Even with a loss, the Chiefs keep the top spot in the AFC West with a better division record as the teams will have split their series. A win for Kansas City (11-2) could secure the top seed in the conference, though, depending on what happens to the Patriots and Texans.

The Chargers (10-3), who lost to KC 38-28 in the season opener, will own a postseason berth with a victory. They also can get in with a loss and help elsewhere, but those scenarios give Pro Picks a migraine.

Los Angeles, ranked fourth in the AP Pro32, is a 3½-point underdog at top-ranked Kansas City. We think, right now, the Chargers are the better-balanced team, though winning on the road on Thursday nights is very difficult, especially if the top two running backs are out. That could be the case with Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (neck, concussion protocol) uncertain.

Bye-bye Thursday nights.

CHIEFS, 30-29

KNOCKOUT POOL: Too bad we had to make last week’s selection before all the Broncos’ injuries hit. If you’re still alive — Pro Picks most certainly is not — try BALTIMORE.

No. 19 Green Bay (plus 5 1-2) at No. 6 Chicago

Normally, letdown for Bears could be expected. Not against Packers, though.

BEST BET: BEARS, 23-16

No. 9 Dallas (plus 3) at No. 11 Indianapolis

We recognize this could be sucker bet. OK, we’re suckers.

UPSET SPECIAL: COWBOYS, 20-17

No. 5 New England (minus 1 1-2) at No. 10 Pittsburgh

Steelers about to blow division and possibly wild card.

PATRIOTS, 39-32

No. 22 Tampa Bay (plus 8) at No. 12 Baltimore

Ravens about to surge to AFC North title.

RAVENS, 26-20

No. 2 New Orleans (minus 6 1-2) at No. 17 Carolina, Monday night

Saints need to stay ahead of Rams for NFC home-field edge.

SAINTS, 33-20

No. 16 Philadelphia (plus 9 1-2) at No. 3 Los Angeles Rams

Eagles play hard while undermanned, just don’t win enough.

RAMS, 37-24

No. 8 Seattle (minus 5 1-2) at No. 31 San Francisco

Seahawks have that NFC wild-card berth in sight.

SEAHAWKS, 17-13

No. 7 Houston (minus 6) at No. 26 New York Jets, Saturday

Texans get back on track in New Jersey.

TEXANS, 28-13

No. 14 Tennessee (plus 2 1-2) at No. 21 Giants

Titans keep it going in New Jersey? Well, no.

GIANTS, 30-19

No. 20 Cleveland (plus 3) at No. 18 Denver, Saturday

Browns on right track, Broncos too banged-up.

BROWNS, 27-23

No. 15 Miami (plus 7) at No. 13 Minnesota

No “Drake Escape” or “Miami Miracle” this week.

VIKINGS, 22-20

No. 32 Arizona (plus 8 1-2) at No. 25 Atlanta

Cardinals even more confounding than Falcons.

FALCONS, 30-20

No. 23 Detroit (plus 2 1-2) at No. 27 Buffalo

Two more confounding also-rans.

BILLS, 23-17

No. 30 Oakland (plus 3) at No. 28 Cincinnati

Bengals have lost their way. They’ll partially find it for one week.

BENGALS, 21-20

No. 24 Washington (plus 7) at No. 29 Jacksonville

Will Redskins show up this week? Will Jaguars?

JAGUARS, 20-10

___

2018 RECORD:

Last Week: Against spread (8-8). Straight up (9-7)

Season Totals: Against spread (103-93-7). Straight up: (136-70-2)

Best Bet: 4-10 against spread, 9-5 straight up

Upset special: 8-6 against spread, 7-6-1 straight up

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Joel Rodgers

Joel Rodgers joined RSHV News 1 in January 2018 as a reporter/journalist. Prior to joining our team, Joel spent the previous 5 years as a morning show reporter, entertainment reporter, and sports reporter for a local television station. At 6’5”, he's the tallest reporter in the history of Shreveport, but it’s more than just his height that makes this Shreveport native stand out. His editing skills combined with his love for storytelling makes for a creative and talented addition to the RSHV News 1 team. After attending and graduating from Evangel Christian Academy, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern State University. Joel is very active in the Shreveport community having won several competitions in recent years. In 2017, he danced his way to victory in the annual Susan G. Komen event, “Dancing for the Cure." He’s also won the “Mudbug Madness” Crawfish eating contest in back-to-back years and was named the top celebrity chef at the “Louisiana Food Prize” cooking competition. If you have a story idea, news tip, or just want to say "hey" - you can do so by emailing Joel Rodgers at jrodgers@realshreveport.com

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