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.
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.
No. 22 Tampa Bay (plus 8) at No. 12 Baltimore
Ravens about to surge to AFC North title.
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.
No. 16 Philadelphia (plus 9 1-2) at No. 3 Los Angeles Rams
Eagles play hard while undermanned, just don’t win enough.
No. 8 Seattle (minus 5 1-2) at No. 31 San Francisco
Seahawks have that NFC wild-card berth in sight.
No. 7 Houston (minus 6) at No. 26 New York Jets, Saturday
Texans get back on track in New Jersey.
No. 14 Tennessee (plus 2 1-2) at No. 21 Giants
Titans keep it going in New Jersey? Well, no.
No. 20 Cleveland (plus 3) at No. 18 Denver, Saturday
Browns on right track, Broncos too banged-up.
No. 15 Miami (plus 7) at No. 13 Minnesota
No “Drake Escape” or “Miami Miracle” this week.
No. 32 Arizona (plus 8 1-2) at No. 25 Atlanta
Cardinals even more confounding than Falcons.
No. 23 Detroit (plus 2 1-2) at No. 27 Buffalo
Two more confounding also-rans.
No. 30 Oakland (plus 3) at No. 28 Cincinnati
Bengals have lost their way. They’ll partially find it for one week.
No. 24 Washington (plus 7) at No. 29 Jacksonville
Will Redskins show up this week? Will Jaguars?
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