Pro Picks aims to rebound following a rough start in Week 1

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Graphic shows NFL team matchups and predicts the winners; 3c x 4 inches

Patrick Mahomes loses sleep preparing for Thursday night games.

Pro Picks had a restless weekend after a rough Week 1.

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The rebound begins when Mahomes leads the Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) against Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers (1-0) in the first exclusive Thursday night game on Prime Video. The AFC West showdown is a potential preview of the conference title game, though Buffalo will have its say.

Mahomes has won his past three Thursday night games. How does he get ready for a quick turnaround?

“I think usually I sacrifice the sleep earlier in the week and then as you get closer to the game trying to get back on your sleep schedule and getting your recovery back up there,” he said. “I mean they’re tough. They’re always tough because your body’s not necessarily all the way back to where you want it to be, but you have to find ways to battle through it.”

Herbert is 2-0 at Arrowhead Stadium, though the Chargers faced mostly backups in their win at Kansas City in the 2020 regular-season finale.

“I know that our guys are really excited for this one,” Herbert said. “To be able to play on prime time, 'Thursday Night Football', it’s something you always grow up dreaming about. It is a quick week, a short week, but we’re going to do everything we can to get prepared and get our bodies back so that we have a chance on Thursday.”

Mahomes threw five touchdown passes in a 44-21 rout at Arizona to begin the season. He’ll face a tough defense featuring new addition Khalil Mack, who had three sacks and forced a fumble in a 24-19 win over Las Vegas.

“Khalil is a great player,” Mahomes said. “I mean obviously they have (Joey) Bosa already with a lot of other guys that go out there and can rush the passer. They have a good defense everywhere. ... I’m just sad Khalil came back, man. I thought he was out of the AFC West, but now he’s back getting sacks again.”

The Chiefs are 4 1/2-point favorites in their home opener, according to FanDuel SportsBook. This should be close.

CHIEFS, 27-26

Chicago (plus 9 1/2) at Green Bay

For the second straight season, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers opened with a thud. The Bears are flying high after an upset over San Francisco. Rodgers is 22-5 vs. Chicago. He’ll get Green Bay back on track in a prime-time matchup Sunday night.


Minnesota (plus 1 1/2) at Philadelphia

Justin Jefferson shows Eagles fans up close what they’re missing on Monday night with Jalen Reagor, who was drafted ahead of Jefferson by Philadelphia, returning punts for the Vikings.


Washington (plus 1 1/2) at Detroit

The Lions nearly overcame a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter against Philadelphia. They should fare better against the Commanders and former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

LIONS, 26-24

New York Jets (plus 5 1/2) at Cleveland

The Browns are looking to start the season 2-0 with Jacoby Brissett filling in for the suspended Deshaun Watson. The Jets are aiming for their first win in September since 2018.

BROWNS, 20-17

Tampa Bay (minus 2 1/2) at New Orleans

The Buccaneers are 0-4 against the Saints in the regular season with Tom Brady, losing to Drew Brees twice, Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. Of course, Tampa Bay knocked off New Orleans in the 2020 playoffs en route to winning the Super Bowl. Time to get that first win in the regular season.


Carolina (plus 2 1/2) at New York Giants

Baker Mayfield fell short in his revenge game against the Browns. If the Panthers gave the ball to Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore more, Mayfield would’ve come out on top. He should this week.


New England (minus 1 1/2) at Pittsburgh

Coming off a poor effort in Miami, the Patriots are road favorites against a Steelers team that knocked off the reigning AFC champion Bengals on the road. Oddsmakers believe in Bill Belichick. So do we because T.J. Watt is hurt.


Indianapolis (minus 4 1/2) at Jacksonville

Doug Pederson lost to Wentz in his first game as Jaguars coach. Now, he faces his former offensive coordinator who helped him lead Philadelphia to a Super Bowl victory with Nick Foles. By the way, Foles joined Frank Reich as Matt Ryan’s backup in Indianapolis.

COLTS, 31-16

Miami (plus 3 1/2) at Baltimore

Lamar Jackson struggled mightily in Miami in a Thursday night game last November. He’ll get rolling this time around.

RAVENS, 24-20

Atlanta (plus 10 1/2) at Los Angeles Rams

The defending Super Bowl champs have the right opponent to get back on the winning side after an embarrassing loss to Buffalo in the kickoff opener.

RAMS, 34-13

Seattle (plus 9 1/2) at San Francisco

The Seahawks get no respect from oddsmakers after spoiling Russell Wilson’s debut with the Broncos. The 49ers are trying to avoid an 0-2 start.

49ERS, 27-17

Cincinnati (minus 7 1/2) at Dallas

Joe Burrow erases the taste of the worst game of his NFL career against a reeling Cowboys team missing Dak Prescott.

BENGALS, 26-16

Houston (plus 9 1/2) at Denver

Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett just needed one game to figure out putting the ball in Russell Wilson’s hands is a better recipe for success.

BRONCOS, 31-17

Arizona (plus 5 1/2) at Las Vegas

Derek Carr and the rest of the offense avoid the mistakes that plagued them in the opener.

RAIDERS, 28-24

Tennessee (plus 9 1/2) at Buffalo

Josh Allen and the high-powered Bills will have a tougher time dominating the Titans than they did in Week 1 vs. the Rams.

BILLS, 30-23


Last Week: Straight up: 7-9. Against spread: 6-10.

Season: Straight up: 7-9. Against spread: 6-10.

Best Bet: Straight up: 0-1. Against spread: 0-1

Upset Special: Straight up: 0-1. Against spread: 0-1.


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