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Sam Farmer's NFL Week 15 picks

Sam Farmer's NFL Week 15 picks
Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Vikings on Dec. 10 at Bank of America Stadium. (Mike McCarn / Associated Press)

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 11-5 (.688); season 137-71 (.659). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 8-8 (.500); season 101-97-10 (.510).

CHICAGO BEARS (4-9) at DETROIT LIONS (7-6)

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Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

TV: NFL Network.

Line: Lions by 5 1/2. O/U: 44.

The Bears should be able to run the ball against Detroit. But the Lions are rolling on offense. They’ll put this game on the right arm of Matthew Stafford and let him sling it.

Lions 27, Bears 23

CHARGERS (7-6) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (7-6)

Saturday, 5:15p.m.

TV: Channel 2, NFL Network.

Line: Pick’em. O/U: 46.

Arrowhead is a tough place to play, especially in primetime. The Chargers have so many weapons on offense, however, and Philip Rivers will latch on to that AFC West crown within reach.

Chargers 30, Chiefs 24

MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-7) at BUFFALO BILLS (7-6)

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Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Bills by 3. O/U: 38 1/2.

The Bills keep finding ways to win. Tyrod Taylor coming back is going to help Buffalo, and inconsistent Miami could be in for a letdown coming off a short week and an emotional victory over New England.

Bills 24, Dolphins 20

BALTIMORE RAVENS (7-6) at CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-13)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Ravens by 7. O/U: 40.

Gregg Williams has that Browns defense playing pretty tough, and that should keep this one interesting. The Ravens are a better team, but this doesn’t figure to be a blowout.

Ravens 23, Browns 14

CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-8) at MINNESOTA VIKINGS (10-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Vikings by 11. O/U: 42.

It wouldn’t be great to be the Bengals offense this week after the Vikings defense got torched and Minnesota lost at Carolina. Watch for the NFC powerhouse to get back on track.

Vikings 27, Bengals 14

NEW YORK JETS (5-8) at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (9-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Saints by 16. O/U: 47 1/2.

Major letdown for the Jets, getting shut out like that at Denver and losing quarterback Josh McCown for the season. Bryce Petty isn’t going to beat the Saints, and certainly not on the road.

Saints 28, Jets 16

HOUSTON TEXANS (4-9) at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (9-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Jaguars by 12. O/U: 38 1/2.

The loss at Arizona was a good wakeup call for the Jaguars, who now should build on their win Sunday over Seattle. Texans quarterback T.J. Yates is going to face a lot of heat in this one.

Jaguars 27, Texans 17

GREEN BAY PACKERS (7-6) at CAROLINA PANTHERS (9-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Panthers by 2 1/2. O/U: 47.

Hard to know what to make of these Panthers, but beating Minnesota was impressive. Still, if Aaron Rodgers returns to action for Green Bay, watch for that to be the boost the Packers need.

Packers 28, Panthers 24

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (11-2) at NEW YORK GIANTS (2-11)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Eagles by 7 1/2. O/U: 40 1/2.

The Eagles are going to hold up here, no matter who’s playing quarterback. Nick Foles has won a lot of games for this team before, and the Giants are just not a good team.

Eagles 30, Giants 17

ARIZONA CARDINALS (6-7) at WASHINGTON REDSKINS (5-8)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Redskins by 4. O/U: 41 1/2.

Both teams are really beat up. The Cardinals have lost a couple more offensive linemen, and they’re on the East Coast where the team typically doesn’t play well. Pride game for Washington.

Redskins 20, Cardinals 17

RAMS (9-4) at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-5)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Seahawks by 2 1/2. O/U: 47 1/2.

Every time the Rams have lost this season they have rebounded with a strong performance. This should be no different, against a team they should have beaten in their first meeting.

Rams 34, Seahawks 24

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-3) at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-2)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Patriots by 3. O/U: 53 1/2.

The Steelers just aren’t the same defense without Ryan Shazier and Joe Haden, and Tom Brady should be able to take advantage of that. Patriots primed to rebound after MNF embarrassment.

Patriots 31, Steelers 27

TENNESSEE TITANS (8-5) at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (3-10)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: 49ers by 2. O/U: 44 1/2.

The 49ers are encouraged by what they’re seeing from Jimmy Garoppolo. Still, the Titans should be able to control the clock if Marcus Mariota can up his game on the road.

Titans 27, 49ers 24

DALLAS COWBOYS (7-6) at OAKLAND RAIDERS (6-7)

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Cowboys by 3. O/U: 45 1/2.

Having Sean Lee back in the Dallas defense makes a world of difference for the Cowboys. The Raiders are at home, but they just haven’t looked ready to play these games.

Cowboys 24, Raiders 17

ATLANTA FALCONS (8-5) at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-9)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN.

Line: Falcons by 6. O/U: 49.

The Buccaneers are a mess, and their defense is like a frog in science class — ready for dissection. Watch for Matt Ryan to have a big day for Falcons and keep the NFC South race interesting.

Falcons 31, Buccaneers 20

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