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Sam Farmer's NFL Week 17 picks

Sam Farmer's NFL Week 17 picks
The Carolina Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton (1) will try to eliminate division rival Atlanta from the playoffs in the regular-season finale. (David T. Foster III / Charlotte Observer)

The Times’ NFL columnist, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 12-4 (.750); season 162-78 (.675). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 4-11-1 (.267); season 111-116-13 (.489).

CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-9) at BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-6)

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Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Ravens by 91/2. O/U: 401/2.

The Ravens still have their playoff goal within their grasp, and they have the defense to set the tone. Pressed to the wall, they get the job done on their home field.

Ravens 24, Bengals 17

HOUSTON TEXANS (4-11) at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-12)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Colts by 5. O/U: 41.

The Colts have the front seven to win what probably will be the finale for coach Chuck Pagano. The Texans are a rotating door at quarterback and are hurting elsewhere.

Colts 24, Texans 15

BUFFALO BILLS (8-7) at MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-9)

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Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Bills by 2. O/U: 421/2.

The Bills still have a faint pulse for a playoff spot. They can find ways to win, whereas the Dolphins are a mystery — here one week, gone the next. Take Buffalo on the road.

Bills 27, Dolphins 21

NEW YORK JETS (5-10) at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Patriots by 141/2. O/U: 45.

The Jets are still playing defense for Todd Bowles. But Bryce Petty is not the answer at quarterback, and the Patriots know how to protect their turf.

Patriots 28, Jets 17

CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-15) at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (12-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Steelers by 101/2. O/U: 391/2.

The Steelers are in the playoffs and have their bye, but they’re still not going to lose at home to the Browns. Won’t let that happen. Browns’ nightmare ends at 0-16.

Steelers 21, Browns 13

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (10-5) at TENNESSEE TITANS (8-7)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Titans by 3. O/U: 41.

The Jaguars have won the division, and the Titans are fighting for their lives. Tennessee is a much better team at home, and gave the Rams problems in Week 16.

Titans 24, Jaguars 18

CAROLINA PANTHERS (11-4) at ATLANTA FALCONS (9-6)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 717.

Line: Falcons by 4. O/U: 46.

Carolina finds ways to get the job done, and it’s hard to put too much stock in the Falcons, especially with the egg they laid at New Orleans. But Atlanta is desperate, at home, and has talent.

Falcons 24, Panthers 21

GREEN BAY PACKERS (7-8) at DETRIOT LIONS (8-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Lions by 6. O/U: 43.

The Lions are going to play hard for coach Jim Caldwell, even though he could be out the door. Matthew Stafford gets the edge over Brett Hundley, and the Lions win for pride.

Lions 31, Packers 24

CHICAGO BEARS (5-10) at MINNESOTA VIKINGS (12-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Vikings by 11. O/U: 391/2.

The Vikings probably will rest some players to have them ready for the playoffs. Still, waiting behind Case Keenum is Teddy Bridgewater, so the firepower is there.

Vikings 28, Bears 16

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (7-8) at NEW YORK GIANTS (2-13)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Redskins by 3. O/U: 38.

Both teams are deeply flawed and playing for pride. Kirk Cousins is playing better than Eli Manning, so give the edge to the Redskins even though they’re on the road.

Redskins 24, Giants 20

DALLAS COWBOYS (8-7) at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (13-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Cowboys by 21/2. O/U: 41.

Season is over for the Cowboys, and Eagles have a playoff bye. Everybody loves Philadelphia’s defense this week, but not after it surrendered 500 yards to the Giants the week before.

Cowboys 27, Eagles 24

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-4) at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-11)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 718.

Line: Saints by 61/2. O/U: 50.

The NFC South winner has yet to be determined, so the Saints are going to be playing especially hard. If the Saints get out to an early lead, the Buccaneers will have a tough time catching up.

Saints 28, Buccaneers 24

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-6) at DENVER BRONCOS (5-10)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Broncos by 31/2. O/U: 38.

Andy Reid has the luxury of resting players if he chooses, but the Chiefs are still good enough to win. The Broncos are really hurting, despite their great defense.

Chiefs 23, Broncos 17

OAKLAND RAIDERS (6-9) at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (8-7)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Chargers by 8. O/U: 44.

StubHub Center will be overrun by Raiders fans, but the Chargers are used to dealing with hostile surroundings. They’re a better team than the Raiders, and have something to play for.

Chargers 34, Raiders 21

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (5-10) at LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-4)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 719.

Line: San Francisco by 31/2. O/U: 451/2.

The Rams are planning to rest some key players for the playoffs. That should be enough for Jimmy Garoppolo to win his fifth in a row — although it would drop the 49ers down in the draft.

49ers 27, Rams 23

ARIZONA CARDINALS (7-8) at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-9)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: None. DirectTV: 720.

Line: Seahawks by 9. O/U: 39.

The Cardinals have proved they are capable of winning at Seattle, but that’s with Carson Palmer at quarterback. Arizona’s defense has been on fire since Week 10.

Seahawks 24, Cardinals 20

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