Sam Farmer's NFL picks for Week 12

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 9-5 (.643); season 100-60 (.625). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 6-7-1(.462); season 74-77-9 (.490).

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Minnesota (8-2) at Detroit (6-4)

Thursday, 9:30 a.m.

Vikings 27, Lions 23

TV: Channel 11.

Line: Vikings by 3. O/U: 45.

Case Keenum has strung together some strong games for the Vikings, and Minnesota’s defense is clicking, especially that pass rush. Detroit doesn’t have an overwhelming home-field advantage.

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LA Chargers (4-6) at Dallas (5-5)

Thursday, 1:30 p.m.

Chargers 28, Cowboys 20

TV: Channel 2.

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

Even if Tyron Smith is back for Dallas, it’s a tall order to neutralize those Chargers coming off the edges. With the rest of the AFC West fading, the Chargers could wind up making the playoffs.

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NY Giants (2-8) at Washington (4-6)

Thursday, 5:30 p.m.

Redskins 27, Giants 21

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Redskins by 7. O/U: 44 1/2.

The Giants are due for a letdown after their big win over Kansas City. Kirk Cousins should be able to pick apart that defense, even though he doesn’t have a lot of targets.

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Cleveland (0-10) at Cincinnati (4-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bengals 21, Browns 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Bengals by 7 1/2. O/U: 38.

This in-state rivalry figures to be close because the Browns’ eighth-ranked defense is playing well. The difference will be Cincinnati making a few more plays on offense.

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Buffalo (5-5) at Kansas City (6-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Chiefs 24, Bills 16

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Chiefs by 9 1/2. O/U: 47.

Once promising, the Bills are suddenly rudderless. Kansas City has its share of issues, but the Chiefs will get back on track for a Sunday by getting back to the between-the-tackles formula.

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Miami (4-6) at New England (8-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Patriots 35, Dolphins 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

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

Tom Brady will dissect the Dolphins and their vulnerable pass defense. The Patriots are particularly strong at home when the weather turns, and this year will be no exception.

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Tennessee (6-4) at Indianapolis (3-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Titans 31, Colts 23

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Titans by 3 1/2. O/U: 46.

The Titans need to scoop up their pride after a blowout loss to Pittsburgh. A division game should do the trick, and Tennessee has the ground game to play keep-away.

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Tampa Bay (4-6) at Atanta (6-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Falcons 24, Buccaneers 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Falcons by 10. O/U: 48.

The Falcons are coming off a short week but look to have gotten over their hangover. That win at Seattle should provide a boost. Tampa Bay has been a disappointment.

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Carolina (7-3) at N.Y. Jets (4-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Panthers 30, Jets 24

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Panthers by 4 1/2. O/U: 40.

Carolina is inching closer and closer to the offense Cam Newton ran at Auburn, and he’s going to like shouldering the load. Panthers defense can be really good. Interesting game.

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Chicago (3-7) at Philadelphia (9-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Eagles 27, Bears 21

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Eagles by 13 1/2. O/U: 44.

The Bears aren’t going to derail the red-hot Eagles, but Chicago tends to play better as the underdog so this should be entertaining. Still, the Eagles extend their winning streak to nine.

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Seattle (6-4) at San Francisco (1-9)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Seahawks 24, 49ers 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Seahawks by 6 1/2. O/U: 44 1/2.

Losing to the Falcons the way they did was a gut punch for the Seahawks, but they’re not going to let the Rams run away with the NFC West. Seattle bounces back to win this on the road.

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New Orleans (8-2) at L.A. Rams (7-3)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Rams 31, Saints 27

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Rams by 21/2. O/U: 53 1/2.

Game of the week. Rams can’t afford to lose two in a row. Saints are running it well, and Rams are giving up yards on the ground. Still, even without Robert Woods (shoulder injury), Rams find a way.

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Jacksonville (7-3) at Arizona (4-6)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Jaguars 20, Cardinals 16

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Jaguars by 5. O/U: 38.

The Cardinals are going to take a look at some younger players in this one, so they’ll be hard-pressed to upset a Jacksonville team that’s rolling on defense and can run the ball.

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Denver (3-7) at Oakland (4-6)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Raiders 24, Broncos 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Raiders by 4. O/U: 43 1/2.

The Broncos are in a downward spiral, and the Raiders could be heading that way. Denver can’t get to 20 points, and this one favors the better quarterback at home. That’s Derek Carr.

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Green Bay (5-5) at Pittsburgh (8-2)

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

Steelers 38, Packers 17

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Steelers by 14. O/U: 42 1/2.

The Green Bay pass defense is bad, and Ben Roethlisberger will take full advantage of that. Tough to go against a more talented Steelers team that’s playing in prime time.

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Houston (4-6) at Baltimore (5-5)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Ravens 24, Texans 14

TV: ESPN.

Line: Ravens by 7. O/U: 38.

Hard to believe the Tom Savage hype. He’s not going to be moving the ball on that Ravens defense, and Joe Flacco will be able to throw on Houston’s defense. Not pretty, but a Baltimore win.

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