Sam Farmer’s NFL Week 12 picks

When last we saw the 49ers and Seahawks play, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman was reminding San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree the pecking order of players in the NFL. Thursday they meet in an NFC championship game rematch.
(Tony Overman / McClatchy-Tribune)

Sam Farmer, The Times’ NFL writer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Glantz-Culver (O/U=over/under). Last week’s record 11-4 (.735); season 113-62-1 (.646). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 11-4 (.735); season 94-82 (.534).


Chicago (5-6) at Detroit (7-4)

Thursday, 9:30 a.m.

Lions 24, Bears 21

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: None.

Line: Lions by 7. O/U: 47 1/2 .

The Bears are coming off back-to-back home wins but were blown out in their past two road games. The Lions have flat-lined on offense lately, totaling five field goals in the past two weeks.



Philadelphia (8-3) at Dallas (8-3)

Thursday, 1:30 p.m.

Cowboys 28, Eagles 24

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: None.

Line: Cowboys by 3. O/U: 55.

This should be epic. The Eagles have been scoring a lot of points lately, but the Cowboys have a rock-solid running game and that offensive line forms an airtight pocket for Tony Romo.


Seattle (7-4) at San Francisco (7-4)

Thursday, 5:30 p.m.

49ers 21, Seahawks 17

TV: Channel 4. DirecTV: None.

Line: 49ers by 1. O/U: 39 1/2.

As evenly matched as these teams are, Pete Carroll’s Seahawks have never beaten the 49ers on the road. The return of Aldon Smith boosts San Francisco’s pass rush in a big way.


San Diego (7-4) at Baltimore (7-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Ravens 28, Chargers 27

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Ravens by 5 1/2. O/U: 46.

Another must-win for both teams, each of whom has won two in a row. With the Chargers traveling across the country, the edge goes to the physical Ravens, even on a short week.


Cleveland (7-4) at Buffalo (6-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bills 21, Browns 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Bills by 2 1/2. O/U: 41.

These teams are strikingly similar. Both get after the quarterback, have explosive receivers and solid running games. This game will come down to whichever team can avoid turnovers.


Tennessee (2-9) at Houston (5-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Texans 31, Titans 13

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Texans by 6 1/2. O/U: 42 1/2.

This is a must-win for the Texans, who are hanging on by their fingernails in the wild-card race. Ryan Fitzpatrick has beaten the Titans before, and he can do it again at home.


Oakland (1-10) at St. Louis (4-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Rams 24, Raiders 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Rams by 7. O/U: 43.

This is a battle of two underrated teams. The 1-10 Raiders are rested after picking up their first victory. But the Rams are giving everyone problems lately, plus they’re at home.


Cincinnati (7-3-1) at Tampa Bay (2-9)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bengals 24, Buccaneers 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Bengals by 3 1/2. O/U: 44.

The Bengals seem to have fixed their issues on both sides of the ball, and they should be able to handle the last-place Buccaneers, who have lost six of their last seven.


Washington (3-8) at Indianapolis (7-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Colts 31, Redskins 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Colts by 9 1/2. O/U: 51.

Grasping for answers, the Redskins are starting Colt McCoy over Robert Griffin III. That’s not a good scenario against a Colts team that seldom has letdowns vs. bad opponents.


NY Giants (3-8) at Jacksonville (1-10)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Giants 28, Jaguars 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Giants by 2 1/2. O/U: 44.

The Giants are nothing special — aside from spectacular receiver Odell Beckham Jr. — but Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles has moonwalked since his strong start.


Carolina (3-7-1) at Minnesota (4-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Vikings 21, Panthers 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Vikings by 2 1/2. O/U: 43.

Running back Ben Tate was a key acquisition for the Vikings and could play a significant role for a team that gave Green Bay problems. The Panthers haven’t won since Week 5.


New Orleans (4-7) at Pittsburgh (7-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Steelers 28, Saints 24

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Steelers by 4. O/U: 53 1/2.

Saints defense is reeling. Only way New Orleans wins is in a shootout, and that’s a tall order on the road and in the cold, especially for a team that has lost three in a row.


Arizona (9-2) at Atlanta (4-7)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

Cardinals 24, Falcons 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Cardinals by 2 1/2. O/U: 44 1/2.

Bad matchup for the Falcons. Matt Ryan has one touchdown and nine interceptions vs. Arizona the last two years. Atlanta will abandon the run, then get in trouble with the pass.


New England (9-2) at Green Bay (8-3)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Packers 31, Patriots 27

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Packers by 3. O/U: 58 1/2 .

The Packers have more offensive weapons and a defense that can pressure the quarterback. Then again, it’s Tom Brady and the Patriots can run. Can make a case either way.


Denver (8-3) at Kansas City (7-4)

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

Chiefs 27, Broncos 24

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Broncos by 1 1/2. O/U: 49 1/2.

Denver’s offensive line came through last week, but that’s still an issue, and defenses are ramping up the pressure on Peyton Manning. Kansas City could rally at home in this one.


Miami (6-5) at NY Jets (2-9)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Dolphins 17, Jets 7


Line: Dolphins by 6 1/2. O/U: 41 1/2.

As Rex Ryan’s career in New York winds to a close, the Jets are switching back to Geno Smith at quarterback. The Dolphins are better and are just hanging on in the wild-card race.