Sam Farmer's NFL Week 5 picks

Sam Farmer's NFL Week 5 picks
Quarterback Tony Romo (9) and the Cowboys are looking to improve to 4-1 with a victory over the Texans on Sunday. Houston, though, is looking for its fourth win in five games. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

The Times' NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week's matchups. Lines according to Glantz-Culver (O/U = over/under). Last week's record 8-5 (.615); season 39-22 (.639). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 8-5 (.615); season 38-23 (.623).



Chicago (2-2) at Carolina (2-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bears 24, Panthers 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Panthers by 2 1/2. O/U: 45 1/2.

Tough sledding for Panthers, now handing the ball to Darrin Reaves, promoted from the practice squad a week ago. That puts a lot of pressure on Cam Newton. Bears will bounce back.


Tampa Bay (1-3) at New Orleans (1-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Saints 28, Buccaneers 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

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

Sooner or later, the Saints are going to get rolling. They just have too many offensive weapons. Their defense is loaded too. Bucs aren't very good but they have some talented players.



Atlanta (2-2) at New York Giants (2-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Giants 27, Falcons 24

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Giants by 4. O/U: 50¿1/2¿.

What's going on with Falcons' offensive line? When you have a tight end playing right tackle, you're hurting. Eli Manning is starting to get comfortable with the Giants' up-tempo, West Coast offense.


St. Louis (1-2) at Philadelphia (3-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Eagles 30, Rams 13

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

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

That was a pitiful performance by Philadelphia's offense in San Francisco, a come-back-to-earth game for the Eagles. That said, the Rams are just bad. The Eagles will right ship before home crowd.


Buffalo (2-2) at Detroit (3-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Lions 28, Bills 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Lions by 7. O/U: 44.

Bills quarterback Kyle Orton can't be too excited that his first start comes against Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley & Co. The Lions are loaded with talent and it looks as if they're finally turning the corner.


Houston (3-1) at Dallas (3-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Cowboys 21, Texans 17

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Cowboys by 6. O/U: 46 1/2.

The Cowboys have a better quarterback and they were terrific Sunday night. Their offensive line is solid, and they're averaging a league-best 165.0 yards rushing. Texans are 24th against the run.


Baltimore (3-1) at Indianapolis (2-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Ravens 23, Colts 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Colts by 3 1/2. O/U: 48 1/2.

Andrew Luck has thrown for 763 yards and eight touchdowns in his last two games — but that came against woeful Jacksonville and Tennessee. The Colts won't be able to run the ball in this one.


Pittsburgh (2-2) at Jacksonville (0-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Steelers 24, Jaguars 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Steelers by 6. O/U: 47.

Steelers are taking a lot of heat for their offense, but that familiar Steel Curtain defense is MIA. Still, it's Jacksonville. Jags rookie Blake Bortles makes some big plays, but also throws a couple picks.


Cleveland (1-2) at Tennessee (1-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Browns 21, Titans 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

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

The Browns might not know how to win yet, but they're better than a lot of people think. The jury is still way out on Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker. Go with Cleveland in this one.


Arizona (3-0) at Denver (2-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Broncos 24, Cardinals 20

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Broncos by 7 1/2. O/U: 48 1/2.

Because of key injuries, the undefeated Cardinals have had to work magic on both sides of the ball. It's a lot to ask of Drew Stanton, to match Peyton Manning score for score, and on the road.


New York Jets (1-3) at San Diego (3-1)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Chargers 35, Jets 20

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Chargers by 6 1/2. O/U: 43 1/2.

Philip Rivers has played his way into the too-early MVP conversation. The Chargers have some serious injury issues, especially at RB, but they will be able to hold off Geno Smith and the shaky Jets.


Kansas City (2-2) at San Francisco (2-2)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Chiefs 21, 49ers 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 716.

Line: 49ers by 6. O/U: 44.

Hitting the road after a short week is a tall order for KC. That said, Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has the rocket-fuel incentive of playing the team that dumped him for Colin Kaepernick.


Cincinnati (3-0) at New England (2-2)

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

Bengals 31, Patriots 17

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Bengals by 1. O/U: 46.

The Patriots stand a good chance of being blown out of consecutive games for the first time in forever. The Bengals are tough on both sides of the ball, and New England can't protect Tom Brady.


Seattle (2-1) at Washington (1-3)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Seahawks 28, Redskins 16


Line: Seahawks by 7. O/U: 45 1/2.

The NFC West is the new black-and-blue division, and the Seahawks will beat up on the Redskins. Marshawn Lynch will be able to run, and Washington will have a hard time retuning the favor.