Sam Farmer’s NFL Week 14 picks

Philip Rivers
Quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers won a big game at Baltimore last week, now San Diego plays host to New England in another AFC showdown on Sunday.
(Nick Wass / 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 9-7 (.563); season 122-69-1 (.639). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 6-9-1 (.400); season 100-91-1 (.524).


Pittsburgh (7-5) at Cincinnati (8-3-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.


Steelers 24, Bengals 21

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Bengals by 3. O/U: 47.

Ben Roethlisberger has owned Ohio, and the Steelers play teams in their division better than they play most everybody else. Bengals have to ask: Which Andy Dalton shows up?



Houston (6-6) at Jacksonville (2-10)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Texans 27, Jaguars 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Texans by 5. O/U: 42.

Ryan Fitzpatrick won’t have another six-touchdown day for the Texans, but he might find a way to get J.J. Watt the ball again. Jacksonville, coming off a win, is 0-6 on the road.



Baltimore (7-5) at Miami (7-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Ravens 21, Dolphins 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

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

A must-win for both teams. Baltimore should bounce back after losing at home. The Dolphins have a tendency to lose to good teams by making mistakes in the fourth quarter.


NY Jets (2-10) at Minnesota (5-7)


Sunday, 10 a.m.

Vikings 21, Jets 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Vikings by 6. O/U: 40.

The Vikings have hung tough in all but a few games this season. The Jets are all over the map, so it’s hard to have much faith in them, especially when they’re on offense.


Indianapolis (8-4) at Cleveland (7-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Colts 28, Browns 20

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Colts by 3 1/2. O/U: 50.

The Cleveland quarterback situation — sticking with Brian Hoyer — will be the most compelling story line, but the QB to watch here is the Colts’ Andrew Luck, who has been scorching hot this season.


Tampa Bay (2-10) at Detroit (8-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Lions 21, Buccaneers 14

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Lions by 10. O/U: 41 1/2.

Tampa Bay is playing tough and can give opponents problems. But like Lovie Smith said, the Buccaneers usually do what 2-10 teams do: They find a way to lose. Detroit holds on at home.


Carolina (3-8-1) at New Orleans (5-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Saints 28, Panthers 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Saints by 10. O/U: 49 1/2.

New Orleans should be able to build momentum after an impressive showing at Pittsburgh. Weird as it sounds, the Saints come back to town and pick up a rare win at home.


NY Giants (3-9) at Tennessee (2-10)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Giants 21, Titans 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Pick ‘em. O/U: 46.

These teams are so bad, this could be good. The Titans don’t have an answer for receiver Odell Beckham Jr., although they are better with Zach Mettenberger at quarterback instead of Jake Locker.


St. Louis (5-7) at Washington (3-9)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Rams 21, Redskins 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

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

The Rams are rolling and, although they’ll probably miss the playoffs, nobody wants to play them. Colt McCoy can win games for Washington, but the St. Louis front will get to him.


Kansas City (7-5) at Arizona (9-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Cardinals 21, Chiefs 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Cardinals by 1. O/U: 40 1/2.

Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton is struggling, so there are no sure bets. But the Chiefs don’t match up well against a defense that can stack the box and leave corners on islands.


Buffalo (7-5) at Denver (9-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Broncos 31, Bills 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

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

Buffalo’s front four is loaded with talent, and the Bills have the pass rush to get to Peyton Manning. They just don’t have the firepower, however, to keep up with the Broncos.


San Francisco (7-5) at Oakland (1-11)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

49ers 21, Raiders 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 716.

Line: 49ers by 8. O/U: 41.

Raiders were thoroughly embarrassed at St. Louis last Sunday, but they will account for themselves better here. The 49ers are still the superior team but this should be close.


Seattle (8-4) at Philadelphia (9-3)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Eagles 24, Seahawks 21

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 717.

Line: Eagles by 1. O/U: 49.

The Seahawks are healthy and their defense is playing great. But they will need to score at least 24 to outgun Philadelphia, and the Eagles will blitz a lot up the middle and disrupt things.


New England (9-3) at San Diego (8-4)

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

Chargers 28, Patriots 27

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Patriots by 3 1/2. O/U: 51.

Even though the Patriots almost never lose two in a row, they could have problems with the surging Chargers, who are a different team with Ryan Mathews in the backfield.


Atlanta (5-7) at Green Bay (9-3)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Packers 38, Falcons 20


Line: Packers by 12 1/2. O/U: 56.

Atlanta is coming off a big victory over Arizona, but the Cardinals missed a lot of opportunities. Aaron Rodgers won’t. He’ll shred that Falcons defense and put up gaudy numbers.

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