Sam Farmer’s NFL Week 17 picks

Matt Ryan
Quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons will try to improve to 7-9 on Sunday in an NFC South showdown with Carolina. The winning team goes to the playoffs.
(Frank Victores / 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 8-8 (.500); season 153-86-1 (.640). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 8-8 (.500); season 128-111-1 (.536).


Jacksonville (3-12) at Houston (8-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.


Texans 23, Jaguars 14

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Texans by 9 1/2. O/U: 40 1/2.

The Texans need all kinds of help to get into the postseason, but at least they have a pulse. The Jaguars play hard and show occasional flashes, but Houston gets the edge.



Chicago (5-10) at Minnesota (6-9)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Vikings 24, Bears 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

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

The Vikings have been thisclose, losing their past two games by a combined four points. They play tough. The same can’t be said of the Bears, who are completely deflated.



Philadelphia (9-6) at NY Giants (6-9)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Giants 28, Eagles 27

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Giants by 3. O/U: 52 1/2.

The Giants have been playing well lately, and the Eagles have been struggling. With Odell Beckham Jr. and Reuben Randle in his arsenal, Eli Manning is getting confident.


New Orleans (6-9) at Tampa Bay (2-13)


Sunday, 10 a.m.

Saints 28, Buccaneers 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Saints by 4. O/U: 47.

Go with the Saints on the road, although this should be close. Were this game in New Orleans — where the Superdome has become the Stupordome — it might be Bucs.


Dallas (11-4) at Washington (4-11)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Cowboys 31, Redskins 24

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Cowboys by 5 1/2. O/U: 49.

Dallas scored 41, 38 and 42 points in their last three games. They’re still battling for one of those top two seeds. Don’t expect an encore of the upset by the Redskins.


Cleveland (7-8) at Baltimore (9-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Ravens 24, Browns 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

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

The Ravens still have a postseason pulse, and that should be sufficient incentive. Stage 1 of the Johnny Football experiment was a flop, and that hurts the Browns’ morale.


San Diego (9-6) at Kansas City (8-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Chargers 24, Chiefs 21

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Chiefs by 3. O/U: 42 1/2.

The Chiefs laid an egg against Pittsburgh, so they have no momentum. As he showed vs. the 49ers, Philip Rivers won’t be denied, and the Chargers are headed to the playoffs.


NY Jets (3-12) at Miami (8-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Dolphins 21, Jets 10

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Dolphins by 5 1/2. O/U: 42.

The Jets were 1-3 in the last four games, but all of them were close. They figure to keep this one competitive too, but the Dolphins will pull away in the second half.


Buffalo (8-7) at New England (12-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Patriots 23, Bills 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Patriots by 4 1/2. O/U: 44.

This one depends on how much Tom Brady plays, seeing as the Patriots have already clinched the No. 1 seed. If he plays at least most of the game, go with New England.


Indianapolis (10-5) at Tennessee (2-13)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Colts 35, Titans 14

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Colts by 7. O/U: 46 1/2.

This doesn’t have a lot of meaning for the Colts, except they don’t want to go into the playoffs with a fresh memory of the Dallas pounding. So they have reason to win this.


Oakland (3-12) at Denver (11-4)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Broncos 34, Raiders 17

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Broncos by 14. O/U: 48.

This is important to the Broncos, who need to gather some momentum heading into the postseason. Oakland can make this game interesting, but Denver isn’t going to lose at home.


Carolina (6-8-1) at Atlanta (6-9)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Falcons 31, Panthers 23

TV: None. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Falcons by 4. O/U: 47 1/2.

Cam Newton bounced back admirably after his accident. But Matt Ryan is fifth in the league in passing yards, and the Falcons should be able to hold serve on their home field.


Detroit (11-4) at Green Bay (11-4)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Packers 35, Lions 24

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 717.

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

The Lions haven’t won at Lambeau Field since 1991. Green Bay has been unbelievable at home, and Aaron Rodgers trumps Matthew Stafford. Green Bay in a shootout.


Arizona (11-4) at San Francisco (7-8)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

49ers 21, Cardinals 13

TV: None. DirecTV: 718.

Line: 49ers by 6. O/U: 36 1/2.

The 49ers are a flawed team, but Arizona’s Ryan Lindley has yet to throw his first career touchdown pass. At least, the banged-up Cardinals have secured a playoff berth.


St. Louis (6-9) at Seattle (11-4)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Seahawks 31, Rams 14

TV: None. DirecTV: 719.

Line: Seahawks by 12 1/2. O/U: 41.

The Seahawks are rolling just like last season. Their defense is smothering, and Russell Wilson is scorching. The Rams are wobbly, having lost winnable games the last two weeks.


Cincinnati (10-4-1) at Pittsburgh (10-5)

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

Steelers 27, Bengals 20

TV: Channel 4.

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

Flexing this to the Sunday night game helped the Steelers. Don’t bet against Pittsburgh when the country is watching. Plus, Andy Dalton’s record in prime time is abysmal.

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