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Sam Farmer's NFL Week 8 picks

Sam Farmer's NFL Week 8 picks
Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs expects to play Sunday in London against the Browns after missing two games with a groin injury. (Matt Dunham / Associated Press)

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 11-4 (.733); season 63-43 (.594). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 6-8-1 (.429); season 45-57-4 (.441).

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-2) at CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-7)

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Sunday, 6:30 a.m.

TV: NFL Network.

Line: Vikings by 9 1/2. O/U: 38.

The Vikings’ defense is far too good for any of the quarterbacks in Cleveland’s revolving door. Minnesota’s offense is decent, but this figures to be a fairly low-scoring game in London.

Vikings 20, Browns 13

OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-4) at BUFFALO BILLS (4-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

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

Huge win by Raiders over Kansas City, but that’s a team that has issues with offensive consistency and defense in general. Tough to go West Coast to East Coast, and Bills defense is for real.

Bills 28, Raiders 24

CHARGERS (3-4) at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (5-2)

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Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 706.

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

The Chargers have the kind of pass rushers who can create big problems for Tom Brady. The L.A. offense is suspect, particularly on the ground, but there’s potential to play well.

Patriots 27, Chargers 24

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (2-5) at CINNCINATI BENGALS (2-4) 

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 707. 

Line: Bengals by 10 1/2. O/U: 42.

The Bengals don’t have a great offensive line, but they have talent and weapons if Andy Dalton has time. Last week’s 27-0 loss to Jacksonville had to shake whatever confidence the Colts had left. 

Bengals 24, Colts 20


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (0-7) at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (6-1) 

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 708. 

Line: Eagles by 13. O/U: 45 1/2.

The 49ers have played a lot of close games, despite being winless, last week notwithstanding. This shouldn’t be close even though Carson Wentz will be vulnerable without his top left tackle. 

Eagles 31, 49ers 17


CHICAGO BEARS (3-4)  at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (4-2) 

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 709. 

Line: Saints by 9 1/2. O/U: 471/2.

Common sense says the Bears will play tough but the Saints can put up all kinds of points, and their defense — once historically bad — is really starting to come around. 

Saints 27, Bears 17


CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-3) at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-4) 

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 710. 

Line: Buccaneers by 1 1/2. O/U: 46.

Both of these teams are struggling. The Buccaneers have issues defensively, and the Panthers laid an egg in a 17-3 loss at Chicago last week, with Cam Newton getting picked twice. 

Buccaneers 27, Panthers 23


ATLANTA FALCONS (3-3) at NEW YORK JETS (3-4) 

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 711. 

Line: Falcons by 5. O/U: 45.

Somewhat surprisingly, this should be a pretty good matchup. Atlanta’s offense is sputtering and the heat is on coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Coach Todd Bowles has the Jets playing well. 

Jets 24, Falcons 21


HOUSTON TEXANS (3-3) at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (4-2) 

Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 712. 

Line: Seahawks by 5. O/U: 46.

With injuries up front, the Texans can’t take full advantage of Seattle’s porous offensive line. Lot of weight on the shoulders of rookie QB Deshaun Watson in a place that’s still tough on opponents. 

Seahawks 23, Texans 17


DALLAS COWBOYS (3-3) at WASHINGTON REDSKINS (3-3) 

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 713. 

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

Injuries are starting to take their toll on the Redskins in a big way. Kirk Cousins will be playing behind a patchwork line that has four original starters hurt. Not good against a blitzing team. 

Cowboys 31, Redskins 23


PITTSBURGH STEELERS (5-2) at DETROIT LIONS (0-1) 

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

TV: Channel 4. 

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

The status of Lions receiver Golden Tate (shoulder) is up in the air. Without him, the Detroit offense is uncomplicated and manageable for the Steelers. The sleeping giant is awakening in Pittsburgh.

Steelers 24, Lions 21


DENVER BRONCOS (3-3) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (5-2) 

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN. 

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

Denver’s defense is solid, but that offense is really struggling — just three touchdowns in the last four games. That’s trouble in a road game against a good opponent. KC is slipping a bit, though. 

Chiefs 27, Broncos 17

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