Sam Farmer’s NFL picks: Week 1

Another matchup between Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and the Green Bay Packers defense highlights the Week 1 NFL slate.
(Jeffrey Phelps / Associated Press)

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to (O/U = over/under). Last season’s record 172-82-2 (.677). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last season would have been 130-118-2 (.524).

Records from last season.

New York Jets (5-11) at Buffalo Bills (7-9)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.


Line: Bills by 8 1/2. O/U: 40.

Both of these teams have been stripped of some of their best players. With Tyrod Taylor back at quarterback, the home team should be OK. The Jets already look hellbent on getting the No. 1 pick.

Bills 20, Jets 13

Baltimore Ravens (8-8) at Cincinnati Bengals (6-9-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.


TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Bengals by 3. O/U: 421/2.

The Bengals are loaded with talent but can’t seem to put it all together in critical games. They should be able to hold off Baltimore, though, with Joe Flacco at less than 100% and a shaky offense.

Bengals 24, Ravens 17

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) at Cleveland Browns (1-15)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Steelers by 91/2. O/U: 461/2.

The Steelers could break records with that offense, but it could take a while to get revved up. The Browns are going to be a little better on offense, but they’re starting a rookie QB vs. Pittsburgh.


Steelers 30, Browns 13

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) at Houston Texans (9-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Texans by 5. O/U: 391/2.

The Texans are going to try to run it a lot, let Tom Savage protect the ball and their top-ranked defense will be rolling with J.J. Watt back. Jacksonville has lots of big names but precious little mojo.

Texans 24, Jaguars 17

Oakland Raiders (12-4) at Tennessee Titans (9-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.


Line: Titans by 21/2. O/U: 51.

This could be the best matchup of the week. Tennessee now has a passing game to go with a ground-and-pound running attack. Raiders have an excellent offense but are vulnerable on defense.

Titans 27, Raiders 23

Philadelphia Eagles (7-9) at Washington Redskins (8-7-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Eagles by 11/2. O/U: 48.

Eagles added much-needed skill players and should be able to run. Their defensive line is tough, particularly Fletcher Cox. Not sure Redskins, with new receivers, will pick up where they left off.

Eagles 27, Redskins 21

Atlanta Falcons (11-5) at Chicago Bears (3-13)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Falcons by 6 1/2. O/U: 49.

The Bears are going to be able to run the ball a bit this season, but they don’t have receivers and Mike Glennon doesn’t scare anyone. If the Falcons have a Super Bowl hangover, it won’t show this week.

Falcons 34, Bears 17

Arizona Cardinals (7-8-1) at Detroit Lions (9-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Cardinals by 2. O/U: 48.

The Cardinals are going to be more versatile on both sides of the ball than a lot of people expect. The Lions are at home, and they have Matthew Stafford, but the left side of that line is a liability.

Cardinals 31, Lions 21

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7) at Miami Dolphins (10-6)

Buccaneers at Dolphins, ppd.

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Off board. O/U: Off board.

Because Hurricane Irma is headed for south Florida this weekend, Tampa Bay and Miami will begin the season with an off week. The game will be made up on Nov. 19 in Miami, which is Week 11.

Indianapolis Colts (8-8) at Los Angeles Rams (4-12)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Rams by 31/2. O/U: 411/2.

Rams catch a big break, with Andrew Luck on the sideline and Scott Tolzien (0-2-1 as starter) under center. That said, the Rams can take nothing for granted, especially without Aaron Donald.

Rams 24, Colts 13

Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1) at Green Bay Packers (10-6)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Packers by 3. O/U: 51.

The Packers have a tendency to dig themselves a hole early, and the Seahawks are going to improve as their offensive line gets time together. But Green Bay gets off to a good start here.

Packers 28, Seahawks 27

Carolina Panthers (6-10) at San Francisco 49ers (2-14)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Panthers by 51/2. O/U: 48.

Cam Newton barely played this summer and he’s coming off shoulder surgery. The Panthers still have the edge here. That said, the 49ers are going to get some confidence as the season gets rolling.

Panthers 23, 49ers 17

New York Giants (11-5) at Dallas Cowboys (13-3)

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Cowboys by 4. O/U: 48.

New York’s defense is going to be solid, and the Giants tend to play well at Dallas. They have had months to devise a game plan against Dak Prescott, and it pays off even with Ezekiel Elliott playing.

Giants 31, Cowboys 23

New Orleans Saints (7-9) at Minnesota Vikings (8-8)

Monday, 4 p.m.


Line: Vikings by 3. O/U: 48.

Sam Bradford is a play-it-safe quarterback, and the Vikings will lean on the ground game. Minnesota’s defense will be hard to budge. Adrian Peterson will be looking to trample his old team. Not here.

Vikings 28, Saints 23

Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) at Denver Broncos (9-7)

Monday, 7:15 p.m.


Line: Broncos by 3. O/U: 43.

The Broncos have a slight edge because they’re at home and have an excellent defense. But Philip Rivers has proved he can lead a team to victory in Denver, and the Chargers have some playmakers.

Broncos 24, Chargers 21