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Sam Farmer’s NFL picks for Week 16

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) faces a familiar nemesis in the Ravens on Sunday.
(Rob Carr / Getty Images)

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 12-4 (.750); season 148-74-2 (.667). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 6-9-1 (.400); season 114-103-7 (.525).

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Miami (9-5) at Buffalo (7-7)

Saturday, 10 a.m.

Dolphins 28, Bills 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Bills by 4 1/2. O/U: 42.

Matt Moore showed that he’s capable of getting the job done for the Dolphins. Miami can get after the passer too. The Bills aren’t giving up, but Cleveland made them look better than they are.

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San Diego (5-9) at Cleveland (0-14)

Saturday, 10 a.m.

Chargers 24, Browns 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Chargers by 5 1/2. O/U: 43 1/2.

Some see this as the Browns’ last realistic chance to avoid an 0-16 season. But don’t bet against Philip Rivers, especially when he’s matched up against Cleveland’s sad quarterback carousel.

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Tennessee (8-6) at Jacksonville (2-12)

Saturday, 10 a.m.

Titans 24, Jaguars 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

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

The Titans are running on everyone with their 1-2 punch in the backfield, Marcus Mariota isn’t making mistakes. They have an explosive receiver in Rishard Matthews and a solid defense.

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N.Y. Jets (4-10) at New England (12-2)

Saturday, 10 a.m.

Patriots 27, Jets 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Patriots by 16 1/2. O/U: 44.

The Patriots have clinched a bye, but they can still clinch the No. 1 seed. They’ll keep their foot on the gas. No matter who starts, the Jets are going to be hurting at quarterback.

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Atlanta (9-5) at Carolina (6-8)

Saturday, 10 a.m.

Falcons 31, Panthers 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Falcons by 3. O/U: 52.

The Falcons typically play well in Carolina, even when the Panthers are good. Atlanta’s offense is rolling, and the Falcons are getting healthier. Bad news for a suspect Panthers secondary.

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Washington (7-6-1) at Chicago (3-11)

Saturday, 10 a.m.

Redskins 27, Bears 23

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

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

Jordan Reed is banged up, but the Redskins still have a lot of offensive weapons. The Bears should keep this close, especially with the way Matt Barkley is playing, but Washington will pull away.

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Minnesota (7-7) at Green Bay (8-6)

Saturday, 10 a.m.

Packers 24, Vikings 20

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 711.

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

The Vikings are limping across the finish line, and have a vastly different defense without safety Harrison Smith. The Packers had a hard time defensively closing the door on the Bears.

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Indianapolis (7-7) at Oakland (11-3)

Saturday, 1 p.m.

Raiders 34, Colts 30

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Raiders by 3 1/2. O/U: 53.

This could be a shootout, with the way the Colts are picking up the pace, and with the vulnerabilities of Oakland’s defense. Still, Khalil Mack is going to get to Andrew Luck a couple times.

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Tampa (8-6) at New Orleans (6-8)

Saturday, 1:15 p.m.

Saints 30, Buccaneers 24

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

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

The Saints have a terrible defense — what else is new? — but their offense is rolling. The Buccaneers are capable of getting to Drew Brees, but Saints still have the edge.

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San Francisco (1-13) at L.A. Rams (4-10)

Saturday, 1:15 p.m.

Rams 23, 49ers 17

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Rams by 4. O/U: 39.

This could be an offensive-breakthrough game for the Rams, because San Francisco’s defense is vulnerable. Colin Kaepernick is decent, but the Rams still have a defensive pulse.

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Arizona (5-8-1) at Seattle (9-4-1)

Saturday, 1:15 p.m.

Seahawks 27, Cardinals 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Seahawks by 7 1/2. O/U: 43.

The Cardinals haven’t been able to put it together all season. Their offensive line is getting a bit healthier, but that won’t be enough against eyes-on-the-bye Seahawks.

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Cincinnati (5-8-1) at Houston (8-6)

Saturday, 5:30 p.m.

Texans 24, Bengals 20

TV: NFL Network.

Line: Pick ’em. O/U: 42.

The Texans are at home, where they’re 6-1, and they have the incentive of the playoffs. They also have a pass defense that can give the uninspired Bengals problems.

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Baltimore (8-6) at Pittsburgh (9-5)

Sunday, 1:30 p.m.

Steelers 27, Ravens 23

TV: NFL Network.

Line: Steelers by 5. O/U: 44 1/2.

Baltimore’s defense is tough, and it always plays Ben Roethlisberger well. This probably will come down to less than a touchdown. Go with Pittsburgh in an (almost) prime-time game.

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Denver (8-6) at Kansas City (10-4)

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

Chiefs 17, Broncos 15

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Chiefs by 3. O/U: 37.

This could be very similar to the last Chiefs-Broncos game, and that one was an overtime thriller. This could be bitter cold. Give the edge to Kansas City, as Denver’s offense is suspect.

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Detroit (9-5) at Dallas (12-2)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Cowboys 28, Lions 24

TV: ESPN.

Line: Cowboys by 7 1/2. O/U: 44 1/2.

This isn’t a good matchup for the Lions. With the offensive line and running back Dallas has, the Cowboys can control the clock and keep Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford on the sideline.


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