Sam Farmer’s NFL Week 17 picks


The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 12-4 (.750); season 158-80-2 (.664). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 11-5 (.688); season 119-113-8 (.513). Times Pacific.

Jacksonville (5-10) at Houston (10-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Texans 27, Jaguars 23

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Texans by 7. O/U: 40 ½.

The Jaguars can lay eggs, as they’ve shown, but they can also be scary with their defense and sporadic running game. Banged-up Texans are limping into this one, but they have a lot of incentive to win it.


Miami (7-8) at Buffalo (5-10)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bill 24, Dolphins 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Bills by 3. O/U: 38 ½.

The Dolphins have lost 11 of 12 road games dating to last season, and five of their last six at the Bills. The forecast calls for cold and cloudy weather in Buffalo on Sunday, and that doesn’t favor the visitors.

N.Y. Jets (4-11) at New England (10-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Patriots 27, Jets 17

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Patriots by 13 ½. O/U: 46.

The Patriots, the league’s only team that’s undefeated at home, can clinch a first-round bye with a win. The Jets have the potential to be stubborn for a half, at least, so this could be interesting.

Atlanta (6-9) at Tampa Bay (5-10)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Falcons 31, Buccaneers 27

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Pick ’em. O/U: 52.

The Falcons have their confidence up after a couple of wins in a row, albeit against bad teams — Arizona and Carolina. It’s a meaningless game, so the Buccaneers might test drive quarterback Ryan Griffin.

Carolina (6-9) at New Orlenas (13-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Saints 30, Panthers 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

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

The Panthers gave the Saints a scare a couple of weeks ago, putting the clamps on them before losing 12-9. Even though Saints have the No. 1 seed, they’re not going to take their foot off the gas at home.

Dallas (9-6) at N.Y. Giants


Sunday, 10 a.m.

Giants 24, Cowboys 20

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Giants by 7. O/U: 42 ½.

The Giants are looking to finish strong, and the Cowboys already have the No. 4 seed locked up. Ezekiel Elliott pretty much has his second rushing title in the bag, so he can cool his jets.

Detroit (5-10) at Green Bay (6-8-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Packers 27, Lions 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Packers by 7 ½. O/U: 45.

The Lions have come away victorious in two of their last three trips to Lambeau Field, but they’re running on fumes now. Don’t bet against Aaron Rodgers in this one, even though it’s been a lousy season.

Cincinnati (6-9) at Pittsburgh (8-6-1)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Steelers 31, Bengals 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Steelers by 14 ½. O/U: 45 ½.

The Steelers, who still have a flicker of hope to make the playoffs, have beaten the Bengals seven times in a row. Cincinnati is banged up and out of contention, still anything can happen with division opponents.

Cleveland (7-7-1) at Baltimore (9-6)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Ravens 24, Browns 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Ravens by 6. O/U: 41.

The Browns are no pushovers. They’ve won three in a row, and have talent on both sides of the ball. But the Ravens have an elite defense, and their running game is rolling with Lamar Jackson at QB.

Chargers (11-4) at Denver (6-9)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Chargers 31, Broncos 17

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Chargers by 6 ½. O/U: 41 ½.

It’s highly unlikely the Chargers will get that No. 1 seed, but they still need to play as if it’s in reach. This team needs a running start into the postseason, and Denver is coming off a disappointing defeat to Oakland.

Oakland (4-11) at Kansas City (11-4)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Chiefs 31, Raiders 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Chiefs by 13 ½. O/U: 54.

The Raiders are capable of putting a good game together, as they showed Monday night. And the Kareem Hunt-less Chiefs aren’t as good as they were earlier this season. Still, the No. 1 seed awaits.

Arizona (3-12) at Seattle (9-6)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Seahawks 27, Cardinals 9

TV: None. DirecTV: 716.

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

This one could get ugly. Seattle figures to run it down Arizona’s throat, and Pete Carroll isn’t a big fan of playing backups to preserve his starters for the playoffs. The Seahawks build some momentum here.

Chicago (11-4) at Minnesota (8-6-1)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Vikings 24, Bears 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 717.

Line: Vikings by 5. O/U: 41.

The Bears are in the playoffs, and at minimum will play host to a first-round game. The Vikings are hungrier — they still need to clinch a berth — have a solid defense, and they’re playing in front of a home crowd.

Philadelphia (8-7) at Washington (7-8)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Eagles 30, Redskins 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 718.

Line: Eagles by 6 ½. O/U: 42.

Washington has fought hard at times this season, but the Redskins don’t have much left. The Eagles have incentive to win, and Nick Foles has given this team that special something.

San Francisco (4-11) at Rams (12-3)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Rams 28, 49ers 23

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 719.

Line: Rams by 10. O/U: 50.

The Rams can’t sleep on the 49ers, who have played really well the last three weeks. But Los Angeles showed last week that, even without Todd Gurley, it can grind out a win on the ground.

Indianapolis (9-6) at Tennessee (9-6)

Sunday, 5:15 p.m.

Colts 27, Titans 23

TV: Channel 4.

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

In Week 17’s only win-and-you’re-in game, don’t bet against Andrew Luck, who has gotten his second wind with Frank Reich as coach. Marcus Mariota isn’t at full speed, and that’s a rough break for the Titans.