Sam Farmer’s NFL picks for Week 3

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to (O/U = over/under).

Last week’s record 13-3 (.813); season 22-9 (.710). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 10-6 (.625); season 14-16-1 (.467).


Baltimore (2-0) vs. Jacksonville (1-1)

Sunday, 6:30 a.m.

Ravens 21, Jaguars 14

TV: None (live stream on

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

This pits two bad offenses and two good defenses. Ravens are a bit more cohesive on defense, even though the Jaguars looked very good in Week 1. Ravens less mistake-prone, even in London.


Pittsburgh (2-0) at Chicago (0-2)


Sunday, 10 a.m.

Steelers 34, Bears 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Steelers by 7. O/U: 44.

The Bears are going to play hard and hang in some games. Pittsburgh has too many ways to score. This is an opportunity for the Steelers to live up to their robust potential on offense.


Denver (2-0) at Buffalo (1-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Broncos 28, Bills 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Broncos by 3. O/U: 40.

Trevor Siemian isn’t an elite quarterback, but makes good decisions and can run when needs to. The Bills don’t have a lot offensively beyond LeSean McCoy, and he was shut down last Sunday.


Houston (1-1) at New England (1-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Patriots 27, Texans 21

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Patriots by 13 1/2. O/U: 44.

Texans staff is a bunch of former Patriots, so they know New England. Still, there’s a difference between knowing and doing. The Patriots have deficiencies on defense, but they’re facing a rookie QB.


Miami (1-0) at N.Y. Jets (0-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Dolphins 27, Jets 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Dolphins by 6. O/U: 42 1/2.

The Jets aren’t good, but they aren’t horrible. They’ll be able to stick around in some games. Miami can be balanced with Jay Cutler and Jay Ajayi. Not spectacular, but balanced, and that’s enough.


Cleveland (0-2) at Indianapolis (0-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Browns 23, Colts 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Browns by 1 1/2. O/U: 41.

At some point, the Colts are going to pull it together with Jacoby Brissett at QB. Still, the Browns are better than advertised and play hard. This will be more interesting than people might expect.


N.Y. Giants (0-2) at Philadelphia (1-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Eagles 24, Giants 20

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Eagles by 6. O/U: 42 1/2.

Seen enough of the Giants in their two games to see that they’re really struggling and have major flaws they need to fix. The Eagles are a solid team, and there’s no shame in losing at Kansas City.


Atlanta (2-0) at Detroit (2-0)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Lions 31, Falcons 28

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Falcons by 3. O/U: 50 1/2.

The Falcons don’t have Vic Beasley, so that hurts their pass rush in a big way. Detroit is rolling, and Matt Stafford looks more mobile and is so good throwing on the run. Matt Prater wins it.


Tampa Bay (1-0) at Minnesota (1-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Buccaneers 24, Vikings 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Vikings by 1 1/2. O/U: 41.

The Vikings are an excellent team when Sam Bradford is healthy, but they are less dangerous with Case Keenum. Tampa Bay looks solid across the board but is still untested.


New Orleans (0-2) at Carolina (2-0)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Panthers 23, Saints 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Panthers by 5. O/U: 461/2.

The Saints are on the way toward another historically bad defense. The Panthers have surrendered just six points, but that was to the underwhelming Bills and 49ers. Give it to Cam Newton at home.


Seattle (1-1) at Tennessee (1-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Titans 24, Seahawks 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

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

Tennessee is better than showed in Week 1 loss to the Raiders. The Titans have more balance on offense than Seattle, and the Seahawks are in trouble unless they patch that offensive line.


Cincinnati (0-2) at Green Bay (1-1)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Packers 27, Bengals 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Packers by 9. O/U: 46.

Green Bay is banged up at some skill spots and on the offensive line, but it’s at home and the Bengals are reeling. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t lose at home, and especially not to an opponent in a tailspin.


Kansas City (2-0) at L.A. Chargers (0-2)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Chiefs 28, Chargers 27

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Chiefs by 3. O/U: 47 1/2.

Two close losses by the Chargers eventually starts taking its toll on the psyche of a team. The Chiefs are getting more aggressive on offense, and they have the speed to make some explosive plays.


Oakland (2-0) at Washington (1-1)

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

Raiders 28, Redskins 20

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Raiders by 3. O/U: 54 1/2.

Washington isn’t bad, but the Raiders are better. Despite production by Chris Thompson, the Redskins aren’t clicking on offense yet. Late start favors the West Coast team in this one.


Dallas (1-1) at Arizona (1-1)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Cowboys 24, Cardinals 20


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

At some point, the Cardinals will show a flicker of life, and it could be against this struggling secondary. Still, it’s hard to see Arizona waking up until we actually see it happen.