Sam Farmer’s NFL picks for Week 4


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

Last week’s record 7-9 (.438); season 29-18 (.617). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 5-10-1 (.333); season 19-26-2 (.422).



New Orleans (1-2) vs. Miami (1-1)

Sunday, 6:30 a.m.

Dolphins 31, Saints 28

TV: Channel 11.

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

The Dolphins will bounce back after embarrassing loss to the Jets, and the Saints pretty much don’t have a defense. This London game could wind up being a shootout between seasoned QBs.


Buffalo (2-1) at Atlanta (3-0)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Falcons 28, Bills 14

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

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

The Bills have been better than many expected, and that win over Denver was big. The Falcons are more talented, though, and they don’t seem to be suffering from a Super Bowl hangover.


Jacksonville (2-1) at N.Y. Jets (1-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Jaguars 27, Jets 23

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Jaguars by 3. O/U: 38.

None of the three Jacksonville games has been close. The Jaguars have been on the right and wrong side of those blowouts. This contest will be closer, but Jacksonville has more talent.


Pittsburgh (2-1) at Baltimore (2-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Steelers 24, Ravens 20

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Steelers by 3. O/U: 42.

Both are coming off bad losses. The Steelers have yet to realize their offensive potential. The Ravens’ defense looked tremendous, then caved to Jacksonville. Take Steelers in a typically close one.


Cincinnati (0-3) at Cleveland (0-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bengals 23, Browns 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Bengals by 3. O/U: 41 1/2.

The Bengals looked better last week but still have offensive line problems and lost. The Browns are working through the growing pains of a rookie quarterback. They’re slowly getting better.


Tennessee (2-1) at Houston (1-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Titans 27, Texans 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

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

DeShaun Watson is improving by the week and is elusive, but Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau doesn’t lose to rookie quarterbacks. The Titans’ run game controls this one.


L.A. Rams (2-1) at Dallas (2-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Cowboys 31, Rams 27

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Cowboys by 6. O/U: 47 1/2.

Rested Rams have improved dramatically on offense, and Jared Goff is fun to watch. Defensively, they’ve given up a lot, which is surprising. Dallas, coming off a short week, can’t sleep on this one.


Detroit (2-1) at Minnnesota (2-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Lions 27, Vikings 23

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Vikings by 2. O/U: 42 1/2.

Game of the week. Minnesota is solid and scary, even with Case Keenum at quarterback. Still, Matthew Stafford is rolling for the Lions and this might be their year to win the NFC North.


Carolina (2-1) at New England (2-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Patriots 27, Panthers 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Patriots by 9. O/U: 49.

The Panthers are hurting on offense, especially without Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin, and their defense is good but not great. Regardless, the Patriots aren’t going to lose this at home.


N.Y. Giants (0-3) at Tampa Bay (1-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Buccaneers 27, Giants 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Buccaneers by 3. O/U: 44 1/2.

The Giants showed some life in their loss to Philadelphia last week, although the offensive line problems aren’t going away. The Buccaneers have something to prove after their loss to Minnesota.


San Francisco (0-3) at Arizona (1-2)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Cardinals 21, 49ers 13

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Cardinals by 6 1/2. O/U: 44 1/2.

The Cardinals are getting healthier on the offensive line, which should make a significant difference. The 49ers are rested and have got a little offensive spark. Arizona’s defense is the difference.


Philadelphia (2-1) at L.A. Chargers (0-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Chargers 27, Eagles 23

TV: Channel 13. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Chargers by 1. O/U: 47 1/2.

Philip Rivers should rebound from a horrible game, and the Chargers’ defense is really tough. The Eagles have to travel across the country, and now they’re without Darren Sproles. That hurts.


Oakland (2-1) at Denver (2-1)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Broncos 28, Raiders 24

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Broncos by 3. O/U: 46.

The Raiders laid an egg against Washington, but that game is probably an anomaly. Tough to win at Denver, though, and both of these teams are scrambling to keep pace with undefeated Kansas City.


Indianapolis (1-2) at Seattle (1-2)

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

Seahawks 24, Colts 17

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Seahawks by 13. O/U: 41.

The Colts’ front seven is better than people think, and the Seahawks are going to have problems running the ball. But it’s difficult to play in Seattle, especially under the Sunday night lights.


Washington (2-1) at Kansas City (3-0)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Chiefs 30, Redskins 20


Line: Chiefs by 7. O/U: 49 1/2.

The Redskins are riding high, and their offense is coming around, but they’re not going to run the ball on the Chiefs the way they’ve run it the last couple of weeks. Kansas City has too much speed.