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Sam Farmer’s NFL picks for Week 4

Quarterback Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills host the New England Patriots on Sunday in a matchup of 3-0 teams.
(Gail Burton / Associated Press)

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 11-5 (.688); season 30-17-1 (.638). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 11-5 (.688); season 26-21-1 (.553). The N.Y. Jets and San Francisco have the week off.

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TEN (1-2) at ATL (1-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

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Falcons 27, Titans 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Falcons by 4. O/U: 45 1/2.

The Falcons are so much better when they’re home, so they get the edge. Believe in Mike Vrabel’s defense, but you can do only so much when you’re playing a team with so many weapons.

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CLE (1-2) at BAL (2-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Ravens 28, Browns 24

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TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Ravens by 7. O/U: 45.

The Ravens are banged up in the secondary and they don’t rush the passer as well as they have in the past, but they get the nod. Cleveland’s offensive line really struggled against the Rams.

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NE (3-0) at BUF (3-0)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Patriots 34, Bills 24

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

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Line: Patriots by 7. O/U: 42 1/2.

It’s a battle of two 3-0 AFC East Division teams, but the Patriots are a different kind of undefeated. Buffalo’s defense is stout, but don’t bet against Tom Brady here.

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OAK (1-2) at IND (2-1)

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Sunday, 10 a.m.

Colts 28, Raiders 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Colts by 7. O/U: 45.

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The Colts are for real, whether T.Y. Hilton plays or not. The Colts are going to win at least nine games. The Raiders are beat up, and their secondary is highly suspect. Home team wins again.

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LAC (1-2) at MIA (0-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

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Chargers 30, Dolphins 17

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Chargers by 15 1/2. O/U: 44.

This is just the kind of game the Chargers could lose, except that the Dolphins are awful. It’s a trap game, yes, especially for a team that travels across the country. But Philip Rivers won’t let it happen.

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Melvin Gordon ended his contract holdout after nine weeks, returning without an extension but with plenty of time to further prove his value.

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KC (3-0) at DET (2-0-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

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Chiefs 34, Lions 23

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Chiefs by 6 1/2. O/U: 55.

This is the first time Patrick Mahomes will have played in a dome. Kansas City’s defense is vulnerable, and Matt Stafford probably will have a decent day. But the Chiefs’ offense is too much.

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CAR (1-2) at HOU (2-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Texans 30, Panthers 24

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TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Texans by 4. O/U: 47.

Cam Newton replacement Kyle Allen played well for the Panthers last week, but a lot of that was making his debut against Arizona. Now with something on tape, teams know what to expect.

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WAS (0-3) at NYG (1-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Giants 27, Redskins 24

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

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Line: Giants by 2 1/2. O/U: 49 1/2.

Daniel Jones was quick, decisive and really impressive in Giants debut. This game should be close early, but the Giants are simply better. They and their rookie quarterback put it away.

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SEA (2-1) at ARI (0-2-1)

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Sunday, 1 p.m.

Seahawks 30, Cardinals 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Seahawks by 5 1/2. O/U: 48.

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The Cardinals are able to move between the 20s, but they grind to a halt in the red zone. This is an important bounce-back game for the Seahawks before they play host to the Rams on Thursday.

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TB (1-2) at RAMS (3-0)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

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Rams 27, Buccaneers 17

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 714.

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

The Rams have yet to get into an offensive rhythm, and Todd Gurley still needs to have a breakout game. But that defense is smothering, particularly up front. Could be back and forth early.

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The Rams know stopping Ndamukong Suh will be among the biggest challenges they face Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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MIN (2-1) at CHI (2-1)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

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Vikings 28, Bears 21

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Bears by 2. O/U: 38 1/2.

The Vikings are among the league’s most complete teams, whereas Chicago is still figuring it out. Minnesota can run it on anybody with Dalvin Cook, and they’ll have to do that here.

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JAC (1-2) at DEN (0-3)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Broncos 23, Jaguars 21

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TV: None. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Broncos by 3. O/U: 39.

Amazingly, with Vic Fangio as their coach, the Broncos have yet to collect a sack. They’re not great on offense either. Gardner Minshew is fun to watch for Jacksonville, but Denver bounces back.

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DAL (3-0) at NO (2-1)

Sunday, 5:15 p.m.

Cowboys 31, Saints 21

TV: Channel 4.

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

The Saints were solid offensively but not special in their win at Seattle. Now they’re playing host to perhaps the hottest team in the NFC, and New Orleans gives up a ton of yards.

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CIN (0-3) at PIT (0-3)

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Monday, 5:15 p.m.

Steelers 24, Bengals 21

TV: ESPN.

Line: Steelers by 4. O/U: 43 1/2.

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If the 0-3 Steelers lose here, the NFL will have to seriously consider flexing out of the Week 6 game at the Chargers on “Sunday Night Football.” Won’t be pretty, but the Steelers will get it done.


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