Sam Farmer’s Week 7 NFL picks: Rams and Chargers are Sunday winners

Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks celebrates a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 15.
(Getty Images)

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 8-6 (.571); season 52-39-1 (.571). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 5-9 (.357); season 43-48-1 (.473). Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay have the week off.

Miami Dolphins (0-5) at Buffalo Bills (4-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.
TV: None. DirecTV: 705.
Line: Bills by 17. O/U: 41.
All three levels of the Bills defense are playing well, so this is a tall order for the winless Dolphins — even when Ryan Fitzpatrick can occasionally put up forehead-slapping numbers.
Prediction: Bills 28, Dolphins 17

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.
TV: None. DirecTV: 706.
Line: Jaguars by 31/2. O/U: 44.
Winless Bengals are the worst in NFL at stopping the run, so that’s good news for Leonard Fournette. They also don’t do a very good job of protecting Andy Dalton, and Jaguars are decent up front.
Prediction: Jaguars 20, Bengals 16

Oakland Raiders (3-2) at Green Bay Packers (5-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.
TV: None. DirecTV: 707.
Line: Packers by 51/2. O/U: 47.
The Raiders are on the road again after a stirring win over Chicago in London. How well can the Packers stop Josh Jacobs? It’s a big test. Bigger challenge will be Oakland’s pass defense vs. Aaron Rodgers.
Prediction: Packers 27, Raiders 21

Houston Texans (4-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.
TV: None. DirecTV: 708.
Line: Colts by 1. O/U: 47.
Two very similar teams. Both can run, and neither can stop the run. The Texans are coming off a big victory at Kansas City, and the Colts are rested … after a victory at Kansas City a week earlier.
Prediction: Texans 28, Colts 24

Los Angeles Rams (3-3) at Atlanta Falcons (1-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.
TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 709.
Line: Rams by 3. O/U: 541/2.
Sean McVay’s Rams are in uncharted waters, having lost three in a row. In their favor: They’re facing a defense that has given up a league-worst 31 points a game. Oh, and hello, Jalen Ramsey.
Prediction: Rams 28, Falcons 23

Minnesota Vikings (4-2) at Detroit Lions (2-2-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.
TV: None. DirecTV: 710.
Line: Vikings by 2. O/U: 44.
Expect a heavy dose of Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook against the NFL’s 28th-ranked run defense. The Vikings can use ground game to open the passing lanes, and Kirk Cousins can take advantage.
Prediction: Vikings 31, Lions 23

Arizona Cardinals (2-3-1) at New York Giants (2-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.
TV: None. DirecTV: 711.
Line: Giants by 3. O/U: 501/2.
In a battle of rookie quarterbacks, it’s Arizona’s Kyler Murray versus New York’s Daniel Jones. Both will face suspect pass defenses and could put up gaudy numbers. Giants are banged up.
Prediction: Cardinals 28, Giants 27

San Francisco 49ers (5-0) at Washington Redskins (1-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.
TV: None. DirecTV: 712.
Line: 49ers by 91/2. O/U: 41.
The 49ers have a great running game, and they get big yardage totals from tight end George Kittle. The Redskins can’t stop the run or the pass, and they’re especially vulnerable to tight ends.
Prediction: 49ers 28, Redskins 14

Los Angeles Chargers (2-4) at Tennessee Titans (2-4)

Sunday, 1 p.m.
TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 713.
Line: Titans by 21/2. O/U: 41.
The Chargers can’t protect the football, nor can they run — at least not so far. They’re also struggling to get to opposing quarterbacks. That figures to change at some point, and why not this week?
Prediction: Chargers 24, Titans 21

New Orleans Saints (5-1) at Chicago Bears (3-2)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.
TV: None. DirecTV: 714.
Line: Bears by 3. O/U: 38.
The Saints of past had problems getting to the quarterback; these ones don’t. That’s bad news for the Bears, who simply are trying to locate their quarterback. Another win for Teddy Bridgewater.
Prediction: Saints 21, Bears 17

Baltimore Ravens (4-2) at Seattle Seahawks (5-1)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.
TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 715.
Line: Seahawks by 3. O/U: 481/2.
Lamar Jackson has been impressive running. Seattle’s equipped to stop him with those linebackers, though, and the Seahawks are getting Jarran Reed back up front. Plus, Russell Wilson is on a tear.
Prediction: Seahawks 27, Ravens 23

Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) at Dallas Cowboys (3-3)

Sunday, 5:15 p.m.
TV: Channel 4.
Line: Cowboys by 21/2. O/U: 49.
Despite 3-0 start, Cowboys haven’t proven they can beat a solid team. This might be the week to get back on track, against a short-handed Eagles defense that struggles to cover and rush the passer.
Prediction: Cowboys 28, Eagles 27

New England Patriots (6-0) at New York Jets (1-4)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.
Line: Patriots by 91/2. O/U: 431/2.
The Jets are energized by the return of Sam Darnold. That doesn’t mean they’re going to stun New England and its shutdown defense. This will be interesting early, but the Patriots will pull away.
Prediction: Patriots 24, Jets 14