Sam Farmer’s NFL picks for Week 17

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, bottom, is tackled under San Francisco 49ers defensive back K'Waun Williams (24) and defensive end Arik Armstead (91) during a game in Santa Clara on Nov. 11.
(Tony Avelar / Associated Press)

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines the matchups. Lines according to (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 11-5 (.688); season 153-86-1 (.640). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record vs. the spread last week would have been 9-6-1(.600); season 127-106-7 (.545). Times Pacific:

NYJ (6-9) at BUF (10-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bills 24, Jets 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Bills by 11/2. O/U: 36.

The Jets have shown signs of life, but the Bills are headed to the postseason and have more on the line. Buffalo’s defense is legit. Go with the home team with more than pride on the line.


LAC (5-10) at KC (11-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Chiefs 33, Chargers 23

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Chiefs by 9. O/U: 451/2.

Has any team won five games as the Chargers have, but not one coming within the division? The Chiefs need to maintain momentum and pull off a complete AFC West sweep.

MIA (4-11) at NE (12-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Patriots 28, Dolphins 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Patriots by 151/2. O/U: 441/2.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing well, and this game could be more competitive than many expect. If the Dolphins can run the ball better, they might be able to take advantage of Patriots’ shortcomings.

CLE (6-9) at CIN (1-14)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Browns 24, Bengals 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Browns by 21/2. O/U: 431/2.

Both have been eliminated. Despite their record, the Bengals aren’t always terrible. Cleveland has been a huge disappointment but still has more firepower than their cross-state rivals.


NO (12-3) at CAR (5-10)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Saints 34, Panthers 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Saints by 13. O/U: 451/2.

The Panthers seemed to shut it down after Ron Rivera was fired. The Saints are on a roll, and still have a chance at the No. 1 seed. Good test for the Saints’ defense heading into postseason.

GB (12-3) at DET (3-11-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Packers 31, Lions 17

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Packers by 13. O/U: 431/2.

The Packers are playing for seeding so there’s something at stake. The Lions don’t scare anyone with their third-string quarterback, wobbly offensive line and vulnerable defense.

CHI (7-8) at MIN (10-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Vikings 28, Bears 23

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Vikings by 1. O/U: 37.

Chicago will hang around, but Minnesota needs to bounce back and regroup after a bad loss. The Vikings aren’t on national TV, so that means quarterback Kirk Cousins probably will be back on track.

ATL (6-9) at TB (7-8)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Buccaneers 33, Falcons 26

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Buccaneers by 1. O/U: 48.

Tampa Bay is banged up but still put up a lot of offense against Houston last week. The defense put the clamps on the Texans’ receivers too. Falcons come back to earth after three straight wins.

OAK (7-8) at DEN (6-9)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Broncos 28, Raiders 23

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Broncos by 3. O/U: 401/2.

It looks like a longshot for Oakland to make the playoffs, but it’s actually quite conceivable. The hardest box to check is beating Denver, and the Broncos would sure love to crush the Raiders’ dreams.

PIT (8-7) at BAL (13-2)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Ravens 24, Steelers 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Steelers by 2. O/U: 371/2.

Even resting players, the Ravens are playing too well. The Steelers are vulnerable on defense, and probably will have their hands full with Robert Griffin III making his first start in three years.

TEN (8-7) at HOU (10-5)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Titans 28, Texans 24

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Titans by 31/2. O/U: 45.

Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, and A.J. Brown will give Houston’s defense all it can handle. The Texans are too inconsistent. Watch for the visitors to come in and send a message.

IND (7-8) at JAC (5-10)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Colts 30, Jaguars 18

TV: None. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Colts by 4. O/U: 43.

The Colts are better at home than they are on the road, but they have enough to win this one. Quarterback Gardner Minshew has been all too human after replacing Nick Foles a second time.

WAS (3-12) at DAL


Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Cowboys 27, Redskins 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 717.

Line: Cowboys by 101/2. O/U: 451/2.

Washington has been playing hard under Bill Callahan and pretty well. Still, this is an emotional rivalry game, and look for the Cowboys to bounce back after a humiliating outing at Philadelphia.

PHI (8-7) at NYG (4-11)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Eagles 31, Giants 28

TV: None. DirecTV: 718.

Line: Eagles by 4. O/U: 441/2.

With all their weapons healthy, the Giants can look pretty good. Philadelphia can stop the run but not the pass. The Giants have their own problems on pass defense. Go with Carson Wentz.

ARI (5-9-1) at LAR (8-7)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Rams 31, Cardinals 23

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 719.

Line: Rams by 7. O/U: 49.

The Cardinals are capable of upsetting better teams, and Brett Hundley at quarterback isn’t a huge step backward for them. The Rams are playing for pride, and should protect Coliseum turf one last time.

SF (12-3) at SEA (11-4)

Sunday, 5:15 p.m.

49ers 31, Seahawks 27

TV: Channel 4.

Line: 49ers by 3. O/U: 47.

Signing Marshawn Lynch is interesting, but can the Seahawks rekindle a running game after suffering the blows they have? San Francisco should make enough plays to hang on and win this one.