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NFL Week 4 picks: Bills defeat Raiders; Bucs best Chargers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady signals during a win over the Denver Broncos.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady signals during a win over the Denver Broncos on Sept. 27.
(Jack Dempsey / Associated Press)
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The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under).

Last week’s record 9-6-1 (.600); season 35-12-1 (.745). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 9-7 (.563); season 26-22 (.542). Times Pacific.

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Colts (2-1) at Bears (3-0)

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers throws against the New York Jets on Sept. 27.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

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TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Colts by 21/2. O/U: 43.

Nick Foles starts for Bears, but he’ll be facing the NFL’s top pass defense. The Colts can stop the run too. If they can get Jonathan Taylor going, the passing lanes will open for Philip Rivers.

Prediction: Colts 24, Bears 21

3

Jaguars (1-2) at Bengals (0-2-1)

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow passes against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 27.
(Brad Penner / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

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TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Bengals by 3. O/U: 49.

Time for Joe Burrow to pick up a win, and he’s capable against the Jaguars. Cincinnati’s pass defense could give Gardner Minshew problems, although it could be a good day for RB James Robinson.

Prediction: Bengals 24, Jaguars 20

4

Chargers (1-2) at Buccaneers (2-1)

Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert scrambles against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 27.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Buccaneers by 7. O/U: 431/2.

Rookie Justin Herbert is polished beyond his years and will be exciting to watch. This is a tough test for the Chargers, though, traveling cross-country to face Tom Brady when he’s starting to click.

Prediction: Buccaneers 30, Chargers 17

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Ravens (2-1) at Washington (1-2)

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson runs with the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 28.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Ravens by 131/2. O/U: 45.

The Ravens were embarrassed by the Chiefs, who sacked Lamar Jackson four times and shut down the passing game. Watch for Baltimore to keep it on the ground against a suspect run defense.

Predictions: Ravens 31, Washington 20

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Cardinals (2-1) at Panthers (1-2)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray throws against Washington on Sept. 20.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Cardinals by 31/2. O/U: 51.

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Even without Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers proved last Sunday they can move the ball. Arizona’s defense was shaky after a good start. The Cardinals might have success with the run.

Prediction: Cardinals 23, Panthers 18

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Browns (2-1) at Cowboys (1-2)

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott passes against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 27.
(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Cowboys by 41/2. O/U: 56.

Dak Prescott and Cowboys offense can score, and eventually the Browns won’t have the luxury of running Nick Chubb down after down. Dallas has a vulnerable pass defense. Could be a shootout.

Prediction: Cowboys 28, Browns 24

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Saints (1-2) at Lions (1-2)

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara carries the ball against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 27.
(Brett Duke / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

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TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Saints by 4. O/U: 54.

Not the high-flying Saints we’re accustomed to, but they can move the ball, especially with those dump-off passes to Alvin Kamara. Lions could make it interesting against a suspect pass defense.

Prediction: Saints 31, Lions 28

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Vikings (0-3) at Texans (0-3)

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 27.
(Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Texans by 4. O/U: 531/2.

Teams are putting heavy pressure on Deshaun Watson, and the Texans quarterback is hanging on to the ball a long time. But can the Vikings and their lukewarm defense take advantage?

Prediction: Texans 24, Vikings 21

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Seahawks (3-0) at Dolphins (1-2)

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick laughs with coaches on the sidelines.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick laughs with coaches on the sidelines during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 24.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Seahawks by 61/2. O/U: 54.

Although undefeated, Seattle has surrendered more than 400 yards passing each game, so Ryan Fitzpatrick could put up big numbers. But Russell Wilson is on fire, and Dolphins will be chasing.

Prediction: Seahawks 35, Dolphins 24

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Giants (0-3) at Rams (2-1)

Rams defensive end Aaron Donald chases after the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 20.
(Chris Szagola / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Rams by 13. O/U: 48.

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Giants are 0-3 for a reason — banged up and bad. Aaron Donald will get after Daniel Jones, and N.Y. will have to throw a lot if behind early. Watch for a breakout game from Rams rookie Van Jefferson.

Prediction: Rams 35, Giants 12

12

Patriots (2-1) at Chiefs (3-0)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes passes against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 28.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Chiefs by 7. O/U: 53.

The way Patrick Mahomes is playing with array of weapons, the Chiefs are two notches ahead of the rest of the NFL. Bill Belichick and Patriots ground game keep this interesting, but not for long.

Prediction: Chiefs 38, Patriots 21

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Bills (3-0) at Raiders (2-1)

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen carries the ball against the Rams on Sept. 27.
(Brett Carlsen / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

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TV: None. DirecTV: 717.

Line: Bills by 3. O/U: 521/2.

Bills continue to prove they’re near the top of the conference, and a big part of that is the play of Josh Allen. The Raiders can bash this defense with Josh Jacobs, but the visitors pull away down stretch.

Prediction: Bills 28, Raiders 24

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Eagles (0-2-1) at 49ers (2-1)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz carries the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 27.
(Chris Szagola / Associated Press)

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: 49ers by 7. O/U: 46.

What happened to Carson Wentz? One of the many mysteries swirling around 0-2-1 Eagles. Battered 49ers looked good last week, although it was against the winless Giants. Eagles will keep it close.

Prediction: 49ers 24, Eagles 20

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Falcons (0-3) at Packers (3-0)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers passes against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 27.
(Tyler Kaufman / Associated Press)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: ESPN.

Line: Packers by 7. O/U: 57.

This is the 0-3 Falcons vs. the 3-0 Packers, although it could be more interesting than it seems. The Falcons can’t stop the pass — hello, Aaron Rodgers — but can roll up their share of yards and points.

Prediction: Packers 34, Falcons 28