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NFL Week 7 picks: Steelers edge Titans; Bucs beat Raiders; Seahawks stay undefeated

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry smiles after a run.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry smiles after a run against the Houston Texans during overtime on Oct. 18 in Nashville, Tenn.
(Brett Carlsen / 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 8-6 (.571); season 63-27-1 (.700). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 8-6 (.571); season 53-38 (.582). Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami and Minnesota have the week off. Times are Pacific.

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Steelers (5-0) at Titans (5-0)

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool in action.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool in action against Cleveland Browns linebacker Mack Wilson on Oct. 18 in Pittsburgh.
(Justin Berl / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 705.

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Line: Titans by 1. O/U: 501/2.

The Titans have trampled teams with Derrick Henry, but they’ve got two big factors going against them here: They don’t have tackle Taylor Lewan, and are facing a smothering Steelers defense.

Prediction: Steelers 28, Titans 21

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Browns (4-2) at Bengals (1-4-1)

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield in action.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 18 in Pittsburgh.
(Justin Berl / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

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Line: Browns by 31/2. O/U: 501/2.

As promising at Joe Burrow is, he’s been looking more like a rookie lately, with an interception in three straight games and a ton of sacks. Browns defense is good enough to exploit that.

Prediction: Browns 21, Bengals 17

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Bills (4-2) at Jets (0-6)

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs in Orchard park, N.Y., on Monday.
(Jeffrey T. Barnes / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Bills by 12. O/U: 45.

To call the Jets a dumpster fire is an insult to dumpster fires. Most recently, they were shut out by Miami. The Bills have lost two straight and need to bounce back. The Jets are an ideal antidote.

Prediction: Bills 31, Jets 13

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Lions (2-3) at Falcons (1-5)

Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson is congratulated by wide receiver Marvin Jones.
Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson (88) is congratulated by wide receiver Marvin Jones (11) after Hockenson scored a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars, on Oct. 18 in Jacksonville, Fla.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

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Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Falcons by 21/2. O/U: 55.

Figures to be a shootout, although the Lions have an improving pass defense. Atlanta’s defense is abysmal, and this could be a breakout game for Matthew Stafford, who has been so-so... so far.

Prediction: Lions 31, Falcons 28

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Packers (4-1) at Texans (1-5)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tosses the ball.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tosses the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 18 in Tampa, Fla.
(Jeff Haynes / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Packers by 31/2. O/U: 57.

Deshaun Watson is fun to watch, but the Texans are outclassed. Aaron Rodgers had a horrible game against Tampa Bay, and should bounce back in a big way against a wobbly Houston defense.

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Prediction: Packers 30, Texans 21

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Panthers (3-3) at Saints (3-2)

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway returns.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway returns in the first half against the Chargers in New Orleans on Oct. 12.
(Butch Dill / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Saints by 71/2. O/U: 51.

The return of Michael Thomas adds some juice to a New Orleans passing attack that’s not as scary as in years past. Carolina has a solid pass defense, so this will be a good test for Drew Brees.

Prediction: Saints 27, Panthers 24

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Cowboys (2-4) at Washington (1-5)

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott runs after a reception against the Arizona Cardinals.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott runs after a reception against the Arizona Cardinals in Arlington, Texas, on Monday.
(Michael Ainsworth / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

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Line: Pick ’em. O/U: 46.

The Cowboys’ defense is flimsy, and Washington’s offense is feeble. In a weird way, that makes for an intriguing matchup. If Dallas can hang on to the ball — a big ask — they can score enough.

Prediction: Cowboys 20, Washington 16

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Buccaneers (4-2) at Raiders (3-2)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady looks to throw a pass against the Green Bay Packers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady looks to throw a pass against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 18 in Tampa, Fla.
(Jeff Haynes / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Buccaneers by 31/2. O/U: 521/2

Maybe resting the Raiders’ line will help, but the Buccaneers are playing some stifling defense. Derek Carr has had a hot hand so far, but Tom Brady gets the nod in a head-to-head matchup.

Prediction: Buccaneers 30, Raiders 20

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Chiefs (5-1) at Broncos (2-3)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes carries the ball.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes carries the ball against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard park, N.Y., on Monday.
(Jeffrey T. Barnes / Associated Press)

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Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Chiefs by 91/2. O/U: 451/2.

The Broncos sacked Cam Newton four times, but that says as much about New England as it does about Denver’s defense. The Chiefs are an elite team and shouldn’t have a lot of problems.

Prediction: Chiefs 28, Broncos 23

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49ers (3-3) at Patriots (2-3)

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton runs against the Las Vegas Raiders.
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton runs against the Las Vegas Raiders in Foxborough, Mass. on Sept. 27.
(Winslow Townson / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Patriots by 2. O/U: 431/2.

Tough defense by the 49ers threw the Rams out of their rhythm last week, and the Patriots are still trying to find their way with Newton. Still, the Patriots eke one out at home.

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Prediction: Patriots 23, 49ers 21

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Jaguars (1-5) at Chargers (1-4)

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert scrambles under pressure from New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert scrambles under pressure from New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins in New Orleans on Oct. 12.
(Brett Duke / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Chargers by 71/2. O/U: 49.

In this battle of one-win teams, the Chargers are significantly better. Justin Herbert has a week of rest and preparation and should pick up his first career victory. Jaguars’ pass defense is lousy.

Prediction: Chargers 34, Jaguars 24

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Seahawks (5-0) at Cardinals (4-2)

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson looks to passes before scrambling against the Minnesota Vikings.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson looks to passes before scrambling against the Minnesota Vikings, on Oct. 11 in Seattle.
(Stephen Brashear / Associated Press)

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

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Line: Seahawks by 31/2. O/U: 56.

Kyler Murray is really fun to watch, but he also makes his share of mistakes, frequently throwing high and missing open receivers. Seahawks defense steps up, and Russell Wilson continues his roll.

Prediction: Seahawks 31, Cardinals 24

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Bears (5-1) at Rams (4-2)

Rams wide receiver Robert Woods runs against the San Francisco 49ers.
Rams wide receiver Robert Woods runs against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, on Oct. 18.
(Tony Avelar / Associated Press)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: ESPN.

Line: Rams by 6. O/U: 45.

This isn’t a great matchup for the Rams, especially considering the way Chicago’s defense is playing. But the pressure is on the Rams to bounce back, and they have enough weapons to do that.

Prediction: Rams 24, Bears 20

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