NFL Week 14 picks: Chiefs beat Dolphins; Steelers lose again

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes drops back to pass against the Denver Broncos.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes drops back to pass against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
(Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 11-4 (.733); season 130-61-1 (.681).

Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread would have been 10-5 (.667); season 103-84-5 (.551).

Times are Pacific:

Broncos (4-8) at Panthers (4-8)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Off the board. O/U: Off.

Denver is putting the pieces in place to be a high-powered offense … just not this season. The Panthers, who have lost a bunch of close games, are rested after a week off and still are well coached.

Prediction: Panthers 28, Broncos 21

Texans (4-8) at Bears (5-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Texans by 1. O/U: 45.

The Bears are bad. They blow a 10-point lead at home to the banged-up Lions? Looks like it’s time for a total reboot. The Texans are coming off a close loss to the Colts but are the better team.


Prediction: Texans 23, Bears 21

Titans (8-4) at Jaguars (1-11)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Titans by 7½. O/U: 521/2.

After losing a shootout to Cleveland, the Titans bounce back and did it with a familiar recipe: giving the ball to Derrick Henry. Jacksonville has a way of hanging around, though, and can keep it close.

Prediction: Titans 31, Jaguars 24

Chiefs (11-1) at Dolphins (8-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Chiefs by 7½. O/U: 501/2.

The mighty Chiefs have struggled to score a little bit this season, and they’re going against a really tough Dolphins defense. Miami is so vanilla on offense with Tua Tagovailoa, so K.C. pulls away.

Prediction: Chiefs 28, Dolphins 20

Cowboys (3-9) at Bengals (2-9-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Cowboys by 3½. O/U: 421/2.

The Cowboys should win pretty handily. The Bengals can do a decent job of moving the ball at times, and they’re going against a bad Dallas defense, but the Cowboys offense should have a big day.

Prediction: Cowboys 30, Bengals 20

Cardinals (6-6) at Giants (5-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Cardinals by 2½. O/U: 45.

The Cardinals don’t play well on the East Coast, and this is a tough matchup for them. Seattle put a blueprint for blitzing Kyler Murray on tape a few weeks ago, and the Patriots and Rams followed suit.

Prediction: Giants 21, Cardinals 16

Vikings (6-6) at Buccaneers (7-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Buccaneers by 6½. O/U: 521/2.

After a week off, the Buccaneers have had a chance to self-scout and recalibrate. They’ll make Ronald Jones a bigger part of the game plan, and get the job done against the increasingly solid Vikings.

Prediction: Buccaneers 28, Vikings 24

Colts (8-4) at Raiders (7-5)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Colts by 2½. O/U: 51.

When healthy, the Raiders are so-so on defense at best — and they’re not healthy. Philip Rivers should pick them apart. What’s more, the Colts have a rock-solid defense that should control this.


Prediction: Colts 34, Raiders 20

Jets (0-12) at Seahawks (8-4)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Seahawks by 13½. O/U: 47.

Seattle’s a better team, but not by as much as some people think. This game could be interesting for a while, although the Jets are still the Jets. Firing Gregg Williams probably doesn’t matter much.

Prediction: Seahawks 28, Jets 20

Packers (9-3) at Lions (5-7)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Packers by 7½. O/U: 55.

The Packers have won four of five, and are putting up at least 30 points on a routine basis. They should be able to do that easily against the Lions, who were handed a 42-21 loss to Green Bay in Week 2.

Prediction: Packers 38, Lions 24

Falcons (4-8) at Chargers (3-9)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Falcons by 2½. O/U: 491/2.

The Chargers were humiliated against New England and are playing for pride. They do have pride, and a bunch of good players. That should be enough against an Atlanta team with a flimsy defense.

Prediction: Chargers 28, Falcons 27

Saints (10-2) at Eagles (3-8-1)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Saints by 7. O/U: 43.

Jalen Hurts replaces Carson Wentz, which should make this interesting, yet the Eagles’ problems don’t start and end with Wentz. The increasingly comfortable Taysom Hill keeps it rolling.

Prediction: Saints 31, Eagles 23

Washington (5-7) at 49ers (5-7)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 717.

Line: 49ers by 3. O/U: 43.

Bruising matchup. Alex Smith returns to San Francisco fresh off a stunning upset of Pittsburgh and playing really well. The 49ers aren’t out of it, though, and have enough to hang on at home.

Prediction: 49ers 24, Washington 20

Steelers (11-1) at Bills (9-3)

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Bills by 2. O/U: 48.

The Steelers finally lost but they had teetered at various times this season. Pittsburgh is a really good team that still needs to prove it’s a great one. Josh Allen is playing at an MVP level for Buffalo.


Prediction: Bills 30, Steelers 24

Ravens (7-5) at Browns (9-3)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.


Line: Ravens by 2. O/U: 471/2.

The Ravens blew out the Browns in Week 1, 38-6, but these teams are markedly different now. Cleveland strikes back in this one. Ravens have to take advantage of Browns’ pass defense, but can they?

Prediction: Browns 28, Ravens 24