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NFL Week 13 picks: Bills beat Patriots; Cowboys, Rams bounce back

Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox celebrates his touchdown with guard Cody Ford.
Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox (88) celebrates his touchdown with guard Cody Ford (74) in the second half in New Orleans on Nov. 25.
(Derick Hingle / Associated Press)
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Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season begins on Thursday with the Dallas Cowboys taking on the Saints in New Orleans. The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups.

Farmer’s record last week: 9-6 (.600); season 109-70-1 (.609). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 6-9 (.400); season 86-92-2 (.483).

Teams on bye: Browns, Titans, Panthers, Packers.

Times Pacific. Lines according to FanDuel (O/U = over/under):

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Cowboys (7-4) at Saints (5-6)

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott looks to pass against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott looks to pass against the Las Vegas Raiders in Arlington, Texas on Nov. 25.
(Michael Ainsworth / Associated Press)

Thursday, 5:20

TV: Channel 11, NFL Network, Amazon.

Line: Cowboys by 5. O/U: 471/2.

There’s a whiff of desperation with Dallas after two losses in a row, and fortunately for the Cowboys they’re getting a New Orleans team that doesn’t have much going right on offense.

Prediction: Cowboys 27, Saints 20

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Vikings (5-6) at Lions (0-10-1)

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson runs after a catch against the San Francisco 49ers.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson runs after a catch against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Santa Clara.
(Scot Tucker / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Vikings by 7. O/U: 461/2.

The Vikings will miss Dalvin Cook but should be able to handle Detroit without him. Alexander Mattison is capable of picking up that slack against a Detroit team that can hang in for a while.

Prediction: Vikings 27, Lions 17

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Colts (6-6) at Texans (2-9)

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor runs up the middle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor runs up the middle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in Indianapolis.
(Zach Bolinger / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

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

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The Colts are a team to watch. Jonathan Taylor should have a big day, and the Indianapolis defense can rush the passer and stop the run. Carson Wentz will play well against overmatched Houston.

Prediction: Colts 31, Texans 17

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Chargers (6-5) at Bengals (7-4)

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is hit by Denver Broncos defensive end DeShawn Williams.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is hit by Denver Broncos defensive end DeShawn Williams during the first half on Sunday in Denver.
(Jack Dempsey / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Bengals by 3. O/U: 501/2.

The Chargers can’t stop the run and that’s a bad situation against Cincinnati, which can run it and set up the play-action for Joe Burrow. Justin Herbert should keep the visitors in it.

Prediction: Bengals 28, Chargers 20

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Eagles (5-7) at Jets (3-8)

Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders in action against the New Orleans Saints.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders in action against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in Philadelphia.
(Brad Penner / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

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TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Eagles by 61/2. O/U: 451/2.

The Jets are sneaky tough, and the Eagles a little desperate after blowing it against the Giants. But that Philly defensive line is going to get in Zach Wilson’s face, and Jalen Hurts will bounce back.

Prediction: Eagles 30, Jets 20

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Buccaneers (8-3) at Falcons (5-6)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette runs past Indianapolis Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke .
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette runs past Indianapolis Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke on Sunday in Indianapolis.
(Zach Bolinger / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Buccaneers by 11. O/U: 501/2.

Tom Brady has had a few weeks of less-than-stellar play and he’s poised for a breakout game. The pass rush is coming around for Tampa. Atlanta will put up a fight for a while but Tampa is just better.

Prediction: Buccaneers 38, Falcons 20

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Cardinals (9-2) at Bears (4-7)

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore runs with the ball against the Seattle Seahawks.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore runs with the ball against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 21 in Seattle.
(Stephen Brashear / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Cardinals by 71/2. O/U: 451/2.

Cardinals will be fresh after week off and should keep rolling against underwhelming Bears. Chicago’s front seven can play pretty well, but its secondary is banged up. Arizona returns some weapons.

Prediction: Cardinals 33, Bears 17

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Giants (4-7) at Dolphins (5-7)

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa aims a pass.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa aims a pass during the second half against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in Miami Gardens, Fla.
(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Dolphins by 41/2. O/U: 401/2.

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Miami’s defense has played really well the last month. Tua Tagovailoa is getting the ball out of his hands, despite a subpar offensive line. Giants can’t afford to lose Daniel Jones.

Prediction: Dolphins 24, Giants 17

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Jaguars (2-9) at Rams (7-4)

Rams' Sony Michel runs.
Rams’ Sony Michel runs during the first half against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in Green Bay, Wis.
(Matt Ludtke / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Rams by 13. O/U: 471/2.

After three losses in a row, the Rams need to stop the bleeding. The Jaguars are a bad team but they can get very physical — check the tape on the Buffalo game — so they can deliver a bruising.

Prediction: Rams 30, Jaguars 18

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Washington Football Team (5-6) at Raiders (6-5)

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow warms up before a game.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow warms up before a game in Arlington, Texas, on Nov. 25.
(Michael Ainsworth / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

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TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Raiders by 21/2. O/U: 491/2.

The Raiders should hold their ground behind the play of Derek Carr, who has been excellent. But Washington is scary with the way Taylor Heineke is building a belief and the defense is coming around.

Prediction: Raiders 27, Washington 23

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49ers (6-5) at Seahawks (3-8)

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Dan Arnold works against San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa.
Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Dan Arnold works against San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa during the second half on Nov. 21 in Jacksonville, Fla.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 714.

Line: 49ers by 31/2. O/U: 451/2.

The 49ers are getting healthy on defense and look as if they’re returning to form at the right time, though losing Deebo Samuel hurts. Seattle is struggling mightily — including Russell Wilson.

Prediction: 49ers 28, Seahawks 17

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Ravens (8-3) at Steelers (5-5-1)

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson passes during the second half against the Cleveland Browns.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson passes during the second half against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in Baltimore.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Ravens by 41/2. O/U: 44.

Lamar Jackson is coming off a horrible outing against Cleveland (four interceptions) even though the Ravens escaped with a win. He’s due for a big bounce-back performance against suspect Steelers.

Prediction: Ravens 28 Steelers 21

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Broncos (6-5) at Chiefs (7-4)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws during the first half against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 21 in Kansas City, Mo.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Chiefs by 10. O/U: 471/2.

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Kansas City is returning to form, but Denver could make this interesting. The problem for the Broncos is their passing game has struggled, which is odd since they have the talent to throw on anybody.

Prediction: Chiefs 28, Broncos 23

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Patriots (8-4) at Bills (7-4)

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones warms up.
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones warms up during the second half against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Foxborough, Mass.
(Stew Milne / Associated Press)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: ESPN.

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

The Bills aren’t playing up to potential, and Josh Allen is playing the way Patrick Mahomes was a month ago — everything’s the hero play. Still, this is where New England’s six-game win streak ends.

Prediction: Bills 27, Patriots 23

Where do NFL fans gather to watch games in Southern California? From Packers to Bears and 49ers to Rams, use our guide to find your game-day spot.

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