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NFL Week 16 picks: Rams, Chargers win; Cardinals are upset by Colts

Rams free safety Taylor Rapp celebrates his interception with Nick Scott.
Rams free safety Taylor Rapp, right, celebrates his interception with Nick Scott in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)
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The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to FanDuel (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record: 12-4 (.750); season 148-83-1 (.628). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 7-9 (.438); season 108-114-2 (.487). All times Pacific.

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49ers (7-7) at Titans (9-5)

San Francisco 49ers guard Daniel Brunskill looks to the sideline.
San Francisco 49ers guard Daniel Brunskill (60) looks to the sideline during a game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in Santa Clara.
(Scot Tucker / Associated Press)

Thursday, 5:20 p.m.

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TV: NFL Network.

Line: 49ers by 31/2. O/U: 44.

A.J. Brown is getting activated for Tennessee, and he’s really tough. But the Titans are finding ways to lose. The 49ers are on a roll and Jimmy Garoppolo is on fire, and that makes the difference.

Prediction: 49ers 24, Titans 20

3

Browns (7-7) at Packers (11-3)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in action.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in action against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in Baltimore.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

TV: Channel 11, NFL Network, Amazon.

Line: Packers by 71/2. O/U: 441/2.

Hard to know how many players the Browns are going to get off the COVID list, so surviving this super-short week is a real challenge. It’s unwise to bet against Aaron Rodgers at home.

Prediction: Packers 27, Browns 20

4

Colts (8-6) at Cardinals (10-4)

Indianapolis Colts linebacker E.J. Speed and running back Jonathan Taylor celebrate a touchdown.
Indianapolis Colts linebacker E.J. Speed (45) and running back Jonathan Taylor (28) celebrate a touchdown against the New England Patriots on Saturday in Indianapolis.
(Zach Bolinger / Associated Press)

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Saturday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: NFL Network.

Line: Cardinals by 11/2. O/U: 491/2.

Exactly who Cardinals don’t want to see, especially after giving up a bunch of rushing yards to Detroit. Arizona is not the same without a healthy DeAndre Hopkins. Big night for Jonathan Taylor.

Prediction: Colts 28, Cardinals 20

5

Ravens (8-6) at Bengals (8-6)

Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell celebrates.
Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell (24) celebrates against the Denver Broncos in the first half on Sunday in Denver.
(Bart Young / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Bengals by 21/2. O/U: 441/2.

The Bengals thumped them in Baltimore and should be able to complete the sweep at home. They’re desperate and coming off a big win at Denver. QB Tyler Huntley has been playing well for Baltimore.

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Prediction: Bengals 27, Ravens 23

6

Chargers (8-6) at Texans (3-11)

Chargers coach Brandon Staley congratulates quarterback Justin Herbert.
Chargers coach Brandon Staley congratulates quarterback Justin Herbert after a touchdown drive against the Kansas City Chiefs at SoFi Stadium on Dec. 16.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Chargers by 10. O/U: 451/2.

The Chargers have some significant players on the COVID list, but have more than enough weapons to handle the Texans. As crowded as it is in the 8-6, 7-7 range in the AFC, the Chargers need to win out.

Prediction: Chargers 28, Texans 17

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Bills (8-6) at Patriots (9-5)

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Josh Allen.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis (13) celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Josh Allen (17) during the second half against the Carolina Panthers in Orchard park, N.Y. on Sunday.
(Jeffrey T. Barnes / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

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TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

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

Cole Beasley is out and that hurts the Bills. Buffalo can’t run or stop the run, and that hurts. They’re desperate, though, and this won’t be played in the bizarre conditions of last one vs. Patriots.

Prediction: Bills 24, Patriots 20

8

Jaguars (2-12) at Jets (3-11)

New York Jets running back Ty Johnson eludes New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Demario Davis.
New York Jets running back Ty Johnson eludes New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Demario Davis during the second half on Dec. 12 in East Rutherford, N.J.
(Bill Kostroun / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Jets by 1. O/U: 411/2.

The Jets’ defense is awful, but Zach Wilson played pretty well against a solid Miami defense. But the Jets are missing some offensive weapons. Still, the Jaguars get manhandled by Houston?

Prediction: Jets 23, Jaguars 20

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Lions (2-11-1) at Falcons (6-8)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan passes against the San Francisco 49ers.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan passes against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara on Sunday.
(Tony Avelar / Associated Press)

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Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Falcons by 6. O/U: 421/2.

The Lions have won two of three — both impressive wins — but now Jared Goff is on the COVID list. The Falcons get the edge anyway, plus they’re at home. But the Lions should play them pretty close.

Prediction: Falcons 24, Lions 17

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Buccaneers (10-4) at Panthers (5-9)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady leaves the field with offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady leaves the field with offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich on Sunday in Tampa, Fla.
(Mark LoMoglio / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Buccaneers by 101/2. O/U: 44.

The Panthers have big problems at quarterback, whether they go with an activated Sam Darnold or Cam Newton. Unless Tampa turns it over four times, it will be tough for the Panthers to score 20.

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Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Panthers 13

11

Rams (10-4) at Vikings (7-7)

Rams receiver Cooper Kupp makes a reception in front of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Sidney Jones.
Rams receiver Cooper Kupp makes a reception in front of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Sidney Jones in the second quarter at SoFi Stadium on Tuesday in Inglewood.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Rams by 3. O/U: 491/2.

Depends on which Rams show up — the hot one, or the one prone to lulls? Vikings are formidable on offense, with Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson and probably Adam Thielen. Still, L.A. is finding ways ...

Prediction: Rams 27, Vikings 23

12

Giants (4-10) at Eagles (7-7)

Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts plays during a game.
Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts plays during a game on Tuesday in Philadelphia.
(Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

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TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Eagles by 10. O/U: 401/2.

The walking-wounded Giants shutting down Daniel Jones was an indication that’s a wrap for this season. The Eagles are fighting for playoff spot and gathered momentum with four wins in five games.

Prediction: Eagles 35, Giants 17

13

Bears (4-10) at Seahawks (5-9)

Seattle Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas celebrates his rushing touchdown with running back Rashaad Penny.
Seattle Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas (31) celebrates his rushing touchdown with running back Rashaad Penny (20) against the Rams on Tuesday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Seahawks by 61/2. O/U: 431/2.

The Seahawks should win this on the strength of a better quarterback, better coaching staff and the fact that they’re at home. Both of these franchises are hurting, though, and coming off a short week.

Prediction: Seahawks 28, Bears 17

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Steelers (7-6-1) at Chiefs (10-4)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws a pass against the Chargers.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws a pass against the Chargers on Dec. 16 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

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Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Chiefs by 71/2. O/U: 44.

The Chiefs are hot at right time, although they need to get back Travis Kelce and/or Tyreek Hill, both on the COVID list. The Steelers do tend to play well at Arrowhead. With a full-ish roster, Chiefs win.

Prediction: Chiefs 27, Steelers 23

15

Broncos (7-7) at Raiders (7-7)

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Bryan Edwards catches a 5-yard touchdown pass.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Bryan Edwards catches a five-yard touchdown pass against Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward on Monday in Cleveland.
(Ron Schwane / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Raiders by 1. O/U: 411/2.

Both teams badly need to win, both still in the playoff hunt. Drew Lock might make the Denver offense a little more explosive than Teddy Bridgewater did, but increases the chance of turnovers.

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Prediction: Raiders 31, Broncos 28

16

Washington Football Team (6-8) at Cowboys (10-4)

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott looks to pass in the first half against the New York Giants.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott looks to pass in the first half against the New York Giants on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.
(Corey Sipkin / Associated Press)

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Cowboys by 101/2. O/U: 471/2.

Washington hung in and made a fun run, but the team is getting banged up. Dak Prescott is still struggling for Dallas, but Tony Pollard coming back is an X-factor. Scoring will be tough for Washington.

Prediction: Cowboys 27, Washington 17

17

Dolphins (7-7) at Saints (7-7)

New York Jets outside linebacker Quincy Williams attempts to tackle Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson.
New York Jets outside linebacker Quincy Williams attempts to tackle Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson during the first half Sunday in Miami Gardens, Fla.
(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.

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TV: ESPN.

Line: Saints by 3. O/U: 381/2.

Both defenses are smothering, but Tua Tagovailoa is a lot hotter than Taysom Hill. Miami is getting Jaylen Waddle back too. The Dolphins have won six in a row and keep it rolling in a slugfest.

Prediction: Dolphins 14, Saints 10

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