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NFL Week 13 picks: Do or die for Rams, Chargers? Eagles underdogs to 49ers?

NFL logo for Sam Farmer picks
Sam Farmer makes his Week 13 picks.
(Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)
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The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to FanDuel Sportsbook (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 13-3 (.813); season 109-71 (.606). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 11-4-1 (.733); season 85-92-3 (.480). Off: Ravens, Bills, Bears, Raiders, Vikings, Giants. All times Pacific.

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Seattle (6-5) at Dallas (8-3)

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott scrambles against the Chargers.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has been playing at an MVP level.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Tonight, 5:15

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TV: Amazon Prime Video

Line: Cowboys by 9. O/U: 47½.

Dak Prescott is playing at an MVP level and the Dallas defense is phenomenal. The Seahawks have come back to earth over the last month. Cowboys are among the league’s top three teams.

Prediction: Cowboys 28, Seahawks 17

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CHARGERS (4-7) at New England (2-9)

Bailey Zappe (4) and Mac Jones (10) walk out of the players tunnel.
Will Bailey Zappe (4) or Mac Jones (10) start at quarterback for the Patriots against the Chargers?
(Stew Milne / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2

Line: Chargers by 6. O/U: 39½.

The Patriots defense is playing OK, but their offense is grasping at straws. Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe or someone else, doesn’t matter. As much as it’s struggling, L.A. still should be able to handle this.

Prediction: Chargers 24, Patriots 13

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Detroit (8-3) at New Orleans (5-6)

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell talks to quarterback Jared Goff (16).
Coach Dan Campbell is counting on quarterback Jared Goff (16) to get the Lions back on track.
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

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Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11

Line: Lions by 4½. O/U: 45½.

Detroit’s loss to Green Bay on Thanksgiving felt a little like the Lions’ loss to Baltimore. Both got out of hand almost immediately. Don’t think that’s going to happen to Detroit two games in a row.

Prediction: Lions 27, Saints 21

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Atlanta (5-6) at N.Y. Jets (4-7)

Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) readies to throw.
After a short benching a few weeks back, the Falcons say the are committed to quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) for the rest of the season.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: NFL Ticket

Line: Falcons by 3. O/U: 34.

The Jets’ defense can keep them in games for a while, but their offense is terrible. The Falcons and quarterback Desmond Ridder are nothing special, but they should pull away in the second half.

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Prediction: Falcons 20, Jets 13

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Arizona (2-10) at Pittsburgh (7-4)

 Steelers coach Mike Tomlin congratulates quarterback Kenny Pickett.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin needs quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) to deliver points against the Cardinals.
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: NFL Ticket

Line: Steelers by 5½. O/U: 41½.

The Steelers got to 400 yards last week but had only 16 points to show for it. Arizona is good enough to make this interesting for a while, but Pittsburgh should be able to hang on for the win at home.

Prediction: Steelers 21, Cardinals 17

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Indianapolis (6-5) at Tennessee (4-7)

 Titans quarterback Will Levis (8) looks to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rookie Will Levis (8) has had ups and downs since becoming the Titans’ starting quarterback.
(Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

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TV: NFL Ticket

Line: Colts by 1½. O/U: 42½.

The Colts have won three in a row; the Titans have lost three of four. Indy should keep it rolling without Jonathan Taylor, who had surgery for a thumb injury. Tennessee is struggling with a rookie QB.

Prediction: Colts 24, Titans 20

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Miami (8-3) at Washington (4-8)

 Commanders quarterback Sam Howell looks  against the Baltimore Ravens.
Commanders quarterback Sam Howell has performed better than many observers have noticed.
(Stephanie Scarbrough / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: NFL Ticket

Line: Dolphins by 9½. O/U: 49½.

The Commanders will move the ball and put up some points — Sam Howell is underrated — but this is Miami’s game to lose. Too much team speed on the Dolphins, who have won three of four.

Prediction: Dolphins 34, Commanders 23

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Denver (6-5) at Houston (6-5)

 Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) signals from behind the offensive line.
Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) has shown tremendous poise for a rookie.
(Butch Dill / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

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TV: NFL Ticket

Line: Texans by 3½. O/U: 47½.

During their five-game winning streak, the Broncos have had 16 takeaways. C.J. Stroud rarely turns the ball over, except for a three-pick game against Arizona two weeks ago. Denver wins a close one.

Prediction: Broncos 22, Texans 19

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Carolina (1-10) at Tampa Bay (4-7)

Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young passes against the Indianapolis Colts.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young will be playing for his second head coach in his rookie season.
(Jacob Kupferman / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: NFL Ticket

Line: Buccaneers by 5½. O/U: 36½.

The Panthers haven’t scored more than 15 in five games, but teams often get a fleeting surge after making a change at coach. That could be enough to beat woeful Tampa Bay.

Prediction: Panthers 17, Buccaneers 15

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Cleveland (7-4) at RAMS (5-6)

Rams running back Kyren Williams runs against the Arizona Cardinals.
The return of running back Kyren Williams helped the Rams rout the Cardinals last week.
(Matt York / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

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TV: Channel 11

Line: Rams by 3½. O/U: 39½.

The Browns, whose defense is great when healthy, are hurting at quarterback and banged up elsewhere. The Rams are a different team with Kyren Williams and have a flicker of postseason hope.

Prediction: Rams 24, Browns 17

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San Francisco (8-3) at Philadelphia (10-1)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts runs against the Los Angeles Rams.
The ability of Jalen Hurts to run and pass makes the Eagles offense difficult to defend.
(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: NFL Ticket

Line: 49ers by 2½. O/U: 46½.

The 49ers have to stop the run and get Jalen Hurts on the ground whenever possible. San Francisco might struggle to run it, and therefore put a little too much pressure on Brock Purdy.

Prediction: Eagles 24, 49ers 20

13

Kansas City (8-3) at Green Bay (5-6)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambles against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) should have the upper hand against Packers quarterback Jordan Love.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

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Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 4

Line: Chiefs by 6½. O/U: 42½.

Jordan Love has played well against man coverage. The Chiefs will blitz him like crazy and focus on stopping the run. Every week, Patrick Mahomes is figuring who his second target is.

Prediction: Chiefs 28, Packers 17

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Cincinnati (5-6) at Jacksonville (8-3)

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning (6) throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bengals quarterback Jake Browning (6), now the starter in place of the injured Joe Burrow, needs to produce more offense against the Jaguars.
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Line: Jaguars by 8½. O/U: 38½.

Jake Browning didn’t take many shots down the field against the Steelers. He’ll find a much tougher opponent in Jacksonville. The Bengals will struggle to find the firepower to stay in this one.

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Prediction: Jaguars 27, Bengals 16

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