Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) hugs New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) after the Buccaneers lost, 34-23, to the Saints on September 13, 2020, in New Orleans. (Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/TNS)

The Los Angeles Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 8-6 (.571); season 82-36-1 (.695).

Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread would have been 7-7 (.500); season 66-52-1 (.559).

Off: Rams, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Philadelphia. Times Pacific:


Broncos (3-4) at Falcons (2-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Line: Falcons by 4. O/U: 50.

Drew Lock should get a confidence boost from the comeback win over the Chargers. The Broncos have some young, dangerous weapons. Atlanta’s defense is terrible, but Matt Ryan pulls it out.

Prediction: Falcons 27, Broncos 23


Ravens (5-2) at Colts (5-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Line: Ravens by 1 1/2. O/U: 47 1/2.

Hard to know what Colts have, as they’re an offensive grab bag every week. The Ravens figure to bounce back after the Pittsburgh loss, and Philip Rivers is too much a statue to avoid that rush.

Prediction: Ravens 31, Colts 24


Texans (1-6) at Jaguars (1-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Line: Texans by 7. O/U: 50 1/2.

Neither team is very good, but at least the Texans have a quarterback who can put points on the board. If the Texans can slow running back James Robinson, they should put the clamps on QB Jake Luton.

Prediction: Texans 30, Jaguars 21


Lions (3-4) at Vikings (2-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Line: Off. O/U: Off.

The Colts exposed the Lions on defense, but Detroit can still move the ball. The Vikings are at home and they have a modicum of confidence now, even though it’s a lost season. Big day for Dalvin Cook.

Prediction: Vikings 28, Lions 23



Seahawks (6-1) at Bills (6-2)

Line: Seahawks by 3. O/U: 55.

What happened to Buffalo’s defense? After a strong start, it’s been largely missing the last month. The Seahawks will be able to run, and Russell Wilson is playing at too high a level for Bills.

Prediction: Seahawks 28, Bills 21


Panthers (3-5) at Chiefs (7-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Line: Chiefs by 10 1/2. O/U: 52 1/2.

The Chiefs toyed with the Jets last week. Patrick Mahomes-to-Travis Kelce was unstoppable. The Panthers could be getting Christian McCaffrey back. He’s rusty, but Chiefs have vulnerable run D.

Prediction: Chiefs 35, Panthers 28


Bears (5-3) at Titans(5-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Line: Titans by 6 1/2. O/U: 46 1/2.

Titans are favored despite getting lit up by Cincinnati. The defense is struggling, and the offense is nothing special. Teams aren’t afraid of Chicago’s Nick Foles, but at least the defense is good. Close one.

Prediction: Titans 27, Bears 24


Giants (1-7) at Washington Football Team (2-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Line: Washington by 2 1/2. O/U: 42 1/2.

Washington is rested and can crank up the heat on quarterbacks. But despite their record, the Giants are a better all-around team that finally has some offensive weapons.

Prediction: Giants 23, Washington 21


Raiders (4-3) at Chargers (2-5)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

Line: Chargers by 1. O/U: 51 1/2.

The Chargers haven’t proved they can win close games. The Raiders just went on the road and pulled off an impressive victory at Cleveland. Justin Herbert might throw for 400 and not get the W.

Prediction: Raiders 31, Chargers 27


Dolphins (4-3) at Cardinals (5-2)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

Line: Cardinals by 4 1/2. O/U: 49.

It’s Arizona’s offense, which is No. 1 in yards per game, against a Miami defense that leads in points allowed. What’s more, it’s Kyler Murray vs. Tua Tagovailoa, Nos. 1-2 in Heisman voting in 2018.

Prediction: Cardinals 23, Dolphins 21


Steelers (7-0) at Cowboys (2-6)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

Line: Steelers by 14. O/U: 41 1/2.

Teams are operating in different worlds, and the undefeated Steelers should roll. But, just like the Giants gave the Buccaneers a scare, beware the trap game. Still, Dallas doesn’t have the firepower.

Prediction: Steelers 34, Cowboys 16


Saints (5-2) at Buccaneers (5-2)

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

Line: Buccaneers by 4. O/U: 50 1/2.

Tom Brady, who didn’t play well in the opener vs. Saints, has never been swept by a division opponent. Won’t happen here, either. Watch for Tampa Bay to scheme something for Antonio Brown.

Prediction: Buccaneers 31, Saints 24


Patriots (2-5) at Jets (0-8)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.

Line: Patriots by 7. O/U: 41 1/2.

Two bad teams. The Patriots have lost four in a row and are rudderless, but they should be able to beat the Jets on muscle memory alone. Bill Belichick finds a way to pull off the win.

Prediction: Patriots 23, Jets 18

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