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Sam Farmer's NFL picks for Week 14

The Times' NFL writer examines this week's matchups.

December 11, 2009
  • Quarterback Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts are a heavy favorite to beat the Denver Broncos this week.
Quarterback Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts are a heavy favorite… (Bob Levey / Getty Images )

Times NFL writer Sam Farmer examines this week's matchups. Lines according to Glantz-Culver. Last week 10-6, overall 128-64 (.667); against spread 6-10, overall 83-109 (.432). See Farmer's video picks online at our Fabulous Forum blog at latimes.com/sports:

Denver at Indianapolis

Records: Broncos, 8-4; Colts, 12-0.

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 704.

Line: Colts by 7. Over/Under: 44.

Peyton Manning, who is on a most-valuable-player pace, has beaten Denver in six of eight meetings, with 17 touchdowns and three interceptions in those matchups. Colts 30, Broncos 20.

Miami at Jacksonville

Records: Dolphins, 6-6; Jaguars, 7-5.

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Jaguars by 2.5. Over/Under: 44.

Dolphins Coach Tony Sparano is 5-0 in December games, and the Jaguars have won five in a row on their home turf. Something's got to give. Jaguars 30, Dolphins 28.

Buffalo at Kansas City

Records: Bills, 4-8; Chiefs, 3-9.

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Pick 'em. Over/Under: 37.

Matt Cassel should bounce back from his benching with a better performance this week. Kansas City's defense, the league's second worst, needs to step up at home. Chiefs 17, Bills 14.

Cincinnati at Minnesota

Records: Bengals, 9-3; Vikings, 10-2.

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Vikings by 6.5. Over/Under: 43.

The Bengals have an outstanding defense, but they're going to need to show more offensive firepower if they're going to hang with the Vikings on the road. Vikings 23, Bengals 17.

N.Y. Jets at Tampa Bay

Records: Jets, 6-6; Buccaneers, 1-11.

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Jets by 3. Over/Under: 37.

Buccaneers have shown some glimpses of improvement in recent weeks, although it doesn't always translate into wins. Mark Sanchez's knee injury is a setback for the Jets. Buccaneers 21, Jets 17.

New Orleans at Atlanta

Records: 12-0; 6-6.

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Saints by 10.5. Over/Under: 50.

Falcons will be better off if both Matt Ryan and Michael Turner are back and reasonably healthy. Either way, though, they'll be hard-pressed to keep pace on the scoreboard. Saints 31, Falcons 21.

Detroit at Baltimore

Records: Lions, 2-10; Ravens, 6-6.

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Ravens by 13.5 Over/Under: 39.5.

Joe Flacco has struggled lately after a good start to the season. Detroit's last-ranked pass defense will be a welcome sight to him. Ravens 24, Lions 17.

Green Bay at Chicago

Records: Packers, 8-4; Bears, 5-7.

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Packers by 3. Over/Under: 41.

The Bears had lost four in a row before narrowly beating St. Louis last week. They'll need a lot better effort to stick with the Packers, who have quietly regained their equilibrium. Packers 21, Bears 10.

Seattle at Houston

Records: Seahawks, 5-7; Texans, 5-7.

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Texans by 6. Over/Under: 44.5.

The Texans have lost four in a row, but those games have been decided by an average of less than five points. The Seahawks are 1-5 on the road. Texans 30, Seahawks 14.

Carolina at New England

Records: Panthers, 5-7; Patriots, 7-5.

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Patriots by 13.5. Over/Under: 44.

Tom Brady has questioned their ability to close out games down the stretch, but they're still the Patriots and tough to beat -- especially in December home games. Patriots 28, Panthers 18.

St. Louis at Tennessee

Records: Rams, 1-11; Titans, 5-7.

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Titans by 13. Over/Under: 41.5.

With all the running, this game could move at a brisk pace. It pits the AFC's leading rusher, Chris Johnson, and the NFC's leader, Steven Jackson. Titans get the edge at home. Titans 19, Rams 13.

Washington at Oakland

Records: Redskins, 3-9; Raiders, 4-8.

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Redskins by 1. Over/Under: 37.5.

The Redskins are 0-6 on the road. Coming across the country to play a team with the potential to put a very good game together? Not a good thing. Raiders 24, Redskins 21.

San Diego at Dallas

Records: Chargers, 9-3; Cowboys, 8-4.

When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Cowboys by 3. Over/Under: 48.5.

The Chargers have won their last 15 games in December. Even though the Cowboys are at their best at home, San Diego's offense will give them all they can handle. Chargers 24, Cowboys 23.

Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants

Records: Eagles, 8-4; Giants, 7-5.

When: Sunday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Giants by 1. Over/Under: 44.5.

The last time they met, Donovan McNabb carved up the Giants' weakened secondary. Now New York doesn't have Antonio Pierce. It will be closer, but Philadelphia still wins. Eagles 28, Giants 24.

Arizona at San Francisco

Records: Cardinals, 8-4; 49ers, 5-7.

When: Monday, 5:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN.

Line: Cardinals 3. Over/Under: 44.5.

Arizona isn't the same team that lost its opener to the 49ers. Kurt Warner's passer rating has topped 120 in the past four games. San Francisco's pass defense is ranked 27th. Cardinals 31, 49ers 21.

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