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Sam Farmer's Week 16 NFL picks

A look at this week's matchups.

December 24, 2009

Times NFL writer Sam Farmer examines this week's matchups. Lines according to Glantz-Culver. Last week 10-6, overall 148-76 (.661); against spread 6-10, overall 96-128 (.429). See Farmer's video picks online at our Fabulous Forum blog at

San Diego at Tennessee

Records: 11-3; 7-7

When: Today, 4:30 p.m.

TV: NFL Network

Line: Titans by 3. Over/Under: 47

Chargers aren't good against the run, and that's trouble against Vince Young and Chris Johnson. But Philip Rivers should have a big day against the 31st-ranked pass defense. Chargers 24, Titans 23.

Buffalo at Atlanta

Records: 5-9; 7-7

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 704

Line: Falcons by 9. Over/Under: 41

Buffalo Coach Perry Fewell said recently that reserve quarterback Brian Brohm didn't know the offense well enough to play. Now, the Bills don't have a choice; Brohm is all they have. Falcons 24, Bills 17.

Kansas City at Cincinnati

Records: 3-11; 9-5

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 705

Line: Bengals by 13.5. Over/Under: 40.5

The Chiefs were trampled by the Browns last Sunday, and Cincinnati has a better ground game than Cleveland. What's more, the Bengals have postseason incentive. Bengals 30, Chiefs 21.

Oakland at Cleveland

Records: 5-9; 3-11

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 706

Line: Browns by 3.5. Over/Under: 38

The Raiders have no consistency, but they can be pretty good when they're all on the same page -- ask Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Denver about that. Raiders 24, Browns 20.

Houston at Miami

Records: 7-7; 7-7

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 707

Line: Dolphins by 3. Over/Under: 45

The Texans can claim their first winning season by beating their final two opponents. Hey, at least it's something. They've never lost to Miami in four meetings. Texans 27, Dolphins 20.

Jacksonville at New England

Records: 7-7; 9-5

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 708

Line: Patriots by 8. Over/Under: 43.5

Although Tom Brady has not been at his best over the last month, it's hard to pick against the Patriots at home in December (with a playoff berth at stake). Patriots 24, Jaguars 20.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh

Records: 8-6; 7-7

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 709

Line: Steelers by 2.5. Over/Under: 42

Yes, the Steelers just stopped a five-game slide and have all sorts of weaknesses. They're also a franchise that rises to the occasion and is 8-2 against Baltimore at Heinz Field. Steelers 23, Ravens 20.

Carolina at N.Y. Giants

Records: 6-8; 8-6

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 710

Line: Giants by 7. Over/Under: 42.5

Giants still have flickering playoff hopes. Matt Moore outplayed Brett Favre last week. Hard to imagine him topping a sharp Eli Manning this week -- especially on the road. Giants 24, Panthers 16.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans

Records: 2-12; 13-1

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 711

Line: Saints by 14. Over/Under: 49.5

The Saints are smarting after a surprising loss to the Cowboys. The Buccaneers were smoked at home, 38-7, when these teams played in Week 11. Brace for an encore. Saints 34, Buccaneers 14.

Seattle at Green Bay

Records: 5-9; 9-5

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 712

Line: Packers by 14. Over/Under: 41.5

Seattle has won one road game, and Green Bay won't be the second victim. The playoff-minded Packers aren't going to lose to a team that was crushed by Tampa Bay last week. Packers 34, Seahawks 10.

Detroit at San Francisco

Records: 2-12; 6-8

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 713

Line: 49ers by 12.5. Over/Under: 41.5

Even though they will miss the playoffs for a seventh consecutive season, the 49ers have made some strides. So have the Lions -- but they've still lost 19 in a row on the road. 49ers 27, Lions 13.

St. Louis at Arizona

Records: 1-13; 9-5

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 714

Line: Cardinals by 14. Over/Under: 43.5

Even if the Cardinals decide to rest Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald, they still have plenty of options with Matt Leinart under center. They shouldn't have a problem here. Cardinals 34, Rams 14.

Denver at Philadelphia

Records: 8-6; 10-4

When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 715

Line: Eagles by 7. Over/Under: 41.5

With Brian Westbrook back, look for the Eagles to short-circuit Denver's ferocious pass rush with screens and quick slants. Being at home also helps Philadelphia. Eagles 30, Broncos 12.

N.Y. Jets at Indianapolis

Records: 7-7; 14-0

When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 716

Line: Colts by 5.5. Over/Under: 40.5

A lot of this depends on how long the Colts decide to play Peyton Manning. If they pull him early, the Jets have a chance. If he stays in, the Colts keep their perfect season rolling. Colts 28, Jets 13.

Dallas at Washington

Records: 9-5; 4-10

When: Sunday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Cowboys by 6.5. Over/Under: 42

The Redskins looked lost against the Giants. Now Washington is coming off a short week, the Cowboys have gotten extra rest, and the Dallas pass rush will set the tone. Cowboys 30, Redskins 10.

Minnesota at Chicago

Records: 11-3; 5-9

When: Monday, 5:30 p.m.


Line: Vikings by 7. Over/Under: 41

The last time these teams played, Brett Favre threw for 392 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-10 rout. Has anything really changed for the Bears? Vikings 24, Bears 6.

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