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Sam Farmer's NFL picks for Week 7

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

October 23, 2009|Sam Farmer

Times NFL writer Sam Farmer examines this week's matchups. Lines according to Glantz-Culver. Last week 9-5, overall 61-29 (.678); against spread 6-8, overall 40-50 (.444). See Farmer's video picks online at our Fabulous Forum blog at www.latimes.com/sports.

New England vs. Tampa Bay

Records: 4-2; 0-6

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 704

Line: Patriots by 14.5. Over/Under: 45

How often do these teams fly east for a game? It happens this week in London for the NFL's third consecutive season at Wembley Stadium. It's a mismatch. Patriots 35, Buccaneers 14.

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Chicago at Cincinnati

Records: 3-2; 4-2

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 705

Line: Bengals by 1.5. Over/Under: 41.5

Although they're coming off a loss at Atlanta, the Bears are a good team. The Bengals could use Antwan Odom to put some heat on the quarterback, but he's done for the season. Bears 20, Bengals 17.

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San Diego at Kansas City

Records: 2-3; 1-5

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 706

Line: Chargers by 4.5. Over/Under: 44

Another must-win game for Chargers, whose season is slipping away. It should be easier to pressure Matt Cassel than it was with Kyle Orton. Regardless, this won't be easy. Chargers 24, Chiefs 21.

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Indianapolis at St. Louis

Records: 5-0; 0-6

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 707

Line: Colts by 13. Over/Under: 45

This might be a trap game for a lot of teams, but Peyton Manning won't let the Colts lose focus. Colts have won 14 regular-season games in a row; Rams have lost 16 straight. Colts 28, Rams 13.

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Green Bay at Cleveland

Records: 3-2; 1-5

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 708

Line: Packers by 9. Over/Under: 41.5

The Packers are among the most penalized teams, and do a lousy job protecting Aaron Rodgers. That said, Rodgers is sharp when he has time and the defense is improved. Packers 20, Browns 7.

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San Francisco at Houston

Records: 3-2; 3-3

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 709

Line: Texans by 3. Over/Under: 44

The 49ers get offensive help with the return of Frank Gore, but their defense will be tested by Houston's bevy of weapons: Steve Slaton, Owen Daniels and Andre Johnson. Texans 24, 49ers 17.

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Minnesota at Pittsburgh

Records: 6-0; 4-2

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 710

Line: Steelers by 4. Over/Under: 45

The Steelers tend to rise to the occasion in big games. Ben Roethlisberger is completing 72.5% of his passes, and the Vikings' best corner could be watching from the sideline. Steelers 35, Vikings 28.

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Buffalo at Carolina

Records: 2-4; 2-3

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 711

Line: Panthers by 7. Over/Under: 37.5

It remains to be seen if the Bills' Trent Edwards will be fully recovered from his concussion. Key for the Panthers is sticking to the run, instead of letting Jake Delhomme throw. Panthers 17, Bills 13.

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N.Y. Jets at Oakland

Records: 3-3; 2-4

When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 712

Line: Jets by 6.5. Over/Under: 34.5

The Raiders are feeling better after knocking off the Eagles, and the Jets defense suffered a big loss with Kris Jenkins' season-ending injury. Still, the Jets have more firepower. Jets 21, Raiders 10.

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Atlanta at Dallas

Records: 4-1; 3-2

When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 713

Line: Cowboys by 4. Over/Under: 47.5

A chance for the Cowboys to prove they're a contender as Felix Jones and Roy Williams return, which should help. But the Falcons have too many weapons on offense. Falcons 21, Cowboys 17.

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New Orleans at Miami

Records: 5-0; 2-3

When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 714

Line: Saints by 6. Over/Under: 47

The Dolphins' run game will test a New Orleans defense ranked 20th in yards per carry. Drew Brees and the Saints can win a shootout, though. Saints 35, Dolphins 28.

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Arizona at N.Y. Giants

Records: 3-2; 5-1

When: Sunday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 4

Line: Giants by 7. Over/Under: 46.5

The Cardinals are 2-0 on the road, but is that legitimate? The past 10 years they were 18-62 as visitors. The Giants were humiliated by the Saints and are still steamed. Giants 27, Cardinals 24.

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Philadelphia at Washington

Records: 3-2; 2-4

When: Monday, 5:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Line: Eagles by 7. Over/Under: 37.5

The Redskins are reeling, but they can still get to the quarterback. If the Eagles can protect Donovan McNabb -- and that's no guarantee -- they should walk away victorious. Eagles 17, Redskins 13.

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