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Sam Farmer's Week 3 NFL picks

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September 25, 2009|Sam Farmer

Times NFL writer Sam Farmer examines this week's matchups (lines according to Glantz-Culver). See Farmer's video picks online at our Fabulous Forum blog at latimes/sports (last week: 9-7; 8-8 against the spread; overall 20-12 (.625), 13-19 (.406):

Cleveland at Baltimore

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 704

Line: Ravens by 13.5. Over/Under: 38.5

The Ravens should be able to control the clock with their running game. Their vulnerability seems to be their banged-up secondary. Ravens 24, Browns 17.

Jacksonville at Houston

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 705

Line: Texans by 4. Over/Under: 47

With the way Matt Schaub played last Sunday, the Jaguars had better generate some kind of pass rush. Jacksonville has one sack in two games. Texans 27, Jaguars 17.

Kansas City at Philadelphia

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 706

Line: Off. Over/Under: Off

Chiefs don't have the playmakers to put a dent in Philadelphia's defense, especially because the Eagles are itching to prove they're better than Drew Brees made them look. Eagles 24, Chiefs 10.

Tennessee at N.Y. Jets

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 707

Line: Jets by 2.5. Over/Under: 37

New York's defense is playing off the charts, and its offense can take advantage of a porous Tennessee pass defense. Jets 14, Titans 13.

Washington at Detroit

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 708

Line: Redskins by 6.5. Over/Under: 38.5

The Redskins barely beat St. Louis at home last Sunday, and the Lions played Minnesota tough for a half. Has to happen sometime. Lions 20, Redskins 17.

S.F. at Minnesota

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 709

Line: Vikings by 7. Over/Under: 40

The Vikings' great run defense is the difference in this battle of 2-0 teams with exceptional ground attacks. Vikings 17, 49ers 14.

Atlanta at New England

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 710

Line: Patriots by 4. Over/Under: 46.5

Tony Gonzalez gives Falcons' opponents an entirely new dimension to worry about. New England still has an outstanding defense but is stretched thin. Falcons 17, Patriots 13.

Green Bay at St. Louis

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 711

Line: Packers by 6.5. Over/Under: 41

No one has been sacked more than Aaron Rodgers this season (10 times), but the Rams have been unable to get to quarterbacks so far. Packers 30, Rams 13.

N.Y. Giants at Tampa Bay

When: Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 712

Line: Giants by 6.5. Over/Under: 44

The Buccaneers, long known for their defense, are having problems adjusting to the new schemes on that side of the ball. Not the time to play the Giants. Giants 35, Buccaneers 17.

New Orleans at Buffalo

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 713

Line: Saints by 6. Over/Under: 52.5

The Saints are rolling on offense. Even though they're coming off a big victory, the Bills are already hurting, with at least four starters hobbled. Saints 38, Bills 17.

Chicago at Seattle

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 714

Line: Bears by 2. Over/Under: 37

Key for the Bears will be taking the crowd out of the equation . . . and getting running back Matt Forte going to control the clock. Bears 21, Seahawks 13.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 715

Line: Steelers by 4. Over/Under: 37

The key for the Steelers will be keeping Cincinnati's pass rush off Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh has done a good job of that the last two years against the Bengals. Steelers 14, Bengals 10.

Denver at Oakland

When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: none. DirecTV: 716

Line: Broncos by 1.5. Over/Under: 35.5

Whereas the Broncos are starting to pick up the nuances of Josh McDaniels' offense, the defense-minded Raiders need to move the ball better. Broncos 17, Raiders 14.

Miami at San Diego

When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 717

Line: Chargers by 6. Over/Under: 44

Both are outstanding between the 20s but need to work on red-zone strategies. The difference: Miami is coming off an emotional loss, a short week and a long flight. Chargers 24, Dolphins 21.

Indianapolis at Arizona

When: Sunday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Cardinals by 2.5. Over/Under: 48

Kurt Warner has never looked sharper, and the Cardinals aren't likely to have the defensive breakdowns that fatigued Miami on Monday night. Cardinals 28, Colts 24.

Carolina at Dallas

When: Monday, 5:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN.

Line: Cowboys by 9. Over/Under: 47

Even without Marion Barber, the Cowboys should be able to pound the ball against a Carolina defense still trying to find its legs. Cowboys 20, Panthers 13.

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