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Sam Farmer's NFL Week 10 picks

The L.A. Times' NFL writer takes a game-by-game look at this week's matchups.

November 11, 2011|By Sam Farmer
  • Quarterback Alex Smith and Coach Jim Harbaugh will lead the 49ers into a crucial NFC game against the New York Giants on Sunday at San Francisco.
Quarterback Alex Smith and Coach Jim Harbaugh will lead the 49ers into a… (Cliff Owen / Associated…)

The Times' NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week's matchups. Lines according to Glantz-Culver (O/U = over/under). Last week's record 8-6 (.571); season 86-44 (.662). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 5-8-1 (.385); season 56-67-7 (.455).

Buffalo (5-3)

at Dallas (4-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bills 30, Cowboys 28

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 704.

Line: Cowboys by 5. O/U: 47.

The Bills are coming off a demoralizing home loss in which Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson struggled. The Cowboys easily polished off Seattle. This one feels like an upset.

Tennessee (4-4)

at Carolina (2-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Panthers 27, Titans 23

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Panthers by 3. O/U: 46.

Even though they've won only two games, the Panthers are in the hunt every week. They're fresh after a week off, and the Titans are inconsistent on offense.

Houston (6-3)

at Tampa Bay (4-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Texans 31, Buccaneers 24

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Texans by 3. O/U: 45.

The Buccaneers tend to start slowly, and that doesn't do much to keep the Tampa home crowd in the game. The Texans are more balanced and should control the clock.

Pittsburgh (6-3)

at Cincinnati (6-2)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Steelers 18, Bengals 15

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Steelers by 3. O/U: 41.

The Bengals have won five in a row, although their last four came against teams that are a combined 8-25. The Steelers will present a far stiffer challenge.

Jacksonville (2-6)

at Indianapolis (0-9)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Jaguars 18, Colts 13

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Jaguars by 3. O/U: 37.

The Jaguars can't beat a lot of teams in this league, but the Colts are losing any remaining steam they had. They've been held to 10 points or fewer the last three weeks.

Denver (3-5)

at Kansas City (4-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Chiefs 20, Broncos 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Chiefs by 3. O/U: 41.

Having the benefit of the Broncos-Raiders tape, the Chiefs will be especially aware of Tim Tebow's read-action fakes. Kansas City is primed for a bounce-back game.

Arizona (2-6)

at Philadelphia (3-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Eagles 28, Cardinals 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Off the board. O/U: Off the board.

The Eagles are nowhere near as good as they appeared to be on paper. But they're good enough to handle the Cardinals at home, especially with Arizona's quarterback problems.

St. Louis (1-7)

at Cleveland (3-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Rams 20, Browns 18

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Browns by 2. O/U: 37.

Steven Jackson has run for a combined 289 yards in the last two games, and has the ability to take over this game. Sam Bradford is beginning to click with Brandon Lloyd.

New Orleans (6-3)

at Atlanta (5-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Saints 21, Falcons 17

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Pick 'em. O/U: 50.

The Saints either show up and play great or lay an egg. It's hard to imagine them not being ready for a game at Atlanta. The defense is banged up, but the offensive line looks good.

Washington (3-5)

at Miami (1-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Dolphins 24, Redskins 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Dolphins by 3. O/U: 37.

Even though the Dolphins still need to prove they can win at home, they are starting to look better as Matt Moore is getting more comfortable with the offense.

Baltimore (6-2)

at Seattle (2-6)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Ravens 27, Seahawks 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Ravens by 6. O/U: 41.

The Seahawks will need a lot of help from their running game and special teams to pull off an upset. The Ravens are too focused to allow a letdown in this one, even if it is on the road.

Detroit (6-2)

at Chicago (5-3)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Bears 24, Lions 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Bears by 2. O/U: 45.

Without Jahvid Best, the Lions are too one-dimensional on offense. That will hurt them against a solid Chicago defense. Matt Forte will help the Bears control the tempo.

N.Y. Giants (6-2)

at San Francisco (7-1)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

49ers 20, Giants 16

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 716.

Line: 49ers by 3. O/U: 42.

The 49ers are doing a good job of playing to Alex Smith's strengths and leaning heavily on a solid running game and defense. Home field helps here.

New England (5-3)

at N.Y. Jets (5-3)

Sunday, 5:15 p.m.

Jets 27, Patriots 24

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Jets by 1. O/U: 47.

Hard as it is to imagine the Patriots losing three in a row, they do have the league's worst-ranked defense and they're facing a Jets team that's gaining confidence by the week.

Minnesota (2-6)

at Green Bay (8-0)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Packers 38, Vikings 24

TV: ESPN.

Line: Packers by 13. O/U: 51.

The Vikings played the Packers tough three weeks ago, but this won't be that close. Aaron Rodgers should be able to find the soft spots in a vulnerable Minnesota secondary.

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