August 4, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

NFL Week 14 picks: Chiefs beat Dolphins, Steelers lose again

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 11-4 (.733); season 130-61-1 (.681).

Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread would have been 10-5 (.667); season 103-84-5 (.551).

Times are Pacific:

Broncos (4-8) at Panthers (4-8)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

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

Denver is putting the pieces in place to be a high-powered offense … just not this season. The Panthers, who have lost a bunch of close games, are rested after a week off and still are well coached.

Prediction: Panthers 28, Broncos 21

Texans (4-8) at Bears (5-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Texans by 1. O/U: 45.

The Bears are bad. They blow a 10-point lead at home to the banged-up Lions? Looks like it’s time for a total reboot. The Texans are coming off a close loss to the Colts but are the better team.

Prediction: Texans 23, Bears 21

Titans (8-4) at Jaguars (1-11)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Titans by 71/2. O/U: 521/2.

After losing a shootout to Cleveland, the Titans bounce back and did it with a familiar recipe: giving the ball to Derrick Henry. Jacksonville has a way of hanging around, though, and can keep it close.

Prediction: Titans 31, Jaguars 24

Chiefs (11-1) at Dolphins (8-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Chiefs by 71/2. O/U: 501/2.

The mighty Chiefs have struggled to score a little bit this season, and they’re going against a really tough Dolphins defense. Miami is so vanilla on offense with Tua Tagovailoa, so K.C. pulls away.

Prediction: Chiefs 28, Dolphins 20

Cowboys (3-9) at Bengals (2-9-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Cowboys by 31/2. O/U: 421/2.

The Cowboys should win pretty handily. The Bengals can do a decent job of moving the ball at times, and they’re going against a bad Dallas defense, but the Cowboys offense should have a big day.

Prediction: Cowboys 30, Bengals 20

Cardinals (6-6) at Giants (5-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Cardinals by 21/2. O/U: 45.

The Cardinals don’t play well on the East Coast, and this is a tough matchup for them. Seattle put a blueprint for blitzing Kyler Murray on tape a few weeks ago, and the Patriots and Rams followed suit.

Prediction: Giants 21, Cardinals 16

Vikings (6-6) at Buccaneers (7-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Buccaneers by 61/2. O/U: 521/2.

After a week off, the Buccaneers have had a chance to self-scout and recalibrate. They’ll make Ronald Jones a bigger part of the game plan, and get job done against the increasingly solid Vikings.

Prediction: Buccaneers 28, Vikings 24

Colts (8-4) at Raiders (7-5)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Colts by 21/2. O/U: 51.

When healthy, the Raiders are so-so on defense at best — and they’re not healthy. Philip Rivers should pick them apart. What’s more, the Colts have a rock-solid defense that should control this.

Prediction: Colts 34, Raiders 20

Jets (0-12) at Seahawks (8-4)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Seahawks by 131/2. O/U: 47.

Seattle’s a better team, but not by as much as some people think. This game could be interesting for a while, although the Jets are still the Jets. Firing Gregg Williams probably doesn’t matter much.

Prediction: Seahawks 28, Jets 20

Packers (9-3) at Lions (5-7)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Packers by 71/2. O/U: 55.

The Packers have won four of five, and are putting up at least 30 points on a routine basis. They should be able to do that easily against the Lions, who were handed a 42-21 loss to Green Bay in Week 2.

Prediction: Packers 38, Lions 24

Hawks (4-8) at Chargers (3-9)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Falcons by 21/2. O/U: 491/2.

The Chargers were humiliated against New England and are playing for pride. They do have pride, and a bunch of good players. That should be enough against an Atlanta team with a flimsy defense.

Prediction: Chargers 28, Falcons 27

Saints (10-2) at Eagles (3-8-1)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Saints by 7. O/U: 43.

Jalen Hurts replaces Carson Wentz, which should make this interesting, yet the Eagles’ problems don’t start and end with Wentz. The increasingly comfortable Taysom Hill keeps it rolling.

Prediction: Saints 31, Eagles 23

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 717.

Line: 49ers by 3. O/U: 43.

Bruising matchup. Alex Smith returns to San Francisco fresh off a stunning upset of Pittsburgh and playing really well. The 49ers aren’t out of it, though, and have enough to hang on at home.

Prediction: 49ers 24, Washington 20

Steelers (11-1) at Bills (9-3)

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Bills by 2. O/U: 48.

The Steelers finally lost but they had teetered at various times this season. Pittsburgh is a really good team that still needs to prove it’s a great one. Josh Allen is playing at an MVP level for Buffalo.

Prediction: Bills 30, Steelers 24

Ravens (7-5) at Browns (9-3)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.

TV: ESPN.

Line: Ravens by 2. O/U: 471/2.

The Ravens blew out the Browns in Week 1, 38-6, but these teams are markedly different now. Cleveland strikes back in this one. Ravens have to take advantage of Browns’ pass defense, but can they?

Prediction: Browns 28, Ravens 24