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Can Chargers keep up with Lions’ offense? Jaguars a test for 49ers

NFL logo for Sam Farmer picks (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to FanDuel Sportsbook(O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 9-5 (.643); season 79-57 (.581). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 9-5 (.643); season 61-73-2 (.455). Off: RAMS, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia. All times Pacific.

Carolina (1-7) at Chicago (2-7)

Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young passes against the Indianapolis Colts.

Thursday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Amazon Prime Video

Line: Bears by 3½. O/U: 38½.

Two lousy teams. The Panthers are really banged up, including no Brian Burns. The Bears can’t do much, but they can stop the run. That will put the game on the shoulders of Carolina rookie Bryce Young.

Prediction: Bears 20, Panthers 16

Indianapolis (4-5) at New England (2-7)

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence fumbles as he is hit by Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (99).

Sunday, 6:30 a.m.

TV: NFL Network

Line: Colts by 1½. O/U: 43½.

Colts often don’t play well against Bill Belichick’s teams, but these aren’t the same Patriots. Indianapolis front seven is stingy, and DeForest Buckner is one of the NFL’s best-kept secrets.

Prediction: Colts 23, Patriots 14

San Francisco (5-3) at Jacksonville (6-2)

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel runs against the Dallas Cowboys.

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: Channel 11

Line: 49ers by 3. O/U: 45½.

Will the 49ers really lose four in a row? Jaguars are scary and rested but 49ers will be bolstered by three key players — Deebo Samuel, Trent Williams and Chase Young — who weren’t around for losing streak.

Prediction: 49ers 27, Jaguars 23

Cleveland (5-3) at Baltimore (7-2)

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson takes a break during practice.

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: NFL Ticket.

Line: Ravens by 6. O/U: 37½.

This could have a playoff feel. Baltimore did everything right against Seattle last week. Cleveland’s defense is stifling. Division games tend to be close. Hard to trust Deshaun Watson. That’s the difference.

Prediction: Ravens 24, Browns 17

Houston (4-4) at Cincinnati (5-3)

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase runs against the Baltimore Ravens.

Bengals receiver Ja’Marr could take advantage of a suspect Texans secondary. (Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: NFL Ticket.

Line: Bengals by 6½. O/U: 48.

C.J. Stroud is no fluke. The rookie can play. The Bengals are starting to look like themselves. Banged-up Ja’Marr Chase has to be tantalized that Texans are hurting at safety and are vulnerable in middle.

Prediction: Bengals 28, Texans 21

New Orleans (5-4) at Minnesota (5-4)

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) sets to pass against the Atlanta Falcons.

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: NFL Ticket

Line: Saints by 2½. O/U: 41.

Josh Dobbs coming in and leading Vikings to victory might be the best story of the season but can he pull of an encore versus the Saints? Here’s betting New Orleans defense isn’t going to let that happen.

Prediction: Saints 24, Vikings 20

Green Bay (3-5) at Pittsburgh (5-3)

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin gestures before a game.

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: NFL Ticket

Line: Steelers by 3. O/U: 38½.

The Steelers are nothing special this season, but they’re getting those timely turnovers. Don’t be fooled by the lopsided score in Green Bay’s win over the Rams. The listless Packers have next to no spark.

Prediction: Steelers 21, Packers 17

Tennessee (3-5) at Tampa Bay (3-5)

Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis (8) looks to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: NFL Ticket

Line: Buccaneers by 1½. O/U: 38½.

Rookie quarterback Will Levis didn’t lead the Titans to victory last week, although he gave it a good run. Tampa Bay couldn’t stop rookie C.J. Stroud in Week 9 and has lost four in a row. This week makes five.

Prediction: Titans 20, Buccaneers 17

Detroit (6-2) at CHARGERS (4-4)

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) looks to throw against the Atlanta Falcons.

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: Channel 2

Line: Lions by 2½. O/U: 48½.

The Chargers had a noteworthy win against a championship Jets defense but Lions have too much firepower with Jared Goff playing great, and the 1-2 punch of backs Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery.

Prediction: Lions 30, Chargers 23

Atlanta (4-5) at Arizona (1-8)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) scrambles.

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: NFL Ticket

Line: Falcons by 1½. O/U: 43.

Kyler Murray is returning from his knee injury. Will he be as mobile? Probably won’t make big difference. The Falcons are better in most aspects and Taylor Heinicke gives some reliability at quarterback.

Prediction: Falcons 23, Cardinals 14

N.Y. Giants (2-7) at Dallas (5-3)

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones grimaces after hurting his knee on a sack by the Raiders.

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: Channel 11

Line: Cowboys by 16½. O/U: 38½.

With Daniel Jones (knee) done for the season, the Giants have nothing left. That Dallas defense is going to be swarming and this could get ugly early. Dak Prescott has a big day and the Cowboys cruise.

Prediction: Cowboys 35, Giants 10

Washington (4-5) at Seattle (5-3)

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll waits to run onto the field before a game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: NFL Ticket

Line: Seahawks by 6. O/U: 45½.

The Seahawks come home after mustering a mere field goal in a lopsided loss at Baltimore. QB Sam Howell is decent but the Commanders have traded the teeth of their defense. Seattle should bounce back.

Prediction: Seahawks 27, Commanders 24

N.Y. Jets (4-4) at Las Vegas (4-5)

Raiders interim head coach Antonio Pierce meets with players before their game against the Giants last week.

Antonio Pierce won his debut as Raiders interim head coach last week. (Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

TV: Channel 4

Line: Jets by 1½. O/U: 36½.

Often, teams have an instant surge after firing a head coach., then quickly slip to old ways. The cobbled-together Raiders offense isn’t going to make a significant dent in that durable Jets defense.

Prediction: Jets 20, Raiders 14

Denver (3-5) at Buffalo (5-4)

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins.

Monday, 5:15 p.m.


Line: Bills by 7½. O/U: 47.

Since Week 4, the Bills have gone W, L, W, L, W, L — so they’re lurching along. Even though the Broncos have won two in a row and are coming off an upset of Kansas City, winning at Buffalo is a tall order.

Prediction: Bills 28, Broncos 17

Read more: NFL roundtable: Can Chargers’ D take next step? How Rams reinforcements could help

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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