Bengals beat Ravens; Eagles edge Giants; Chargers win

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Monday, Jan.  2, 2023, in Cincinnati.  (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow throws during the first half against the Buffalo Bills on Monday in Cincinnati. (Jeff Dean/Associated Press)

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to FanDuel Sportsbook (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 7-8 (.467); season 155-98-2 (.613). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 5-10 (.333); season 118-131-6 (.474). Times Pacific.

Chiefs (13-3) at Raiders (6-10)

Kansas City Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill in action against the Denver Broncos.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill in action against the Denver Broncos on Sunday in Kansas City, Mo. (Ed Zurga / Associated Press)

Saturday, 1:30 pm

TV: Channel 7, ESPN.

Lines: Chiefs by 9 1/2. O/U: 51 1/2.

QB Jarrett Stidham looked pretty good for the Raiders last week so that’s encouraging. But the seasoned Chiefs are in the mix for the No. 1 seed and they aren’t going to have a letdown now.

Prediction: Chiefs 31, Raiders 23

Titans (7-9) at Jaguars (8-8)

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris during a game against the Houston Texans.

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris during a game against the Houston Texans on Sunday in Houston. (Matt Patterson/Associated Press)

Saturday, 5:15 pm

TV: Channel 7, ESPN.

Lines: Jaguars by 6 1/2. O/U: 38 1/2.

For the AFC South title. Jaguars have won five of six and are home. The Titans have lost six in a row and have scored more than 16 only once in that stretch. QB Josh Dobbs isn’t scaring Jacksonville.

Prediction: Jaguars 24, Titans 17

Patriots (8-8) at Bills (12-3)

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen passes during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) passes during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday in Cincinnati. (Joshua A. Bickel/Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 am

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Lines: Bills by 7. O/U: 42 1/2.

The Bills — and the rest of the sports world — have been consumed by the tragedy Damar Hamlin situation. But adversity has a way of galvanizing a team, especially an already strong one.

Prediction: Bills 28, Patriots 20

Texans (2-13-1) at Colts (4-11-1)

Houston Texans offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Houston Texans offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in Houston. (Matt Patterson/Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 am

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Lines: Colts by 2 1/2. O/U: 38 1/2.

Most weeks, the Texans play close teams. That isn’t an overly difficult task against Indianapolis because the Colts can’t score. Houston finishes this forgettable season with a flourish.

Prediction: Texans 20, Colts 17

Browns (7-9) at Steelers (8-8)

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett leaves the field after a game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett leaves the field after a game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in Baltimore. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 am

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Lines: Steelers by 2 1/2. O/U: 40 1/2.

The Browns run well and Deshaun Watson is starting to find his footing, so that will be a challenge. But the Steelers still have a flicker of hope of getting to the postseason, and that’s enough.

Prediction: Steelers 27, Browns 23

Ravens (10-6) at Bengals (11-4)

Baltimore Ravens running back JK Dobbins during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons.

Baltimore Ravens running back JK Dobbins during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 24, 2022, in Baltimore. (Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 am

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Lines: Bengals by 7. O/U: 40 1/2.

Difficult to know how many players Zac Taylor and John Harbaugh decide to rest for this matchup, so go on roster strength. The Bengals are at home and are more solid across the board.

Prediction: Bengals 23, Ravens 20

Vikings (12-4) at Bears (3-13)

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Nailor gets tackled by Green Bay Packers cornerback Corey Ballentine.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Nailor (83) gets tackled by Green Bay Packers cornerback Corey Ballentine (35) during a game Sunday in Green Bay, Wis. (Mike Roemer/Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 am

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Lines: Vikings by 7 1/2. O/U: 43 1/2.

Since that historic second-half comeback against Indianapolis, the Vikings have been struggling. They want to be on a hot streak heading into the playoffs. Chicago is in play for the No. 1 draft pick.

Prediction: Vikings 24, Bears 13

Jets (7-9) at Dolphins (8-8)

Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert in action against New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner.

Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert (31) in action against New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner (1) during a game on Oct. 9, 2022, in East Rutherford, NJ (Brad Penner/Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 am

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 710.

Lines: Dolphins by 2. O/U: 38 1/2.

The Jets are eliminated, but Miami isn’t. But the Dolphins might have to go with the inexperienced Skylar Thompson at quarterback. Go with Miami based on that team’s run-after-catch guys.

Prediction: Dolphins 21, Jets 18

Panthers (6-10) at Saints (7-9)

Carolina Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore runs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Carolina Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore (2) runs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half Sunday in Tampa, Fla. (Chris O’Meara/Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 am

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Lines: Saints by 3 1/2. O/U: 41 1/2.

Carolina has some playmakers and the Panthers are running well, although the Saints can clamp down on the run. New Orleans is a little more banged up, and Carolina has a sliver of momentum.

Prediction: Panthers 24, Saints 21

Buccaneers (8-8) at Hawks (6-10)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White rushes against the Carolina Panthers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White (29) rushes against the Carolina Panthers during the first half Sunday in Tampa, Fla. (Chris O’Meara/Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 am

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Lines: Falcons by 4 1/2. O/U: 40 1/2.

The Buccaneers are probably going to play Tom Brady and crew, but if they don’t, Blaine Gabbert might have a big day. The Buccaneers have won the NFC South, but 9-8 looks better than 8-9.

Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Falcons 17

Cardinals (4-12) at 49ers (12-4)

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey runs the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders.

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey runs the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half Sunday in Las Vegas. (Rick Scuteri/Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 pm

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Lines: 49ers by 14. O/U: 40 1/2.

Do the Cardinals have any offensive starters left? Regardless, the 49ers have won nine in a row, and rookie quarterback Brock Purdy is showing by the week that he’s up to the task.

Prediction: 49ers 31, Cardinals 13

Rams (5-11) at Seahawks (8-8)

Rams running back Malcolm Brown celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Chargers.

Rams running back Malcolm Brown (41) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Chargers at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Sunday, 1:25 pm

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 714.

Lines: Seahawks by 6. O/U: 41 1/2.

Despite all of their injuries, the Rams are continuing to fight and tend to play well against Seattle. Still, the Seahawks have a postseason pulse and they’re playing at home, never easy on the visitors.

Prediction: Seahawks 27, Rams 23

Cowboys (12-4) at Commanders (7-8-1)

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Nahshon Wright celebrates with linebacker Anthony Barr, and DaRon Bland.

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Nahshon Wright (25) celebrates with linebacker Anthony Barr (42), and DaRon Bland (26) after making an interception against the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 29, 2022 in Nashville. (Wade Payne/Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 pm

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Lines: Cowboys by 7. O/U: 40 1/2.

The Commanders are starting rookie quarterback Sam Howell in the finale. That might give them a glimpse of things to come, but it isn’t going to work against this smothering Dallas defense.

Prediction: Cowboys 30, Commanders 17

Chargers (10-6) at Broncos (4-12)

Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams on the field before taking on the Rams.

Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams on the field before taking on the Rams at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Sunday, 1:25 pm

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 716.

Lines: Broncos by 2 1/2. O/U: 39 1/2.

The Chargers need to lock up the No. 5 seed, although they should take their foot off the gas if Baltimore loses at Cincinnati. Regardless, they need to maintain momentum.

Prediction: Chargers 27, Broncos 20

Giants (9-6-1) at Eagles (13-3)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew in action against the New Orleans Saints.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew in action against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in Philadelphia. (Chris Szagola/Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 pm

TV: None. DirecTV: 717.

Lines: Eagles by 14. O/U: 42 1/2.

The Eagles want the top seed and they’re at home. No matter who is at quarterback, they have enough to win this matchup. The Giants are scary, though, and probably have the coach of the year.

Prediction: Eagles 28, Giants 24

Lions (8-8) at Packers (8-8)

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers during a game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers during a game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in Green Bay, Wis. (Morry Gash/Associated Press)

Sunday, 5:20 pm

TV: Channel 4.

Lines: Packers by 4 1/2. O/U: 49 1/2.

In this win-and-in scenario, it’s tough to bet against Aaron Rodgers. Yes, the Lions have played hard and put up some big numbers this season, but they have to go with Green Bay.

Prediction: Packers 24, Lions 20

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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