By Erica Renee Davis
Special to FOX Sports
Siri, play Boyz II Men, “It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday” because the season finale of NFL Week 18 has us feeling really emotional.
From the last snap of the Super Bowl to the first kickoff of the regular season, we long for the return of the NFL. And when it finally arrives, even though the regular season is 18 weeks, it seems to be gone in an instant. Thank goodness for the postseason. And thank goodness we have Terry Bradshaw coming through in the clutch this final week of the regular season with a $100,000 FOX Bet Super 6 jackpot.
Now, if you’ve been with us all year, you know we’ve had fans win everything from a million dollar prize to a state-of-the-art entertainment system. People actually win. So it’s up to you to try to score a big goal by playing.
FOX Bet Super 6 is a free contest where you pick the winners of the six featured games by their margins of victory for a chance to win $100,000 in our NFL Sunday Challenge. You just have to download the FOX Bet Super 6 App on your phone or mobile device, make your picks and submit your selections before Sunday’s games start.
Oh, and did we mention it’s so easy and, more importantly, FREE to play?
But you have to get it in the game to get the green. So before you make your predictions for Sunday’s marquee clashes, read all about our picks below.
Jalen Hurts or Tom Brady: Which NFC QB should be trusted more in the playoffs?
Emmanuel Acho, Joy Taylor, LeSean McCoy and David Helman discuss which NFC quarterback they trust the most heading into the playoffs.
buccaneers at Falcons (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)
With Tampa Bay already clinching their playoff spot as NFC South champions, you might think this game doesn’t matter as much. But then remember that if Tom Brady loses this matchup, it would mean he would have the first losing season of his career.
Not under Tom Terrific’s watch.
In fact, he mentioned Brady in his Here we go podcast earlier in his week that, despite the Bucs being locked into their playoff spot, he plans to play.
At FOX Bet, the Bucs are currently underdogs by 4.5 points. But if we take Tom’s word for it that he and other starters are adjusting, blowing out the Falcons here should be easy.
We trust TB12.
Buccaneers 4 to 5 points
vikings at bears (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)
A win for the Vikings this week would mean they would have 13 or more wins for just the third time in franchise history. And this weekend, Minnesota faces a Bears team that plays for pride while the Vikes, on the other hand, play out of sheer obligation.
Minnesota has already secured a playoff spot and will most likely finish as the No. 3 seed behind the Eagles and Niners. So, Vikings -7.5 points at FOX Bet seems too big, considering that Minnesota has a good grasp on its postseason destiny.
And what it should do we wait until the season finale between these NFC North foes? Bears quarterback Justin Fields will be the tight end, which means Minnesota will win. The Vikings won’t be overly motivated, so look for them to take home the win, but not by much.
Vikings 4 to 5 points
jets at dolphins (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)
The 7-9 Jets enter this contest having been eliminated from the playoffs while the 8-8 Dolphins enter this matchup on the postseason bubble. At first glance, you’d say, “The Dolphins should win easily.” However, this game between conference rivals will come down to the wire.
Miami has benefited from having offensive weapons like Tyreek Hill on the roster, but the team has lost consistent play from Tua Tagovailoa as concussion protocol has forced him to miss several games. Week 18 will be another matchup the third-year QB will miss. And with second-string quarterback Teddy Bridgewater injured, third-stringer Skylar Thompson is expected to start for Miami.
Both teams are on five-game losing streaks, but only one is playing for the postseason. So, in this AFC East matchup, we’re going with the Dolphins, who don’t have 1 point, to get one.
Dolphins from 1 to 2 points
Where do the Dallas Cowboys fall on Colin’s Super Bowl bubble?
The Dallas Cowboys head into the final week of the regular season intending to play every starter according to Jerry Jones.
panthers at saints (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)
Oh, the lowly NFC South. The division where the team that owns it could very well end up with a losing record. When these two teams last met in Week 3, Carolina won 22-14. And the Panthers are on the prowl as they look for their first season at the Saints since 2015.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, they will miss the mark again.
New Orleans is on a three-game winning streak and playing good football. The Saints’ tight end group has combined for 17 touchdowns this season. That’s tied for the most in the NFL as a group with Kansas City.
At FOX Bet, he is NOT favored by 3.5 points. We like the Saints to go into the offseason with a win.
Sants by 3 points
brown at Steelers (1 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)
Looking at Pittsburgh’s season trajectory, who would have thought that in Week 18, the Steelers would have a chance to sneak into the playoffs? But sneak is the key word here.
Because Mike Tomlin & Co. to clinch a Wild Card spot, they must beat the Browns, the Dolphins to lose to the Jets, and the Patriots to lose to the Bills. Technically, all the stars could line up for the Black & Gold, but for now, let’s focus on their play.
The Steelers’ 8-8 season has been underwhelming but with some bright spots. Since Week 13, the Steelers are one of two teams holding opponents to less than 150 yards per game, and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is tied for the league lead with six interceptions. Running back Najee Harris is 46 yards shy of 1,000 on the season.
So will the Steelers pull off a win against a dismal Cleveland team this season finale and do their part to keep their postseason dreams alive? Absolutely.
At FOX Bet, Pittsburgh is a 2.5 point favorite. We side with the oddsmakers in this case and take Pittsburgh to win, but at least by a touchdown.
Steelers 8 to 10 points
cowboys at commanders (4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)
Dallas enters. Washington is out. But if the Cowboys aspire to do better than their current fifth-seeded position, they will deliver their best start yet in this game.
A Dallas win, along with a Giants win over the Eagles, means the American team would own the NFC East. If all of that happened AND if the Niners fell to the Cardinals, then Dallas wins the NFC’s No. 1 seed and gets a first-round bye. A long way of saying this game is important.
Since Week 9, the Cowboys are averaging 34.8 points per game, and also since Week 9, they are the only team averaging over 250 passing yards and 125 or more yards per contest. Zeke’s 12 touchdowns are tied for fifth in the league, and CeeDee Lamb’s eight receiving touchdowns are tied for seventh. They have the offensive firepower to roll in this game.
Look for Dak and crew to cover the 7.5 point spread and then some as they try to claw their way to the top of the conference.
Cowboys by 11 to 13 points
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We win Terry’s jackpot in week 18!
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