World Series, Bengals-Browns and a Halloween Sports Equinox

If you’re going trick-or-treating with the kids, at least bring a tablet to check out some games. Maybe two.

Our final sports equinox of the year occurs on Monday, which just so happens to be Halloween. All four major sports leagues are in action. Busy night.

We start with the NFL. The Cincinnati Bengals are 3.5 point favorites on BetMGM against the Cleveland Browns. That Bengals line was looking much better ahead of some key injury news later in the week.

Receiver Ja’Marr Chase, arguably one of the top five receivers in the NFL, has a hip injury and will be out for several weeks. It didn’t change the line as the Bengals are still favored by that 3.5, but maybe it should have been. Not having Chase will affect everything on the Bengals offense. He’s a great all-around talent that generates big plays like few others in the NFL can. However, the Bengals still pack more punch than the Browns. Cincinnati has good receivers and so does running back Joe Mixon, although he hasn’t been efficient this season. The Browns haven’t been great this season other than handing the ball to Nick Chubb. The defense wasn’t good either.

Cincinnati looks like a team that’s improving as the season progresses. Above all, the offensive line is moving closer together. The Bengals still look like the right side for Monday night. Just with a little less confidence after Chase’s injury.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) plays with the Browns Monday night.  (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) plays with the Browns Monday night. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Here’s the first look at Monday’s sports betting schedule:

World Series game 3

The Philadelphia Phillies got the split they wanted in Houston, coming back from a 5-0 deficit in Game 1 and winning in 10 innings. In Game 2, the Houston Astros looked like the dominant team we’ve seen all season with a 5-2 win.

In Game 3 in Philadelphia, Houston is a -130 favorite. Lance McCullers Jr. starts for Houston against Noah Syndergaard for the Phillies. Philadelphia juggled their rotation after Ranger Suarez served relieved in Game 1. Syndergaard has not played since the NLDS on October 15 and he has played three innings in that game. Since then he has 1.1 innings in his only appearance.

The Phillies need at least a couple of innings from Syndergaard. Her bullpen came through in Game 1, but it was average at best throughout the season. It’s a crucial game for the Phillies, who are reluctant to give up home field advantage after a successful trip to Houston.

NBA has 7 games

Good luck to the Philadelphia 76ers and the Houston Rockets, who will play unnoticed in their hometowns on Monday. The 76ers are 4.5-point favorites with a Washington team that was looking pretty good earlier this season. Maybe it’s a good spot for the home underdog. The young Rockets are underdogs with 9.5 points against the Los Angeles Clippers, who start the season with a disappointing 2-4.

The best game on the NBA calendar is delivered by the Atlanta Hawks against the Toronto Raptors in a duel between good middle-class teams in the East. The Raptors are a 4.5-point favorite.

NHL has 3 games

There is only a trio of NHL games. The marquee game is the Washington Capitals at the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes, who started 5-2-1, are a strong -185 favorite. The Detroit Red Wings at Buffalo Sabers (-145) and Los Angeles Kings at St. Louis Blues (-120) are the other two games.

What’s the best bet?

For the final esports equinox of the year, making a choice for each league seems right. The Bengals are getting too much for the Browns, even without Ja’Marr Chase. I don’t trust the combination of Noah Syndergaard and the Phillies bullpen, so I’ll pick the Astros as a slight favorite as well. I like that the Hawks are 4.5 points in Toronto and I think they can win straight away. And go over the Blues with the Kings as a +100 underdog. And you can’t go wrong with peanut butter cups being a popular Halloween treat.

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