If you're taking the kids out for some trick or treating, at least bring a tablet to watch some games. Maybe two.
Our last sports equinox of the year happens on Monday, which happens to be Halloween. All four major sports leagues are in action. Busy night.
We'll start with the NFL. The Cincinnati Bengals are 3.5-point favorite at BetMGM against the Cleveland Browns. That Bengals line looked a lot better before some major injury news during the week.
Receiver Ja'Marr Chase, arguably one of the top five receivers in the NFL, has a hip injury and will miss a few weeks. It didn't change the line, as the Bengals are still favored by that 3.5, but maybe it should have. Not having Chase will affect everything in the Bengals offense. He's a great all-around talent who generates big plays like few others in the NFL can. Yet, the Bengals still have more punch than the Browns. Cincinnati has good receivers and also running back Joe Mixon, though he has not been efficient this season. The Browns haven't been great at much this season but handing the ball to Nick Chubb. The defense hasn't been good either.
Cincinnati looks like a team that is improving as the season goes on. The offensive line in particular is coming together. The Bengals still look like the right side for Monday night. Just with a little less confidence after the Chase injury.
Here's the first look at the sports betting schedule for Monday:
World Series Game 3
The Philadelphia Phillies got the split they wanted in Houston, coming back from 5-0 down in Game 1 to win in 10 innings. In Game 2, the Houston Astros looked like the dominant team we've seen all season in a 5-2 win.
In Game 3 at Philadelphia, Houston is a -130 favorite. Lance McCullers Jr. starts for Houston against Noah Syndergaard for the Phillies. Philadelphia juggled its rotation after Ranger Suarez pitched in relief in Game 1. Syndergaard hasn't started since the NLDS on Oct. 15 and he went three innings in that game. He has 1.1 innings in his only appearance since then.
The Phillies will need at least a few innings from Syndergaard. Their bullpen came through in Game 1, but it was average at best during the season. It's a crucial game for the Phillies, who don't want to give home-field advantage right back after a successful trip to Houston.
NBA has 7 games
Good luck to the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets, who will play on Monday without anyone in their home cities noticing. The 76ers are 4.5-point favorites against a Washington team that has looked pretty good early this season. Maybe it's a good spot for the home underdog. The young Rockets are 9.5-point underdogs against the Los Angeles Clippers, who are a disappointing 2-4 to start the season.
The best game of the NBA schedule is the Atlanta Hawks at the Toronto Raptors in a battle of good mid-tier teams in the East. The Raptors are a 4.5-point favorite.
NHL has 3 games
There are just a trio of NHL games. The marquee game is the Washington Capitals at the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes, off to a 5-2-1 start, are a strong -185 favorite. The Detroit Red Wings at Buffalo Sabres (-145) and Los Angeles Kings at St. Louis Blues (-120) are the other two games.
What's the best bet?
For the last sports equinox of the year, it seems right to give out one pick for each league. The Bengals will be 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 take the Astros as a small favorite too. I like the Hawks catching 4.5 points at Toronto and think they can win straight up. And go with the Kings as a +100 underdog over the Blues. And you can never go wrong with peanut butter cups as your go-to Halloween candy.