On Sunday, for only the 19th time in recorded sports history, we have a “Sports Equinox,” where there are games in NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB all in the same day. Since this is a rare feat, we decided to join in the fun and pick a “Sports Equinox Parlay.” ESPN Sports Betting analysts Doug Kezirian and Preston Johnson, ESPN.com Senior Writer Greg Wyshynski and Vegas Sports and Information’s Matt Youmans give us their thoughts on which games to take.
Put all four picks together for a “Sports Equinox Parlay,” and it returns 13-1 on your money.
MLB – World Series Game 5
Houston Astros (-145) at Washington Nationals (+135)
Johnson: Everybody was afraid to back the Astros in Game 3 down 2-0 in the series and traveling to Washington. Now everybody will be tentative to — checks notes — back Max Scherzer priced +135 at home? This line is inflated, especially considering Houston used five different bullpen arms in Game 4. To break even at the price of +135, the Nationals only need to win this game 42.6% of the time. I project them to win the game 45.2%, or a true line of +121. The value is on the Nats.
Pick: Nationals (+135)
Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder (Pk, 223)
Kezirian: The Warriors were beat up on national television in the worst possible way. There is no way to sugarcoat it. However, they faced arguably the league’s best team in the Clippers, and that is to be expected. Somewhat buried in that headline is the nature of Golden State’s play. Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell led the way on a team that can score a lot and also give up points. Golden State is not worried about its offense so this gameplan will be about defense. Additionally, OKC does not have the playmakers that most teams do. 223 feels like way to many points.
Pick: Under 223 (-110)
San Jose Sharks (-160) at Ottawa Senators (+145)
Wyshynski: The Sharks have lost three of four games, and this is a chance to set things right against a team that’s on a 1-4-1 skid. They live and die on the power play, clicking at 25 percent, and Ottawa has given up at least one PP goal in three of their last four.
Pick: Sharks (-160)
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers (-5.5, 41)
Youmans: In the 2018 draft, Buffalo took Josh Allen with the seventh overall pick and Kyle Allen never heard his name called. So, which Allen is the better quarterback? Kyle Allen is 4-0 SU/ATS with seven touchdown passes and no interceptions as Carolina’s starter this season. Line up his recent numbers next to Cam Newton’s, and there is no comparison. The turnaround is startling considering the Panthers had lost eight straight with Newton as their starter. San Francisco ranks No. 1 in pass defense (133.5 ypg) and No. 2 in scoring defense (10.7 ppg). Fortunately for Allen, he can lean on Christian McCaffrey, who’s tied for the league lead in touchdowns (nine) and ranks second in all-purpose yards (923). McCaffrey has 35 receptions to make him an every-down threat in the passing attack, too. Kyle Shanahan is an offensive wizard, but the 49ers coach is not working wonders with Jimmy Garoppolo, who has seven touchdown passes and six interceptions. The Panthers are in a good spot off a bye, and every riverboat gambler would like coach Ron Rivera’s track record as an underdog: 17-8 ATS in his past 25.
Pick: Carolina +5.5