Sports Equinox 2022: 5 Picks for NFL, NCAAF, NBA, NHL & MLB on October 20

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Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees hits a home run against the Cleveland Guardians during Game 5 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2022. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

There are two times of the year when the sports betting calendar spills over the brim. The first is in the spring when the baseball season starts and basketball and hockey rush headlong into the playoffs. The second, and much busier of the two, is right now.

They actually started calling it a “sports equinox” at some point, so we’ll ride with that and October 20th will be the first of four such days. Looking at the schedule ahead, there are three more of these “celestial events” scheduled for 2022. The rest will take place on the 23rd, 24th and finally October 31st for a spooky edition.

So, batten down the hatches because NFL, NCAAF, NBA, NHL and MLB games are all heading your way this Thursday – and we’ve got one pick for each of them.


New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals

Thursday, October 20, 2022 – 08:15 PM EDT at State Farm Stadium

We’re not going to lie to you: This football pick looked a lot better a few days ago when the total opened at 46 points on the NFL odds board. Now that the over/under has been knocked down to 44 points in early betting, we’re not going to recommend more than a recreational bet on the Under, but it’s still the best of the “straight” bets (spread, moneyline, total) for this matchup.

You’ve seen how badly Arizona (Under 5-1) has played on offense. They’ll probably improve now that WR DeAndre Hopkins has served his six-game suspension for PED use, but Hopkins won’t paper over all the issues with this team. The Saints (Over 4-2) have been surprisingly potent with QB Jameis Winston on the sidelines.

We don’t know if Winston (back) will return this week against the Cardinals, but we do know that LG Andrus Peat (chest) is out, along with TE Adam Trautman (ankle).

NFL Pick: Under 44 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports review)


Troy Trojans vs. South Alabama Jaguars

Thursday, October 20, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Hancock Whitney Stadium

Again, we would have preferred jumping on the Under when the total opened at 49 points but, in this case, we’re all right with a standard one-unit bet at 46.5. That’s how awful both these Sun Belt offenses have been.

South Alabama ranks No. 87 on the F+ charts at Football Outsiders; Troy’s is even worse at No. 94. At the same time, both teams are pretty good on defense for low-major programs: No. 33 overall for the Jaguars (Over 4-2) and No. 45 for the Trojans (Under 4-3).

And if we dig deeper into Troy, their run defense is actually quite stout. We’ll buy that for a dollar.

NCAAF Pick: Under 46.5 (-109) at GTbets (visit our GTbets review)


New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros

Thursday, October 20, 2022 – 07:37 PM EDT at Minute Maid Park

Editor's Note: Luis Severino was announced as the starter for the Yankees in Game 2 of the ALCS.

One of these American League behemoths is going to have a field day at the World Series – probably. But only one can win the pennant, and according to FiveThirtyEight, it’s Houston who has the better chance of advancing at 55%.

That’s the same as -122 using the BMR odds converter, so if you bought the Yankees at +155 on the MLB series prices at Bovada (visit our Bovada review), well done.

Sadly, New York have yet to name their starter for Game 2 of the AL Championship Series as we go to press, so we don’t have any MLB odds to work with for this matchup. But given the gap between the projections and the series price, we’ll give the Yankees the nod for a recreational bet.

MLB Pick: Yankees ML (+141) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline review)


Milwaukee Bucks vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Thursday, October 20, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Wells Fargo Center

It’s already been a rough start for the Sixers. They lost their 2022-23 season opener 126-117 to the Boston Celtics this past Tuesday, dropping the cash as 3-point road dogs.

However, this is a good thing for our purposes; Philly already has a game under their belts, while the Bucks will make their debut Thursday night. The Sixers didn’t play that badly in Boston, either.

And they escaped without injury, while Milwaukee enters the new season without:

  • Khris Middleton (wrist)
  • Pat Connaughton (calf)
  • Joe Ingles (knee)

Kick them while they’re down, but only for a small wager.

NBA Pick: 76ers -3.5 (-109) at GTbets


Dallas Stars vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 07:00 PM EDT at Scotiabank Arena

It’s the Maple Leafs. Of course, we’re fading them. There are far too many casual Toronto bettors out there in the marketplace, dumping their dead money on the Leafs and besmirching the good name of Al Waxman.

Early-season losses to the Montreal Canadiens (+212 at home) and Arizona Coyotes (+419 away) haven’t stopped them, either.

Having said that, we’re going to suggest waiting for closer to game time before betting on Dallas. They don’t have much betting value as +149 road dogs, but their price should improve as all those Torontonians mistakenly put their money on the Leafs instead of the Raptors.

Bet accordingly, and may the cylinder, spheres and prolate spheroids be with you this Thursday.

NHL Pick: Stars ML (+149) at BetOnline

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.