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Good afternoon gamblers, it's Chris Bengel back in the saddle with you.

I suppose it's true what they say: absence makes the heart grow fonder. We were supposed to have the World Series back in our lives on Halloween, but Mother Nature had other ideas as rain forced the postponement of Game 3 until Tuesday night. Now the weather looks beautiful and it even may have done the Phillies a favor in terms of their pitching staff. 

But before we dive into Tuesday's picks, I just have to mention the elephant in the room: what is going on with the Nets today is insane. The team and head coach Steve Nash mutually agreed to part ways and now Ime Udoka, who coached the Celtics last season and in September was suspended for the entire 2022-23 season over an inappropriate relationship with a Celtics staff member, is the front runner to replace him. Our pal Zach Pereles will have much more on the situation in tomorrow's HQ AM newsletter.

OK, on to the picks.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

Astros at Phillies, 8:03 p.m. | TV: FOX

Latest Odds: Over 7.5
  • Key Trend: The over is 5-0-1 in the Phillies' last six World Series games
  • The Pick: Over 8.5 runs (+100)

The World Series has gotten off to an electric start and I don't expect that to change with the action shifting to Philadelphia. Add in the fact that the teams will be playing in the smaller Citizens Bank Park and I'm extremely confident in riding with the over in this spot.

Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. has produced a strong 2.27 ERA this season, but he didn't make his season debut until mid-August due to a forearm injury that he suffered during the 2021 postseason. The right-hander didn't allow more than three earned runs in any of his regular season starts, but the majority came against teams like the Angels (twice), Athletics (twice) and Orioles. In his start in Game 4 of the ALCS, McCuller wasn't sharp by any stretch as he surrendered three earned runs on eight hits in just five innings against the Yankees.

Meanwhile, with Game 3 being pushed back a day, the Phillies will send lefty Ranger Suarez to the mound. The 27-year-old hurler has only allowed two runs in four postseason appearances, but has struggled at home this season. Suarez owns a 4.27 ERA in 13 home starts throughout the 2022 season. The Astros also handed Suarez one of his worst outings of the year when he yielded six earned runs on seven hits across three innings in a start last month. The opportunity for runs should be there in Game 3, regardless of who comes out on top.

💰 The Picks

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns
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Bulls at Nets, 7:30 p.m. | TV: TNT

Latest Odds: Chicago Bulls +2

The Pick: Bulls +1.5 (-110)-- I don't believe a change -- the big one I mentioned in the intro of this newsletter -- is suddenly going to fix the Nets' issues. That's why I'm comfortable with the Bulls' side of the spread in this one.

The Nets are 2-5 out of the gate and one of the biggest reasons for those struggles is Brooklyn's deficiencies on the defensive end of the floor. Brooklyn ranks No. 28 in the league in team defense as they surrender 120.3 points-per-game. Opponents are also shooting a staggering 41.4 percent from three against the Nets, which is the fourth-worst mark in the NBA. To make matters worse, the Nets will also be without forward Ben Simmons for the second consecutive game as he deals with a knee injury.

On the other hand, the Bulls are coming off a pair of narrow losses to the Spurs and Sixers, so they'll be hungry for a win in this one. Chicago star guard Zach LaVine is listed as questionable with a knee injury, but he's expected to play. With a dynamic backcourt like LaVine and DeMar DeRozan taking the floor, the Nets' defensive is going to have their hands full.

Key Trend: The Nets are 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games playing on zero days rest

Timberwolves at Suns, 10 p.m. | TV: TNT
The Pick: Devin Booker Over 28.5 Points (-108)
-- The Suns have looked nearly unstoppable his season with their lone loss coming in overtime to the Trail Blazers. Star guard Devin Booker has specifically looked great, so I'll continue to ride the hot hand with his points prop.

Booker has recorded at least 29 points in four of the Suns' six games so far this season, including four of the last five. Booker is currently shooting 36.1 percent from three and has nailed at least three shots from long-range in three of Phoenix's six games. The Timberwolves also are allowing their opponents to shoot 34.5 percent from three, which is good for 15th in the league. Booker should have plenty of opportunities to score in this one and get to the 29-point mark that we need.

Key Trend: Booker has scored at least 29 points in four of his last five games