Can we talk about Game of Thrones for a little bit? I know you’re here for picks for tonight’s games, and I promise I’ll get to them soon enough, but the biggest thing on my mind right now is Game of Thrones. In particular, I’m worried that the show will spend too much time about the coming “conflict” between Jon Snow (or Aegon Targaryen) and Daenerys Targaryen.
Yes, Jon Snow is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, and he now knows his true identity. He also knows that Dany had his best friend Sam’s father and brother executed, and he’s likely not happy about that. But it just feels like they’re trying to give us conflict when there’s no real need for it. First of all, Sam hated his dad. He was disowned by his father and sent to The Wall. That’s why he got angry and stole his father’s sword before leaving Horn Hill. So maybe he loved his brother and losing him sucks, but Sam knows there are bigger fish to fry, and so does Jon Snow.
The solution to all of this is so simple: Dany is Jon’s aunt, and that’s very weird, but incest has been the bread and butter of the Targaryens since they came to Westeros. Brother has been marrying sister for centuries, so I don’t see why nephew marrying aunt and ruling the Seven Kingdoms would be all that difficult. So, with so few episodes remaining, and so much story to settle here’s hoping the producers don’t waste our time with Jon/Dany Targaryen tension.
Anyway, on to today’s picks. All odds via Westgate.
1. Nets at 76ers: Philadelphia -8
Brooklyn won Game 1 of this series, and it wasn’t some fluke. They deserved to win. Still, Joel Embiid only played 24 minutes, and I expect him to play more Monday night. Also, Ben Simmons had a horrific game that he’s capable of having from time to time. Finally, Brooklyn was 24-for-26 from the free throw line while Philly was only 29-for-42. Philly isn’t a great free throw shooting team, but it’s better than that, and more importantly, it got to the line 42 times. That’s not a fluke, either.
So, with their backs against the wall as they cannot go down 0-2 before hitting the road, a healthier Embiid, a bounce-back performance from Simmons, and free throw correction coming for both teams, I like the Sixers tonight. Big.
2. Capitals at Hurricanes: Washington +115
Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1: 7 p.m. ET, CNBC (stream on fuboTV — try for free here)
The Caps have played the ‘Canes five times this season and are a perfect 5-0 against them. They’ve outscored Carolina 18-9 in those five games, and that includes the first two games of this series. Sure, the Canes are now returning home in a must-win situation, but with the Capitals as the underdog here, there’s too much value on them at this price to pass it up.
3. Rockies at Padres: Under 7.5
I’ve long been a fan of taking unders in night games at Petco Park and Oracle Park in San Francisco. The size of the parks, along with the proximity of the ocean to them, seem to work together in suppressing scoring. Perhaps that’s why the under has gone 7-1 in the last eight games between these two, as well as 4-1 in their previous five in San Diego. The fact Joey Lucchesi is on the mound for San Diego doesn’t hurt, either, as Colorado hitters have posted a wOBA of .256 against southpaws this season. That ranks 28th in MLB.