Top Picks: Three best bets to help you get over the 'Game of Thrones' finale
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Dear George R.R. Martin, first of his name, writer of stories, delayer of endings:
Game of Thrones, the television version, came to an end Sunday night. I'm sure you're aware of it. As you'd expect, some people were pleased with the ending, while others didn't like it much, and some spent so much time looking for plastic water bottles that we can't be sure they paid much attention to what happened in the story. I'm sure that as somebody who created this story, you can understand why plenty of fans would be disappointed. You created the fantasy world, and then people were sucked into that world, and like yourself, they envisioned the ending they wanted.
When they didn't get it, some grew angry, others accepted it.
I fall more into that latter group. While I wasn't thrilled with the ending for some characters, I believe this was caused more to time limit than anything else. A story that always needed room to breathe found itself low on oxygen at the end, and things felt hurried. It stinks, but I'll get over it. I loved the books, and I loved the television show.
And speaking of the books, others like me wonder if you'll ever get around to finishing them. I mean, the last one was released in 2011, and it ended with Jon Snow dying. We now know how that works out! Still, the displeasure with the end of the TV show is going to lead to more people crying out for you to finish the books so the story can finish The Right Way. I don't know that there is ever a Right Way to finish a story, but I think there's a right way for you to do so.
Don't. It's just not worth your time.
Just because it is the postseason doesn't mean NBA fantasy play is over. DFS millionaire Mike McClure has the best lineups to optimize for today's playoff slate here on SportsLine.
You're 70 years old, and you've made plenty of money. I know there's a part of you that wants to finish the story because telling stories is your life, but let this one go. The same people who are mad at the way the TV show ended will be just as angry at your ending because the TV show took on a life of its own, and now anything you write will be compared to that. It's a no-win situation for the most part.
Plus, you know, writing isn't easy. In fact, a lot of the time, it's quite tricky, particularly when you're relying on your imagination to create a story that makes sense, even in a fantastical realm.
If you want to write about Westeros, continue doing so, but tell different stories about different people like you've already done. Or just start a New York Giants blog.
Or maybe take up sports betting. If you're looking for some advice to get you started, I've got three picks I like for Monday night. None involve the Giants, but all odds are via Westgate, which sounds like a city in Westeros if you think about it.
1. Warriors at Blazers: Warriors -3.5
The Blazers are toast. I thought that Saturday night's Game 3 would be when they took a stand before bowing out gracefully, but it didn't happen. The Blazers took a big lead as they did in Game 2, and then the Warriors did that thing they do where they play basketball at a level no other team can. After the game, word leaked that Portland's Damian Lillard has been playing with separated ribs, which sounds awful to deal with. It also helps explain his struggles in the series (though the Warriors defensive approach has had plenty to do with it as well).
Still, the news of those type of injuries doesn't come out until after you lose the series. That's the way it always works. The fact that Lillard's injury news comes out now almost comes across as a white flag. Maybe we're in for The Gentleman's Sweep, and Portland gets one tonight before calling it a season in Oakland, but I don't think the Warriors will let that happen. I get the sense everybody in this series is ready to move on, and I think that's precisely what will happen Monday night.
It's a heavy price to pay, but I'm confident in it. Carlos Carrasco pitches for the Indians Monday, and he has been much better than his 4.18 ERA suggests. Also, while the Indians offense has been weak overall for the entire season, posting a wOBA of .293, it has heated up as of late. Over the past two weeks, the Indians have a wOBA of .330 and a strikeout rate of 20.5 percent, which is a significant improvement on their season-long rate of 24.6 percent. As for Oakland starter Brett Anderson, while he has done a good job of limiting hard contact and home runs, he doesn't miss many bats, and that gets pitchers in trouble.
Another way to win: DFS millionaire Mike McClure has great picks for the day's MLB slate on FanDuel and DraftKings. Check them out here on SportsLine.
3. Diamondbacks at Padres: Diamondbacks +135
There is a lot to like about San Diego starter Chris Paddack. He has some ridiculous stuff, and he has been very hard to hit, as his 1.99 ERA and 28.5 percent strikeout rate suggest. But he's not perfect, either. When he does allow contact, it tends to be of the hard variety, and there's reason to think he could be in line for some regression. Like I said, his ERA is a sterling 1.99, but his xFIP is 3.61. Still good, but it shows he's been getting better than expected results to this point. The fact the BABIP against him is only .179 (league average is .289) also suggests regression could be coming his way. So, even if he's at home in the pitcher's haven that is Petco Park, he's facing an Arizona offense that has plenty of pop (.330 wOBA, .198 ISO), and that means there's value on them at this price.
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