9/5 LoL betting breakdown

Last Sunday was one of those days you have as a high volume bettor that makes you question everything that you do. I’m always trying to work on my process and make winning picks, but nothing’s ever guaranteed even if you work hard. There’s a couple of things I wish I could have back, particularly in the Mad Lions series, but the rest I think I would bet them again at the same numbers this week. Anyway, lots of season left so let’s make some money this weekend!

Damwon Gaming (-360) Vs. DRX (+250)

Damwon Gaming is in the middle of the greatest statistical split in LoL history. There have been teams with better records in their regions and more hype surrounding them, but no team has done what DWG has done in the stats department this split. Their Gold Spent Differential of nearly 15% completely stands alone in recent memory, even amongst undefeated teams. It points to the nature of Damwon’s wins which are absolutely dominant. They don’t just beat teams, they stomp them into the ground. This has long been a statistical indicator of great teams in traditional sports, and I’ve found that to hold true in LoL too.

You can probably see where I’m leaning here, but Damwon does have a worthy opponent in DRX. In the crucial mid lane position, we are getting a real treat in this matchup. DRX’s Chovy and DWG’s Showmaker are arguably the two best players in the world.  Chovy was able to consistently get the better of BDD (another highly regarded player) in the later stages of their semi-final series with Gen.G. However, in the head-to-head matchups of these two teams it has been Showmaker who has consistently lived up to his name. I don’t expect either player to get serious individual advantages this time around, so it will come down to who plays better in teamfights. In that department, I give ShowMaker a tiny edge.   

The position that spells trouble for DRX is top lane. In nearly every game the teams have played, including two Damwon losses, Nuguri has gotten the better of Doran. The meta game of LoL has shifted back to allowing some carry tops to shine on champions like Camille, Lucian, and Jayce. This is Nuguri’s bread and butter. As good as Showmaker has been, Nuguri is almost equally key to DWG’s success. Doran is an above-average LCK top laner, but he does not have the talent or champion pool to seriously compete with Nuguri.

Finally, I’m not sure DRX belongs in this series. Their series with Gen. G was seemingly headed towards a Gen.G 3-1 win when a pause caused by an in-game bug completely swung the momentum. The pause resulted in a mid-game shift to a new patch of the game that completely changed the teams’ preparation for the playoffs. Following the pause, DRX clearly had the edge in the new circumstances of the patch. This time, both teams will be going into their series knowing they will be playing on the new patch and have time to adapt. Damwon know they are 

on the precipice of history here, I like them to cement their place in a dominant win.

When teams beat DRX, they almost always cover the spread of -6.5 kills. In 12 of their 15 map losses this split they have lost by 7 or more kills. It fits with the eye test for this team too. They are willing to go down swinging with a lot of deaths over just slowly conceding the game. -6.5 kills is a little small for a kill spread in my book. 

The picks: DWG -1.5 Maps (-150) 1u, DWG -6.5 Kills on Maps 1,2, and 3 (-105) 1u each

G2 (-375) vs. Rogue (+255)

If you were completely new to the LEC or LoL in general, you would think there is tremendous value on Rogue. They have the better record, the better season-long stats, and both teams ended up in the loser’s bracket by losing to Fnatic. You might ask “How does G2 end up this kind of favorite? Rogue hammer time!”

You may be right in that analysis, save for one issue: the history of G2 Esports.If Rogue were to win here, they would be doing something that no other team in the LEC has done: beat G2 in a semi-final. It has never mattered before what kind of form G2 comes into the playoffs in, when they get there they turn it on. They’re doing it again in these playoffs. 

Their first round playoff series against MAD Lions looked a lot like this one on paper. MAD had the better record, stats, and form coming in, but G2 dispatched them with relative ease showing new strategies they had not played all season long. The reason they are able to flip the switch is because of sheer talent. They have a legitimate argument for the best player in the league at 5 out of 5 positions. They are a bit like the Lebron Cavaliers. You can’t trust anything you’re seeing until Lebron decides to turn it on. Their version of Lebron is jungler, Jankos.When he’s on, the only LEC team that has a chance is Fnatic.

Both of these teams have had clashes with Fnatic in these playoffs. Rogue never looked competitive in a quick 3-0 against Fnatic. G2 had an epic, blow-for-blow slugfest in a 3-2 loss to Fnatic that they easily could have won. That’s a bit concerning for Rogue because G2 and Fnatic can play similar styles. Both teams are very flexible in who carries, what champions they play, and what lanes those champions go in. Rogue struggled with that massively against Fnatic as they are a relatively linear team who is very good at one style of team composition. If G2 is going to form their strategy around beating that composition like Fnatic did, I think Rogue is in big trouble. 

Rogue plays a weak-side top laner in every game because their top laner, Finn, is not to the standard of the rest of the team. He is a comfortable tank and team fighter, but has been known to get killed in lane. Wunder can fit every role for his team including carry. I expect G2 to try to win through him to great success a couple of times in this series.

The lines for this series though are a little out of wack in G2’s favor though so I’ll be staying away from a side here. The kill total is set at 28.5 for these games, however. Only 5 of Rogue’s last 15 games have reached 29 kills and they are a fairly low kill total team. G2 is a high kill total team in losses, but actually have not been covering this number in a lot of their wins in recent games. I’ll be going under the total on the first 3 maps here.

The Picks: Under 28.5 Kills on Maps 1,2 and 3 (-115) 1u each

Team Liquid (-165) vs. TSM (+125)

Team Liquid is still the best team in North America in my book. In their series against Flyquest last week, they tried out a few new team compositions for the first time all season. Despite clear discomfort, they still almost won the series off the strength of their talent alone. In fairness to Flyquest, they did beat them in a game 5 that I thought both teams were trying to use their best stuff, but Liquid was also able to win two games without their signature style. I was, in short, left encouraged about Team Liquid in a loss. 

TSM, for their part, played admirably against Cloud 9. They were clearly the better prepared team on the day. They came out with a specific gameplan around Cloud9’s weaknesses and executed it. It turned out that Cloud9, not the other teams in North America, was the one-dimensional team who were figured out. There’s not such an obvious weakness to attack when it comes to TL or at least not a weakness I think TSM is capable of exploiting.

At their core, these are two very similar teams. They play slow, measured, mid-focused LoL. When two teams of this style match up in LoL, I am of the opinion that the variance is reduced– put simply– more often in 5 game series between standard teams, the better team wins. Team Liquid is the better team. They have consistently better players in the top lane, jungle, and bot lane. Their results against teams from every tier of the league are easily better. They deserve their favorite status here and should get the job done. Rather than lay a lot of juice with the money line, I will be playing the -1.5 maps for Team Liquid. It is significantly more common in LoL for teams to win 3-1 or 3-0 than 3-2, even against similar quality competition. 

The other value in this series is in the kill total number of 24.5. This is way too heavily tilted towards the recent results in my opinion. In their series with Flyquest, Team Liquid’s games went over this number, but throughout the season both of these teams averaged significantly lower kill totals than this. Throughout the season, it was much more common to see these teams’ total numbers set at 20.5 or 21.5. This is a big overreaction to me. I will be going under in every game available.

The Picks: Team Liquid -1.5 Maps (+130) 1u, Under 24.5 Kills (-115) every map available 1u Each
*  I will also be adding a 2u bet on the TSM ML to hedge my 2u bet on TL to make finals at +500 from here.

8/30 LoL playoffs betting breakdown

What an awesome day of LoL! The two most recent world champions slugging it out for the chance to go to Worlds this time, Fnatic finally getting over the hump, and C9’s shocking elimination. I thought the TSM ML was too big, but I really only thought they had something like a 38% chance of winning (how’s that for a humble brag?). They did it because C9 lost their playstyle and couldn’t adapt. Blaber is currently a very linear kind of player. He will get better, but for now, C9 is very beatable when he doesn’t get massive early leads. That combined with Nisqy regressing into an average mid laner when he could not get his patented roams off spelled doom for C9 this time around. It feels a little harsh for how dominant their spring was, but that’s sports! On to tomorrow..

Invictus Gaming (-213) vs. LGD Gaming (+165)

  • Top- IG TheShy vs. LGD LangX                                                               The Edge: IG
  • Mid- IG Rookie vs. LGD Xiye                                                                    The Edge: IG
  • Jungle- IG Ning vs. LGD Peanut                                                       The Edge: LGD
  • Bot lane duo- IG Puff and Baolan vs. LGD Kramer and Mark                  The Edge: Even

I still can’t believe that LGD won 3-0 against IG in the playoffs. At times, it legitimately looked like IG was trying to lose. They did some similar things in this morning’s series against FPX and I thought I was finally done betting on them. Then, they pulled me back in with game 5. In Game 5, they put  TheShy on Ornn, Rookie on Zoe, and kicked FPX’s ass playing standard League of Legends. It’s enraging to know they have that in their playbook and are only willing to pull it out when they absolutely have to. 

They absolutely have to again here in this series. They have the better players, they have the better stats, and should be the better team. The question is all about their minds. Is TheShy mentally capable of not going 0-11 if Peanut decides to camp him? Will  Rookie save himself instead of following up on whatever dumb shit his teammates are doing? Will Puff get hit by every Ashe arrow available? It’s the kind of questions you should never have to ask about a team as good as IG, but still you do.

LGD will win if Invictus hard loses in the early game like they did in their first series, but don’t have a lot of other win conditions. To me, this all comes down to how IG decide to play. If they try to match early aggression and fail, they will tilt out of the World Championship.  I’m more inclined to believe they’ll show us a little more of what we saw in game 5 this morning. They’re too good to miss Worlds, I’m closing my eyes and betting IG one more time.

The Picks: IG ML (-213) 2u, IG -1.5 Maps (+124) 1u, IG -2.5 Maps (+339) 0.5u

DRX (-105) vs. Gen. G (-130)

  • Top- DRX Doran vs. Gen.G Rascal                                                    The Edge: Gen. G
  • Mid- DRX Chovy vs. Gen. G BDD                                                 The Edge: Even
  • Jungle- DRX Pyosik vs. Gen.G Clid   The Edge: Even
  • Bot lane duo- DRX Deft and Keria vs. Gen.G Ruler and Life   The  Edge: Even 

Both of these teams deserve to be at Worlds. I hope that whoever loses this match can make the run through the gauntlet because it would be a shame to have a World championship that didn’t include Chovy and Deft or BDD and Clid. Korean LoL, for all its flaws, still produces the best players in the world.

For betting purposes, I’m counting the individual matchups as a wash here. Unless there is a glaring spot like in today’s C9-TSM matchup, I try not to put too much stock into laning matchups anyway. Every single player in this series is good enough to win games for their teams and no one has extremely exploitable weaknesses on an individual level.

On the team level, DRX has a glaring weakness: their draft. There have been multiple times this season that they have  drafted themselves such  a bad composition that the game is nearly unwinnable. I would like to say that’s just regular season stuff, but we saw with Cloud 9 and Invictus that these things can rear their ugly heads in the post-season too. This matchup is just way too close for DRX to do anything like that.

Their team stats have suffered because of drafting too. They are a distant fourth in the league in GSPD (my singular favorite stat for measuring a team’s actual strength), despite having the second best record. Gen. G now sits comfortably in second in that stat behind Damwon. They’re just the more consistent, mistake-free team. That means everything in a best of 5.

The Picks: Gen.G ML (-130) 2u, Gen.G -1.5 Maps (+155) 1u

Mad Lions (-165) vs. Rogue (+129)

  • Top- MAD Orome vs. Rogue Finn                                                            The Edge: MAD
  • Mid- MAD Humanoid vs. Rogue Larssen                                                 The Edge: Even
  • Jungle- MAD Shadow vs. Rogue Inspired         The Edge: MAD
  • Bot lane- MAD Kaiser and Carzzy vs. Rogue Hans Sama and Vander    The Edge: MAD

Mad Lions put up a legitimate fight against G2 by trying to meet them in draft flexibility and aggression.  Rogue rolled over and died against Fnatic when Fnatic dared them to play any other way than the one slow, scaling style they are good at. One could argue that’s an oversimplification, but I think the truth is in there. Mad Lions are confident and talented enough to change and adapt mid series, I don’t think Rogue has anything else.

The problem for Rogue is the only position they have a legitimate argument for the better player is in the mid lane. Larssen on a back-line hyper carry is the only way they’ve won this split. I don’t think they trust anyone else with this kind of responsibility. When Fnatic played multiple assassins and safe, pushing mids, Rogue’s whole plan completely collapsed. Even if Rogue tried to make someone else carry, could they? I certainly don’t trust Finn to carry, it’s never really been in Inspired’s range, and Hans Sama is a fine, safe player.

I mentioned in my breakdown of G2-FNC that I think  Fnatic and Mad Lions are similar teams  because of their rock solid top laners, explosive mid laners, and flexible bot lanes. This is pretty much a nightmare matchup for Rogue. Give me the kids.
The Picks: Mad Lions ML (-165) 3u, Mad Lions -1.5 (+136) 2u, Mad Lions -2.5 Maps (+406) 1u

Flyquest (+175) vs. Team Liquid (-245)

  • Top- Fly Solo vs. TL Impact                                                                     The Edge: TL
  • Mid- Fly Powerofevil vs. TL Jensen                                                         The Edge: TL
  • Jungle- FLY Santorin vs. TL Broxah                                                        The Edge: Even
  • Bot lane- FLY Wildturtle and Ignar vs. TL Tactical and CoreJJ                The Edge: TL

I’m going to keep this short and sweet: these teams are very similar except for the fact that TL is just better at everything. They both draft standard teamfight scaling compositions every game. They both focus on trying to get mid lane ahead early and transitioning that into an early drake. Then, they grow that lead by minimizing mistakes across lanes and setting up vision control for objective takes. Is it the most exciting style to watch? Depends on your definition of exciting. Is TL much better at it than Flyquest? Undoubtedly yes. 

I want to see what happens when someone pushes TL out of their comfort zone, but I don’t expect to see that here. Flyquest has not shown that kind of range in all of 2020, so it would be very surprising to see in a semi-final. It’s much more likely to me that TL pushes Flyquest out of their comfort zone. Santorin has had an MVP-type season essentially playing 2 or 3 champions. What kind of player is he when he’s pushed off of Trundle and Graves? Or what kind of player is he if the team builds their strategy around knowing he’s going to play one of those two champions?

I do have a pending futures bet on TL to make the final at +500 for 2 units so that  will effect how I’m going to bet this. I hedged with a 2 unit bet on the Flyquest money line at +225 to guarantee some profit either way in this matchup. If I didn’t have that bet, I would do what I did with the other bets in this article: 3u on the TL moneyline, 2u on the TL -1.5, and 1u on the TL -2.5. I’m still confident enough in a TL sweep that I’m going to play the last two.

The other clear edge in this one is the kill total is set at 21.5. Team Liquid games almost never go over 20 kills for multiple games in a row. They’re just too good at choking out their opponents in other ways and almost never die themselves. I will be going under the kill total in every game it’s available.

The Picks: TL -1.5 Maps (-110) 2u, TL 3-0 (+250) 1u, Under 21.5 kills on every map (-115) 1u each

8/29 LoL playoffs betting breakdown

Nice start to the weekend with Mad Lions finally bringing Schalke back to Earth. It was an incredible run from them and although I think they always had exploitable flaws, they played better than I ever could have imagined. A quick note before I get into the rest of my picks: my actual betting strategy for these games will probably change quite a bit because I have a few large futures bets from here and here that I will probably be hedging on. I only like to give out picks that I’m going to bet myself (only fair in my opinion) so I will breakdown the matchups say who I think will win, but the picks portion will probably be a bit different for the playoffs in LEC and LCS. 

Invictus(-166) vs. Fun Plus Phoenix (+138)

  • Top- IG TheShy vs. FPX Gimgoon or Khan                                              The Edge: IG
  • Mid- IG Rookie vs. FPX DoinB                                                                 The Edge: IG
  • Jungle- IG Ning vs. FPX Tian                                                                   The Edge: Even
  • Bot Lane Duo- IG Baolan and Puff vs. FPX Crisp and LWX                    The Edge: IG

There’s not a worse feeling in esports betting than putting in a bet on IG. They are the most two-faced team I think I’ve ever bet on. Every single time I think they’ve turned a corner and are ready to take the game seriously, they do something like get 3-0’d by LGD playing insanely disrespectfully. It’s absolutely maddening. 

I hate it, but I’m going to be on IG again. FPX is not an elite team anymore. They can’t survive the individual talent deficits with this roster. Tian has fallen all the way to the point where I can’t decide if I would rather have him or Ning, their bot lane is easily the worst bot lane to make LPL playoffs, Doinb is much closer to average LPL mid laner than anyone cares to admit, and their top lane is splitting time because both players have consistently underperformed. FPX doesn’t have the individual talent to compete with IG.

FPX has never been about overwhelming individual talent though, rather their superior objective control and team play. That, too, has disappeared. Their Baron percentage of 43% coming into the playoffs was one of the worst numbers of any teams anywhere. Then, in their playoff series they were able to get more Barons, but let V5 get the first 3 turrets in 100% of the games. That is inconceivable for how dominant FPX was in that department in 2019. It’s just not going to happen for FPX this year.

The loser of this series is not going to Worlds. If there was ever a time for IG to reign it in a bit, this is it. They are the more talented team. They are in better form. They should, quite honestly, 3-0 this.

The Picks: IG ML (-166) 2u, IG -1.5 Maps (+122) 1u, IG -2.5 Maps (+381) 0.5u

G2 Esports(-403) vs. Fnatic (+287)

  • Top- G2 Wunder vs. FNC Bwipo                                                               The Edge: Even
  • Mid- G2 Caps vs. FNC Nemesis                                                               The Edge: G2
  • Jungle- G2 Jankos vs. FNC Selfmade                                                      The Edge: Even
  • Bot Lane Duo- G2 Perkz and Mikyx vs. FNC Rekkles and Hiiysang        The Edge: Even

When it comes to G2 and Fnatic, I could spend a thousand words breaking down the individual matchups,the statistics, the possible draft angles, etc., but frankly all that matters is the history. The history is: G2 dominates Fnatic.  When it comes to a big match that matters, G2 is always better prepared, plays better, and seemingly holds Fnatic under some sort of spell. Technically, this one does not fully matter. Whoever loses will likely get another shot at the winner in a week or so after dispatching Mad Lions. Both teams are already qualified for Worlds and just playing for bragging rights and the LEC title. If there was ever a team who would treat a chance at a title as a chance to limit test, it’s G2, but I expect both teams to be approaching this seriously.  

In that scenario, I give the edge to G2. I think all the lanes are too close to call except for the one that really matters: Mid. Caps is one of the best players in the world. Nemesis is an above average EU mid laner. There’s a significant gap between the players to me. Caps can seemingly play whatever, however, whenever. Nemesis needs a very specific kind of champion and matchup to be effective. I think he will probably have a game or two in that kind of matchup in this series, but not enough to win the whole thing. 

Season-long stats have been proven to be essentially garbage for these two. Neither team was playing at their best or making a consistent effort to find their best playstyle until playoffs came along. You can pretty much throw Summer Split away. With that in mind, I think it would be better to look at their form in the playoffs to see who has an edge in the team play.

Fnatic was easily the more dominant of the two in their first round series. They jumped all over Rogue with draft diversity, aggressive play, and Selfmade as one of their main carries. Over the 3 games they averaged a GSPD of 10% against a very good team. That is no small feat. However, G2’s opponent, Mad Lions, is seemingly the better team. Rogue gets lost when they can not play the one style that they are good at, Mad Lions is a flexible, adaptable team that plays a bit like Fnatic. G2 passed that test already. I can’t help, but think they’ll do it again against FNC.

For my own gambling purposes, I’m staying away from the sides though. I have an aforementioned futures bet on Fnatic to make and win the final that I would rather hedge on live or in their next matchup. More than that though, I don’t have a strong enough feeling either way at these numbers and would rather just watch. I don’t hate playing the G2 -1.5 Maps or -2.5 Maps though if you’re looking to get involved.     

The one place I do seem some value to play with is the kill totals. When these two play in the playoffs, it’s almost always a bloodbath. Last split the totals were set in the mid 30s. This split we get a very bettable 29.5. These are two of the higher total teams in the league and are not afraid to put on a show in playoffs.

The Picks: Over 29.5 Kills Map 1, 2,3 (-115) 1u each

Cloud9 (-368) vs. TSM (+266)

  • Top- C9 Licorice vs. TSM BrokenBlade                                                    The Edge: C9
  • Mid- C9 Nisqy vs. TSM Bjergsen                                                              The Edge: TSM
  • Jungle- C9 Blaber vs. TSM Spica                                                             The Edge: C9
  • Bot Lane Duo- C9 Zven and Vulcan vs. TSM Doublelift and Biofrost       The Edge: Even

The two titans of the LCS facing off for NA’s last spot at Worlds. Does it get better than this? As far as LoL gameplay, the answer is undoubtedly yes, but for a North American with full investment and knowledge of the history between these teams it’s tough to beat. For a bettor, I don’t see a lot to like in the sides here. 

Cloud9 is clearly the more talented team here. Licorice is easily the best top laner in the LCS and gets the better of BrokenBlade in every match the teams play. Blaber, despite struggles this split, should be very comfortable against Spica whose job is to not lose his team the game. The bot lane matchup pits Doublelift and Zven against each other after both players single-handedly put their teams in the loser bracket. Vulcan should have the edge over the TSM support, but has been playing a lot of non-playmakers in this playoffs. If he’s playing Karma or Yuumi, he can’t make a serious difference. TSM has the edge in the most important spot, the mid lane. Nisqy has been a below average LCS mid laner for the better part of two months. Powerofevil quietly abused him in their series with Flyquest. Bjergsen has put up another league MVP type season. I have no doubt that he will be getting sizable advantages on Nisqy in this series. If the rest of TSM can execute around him, he could easily carry a game or two. 

Cloud9’s stats in the back half of the season are bad, like middle of the table bad. Before I explained their stats away, believing that the immensity of their talent would carry them through in the playoffs, but that Flyquest series has me on red alert for this team. There seems to be a pretty clear script that works against this team: neutralize Licorice and Blaber with a weakside top and a farming Jungler, go even in the bot lane, and abuse Nisqy. Doesn’t that script look very possible for TSM? It couldn’t certainly fall apart with mistakes by BB or Doublelift, but I think there’s a world where the better mid wins here. The better mid is on TSM. 
The Picks: Over 3.5 Maps (-240) 1u, TSM +1.5 Maps (+109) 1u, TSM ML (+266) 0.5u, TSM 3-1 (+750) 0.25u, TSM 3-0 (+800) 0.25u  

8/28 LoL Playoffs Betting Breakdown

LGD(+142) vs. Suning (-182)

  • Top SNG Bin vs. LGD Langx                                                                 The Edge: Suning
  • Mid-SNG Angel vs. LGD Xiye                                                                   The Edge: LGD
  • Jungle-SNG SofM vs. LGD Peanut                                                           The Edge: LGD
  • Bot lane duo-SNG Swordart and Huanfeng vs. LGD Kramer and Mark   The Edge: Even

Suning and LGD played a clown fiesta earlier this week that Suning 3-0’d. Neither team was playing anywhere near their peak and it’s difficult to know what to take away from it. The books adjusted by nearly 70 points in Suning’s favor. That feels pretty heavy handed to me.

The talent in this one is pretty close, but I want to key in on one matchup that I think puts this in LGD’s favor: the jungle. SofM has been hyped up as one of the premier junglers of the LPL. I don’t rate him quite that high because of questions I have about his champion pool. He has played a lot of Jarvan and Olaf this split, two champions I would not put in the S tier of Junglers right now. He also doesn’t have a single game on Peanut’s signature champ, Nidalee. If SofM can’t seriously contest Peanut’s carry junglers like Graves, Nidalee, and Kindred, he will dominate this series.

When Peanut played Kindred against JDG, he was so good at it that JDG picked it up for Kanavi in the next game. I don’t think Suning has that luxury (or at least they haven’t shown it).They also can’t count on their lanes to consistently win like JDG can. Angel is probably the worst player left in the LPL playoffs. Peanut can feast on players like that.

For as much as LoL is a team game and we spend time talking about all the lanes, the team with the best mid-jungle duo wins a heavy percentage of the time. I like LGD’s mid-jungle duo here.

The Picks: LGD ML (+142) 1u, LGD 3-1 (+450) 0.5u, LGD 3-0 (+650) 0.5u

Gen. G (-1233) vs. Afreeca (+629)

  • Top- Gen. G Rascal vs. Afreeca Kiin                                                The Edge: Gen.G
  • Mid- Gen. G BDD vs. Afreeca Fly             The Edge: Gen. G
  • Jungle- Gen. G Clid vs. Afreeca Spirit or Dread The Edge: Gen. G
  • Bot lane duo- Gen.G Ruler and Life vs. Afreeca  Mystic and Ben     The Edge: Gen.G

Here it is: Afreeca beating T1 was a total fluke. There was a confluence of factors: T1 not playing like themselves and overplaying situations, a nice series from Afreeca’s Kiin who is a legitimately elite player, a bad series from T1’s top side, the series only being 3 games, and T1 perhaps looking past Afreeca a little bit. I think there’s a lot more to take from every other Afreeca series against the top 3 in the LCK where they have lost every game.

This is a talent canyon. GenG has better players at every position and the only one that is particularly close is the top lane (arguably the least important position). Gen. G has had a totally new energy about them after the Mid Season Cup. They’re no longer the slow, boring team they once were. They are overwhelming their opponents with aggressive, decisive play. In the teams’ two matchups this split, Gen.G has beat Afreeca by an average of 15 kills across 4 games. That is utter dominance, not the kind of thing you can turn around in a matter of weeks. 

Afreeca still has not settled on one jungler because none of their junglers have been able to consistently perform at an acceptable level. Clid will smash whoever his opponent ends up being here. He is still one of the best junglers in the world. I don’t think Afreeca gets a game here, so I’m playing the under 3.5 maps. At some books, the Under 3.5 number is better than the -2.5, so look for that. 

The Picks: Under 3.5 Maps (+122) 1u

Mad Lions (-138) vs. Schalke 04 (+145)

  • Top- Mad Orome vs. S04 Odoamne                                                       The Edge: Even
  • Mid- Mad Humanoid vs. S04 Abbedage                                                 The Edge: Even
  • Jungle- Mad Shadow vs. S04 Gillius                                                     The Edge: Mad
  • Bot lane duo- Mad Kaiser and Carzzy vs. S04 Neon and Dreams         The Edge: Mad

I have faded the S04 miracle run every step of the way and paid for it. With this in mind today, I searched for reasons not to hammer Mad Lions. I ran stats with a heavier weight on recent performance. I watched their end of season game. I speed-ran through the teams’ playoffs series. It all brought me back to this: I should hammer Mad Lions.

The top lane matchup is a wash here with two of the better top laners in the league. Both players are comfortable fitting into whatever role the team asks him to do and will not lose the game on his own. I expect both of them to be put pretty heavily on tank/Gangplank duty in this one.

Mid is another toss up in my opinion, but could easily decide the series. Mad lions are at their best when Humanoid is the main carry. In the early season, he was the best player in the LEC. If Mad Lions can unlock that version of him again, they will win this series. The problem is: Abbedage has played out of his mind on this run. He has been Schalke’s main carry when they are at their best. I have a feeling whoever wins the mid lane, wins the series handily.

I like Mad Lions to win the Mid lane matchup through their jungle difference. You can trust that this is just how good Gillius is now, I do not. He has played better and fell off worse before. I think Mad Lions are smart enough to target him in this series. SK tried, but didn’t have the talent or preparation (why were they so surprised by Hecarim?), to beat S04 this way. There are some serious holes in Gillius’ champion pool, particularly the adc junglers, that have yet to be exposed. Mad Lions will expose them.

Finally, I looked at the stats and put heavier weights on later season form, Mad Lions are still the better statistical team. They have better gold differences, objective rates, early game, and on and on. I will take my “L” if Schalke come out and dominate this, but I’m still just not buying it.

The Picks: Mad Lions ML (-138) 2u, Mad Lions -1.5 Maps (+170) 1u, Mad Lions -2.5 Maps (+497) 0.5u , Mad Over 13.5 Kills on every map (-135) 1u each

8/27 LPL Finals and EU Masters

I like to gamble. I like to analyze data and games to try and get an edge in gambling markets. But more than that, I love LoL. I love the feeling of watching a hyped up match with our niche community and sharing this secret, amazing sport. This LPL finals is going to be one of those moments. These are the best two teams in the world (I see you, Damwon) in my estimation. They both have great players in every single spot. It’s like watching UEFA Champions League where neither team has a weak spot on the field. Enjoy this, it’s rare!

LPL

JDG(+145) vs. Top Esports (-190)

  • Top- JDG Zoom vs. TES 369                                                            The Edge: JDG
  • Jungle- JDG Kanavi vs. TES Karsa                                                  The Edge: Even
  • Mid- JDG Knight vs. TES Yagao                                                       The Edge: TOP
  • Bot-JDG Loken and LvMao vs. TES JackeyLove and Yuyanjia        The Edge: JDG

I want to be clear about something: I do not know who is going to win this matchup. I could come up with a million win conditions and scenarios for either team. Anyone who has a strong feeling either way is probably biased. That’s what makes this line so puzzling. 

This should be close to a coinflip.  There’s no problem with Top being favored as they won 2-0 in the regular season and arguably had the more impressive playoff victory, but these teams are a lot closer than -190. Top doesn’t win this anywhere near 66% of the time. 

Going lane by lane, JDG has the better of the talent. Zoom is capable of playing every role for his team and seemingly never dies. 369 played out of his mind against Suning, but Bin isn’t Zoom. Zoom almost never loses the game for his team. I can’t say the same for 369.

The jungle matchup is most likely where this game is won or lost. Kanavi and Karsa are the engines of their respective teams. If one of them gets an edge in the champion pool, lane pressure, or gets an early invade, they can easily carry their team to victory with their map control. The problem is: I can see that happening with either team, so that’s not an edge.

In the mid lane, Knight could make the difference for Top like he has done so often this split. He is undeniably the better player in this matchup. However, when these teams played in the spring split Finals, it was Yagao who was better on the day. Yagao looks a bit like a “big game player” to me. Despite never being thought of as the star, he shows up and does his job well in almost every game that matters to JDG. Still, Knight is a supernova. He can outplay situations in ways that break the game. There’s been multiple times this season where I thought TOP were in a losing position and Knight outplayed his opponents so thoroughly that they end up going even or winning. He is the best player in this series. If that’s your measuring stick, you have to like Top.

On the bottom side of the map, Top fans should be a little nervous. When they’ve lost this season, it’s been because JackeyLove and yuyanjia did not play up to snuff. Their opponents, LvMao and Loken, are the best bot lane in the world. LvMao, in particular, has such good pocket picks like Bard, that Top may have to try and ban him out. The bot lane duo has increased in importance slowly over the course of the season to the point where it is often the target of bans and first picks. If Loken gets Caitlyn, without clear counters from TES, I think the game is pretty much over. 

The stats are as close as it gets. When you get to this level of play (unless you’re Damwon), the stats are usually too close to mean anything. That’s where you have to just go with the talent. I think JDG has the clearer talent edges in Top and Bot, but TES has the best player in the series in Knight. All of this is a long way of saying, this series is a 50-50, so take the dog JDG. 

The Picks: JDG +1.5 Maps (-157) 2u, JDG ML (+145) 1u, JDG 3-1 (+500) 0.5u, JDG 3-0 (+700) 0.5u

EU Masters

Samsung Morning Stars (+406) vs. S04 Evolution (-622)

Samsung Morning Stars’ win against LDLC was not completely flukey. They totally outplayed them in the early game to the point where it was nearly impossible for LDLC to come back. Their closing out of the game left something to be desired, but there’s no way they should be +406 here. We’ve seen lots of teams in EU masters go all in on aggression and upset huge lines like this. Schalke is the kind of team who can be totally run over. They prefer to play standard compositions and a slow, scaling style. K1ck got serious advantages over them at 15 minutes. If Samsung can follow that script, I like a little upset here.

The Pick: SMS ML (+406) 1u

K1ck Esports (+224) vs. LDLC  (-336)

This is a rematch of last year’s final which LDLC won 3-0. 3-0s can be misleading sometimes because they can suggest one team is much better than the other team when sometimes they are just better on the day. Does anyone really believe LGD is meaningfully better than IG because they 3-0’d them one day this year? I certainly don’t. LDLC is the deserved favorite here. They have two players, Tynx and Vetheo, who look like they belong in a higher tier of pro play. Their macro game play in the mid to late game looks a cut above. But they are not -336 favorites. K1ck is the best early game/dragon stacking team in the tournament. Their mid/jungle duo also look good enough for another level. This is a matchup of two teams that have serious title aspirations, not the top vs. bottom matchup the line suggests it is.

The Pick: K1ck ML (+224) 1u

We Love Gaming (+287) vs. Vodafone (-403)

I’m gonna be a broken record here: these lines are too favorite heavy. We Love Gaming has beaten the third seed from the Polish Region and then hung in after a very bad start against the top seed French team. So now the second seed from Spain is -403 against them. That’s a lot of respect for the region that also only has two teams in the group stages. 

The Pick: We Love Gaming ML (+287) 0.5u

Parlay: Movistar ML and AGO ML (-110) 1u

8/23 LoL Betting Breakdown

Really nice day in LoL and a tough one in soccer, haven’t written that a lot this summer!

LPL

JD Gaming (-246) vs. LGD (+187)

LGD has won two playoff series so far by hard-winning in the jungle against an overrated jungler in Beishang and a below average one in Ning. That’s not happening against Kanavi. He has gotten the better of Peanut in 4 of their 5 matches this year and I think most people rate him as the marginally better player. What does LGD do well when Peanut doesn’t carry them? My answer to that is “Not a lot.” Their difference in stats from when Peanut carries to when it’s up to someone else goes from playoff team to one of the worst teams in the league.

I would take every single JDG laner over their LGD counterpart. Kramer and his supports have had a nice season, but they’re not quite on Loken and Lvmao’s level. Xiye and Yagao are very close, but I would take Yagao after seeing what he did to Knight last split. Then, there is a top gulf more than a gap. Zoom is still the best top laner in the world and Langx is a few tiers below him in my book. We saw that top laners can still carry teams courtesy of 369 this morning. I, for one, would love to see Zoom get on something like a Jax and take over. With a hard pushing top and carry jungle becoming a solid win condition on this patch, Kanavi and Zoom are about to have themselves a series.

When it comes to the underlying team stats, it’s no contest. JDG is one of the best teams in the world, and LGD is an average playoff team with a singular win condition–drake stacking. If I can identify this, JDG’s world class coaching staff can identify it. If LGD wants to win even one game here, I have a feeling they will have to show something else. I just don’t think they have anything else.

The Picks: JDG -1.5 Maps (-103) 2u, JDG -2.5 Maps (+303) 1u

LCK

DRX vs. T1

I’m skipping this one because there is nothing to play for and those kinds of games are very volatile.

Team Dynamics (-235) vs. Hanwha Life Esports (+170) 

There’s an argument to be made for Hanwha on talent alone, but I’m not making it. Hanwha ,despite having some near-elite talent, has been awful this split. They are clearly a team with no identity and I don’t trust them to figure it out here. Team Dynamics know who they are. They are a team who can play solid, standard LoL against the bottom of the table, but can not compete with the talent of the top teams. HLE is a clear bottom table team. I like Dynamics to get the job done.

The Picks: Team Dynamics ML (-235) 1u, Team Dynamics -1.5 Maps (+135) 0.5u

LEC

Fnatic (+135) vs. Rogue (-145)

Rogue has passed the test every time in the regular season. Every time I thought they would falter against an elite team, they stuck to their style and won the game. But I still can’t back them against Fnatic.

The regular season is not the postseason, especially when Fnatic is involved. We have seen this team spend entire months experimenting in the regular season to then turn it on come playoff time. Their ability to out think their opponents in drafts really shines in the best of 5 format. FNC has certainly had a bad read on the meta at times this split, but with a couple weeks off I’m trusting them to have it figured out.

The real reason I like Fnatic here though is talent. I give them a pretty significant edge in the top lane where Bwipo has a much larger champion pool and more consistent win conditions. In the jungle, despite an off split, you have to look at the body of work from Selfmade and give him the edge. Bot lane is again Fnatic favored, if Hylissang can get his play under control again. Rogue’s bot lane gets too much credit for just playing to not lose every game. Rogue will look for their edge to be in the mid lane where Larssen has been terrific this split. He is getting laning leads against the best mids in the league and is an excellent team fighter. My question is this: What happens to Rogue if they can’t play their front to back team fight style? Is Larssen still this effective? You have to think Fnatic will be ready to counter this style. Do you trust Rogue to have an answer? I don’t.

Still, I’ve been burned going with talent in these playoffs a few too many times now, so I’m going to play this one light and maybe get a little more involved live on Twitter.

The Picks (for now): FNC ML (+135) 1u, FNC Over 11.5 Kills on Map 1 (-114) 1u 

LCS

TSM (-171) vs. Golden Guardians (+134)

Something I’m very interested in studying over the offseason is the effect of the “revenge game” in LoL. In traditional sports, handicappers have been all over revenge games for teams of near quality as a place for value. Anecdotally, I feel pretty confident that it exists in LoL too. When I used it as part of my reasoning for Damwon to beat DRX in the LCK, it seemed to be a real motivator. When I used it for G2 to beat up on Mad today, it came true. With LoL being so heavily influenced by preparation and countering a specific opponent, it would make sense that the revenge game would give a team an edge in matchups of similar quality. When you’ve been thoroughly beaten by something, all of your preparation goes into adjusting for it the next time you play. Whereas the winners will want to repeat what made them so successful in the first game. I think you know where I’m going with this.

TSM has more talent than GGS. I don’t think anyone could credibly argue to the contrary. Their first series was a case of Golden Guardians having a very specific plan for countering TSM and then Doublelift playing the worst playoff series of his life. Great players rarely have series like that twice in a row. Is it possible that Doublelift is just cooked? Sure, but I think we would have seen more clear signs of it in the regular season. 

Generally speaking, I don’t trust TSM’s coaching staff at all, but they have too many smart players on that team to get spanked in the draft for another best of 5. It brings me no joy to bet on TSM again, but I think it’s the right side here. Over an 18 game sample size, they were the better fundamental team than GGS. In 3 games a week ago, they got dumpstered. With revenge in mind, I think there’s unfortunately value on TSM here.

The Picks: TSM ML (-171) 2u, TSM  Over 10.5 Kills on all maps (-130) 1u each

8/22 LoL betting breakdown

Bring on more LCS and MLS please is all I can say about today right now! In all seriousness, I think the process on SK was right, but the way I went about betting it was probably wrong. There was a lot of “win more” in how I approached today. In the future, I think I would just bet the moneyline or spread at a large size and call it good. The line was bad, but Schalke winning was always well within the range of outcomes, and if that was to be the case then all my bets were dead. Not a smart way to approach things.

LPL

Top Esports(-326) vs. Suning Gaming (+241)

To me, this matchup is all about Knight. He is just leaps and bounds ahead of Angel as a player. If Top can make him the focus and give him comfortable champions (of which he has plenty), I think they can win here with relative ease. The rest of the lanes are very close and I can’t see Suning getting serious advantages anywhere like they were able to against V5. It’s possible that Bin puts 369 into the dumpster like he did against BiuBiu, but 369 has been comfortable playing weak side all season and surprised everyone last playoffs by playing an under-control engager in almost every game. Top doesn’t need him to win for them to win.

The season-long team stats pretty heavily favor Top Esports. They lead Suning in GSPD, EGR, MLR, and the teams are tied in Baron%, but I will admit I’ve become a little wary of season-long stats in these playoffs. It does feel like the meta-game shift has heavily affected teams who were dominant in the early season like Top was. Suning’s recent form has been excellent. In the current patch, they have the top GSPD in the LPL. Still, I think you have to trust talent in these situations. Top has the game breaker here in Knight. 

The Picks: Top Esports -1.5 (-108) 1u, Top Esports -2.5 (+287) 0.5u

LCK

Under 2.5 Games Parlay in DWG vs. KT and Gen.G vs. AF (+105) 1u

Here’s what I think is going to happen: Damwon and Gen.G are going to smash KT and Afreeca. But when it comes to end of season games you can never be sure of what’s going to happen so I don’t love laying all that juice for the -1.5s in these. So rather than do that, let’s parlay the unders to include the possibility that KT gets frisky and cheeses two off of Damwon. Again, I will have a lot more to say about the LCK playoffs when they are here, but for now the slates are pretty chalky.

LEC

G2 Esports(-245) vs. MAD Lions (+187)

This line is pretty unfair to the team that MAD was to begin the season, but they, like C9, fell away from the dominant team that they were to begin the season in the second half. In fact, they fell all the way down to a GSPD of 2.7% after being above 7 for a long stretch this season. It points to the struggles they’ve had getting serious leads on teams in the second half of the season. Their bot lane in particular is averaging some pretty concerning deficits in laning stats. 

It’s not like their bot lane foes on G2 have been smashing people either. However, I have a higher trust in that team to get right. Last summer, there were all kinds of questions about Perkz as a bot laner and then he became one of the best in the world at playoffs and Worlds. This Spring, everyone was dying for Caps to switch away from the bot lane and then he completely bodied FNC on Kog’Maw. I have a feeling Perkz will be just fine for G2 in this series.

Elsewhere on the map, I still favor G2’s talent. Wunder is still generally underrated and would be totally comfortable carrying this series on one of the meta top carries, Jankos and Shadow are basically the pointing Spiderman meme, and despite a monster season from Humanoid, is anyone actually taking him over Caps in the proverbial gun-to-head situation? It’s what makes G2 impossible to quit. If they decide to be, they are at a significant talent advantage over every team in western LoL. 

The stats are very close for these two teams, so this is pure gut. My gut says G2 wants to put Mad Lions in their place tomorrow. 

The Picks: G2 -1.5 Maps (-105) 1u, G2 -2.5 Maps (+290) 0.5u, 

LCS

Cloud9 (-459) vs. Evil Geniuses (+320)

At first, I thought I was going to be all over EG here. Cloud9 showed some legitimate issues in their series against FlyQuest. Their propensity to overplay their hands when they think that they can outplay a bad situation or to just egregiously chase kills is going to get them beat against FLY and TL, but I’m not sure EG is that team. Can EG with Svenskeren and GoldenGlue, two notorious hero-to-zero players, resist the temptation to try to beat C9 at their style? I have my doubts.

If you read me or check oracleselixir.com regularly you know that C9 was far and away the better statistical team throughout the regular season, and despite only having a playoff loss on their record is pretty close to EG in the playoffs as well. This is because EG has genuinely won 3 games I and the numbers thought they should have lost in this playoffs. Bang has been fantastic and played them out of losses, but that can only last so long before some regression hits. I’m also hopeful that C9 will, please for the love of god, ban Senna who is Bang’s bread and butter.

Zven arcane-shifting into his death on Ezreal can also,hopefully, only last so long. He honestly looked like he was trying to lose at times against FlyQuest and lost game 4 all by himself. It wasn’t his day, I’m trusting him to play more to his standards in this one. If that’s the case, C9 has a pretty clear talent edge everywhere else on the map.

With all of that said, I don’t think there’s much value in the Money Line or map spread, so I’m going to approach this one a little bit differently.  I have been trying to get back into making a model for kill totals for teams. It will surprise no one that C9 is still the top “Kill strength” team in the LCS, but EG also ranks as the worst “Death Strength” team in the LCS. Their elos combined with the league average total for kills has C9 getting 16 or 17 kills a game here. That’s pretty nice value on them as the books have their kill total set at 13.5.

The Picks: C9 over 13.5 Kills in every game (-114) 1u each, C9 -2.5 Games (+214) 0.5u

8/21 LoL betting breakdown

Tough one today. I thought C9 could just flip the switch come playoff time, but it just didn’t happen. I don’t think it’s coincidental that their downfall and FPX’s downfall have corresponded. The two teams preferred style of LoL is just no longer the best way to play anymore and neither has found the answer to the “so now what?” question. C9 tried to give all the carry power to Zven in this series and he just came up short. I think this team is in real danger here against an improving EG, but that’s for another day. If you’re looking for my LCS betting thoughts for tomorrow check me out here with linemovement.com.

Seol Hae One Prince (+184) vs. Team Dynamics (-225)

I’m going to keep this brief because of that old saying about not saying anything when you have nothing nice to say. I have nothing nice to say about SHO. I recognize that they almost beat DRX in their last series, but DRX is solidly in the IG-esque trolling portion of their season. I would not take a lot away from that series other than SHO will allow teams to beat themselves if they try really hard to.

Outside of that series, Seol Hae One is the worst statistical team in LoL. Their GSPD of -11.9% rivals last year’s V5 and Vitality teams that won 5 games combined. It’s just awful. The team just consistently loses everywhere on the map.  If I tried to go lane for lane in this series, I would have Team Dynamics favored everywhere. This is truly a “team diff”.

Team Dynamics, after their hot start, is coming back to reality. Their games against middle-of-the-pack teams, despite being mostly losses, have gone to 3 games. I think their record is a little unfair to their quality. They should be able to take care of business and build some confidence against SHO.

The Picks: Team Dynamics ML (-225) 1u, Team Dynamics -1.5 (+160) 0.5u

SK Gaming (+190) vs. FC Schalke 04 (-275)

When I saw this line, my jaw hit the floor. I am still coming to terms with it. I handicapped this before the lines were out and I was looking to make a decent-sized play on SK at around -125. So, when I realized I was going to get that on +1.5, well you’ll see.

Schalke made an amazing miracle run to the end the season and looked revitalized by having Gilius back in the lineup. He was absolutely on fire to end the season. We’ve seen that before from Gilius and then seen him turn back into a pumpkin. A lot of their run centered around getting Gilius onto Lee Sin. His playmaking on that champion completely changed the game for S04. The issue is SK’s jungler–Trick–is also a Lee Sin specialist. He will be confident trying to match his opponent on this champion or they can do something that no one else has done in this run: ban Gilius out. If they force Gilius into the Sett, Volibear, Kindred area, I think S04 is in big trouble.

The rest of the map is even or SK-favored in my opinion. Mid lane is a wash(Abbedage has run very hot lately). Top lane is slightly SK-favored for me. Finally, the bot lane has a large talent gap. Crownshot and Limit have been beating up on even the best bot lanes in the league. Their GD10, XPD10, and CSD10 are best in the league or near best in the league despite the team being .500. Schalke’s bot lane–even with Neon– is solidly lower half in those stats. It is partially because Schalke’s focus on the top side of the map, but if they try that against SK, they will lose. Trick loves to gank the bot to set up Crownshot or himself to carry the game.  

If you look at season-long team stats (knowing that this includes multiple iterations of Schalke), it is pretty clearly SK favored. They are ahead of Schalke in GSPD, MLR, and Baron%. The one point of concern will be the early game. SK is near the bottom of the table in the early game where Schalke has been above average in Early Game Rating. Again, I think that’s partially due to Gillius’ success on Lee Sin which I don’t expect him to be playing in this series. Put simply, I think SK should be favored. This will be my biggest spot of the year so far.

The Picks: SK + 1.5 Maps (-120) 4u, SK ML (+190) 3u, SK -1.5 (+400) 0.5u, SK -2.5 (+1100) 0.5u

8/16 LoL betting breakdown

I hope for my betting sake that the LCS maintains this playoff format, but for the quality of play this has got to go. Dignitas did not belong anywhere near a playoff game. Everyone who watches the league could have told you that, but still there they were. TSM actually played pretty poorly, but never even really had to sweat in this series. When people talk about the dearth of talent in North American LoL, they are talking about Dignitas. Just terrible.

Although the V5-SNG series was a 3-1, it was very close. I think if they play that series a hundred times each team wins 50 of them. We just turned out to be on the wrong side of the coin today. Suning played slightly better than I expected, but V5 losing was always well within the likely range of outcomes.

The LCK is as steady as ever. Afreeca beats a bottom half team, Damwon sweeps everyone, and Seol Hae beats no one. It’s refreshing after the constant, seemingly random upset pain in the LEC and LPL this split. 

Invictus Gaming vs. LGD

  • Top- IG Theshy vs  LGD Langx                                                              The Edge: IG
  • Jungle- IG Ning vs. LGD  Peanut                                                           The Edge: LGD
  • Mid- IG Rookie vs. SNG Angel                                                               The Edge: IG
  • Bot Duo-  IG Baolan and Puff vs. LGD Mark and Kramer                     The Edge: IG

I truly believe that IG has a talent advantage on every team in the World. Theshy and Rookie’s laning numbers are absolutely absurd. I mean look at this. To be consistently getting those kinds of leads against pro players at 10 minutes is ridiculous. Their control over the laning phase of the game is only matched by themselves in previous eras. That era was when they were one of the best teams of all time. There’s some meta-game shifts that look like we may be headed back towards that era. 

First, the carry top has returned. We saw BiuBiu play Lucian to pretty great effect this morning.  If he can dominate the lane like that on Lucian, what will Theshy do with this champ back in the meta? Langx has to shudder at the thought. Even if he’s forcing Lucian bans, there are plenty of other carry champions that have become viable in the top lane like Fiora, Hecarim, or the ever steady, Gangplank. There’s a serious Theshy redemption arc brewing.

Second, Rookie looks like he wants the best player in the world status back from Knight. He has been absolutely terrifying on Orianna and Zoe this split. Those two champions have started to define the playoff meta. If he’s on Zoe,  a champ that has a 56% win rate in the LPL, I think the game is pretty much over.

The one position where I gave LGD the edge is in the Jungle. I’m not sure it will matter in this series. Peanut has been thriving on his laners getting ahead and having the ability to go for aggressive invades and dives. I don’t think LGD laners will be able to get ahead at all in this series. What does Peanut become when he has to help out losing lanes? We’re about to find out.

IG has always had dominant talent though, it is in their macro execution and team play where they faltered last split. That too has started to clean up. After having a gold spent deficit last split, they are now the 3rd best team in the league at +3.8% in that metric. LGD is a +1.1%. Also after struggling to put the appropriate emphasis on map objectives in spring, IG is taking 59% of the barons this split. The stats aside, IG has looked to be taking the game more seriously again. When that happens, no one can beat them. I’m putting my trust back into Invictus Gaming, I understand if you can’t. 

The picks: IG -1.5 Games (-145) 2u, IG 3-0 (+250) 1u

100 Thieves vs. Evil Geniuses

  • Top- 100T Ssumday vs. EG Huni                                                            The Edge: 100T
  • Jungle- 100T Contractz vs. EG Svenskeren                                            The Edge: 100T
  • Mid- 100T Ryoma vs. EG Goldenglue                                                     The Edge: Even
  • Bot Duo-  100T CodySun and Poome vs. EG Bang and Zeyzal              The Edge: EG

Here’s the problem for Evil Geniuses: Huni thinks he’s Theshy when he’s a bit more like Theantishy. His laning differentials are some of the worst in the league, averaging a deficit in gold, XP and CS at 10 minutes, but for some reason EG will draft for him like he’s peak Smeb. They’re in big trouble if they do that against 100T. Sssumday is a legitimate solo carry and has been one since he entered the LCS. He averages gold and experience differentials that rival the best top laners in the world.  A lot of what I talked about with Theshy could be applied to Ssumday here as well.

EG has a definite edge in the bot lane. Bang really came through in EG’s two wins yesterday and they will need him to do so again if they’re going to win this one. CodySun and Poome are fine players, but will struggle against the former world champ. Bang’s success centered around one champion in their first series: Senna. If I can recognize that, I’m sure that 100T’s coaching staff can recognize that. I would be looking to do whatever I can to keep Bang off Senna.

A lot of folks were encouraged by EG’s performance in game 3 and game 4 yesterday, I was not. Their win in game 3 was relatively legitimate, although I think there were some problems with the FLY draft. Then, Flyquest should win game 4 a lot of the time if Solo does not decide to throw the game. If you let Huni get confident and comfortable, he can beat you and Solo played very disrespectfully in that game. Honestly, I felt like Flyquest got a little disrespectful in the draft phase in games 3 and 4 and easily won again in game 5 when they wanted to. 100 Thieves are the dogs here and will not be taking anything for granted.

The team stats have these two neck and neck with little edges for 100 Thieves that have become much bigger edges since they revamped their roster. 100 Thieves are 6-6 with their roster swap, EG is 4-8. 100T has a GSPD of +3.8%, EG has a -2.9%. 100T takes 56% of Barons, Eg takes 13%! If I were making the odds for this one, I would have 100T favored. We have to take big value when we can get it. 

The Picks: 100T +1.5 (-135) 3u, 100T ML (+165) 2u,   

LCK

Once the LCK gets into the playoffs I will have a lot more to say about it and I think there will be a lot of interesting spots. But I don’t think anyone is reading a breakdown on why DRX is going to 2-0 Seol Hae One and Gen. G is going to 2-0 Hanwa. So, here’s another “that makes sense” LCK parlay

The Pick: Gen. G and DRX -1.5 Parlay (-175) 1u

8/15 LoL betting breakdown

Yesterday I wrote entirely about how I liked the talent of LGD better than WE and went through their superior stats and then still ended up betting on WE. Not going to be doing that again. Flyquest played pretty disrespectfully in game 3 and 4, a bit of a bad beat there. The lines for these playoffs have felt pretty soft so far and have had some large moves towards the correct side.  One line I will tell you I’m already on in a very large way for next week is SK ML against S04. I bet it at +195, but it’s already down to +180. I expect that to keep going down because I believe SK should be favored. Before we get there though, let’s look at tomorrow.

Victory 5 vs. Suning Gaming

  • Top- V5 BiuBiu vs  SNG. Bin                                                                   The Edge: Suning
  • Jungle- V5 WeiWei vs. SNG  SofM                                                         The Edge: V5
  • Mid- V5 Mole vs. SNG Angel                                                                   The Edge: Even
  • Bot Duo-  V5 ppgod and SamD vs. SNG SwordArt and Huanfeng         The Edge: V5

I honestly can’t believe that this opened with Victory 5 as the dogs. There’s still plenty of value on V5 at its current coinflip status. That starts with just raw talent.  Take the name plates away and V5 has better performing players everywhere, save for top lane. V5’s bot lane, specifically, should  easily be able to get ahead of SwordArt and Huanfeng. They took full advantage of the underperforming Crisp in the FPX series. We’ve got another underperforming veteran support for them to pick on here. SwordArt has been pretty bad this split and, in my estimation, looks like his career may be over soon.  WeiWei is the rare kind of jungler that can get so far ahead by himself that it can make it difficult for their opponents to come back.  Finally, if you let Mole have Zoe, you’re just going to lose. V5 just has more ways to win than SNG.

The stats have these teams about as even as two teams can get, with small edges towards V5 across the board, especially in early game indicators. However, their results against top teams could not be more opposite. SNG were 2-0’d by IG, JDG, and TES and never looked particularly close with those teams. V5 beat both TES and JDG and went into a 2-1 with IG. This team keeps rising to the occasion. Their ability to win games from losing positions against FPX has me convinced they are going to Worlds. That starts by beating Suning. 

The picks: V5 ML (+106) 2u, V5 -1.5 (+170) 1u, V5 -2.5 (+594) 0.5u

TSM vs. Team Dignitas

  • Top- TSM BrokenBlade vs  Dig Lourlo                                                    The Edge: TSM
  • Jungle- TSM Spica vs. Dig Dardoch                                                        The Edge: Even
  • Mid- TSM Bjergsen vs. Dig Fenix                                                            The Edge: TSM
  • Bot Duo-  TSM Doublelift and Treatz vs. Dig Johnsun and Aphromoo    The Edge: Even

Dignitas doesn’t belong in a playoff match. I would argue that maybe only Johnsun will be playing in the LCS next split. The mid lane gap in this matchup is as big as it gets in professional play. Fenix against Bjergsen is like when Federer or Nadal plays one of those poor guys in the early rounds of Wimbledon. There is no comparing the players. Strangely, Dignitas do have two lanes where they have to like their chances to go even. TSM’s bot lane was shockingly bad in their first playoff series and that is Dig’s strength. Then, the jungle matchup is a matchup of TSM’s two most recent junglers. Neither is a particularly impressive player. 

I’m giving TSM a full mulligan on yesterday for this series. They got completely outthought in multiple drafts and then Doublelift pretty clearly lost his mind after game 1. Dignitas is not capable of that kind of play in my opinion. The only way they win a game is if TSM beat themselves again. Bjergsen won’t let them. The stats are very clear: TSM should be massive favorites. They have a +2.0% GSPD compared to Dignitas -3.3%. Gaps of 5+% in that statistic usually means, especially on opposite sides of zero, the game is a serious mismatch. TSM should also control the Baron here. They average 56% of Barons compared to Dignitas’ terrible 28%. I was concerned by TSM’s loss yesterday. I think they will be upset again in these playoffs, but not by Dig.

The Picks: TSM -1.5 (-200) 2u, TSM 3-0 (+145) 1u

LCK

I’m just going to keep playing what makes sense in the LCK. It is the one league in the world where you can pretty much count on what you’ve seen so far holding. Their favorites typically win and 2-0. What makes sense on this slate is two things: Damwon 2-0s Team Dynamics and Afreeca continues to beat up the bottom half teams against Sandbox. So I’m going with the “that makes sense” parlay here.

The Pick: AF ML and Damwon -1.5 Parlay (-141) 1u