After the last two weeks of LCS and LEC, I wouldn’t blame you if you just blindly bet every dog on the moneyline and call it a day. That was one of the wildest weekends I can remember in LCS last week and LEC the week before. I’m going to lean the other way. The middle of the split is where a lot of teams decide to turn it fully on. It feels like Fnatic and G2 do this every other split. They mess around for the first half and then come back and smash everyone in the second. I’m going to be on a lot of favorites and unders this week as team’s tighten up.
EDG ML vs. LGD (-110) 1u, EDG 2-0 (+285) 0.5u
Both of these teams are coming off losses to some of the worst teams in the league. I don’t have a lot of confidence in either. To me, this matchup really comes down to one player: Hope. Hope is the only legitimate star on either team and I think he massively outclasses his lane opponent Kramer. It’s possible that Peanut could get on a big carry like Graves and take over, but I prefer EDG’s experience and unexciting play to win out here against LGD. Against bad teams, defensive styles reign supreme. I’m starting to think LGD is a bad team.
Damwon ML/DRX -1.5 Games/FPX ML Parlay (-120) 1u
Sometimes you don’t have to overthink it. If you match each of these teams lane for lane with their opponents, you would take every single laner from every favorite. Is it possible that one of these teams gets cheesed and loses? Sure, maybe 10% of the time. When I did my handicapping here, I had each of these rated higher confidence than the books’ implied odds, but I don’t have the kind of cash that let’s me bet -700 MLs. Count on talent winning out here.
SK Gaming ML vs Vitality (-125) 1u, Under 23.5 (-115) 1u
SK and Vitality are near identical in the statistics I value. There’s not a lane that stands out as a huge mismatch. Crownshot and Limit should beat Comp and Labrov in the bot lane, but it doesn’t jump off the page. I just can’t shake the feeling that Vitality is fraudulent and SK is legit. I try to avoid gut feel handicapping, but I’m going with it here. A couple of Vitality’s wins have been pretty goofy, including the one against SK where SK beat themselves. Vitality also loses big and wins small, a tell I like to use of a team that may be overperforming. SK is the opposite: win big, lose small. I prefer their upside off of the bye week.
I love the under here too. I can’t really figure out where the books came up with this number. SK and Vitality average 18 and 17 combined kills in wins, respectively. That suggests we have two teams who know how to close out a game when they get ahead early. I expect SK to use Trick to snowball the bot lane duo in the early game like they have done in most of their wins and for this one to end fairly quickly.
Rogue ML/Fnatic ML/G2 ML Parlay (+180) 1u, G2 ML vs. Origen (-230) 1u
I don’t think I need to make the case for Rogue over Schalke for anyone with eyes. They are a cut above at every position on the map.
Fnatic is going to need to string some wins together to get themselves a first round playoff bye. I think that starts here. Fnatic still has one of the best Early Game Ratings in the league over at Oracle’s Elixir. They have just gotten lost in a few mid game and late game teamfights with some bad plays by Nemesis. I am of the opinion that stuff is very fixable in their time off. It’s not really something they’ve struggled with before and I think it had more to do with their unfamiliarity with the compositions they were playing than actual deep-seated issues. Fnatic gets right here.
G2 is pretty much an auto-bet for me under -250, but especially against Origen. They just dominate this team. Nukeduck has not been good this split and Caps seems to relish the opportunity to embarrass him. Perkz is back and also loves a chance to silence critics against other hyped players like Upset. G2, like Fnatic, have maintained an elite early game rating, despite their “struggles”. Origen is near the bottom of the table in the early game statistics and I think is in real danger of missing Worlds. G2 roll.
Rogue vs. FC Shalke 04 Under 22.5 (-115) 1u
I like the under generally in stomps. Books don’t seem to take into account game narratives for totals. If the narrative we like here is that Rogue just wins at every stage of the game, there is no way we get to 23 kills. Rogue is not the kind of team that gets up 4 or 5 kills and then throws a random death back. I see this one ending something like 13-4 in kills.
G2 vs. Origen Under 24.5 Kills (-115) 1u
The stomp narrative applies here too. G2 is in a revenge spot after blowing a game to Origen earlier in the season. I don’t think they’re going to give them an inch in this game. G2 has also been playing a lot of poke compositions this split. Poke compositions are, by definition, less bloody. They are put together with the expressed intent of avoiding straight team fights. Put it all together, hit the under.
Excel Esports ML vs. Mad Lions (+220) 1u
This number is just a little bit too big. Excel is coming together nicely. They are tied with G2 for the second best Early Game Rating in the league. They have a very respectable +1.5% Gold Spent Differential. Special has not been a complete liability the last couple weeks. I think MAD Lions probably win here, but getting a 30% implied on a team with Excel’s statistical profile is pretty rare. Mad’s perception as the next great LEC team is not completely backed up by their statistical profile. In fact, they have a negative Gold Percent Rating because of their tendency to let teams back in that they should have closed out. Excel is good enough to exploit advantages that Mad might concede.
Team Liquid ML vs. EG (-170) 2u
Huni and Goldenglue are starting for EG in this match. It does make me a little nervous to know so little about those two’s current form. With that said, I think it makes them worse. Huni has not been an elite player in a long time and Goldenglue is routinely a bottom 3 mid laner in the LCS. I don’t really understand this move, other than some sort of internal conflict.
Regardless, I love Liquid here. Liquid plays solid, fundamental League of Legends. They are not going to absolutely murder you anywhere, but they’re going to gain small and slow advantages all over the map. With Impact playing under control again, I think this is the second best team in the league. Huni seemingly always feeds in his first game with a new team and has a tendency to get bored against methodical teams. I would count on Huni regularly over extending in this one and allowing Liquid a lead that EG can not recover from.