7/18 LoL Betting Breakdown

My LoL betting day was saved by TSM and ruined by G2. That’s not a phrase I write very often and hope to not write again. There’s been a couple of public overreactions to recent results that have gone significantly in our favor in the last two weeks. TSM opened as -200 favorites and were down to -160 by game time. That’s a lot of credit for a 100 Thieves team that had played three total games together. I will definitely be looking for that kind of spot in the future.

LCK

KT Rolster ML vs. Sandbox (-115) 1u, KT -1.5 Games (+235) 0.5u

Speaking of overreactions to recent results, we have one here! KT has a more talented roster all over the map than Sandbox. Credit to Sandbox for stringing together results against the worst teams in the LCK, I don’t expect that to continue here. Despite their recent run of form, Sandbox is still not controlling the gold in their games with a GSPD of -5.0%. KT has played a pretty brutal schedule and maintained the same record and a better GSPD. Give me the arrows here.

Gen.G ML vs. T1 (-105) 2u, Gen. G -1.5 Games (+270) 1u

There’s only one thing that would make you like T1 in this matchup: history. T1 has dominated Gen.G in recent seasons. It has not mattered what their records, stats, compositions were, it always ended with a T1 dub. I just can’t pass over those other things. Gen.G is solidly ahead of T1 in every single statistic I use for my handicapping. I can’t ignore that because of T1’s recent dominance of this team. This is also no longer just a cupcake punching team for Gen.G. They have dominant wins against Afreeca and Team Dynamics and a very respectable hardfought win against Damwon. I will feel like an idiot tomorrow when T1 2-0s this, but sometimes you just have to follow the numbers.

LPL

BilliBilli Gaming ML vs. Dominus (-245) 1u, BilliBilli -1.5 Games (+130) 1u 

I think Dominus is terrible, like the worst team in the league kind of terrible.  I would take everyone, but LNG to 2-0 them. They have no idea what to do unless their top side carries them. I don’t see that happening with Meteor back in the lineup. He’s just not going to let Kingen hang out to dry like that against Natural. Everywhere else on the map, I favor BilliBilli. Don’t overthink it, take the better team.

IG vs. RNG 

Just kidding. I am not touching this game with a ten foot pole.

LEC

SK Gaming ML vs. FC Schalke 04 (-200) 2u, Under 24.5 (-115) 1u

What’s going on here? Schalke is a very bad team with a very bad bot lane. SK is a pretty good team with a very good bot lane. SK should be -250 right? That’s the assumption I’m running with here. Schalke’s stats have them as one of the worst teams in the world and the eye test is not much better. If SK want to make playoffs which they have the talent to do, they have to beat Schalke tomorrow.

 The total suggests the books think this will be close too because Schalke’s closer games have been high totals. I just don’t agree. I expect a pretty similar game script to today’s SK game: bot lane gets ahead and dominates the game. If that’s the case, you have to like the under.

Fnatic -6.5 Kills vs. Vitality (-105) 1u, Under 24.5 Kills (-125) 1u

Fnatic is in one of my favorite spots here in all sports: a good team who got the losing monkey off their back. They should have lost today, but somehow pulled it out. I think that has them riding high into this one. Beyond that, they’re just much better than Vitality. If you had told me preseason that I could bet FNC -6.5 against Vitality, I would have been inquiring about my credit limit. It’s not quite that much of a lock with recent results, but it’s still good value. As I mentioned yesterday, I like the under in stomp narratives.

G2 vs. MAD Lions Under 27.5 (-115) 1u

I have no idea who is going to win this game. I do know that this total was made with last year’s meta and teams in mind. G2, in particular, is just not an extremely bloody team anymore. They average 24.5 kill totals in wins and 23 in losses. It is very rare that kind of team gets a 28 total line. Even Mad Lions, the bloodiest team in the league, averages 23 kill totals in wins and 27 in losses. I understand that the history of these teams goes way over, but  again, I don’t think you can totally discount recent numbers against other teams. We’re going to trust our projections here.

LCS

TSM ML vs. Flyquest (-130) 1u

I wish I could quit TSM, but I just can’t. They are so frustrating because of their immense potential. You can count on all their lanes to get small advantages against pretty much every team in the league. Spica hasn’t been near the disaster folks expected him to be. Treatz looked promising in his debut. And yet, I still feel terrible putting in a bet on them. This is because they often get to the mid game and look like they have no idea what to do anymore. It’s as if they get a gold lead at 15 minutes and think they have already won the game. I am still taking them. Flyquest is one of the worst early game teams in the league and are better against teams that are passive there. TSM has not been particularly passive in the early game and holds the 4th best Early Game Rating in the league. With this stat mattering more than it ever has, I’ll take TSM reluctantly.

Golden Guardians ML vs. Immortals (-150) 2u

This is another numbers play. The numbers say that Golden Guardians is a significantly better team than Immortals. Those numbers, of course, include multiple rosters for Immortals, but I am unconvinced that they are significantly improved by their moves and their numbers haven’t dramatically improved. Also, if you break it down lane by lane, I think I would give GGS the edge everywhere, but Top.   Xmithie has struggled against carry junglers in his career. With Kha’zix back in the meta, I think we’re in for a “diffy in the jiffy”.

CLG ML vs. Dignitas (-165) 1u

CLG will let teams beat themselves. If there’s one thing Dardoch has been elite at in his career, it’s beating himself. I see Dardoch getting out of position and punished by a famous roaming pick from Pobelter multiple times in this one. Dignitas beat two teams that love to take non-advantageous fights last week and try to outplay. That is not CLG. Despite having a talent disadvantage, CLG has been a pretty smart team this split. They’ve come back from multiple deficits by waiting for their opponents to do something dumb. Dignitas will do something dumb in this game.

7/17 LoL Betting Breakdown

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. 

LPL/LCK

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.

LEC/LCS

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.

7/11 LCS Betting Breakdown

C9 vs. TSM is one of those rare rivalries in esports where there might be legitimate disdain for one another. Despite a long shared history in NA LCS where players switch teams often, these two teams have never really shared or traded players (save for Wildturtle, contentiously). C9’s owner, Jack, has taken righteous glee in the face of all of TSM’s organization instability. Doublelift and Zven have taken turns firing shots at one another over the years claiming their opposition to be overrated. C9 employs multiple people who have made their distaste for TSM a part of their brand. I am excited as a viewer every time these two play. I’m excited as a bettor today too because I think there’s money to be made.

Golden Guardians +5.5 Kills vs. EG (-110) 1u


Golden Guardians are a little underrated at the moment. They’re not bottom of the table fodder like their record suggests. I would expect this team to make a late push for the playoffs with a solid identity led by their Mid-Jungle duo. That identity is to smash early games. They have the second best early game rating in the league behind C9. That stat is pretty unheard of for a team at the bottom of the standings, which leads us to believe there is some positive regression coming for GGS. When they lose though, it’s because of their inability to transition leads into solid late game teamfights and shotcalling. If that’s the case here, I like EG to win in a close one late. Take GGS to cover.

TSM ML (+300) vs. C9

This play is as square as a ham and cheese sandwich. I still think it’s right. +300 implies that TSM only win this 25% of the time. I have them a tick higher than that. Despite some weird losses and mid-game shotcalling, TSM has been really good this season. The team that beats C9 has to punish them for drafting early game, every single time out. Isn’t TSM with Bjergsen and Doublelift, two notorious stall the game out players, the team to do it? Do we really believe Nisqy and Licorice get out to their usual leads 75% of the time against TSM? I don’t. The one sticking point here is TSM’s weak point happens to be C9’s strong point. I am, of course, talking about the jungle matchup of Spica and Blaber. Spica has been better than I ever expected and holds positive numbers in both XP and Gold differential at 10 minutes. If Spica can hold on, I think we might just see an upset special here.

Team Liquid vs. CLG Under 21.5 (-115) 1u

Team Liquid is averaging 0.56 Combined Kills per minute, the lowest number in the league. Their wins against bad teams in particular have been very low scoring. They jump out on bad teams early with kills andslowly choke them out through solid macro play. I expect them to handle CLG with relative ease. CLG has the second worst early game in the league and is being overrated by some fortunate wins.  I would not be surprised to see this one end in something like a 10-1 TL win.

Team Liquid-Flyquest-Evil Geniuses ML Parlay (+135) 1u

Full disclosure, I locked this in earlier this week and like it less now. I think EG has a real chance to lose to GGS. However, if EG gets through the early game close to even then I love them to beat the Guardians in the late game. The other two I feel pretty strongly about. I already made the case for Liquid in the under. Flyquest is coming off a bad loss and rarely loses two in a row. I expect them to bounce back here against a significantly inferior Dignitas team. 

Week 1 MLS betting breakdown

The beautifully named MLS is back tournament will kick off tonight with games running everyday until the champion is crowned on August 12. I am, personally, beyond ecstatic to see the NWSL and MLS get this time to themselves to be the only North American team sports playing. I  hope this can be a turning point for soccer to win some folks over. Especially if you’ve followed me for LoL, give it a shot. The two sports are similar in their emphasis on team play, methodical approaches, and chess-like nature. Plus, no commercials! 

With my soccer proselytizing done, let’s get into what I’m betting going into the weekend.

Orlando City vs.  Inter Miami 

  • Moneylines: ORL (+185), Tie (+250), MIA (+135)
  • Spread: ORL +0.5 (-167), MIA -0.5 (+138)
  • Total: Over 2.5, 3 (+104) , Under 2.5, 3 (-125)

Orlando was a reliable under team to start the season with the 2nd lowest expected combined goals in the league. Miami, on the other hand, got off to a blistering start offensively and a blistered start defensively. I expect Orlando’s style of play to reign supreme here. Group stages are often slow and cagey at the beginning with neither team wanting to make the first mistake of the tournament. Both teams will need a result from this game to feel good about their chances of getting out of the group as the clear number 2 and 3 teams here.  I would expect Orlando to sit back and absorb pressure into their newly signed center back pairing and goalkeeper. Unfortunately, I don’t expect this kickoff match to be the best advertisement for MLS, but that shouldn’t keep anyone from making money off it.

The Bets: Under 2.5, 3(-125) 1u, Draw (+250) 0.5u

NYCFC vs. Philadelphia Union

  • Moneylines: NYCFC (+108), Tie (+270), PHI (+215)
  • Spread: NYCFC -0, -0.5 (-121), PHI 0, +0.5 (+100)
  • Total: Over 3 (-112), Under 3 (-108)

This line is about who NYCFC with Domenec Torrent used to be, not who they are now. With Torrent as manager last season, they were a legitimately great possession team. They played beautifully  and were the second highest scoring team in the league behind LAFC. Then came this season with a new manager. In their first two games, they were the worst defensive side in the league. Philadelphia, on the other hand, can absorb pressure and press with the best of them in MLS and is essentially built for beating possession sides like NYCFC in one-offs. If NYCFC look as lost as they did to start 2020, they could be going out in the group stages.

The Bets: PHI +0, +0.5 (+100) 2u, PHI ML (+215) 1u

Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution

  • Moneylines: MTL (+260), Tie (+270), NE Revolution (-107)
  • Spread: MTL +0, +0.5 (+118), NER -0, -0.5 (-141) 
  • Total: Over 2.5, 3 (-118), Under 2.5, 3 (-103)

Another group stage under spot! The most thrilling bet in soccer. Montreal has given up a near-elite 22.54 expected goals in their last 15 matches. They are a tough, solid defensive team facing an average attack in the Revolution. With the conditions of a group stage, this match screams 0-0 and I wouldn’t hate a stab at the exact score there. I’m going to play it safe with the under.

The bets: Under 2.5, 3 (-103) 1u

NYRB vs. Atlanta United

  • Moneylines: ATL (-107), Tie (+270), NYRB (+260)
  • Spread: ATL -0, -0.5 (-141), NYRB +0, +0.5 (+118)
  • Total: Over 2.5, 3 (-104), Under 2.5, 3 (-117)

Who is Atlanta United without Josef Martinez? We’re about to find out. My best guess is they are significantly worse. He is the kind of goalscorer that can lift an offense entirely by themselves. He averages more expected goals per shot than any player in MLS history. That is irreplaceable. NYRB is a legitimate team who probably should not be +260 against Atlanta under normal circumstances, but without Josef? No way. They are the 4th best xGD team since the midway point of last MLS season with +6.09. A number, that is only 1 goal behind Atlanta with Josef. I love the Red Bulls here.

The bets: NYRB +0.5 (-115) 2u, NYRB ML (+260) 1u

Columbus Crew vs. FC Cincinnati

  • Moneylines: COL (-110), CIN (+300), Tie (+245)
  • Spread: COL -0.5 (-109), CIN +0.5 (-110)
  • Total: Over 2.5, 3 (+120), Under 2.5, 3 (-148)

The Crew are better than they showed to end last season. Injuries took the team apart and we never got to see them play the famed Porterball. This tournament is the thing of Caleb Porter’s dreams. Heat to pressure teams under, one offs to grind out results in, and he has Nagbe back at his side to run their famous break. I think the Crew are well-positioned for a deep run in this tournament. That has to start with a win over a bad FC Cincinnati team.

The bets: Columbus ML (-110) 1u

Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids

  • Moneylines: RSL (+128), Tie (+250), COL (+195)
  • Spread: RSL -0.5 (+130), COL +0.5 (-157)
  • Total: Over 2.5, 3 (+108), Under 2.5, 3 (-132)

Are the 2-0 Colorado Rapids for real? Did they finally find their playmaker in Younes Namli? If the answers to both of those are yes, this line is going to look terrible. Colorado were on a nice run of form to finish 2019 and seem to have improved in key areas over the offseason. RSL is a tough defensive team, but have a lot of aging players that could struggle in the Orlando sun. They also lack a consistent goal scoring threat. This game looks exactly like the kind of game that will be won on a singular set piece goal. You have to give the Rapids with Jack Price the edge there.

The Bets: COL +0.5 (-157) 2u, COL ML (+195) 1u

6/27 Soccer and LoL picks

6/26 Recap

An overall great day that was close to a fantastic day. If you’re betting on EDG and Rogue Warriors you have to expect them to throw at least 40% of their games though, so I shouldn’t complain. Soccer has really been heating up for me and I’ve got lots of spots I like tomorrow. With MLS returning in a couple weeks, I’ll definitely be looking to do more soccer.

Soccer

Wolves -0.5, -1 vs. Aston Villa (+105) 1u

I’m honestly pretty shocked that there is plus money available here. Wolves have everything to play for with Manchester United and 5th place still within reach. They are the far superior team to Villa. Villa has been one of the worst teams at home during the course of the season and, despite stringing together a few nice results since the break, is not a good defensive team. I think Wolves winning by 2 or more is very much in play and even if they just win by one we cash half the bet.

Paderborn Double Chance* vs. Frankfurt (+250) 1u

Paderborn is awful. This is a real hold your nose special. They have been surprisingly better on the road. 2 of their 4 wins and 6 of their 8 draws this season have come on the road. They also have a better XG differential on the road than they do at home. Neither team has anything but pride to play for so I don’t expect any type of motivation gap. Frankfurt has been pretty awful since returning from the break and have looked ready to start their summer for a couple weeks. Some Paderborn players will be playing as an audition to stay in the Bundesliga. I like Paderborn to get a result.

Augsburg Double Chance vs. RB Leipzig (+200) 1u

Another “pride only” matchup. Augsburg have a positive expected goal differential at home despite being the 5th worst team in the league. That is near unheard of. They are known to sneak a result at home with a draw there against Bayern Munich already this season. They are tough to break down at home and Leipzig can struggle against that kind of team. Take some big plus money on the double chance.

Hertha Berlin +1.5 vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (-115) 1u

Hertha are near the talent-level of a top Bundesliga team. It just hasn’t worked out for them this season. They should be riding high off an impressive 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen last weekend. Borussia is in exactly the same class as Leverkusen at near-elite. Hertha is another one of those rare clubs that seems to get a boost away from home with a better expected goal differential on the road. I would expect M’gladbach to win this one with their guaranteed UCL spot up for grabs, but 2 goals feels like a tall task against a side with Hertha’s talent.

FC Koln +1 Goal vs. Werder Bremen (-120) 2u

Werder Bremen should not be favored by a goal over anyone, but especially not Koln who have been truly unlucky this season. They have a -3 expected goal differential and a -13 actual goal differential. They are much closer to mid table quality than their results say. Werder Bremen has been decent at parking a bus in front of goal since the covid return, but this team is coming a 3-1 loss to a terrible Mainz team. Werder Bremen has 1 (!) win at home for the entire season. If they do anything but win we profit. Lock this one up, will almost definitely be +0.5 tomorrow.

Schalke 04 +0.5, +1 Goal vs. SC Freiburg (-125) 1u

 

I am announcing that I am officially unretiring from betting on Schalke 04. It has been a very long week for me and I can’t go on any longer without losing money on S04. Here’s the deal: Freiburg actually suck. There is a terrible team hiding behind some very fortunate results.They are the anti-Koln. They have a -19 expected goal differential, but a -3 actual goal differential. If you play this season out 100 times, Freiburg would lose at least 3 more matches a lot of times. We’re counting on that catching up to them here. This play has nothing to do with Schalke who are still very much in my doghouse.

Union Berlin +0.5 Goals vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf (-120) 1u, 0-0  final result (+1100) 0.25u

I will not be watching a second of this match and neither should you. These are two of the lowest scoring teams in the league who have been even worse in that department since the break. Dusseldorf needs at least a draw here to guarantee their relegation playoff and will almost definitely be sitting back for most of the game. Union has an inclination to play exactly the same way. Take whoever has the plus goal and the 0-0 result for fun (or anti-fun).



LPL

Estar +1.5 Games vs. FPX (-145) 2u, Estar ML (+220) 1u

FPX have not looked right since their loss to TES in the finals of the Mid-Season Cup. They look a little slow to pick up the meta and maybe to be struggling with motivation issues. Estar has been every bit as good as their spring split. just lost a couple coin flips that they won in the spring. I think this is good value against a struggling FPX who has a tendency to go to 3 games anyway with 3 out of their first 4 in summer going the distance. Estar is the kind of team that will always beat teams that are in a funk because they play a solid, fundamental style. That might not allow you to beat the best teams at their peak, but it definitely beat teams who might do something to beat themselves.

LCK

KT Rolster +1.5 Games (-165) 2u, KT Rolster ML (+190) 1u

 

This line looks a little too tilted towards recent results. Damwon has got off to  a hot start while KT has done the opposite. We have a lot more evidence from the spring that says these teams are very similar in quality. In fact, they were near identical in the metrics I like such as GSPD, Early Game Rating, Gold diff at 15, etc. Damwon separated themselves with great, dominant performances against the worst teams in the league, but in their one test so far against a top team they faltered a bit. +190 is just too much value in a game between to teams that won around 55% of their games last split. 

LEC

SK Gaming ML vs. Vitality  (-145) 1u

This line has moved a bit, but I think I would bet it up to -175. Vitality is still one of the worst teams in LEC, they are just no longer THE worst team in the league. SK is a legit playoff team. So far they have posted a +8% GSPD, even with 2 losses. Pretenders don’t do that. 6 games is a third of a split. That’s a decent sample size. I love the way this team is playing with aggressive drafting and in-game play. They are a class above Vitality and should beat them with ease.

Misfits -5.5 Kills vs. Excel (-115) 1u

Special is going to be in the mid lane against Febiven in this game. Febiven has not been great again this split, but that is a mismatch. When Special has been outmatched, Excel has been terrible. I think we’re going to see another “Mid diff” kind of game here. Excel has not lost by less than 6 kills in any of their losses and were that kind of team last split too.

MAD ML (-130) 1u, MAD vs. Rogue Under 23.5 Kills (-115) 1u

Very ready to admit that I was wrong about the Lions. They are playing some of the most exciting, flexible, and clean LoL in the world right now. I absolutely love what they did to Origen today. Rogue also dismantled Fnatic, but Fnatic is not so secretly terrible early in splits. Rogue showed some flexibility today with an out of the box for them early game comp. It just feels like MAD has a plan for every team right now and beats every team in the draft stage. I would expect them to trap Rogue into picking their favorite late game scaling champs and then just running them off the map in the early game like they did to Origen today. 

G2 vs. FNC Under 25.5 Kills (-115) 1u

In normal circumstances, I would hammer the over between these two teams. These are not normal circumstances. I can not get a feel for how seriously either of these teams is taking games right now. My guess is: not that serious.   If that’s the case tomorrow, I would expect a lot of hype and then one of the teams to just stomp the other. 26 kills is a lot for a stomp in this meta. In fact, the teams have only gone over that number in 3 of their first 12 matchups this season and that includes some close games with high total teams. 

LCS

TSM ML vs. EG (+145) 2u

If TSM drafts Lee Sin, I will be hedging out of this, but they have to learn from their drafting mistakes at some point right? If they don’t just lose in pick/ban then these teams are as even as they come with TSM probably having a little edge in top and bot and EG having the edge in the jungle. It’s my policy that if two even teams are playing and one has plus money in the LCS, you gotta take the plus money. Even when that team is TSM. TSM actually have a positive GSPD despite getting destroyed by TL and FLY which tells you they probably aren’t as bad as those two games showed. They really need this game and I like the vets with their backs against the wall.

Golden Guardians -5.5 kills vs. Immortals (-105) 1u

The books have not caught up to how bad Immortals yet in my opinion. Usually, I would fear a situation where the team has just fired people and players might be playing for their jobs, but I just don’t see it with this IMT squad. GGS strength is in their mid-jungle duo and that’s exactly where Immortals are at their worst.  GGS have also been a bit unlucky with their schedule and results so far. I like them to start pushing for playoffs here.

TL -7.5 vs. Dignitas (-115) 2u

Dignitas is a truly terrible team. I am not even really sure what their objectives are for this season. Liquid should have taken care of business yesterday against C9. They will wipe the floor with Dig.

*Double chance is a kind of bet in soccer where you win if the team draws or wins.

6/26 Soccer and LoL Picks

6/21-6/25/2020: Recap


Felt pretty close to a winning week with a couple of big, juiced favorites throwing games in both LPL and LCK, but that’s a part of the game. Got to be honest when you’re losing and honest when you’re winning, right now I’m losing in LoL and winning in soccer.

Soccer

Sevilla vs. Valladolid Under 2, 2.5 (Even) 1u

Sevilla has not exactly set the world on fire at home this season with 21 goals. That number is 10th in the league despite Sevilla’s standing at 4th in points. They are one of the rare teams that might be offensively better on the road. Defensively, they have the 3rd best XGa in the league at home and rarely concede. Valladolid is the second worst road scoring team in the league. If this game is going over, Sevilla will have to score 3. I don’t see it.   

Juventus Team Total Over 2.5 Goals vs. Lecce (-160) 1u

This is another stats mismatch. Juventus is the best expected goal differential/90 team in Serie A. Lecce is the worst. Juventus has also yet to really start clicking offensively since coming back from the covid break. I like them to get that right against the team with the highest Xga in the league and score at least 3 goals.

LPL

Rogue Warriors +1.5 Games vs. Team WE (-105) 1u

Rogue Warriors were 3 game underdog kings last split taking games off the likes of Top Esports and FPX. Their aggressive style was usually good for one upset. Cut to this split where Rogue Warriors have yet to win a single game of League of Legends. Something’s not right with this picture. It could be that they were completely figured out, butI’m leaning more towards Rogue Warriors getting some positive regression this week and taking a couple games off of superior teams. They have been completely awful in every game they played and I can’t quite let go of my favorite dogs from last split. 

EDG +1.5 Games (+120) vs. TES 1u, EDG ML (+295) 0.5u

I don’t think TES has looked fantastic so far outside of the JDG series, which is scary because they have won every game outside of 1. They are that talented of a team. There has been some tendency to limit test against teams that they are clearly better than. They are clearly better than EDG. The difference being, with EDG compared to a BilliBIlli or Rogue Warriors, is that EDG will generally close leads. (Not always I know, believe me) If TOP do something silly against EDG like they have against the other middle teams, EDG could steal a game even without Hope who has been helped by Meiko’s stellar play so far this season.  

LCK

Team Dynamics ML (-170) 2u vs. HLE, Team Dynamics -1.5 Games (+175) 1u

 

I think we have enough data to say this team is legit. They are sporting an unspectacular but very solid +2.4% GSPD so far this split. In the early game, in particular, this team looks headed to the playoffs. I think Hanwa has a chance to be the worst team in the league and their stats back it up so far this split. Hanwa has given up a 2k gold lead at 15 minutes on average in the summer. I think Team Dynamics could get out early on this team and close them out twice in a row.

LEC

Schalke 04 vs. Excel Esports Under 20.5 Kills (-115) 1u

Last week, I retired from betting on all of Schalke’s teams. So, when I saw that they were a dog against what has looked like the worst team in the league so far I was a little tempted, but held off. Instead let’s play the under between these two teams. Both teams have gone under in 4 out of their first 5 matchups and have gone under 20.5 in 4 of 5 and 3 of 5 respectively. Schalke, in particular, likes to play a slow, scaling style that usually hinges on one or two late game team fights that end the game. This kind of style leans towards the under. 

Misfits -5.5 Kills vs. Vitality (-110) 1u

Misfits are in a near must win situation here. If they fall to 2-4 here with games against MAD, G2, and SK still to come in this half of the round robin, they will be in legitimate playoff danger. If you want to make the playoffs in the LEC, you have to beat Vitality. Misfits have been especially weak in the early game with a -1k Gold Differential at 15. Luckily for them, Vitality is no early game monster either with a negative GD@15 of their own. This just feels like a get right spot for Misfits and it’s rare that a team wins in Europe without covering -5.5

FNATIC -5.5 Kills vs. Rogue (-115) 1u, Rogue-FNATIC Under 21.5 Kills (-115) 1u

FNC in another “get right” spot here after an 0-2 weekend last week. We don’t need to tell you how good Fnatic are. They tried out some new picks and compositions last weekend and failed to execute on them. I would not count on that happening three times in a row to this team. Rogue is having a great split too, but FNC is not a good matchup for them. Rogue likes to play standard, solid LoL. FNC likes to play flexible, aggressive LoL. I want to see what happens when Finn or Larssen get behind early on like I expect them to do this weekend. My guess is they play cautiously and lose slowly, hence the under.

MAD vs. Origen Over 20.5 Kills (-115) 1u

Origen has not played exclusively like “borigen” this season. In their matchup against G2 particularly, they had an aggressive plan to meet G2 where they are at. MAD play like G2 lite and are the highest kill total team in the league. If Origen come in with the same plan to meet MAD’s aggression with aggression, I expect this kill total to go way over.

LCS

Team Liquid ML vs. C9 (+250) 1u

+250 is just too big of a number for the second best team in LCS against the best team in LCS for a best of 1 right? C9 draft an early game composition in every single game they play and then just massively outplay their opponents in every position on the map. What if they can’t massively outplay one time? What happens if a team can make it to a late game against them? If there’s a team in the LCS that can do that, it’s Liquid. Outside of their loss to EG, Liquid has been solid in the early game and has been their usual monsters in late game teamfights. Do I think it’s the most likely situation that Liquid survives and wins late? Probably not. Is it more likely than the 28% implied odds of the moneyline? Absolutely.

6/21 Soccer and LoL picks

6/20/2020: 11-16 for -6.75u

When you bet a lot of volume, there’s always going to be runs like this. It’s important to reflect, remain level-headed and trust in the data. The data says I suck at kill spreads. I’m going to be trying to rebuild my process for kill spreads over next week and see if I can sharpen up there. If not, going to try and avoid those going forward without huge implied edges. Outside of kill spreads, I think we’ve done too much guesswork with teams who have new players (Stares in TSM). Those are two areas of improvement for next week!

Soccer

Sheffield United 0, +0.5 goals vs. Newcastle (+105) 1u

For anyone new to soccer betting, this is called an “asian goal line” or “quarter ball line”. Your bet is split evenly between a +0 and +0.5. Essentially if Sheffield, draw or even better win, we get some type of profit. Newcastle have been awful this season, even at home. They have the worst expected goal differential in the league for a home team, but have managed to escape a lot of those games with favorable results. It has to give at some point. Sheffield have only conceded 25 goals on the season under the leadership of Chris Basham. Newcastle just don’t have the kind of players to break down a defense as stout as Sheffield’s. At worst, I expect this to end 0-0 and we win half our bet.

Chelsea team total Over 2 Goals vs. Aston Villa (-115) 1u

Despite having only a +7 differential, Chelsea have maintained a near +20 expected goal differential throughout the season. They have been wasteful at times and unlucky at other times. I would look for them to explode against Aston Villa who have the second worst expected goals against at home in the EPL. With a bigger emphasis on depth and substitutions from the COVID break, there is no comparing these teams. Chelsea could really run away with this one after the 60th minute.

Everton +1 Goal vs. Liverpool (-115) 1u

Everton have been pretty unlucky this season. You could write that sentence about every season in the history of Everton Football Club and I think it would be true. That does not make it less true this season. Despite being 12th in the table, they sit at 7th in expected goal differential and actually sport a +4.5 there instead of their actual -9. Something’s gotta give here again. They also should be at tip top motivation in a derby, with revenge of a 5-2 loss, and a chance to make Liverpool the tiniest bit nervous about their title chances. If Everton were to win or draw here, it would be the highlight of their season and what they would build on going into next year. Gimmie the toffee dogs.



LPL

Rogue Warriors vs. Suning Gaming Over 2.5 Games (+105) 1u

This series screams three games. Both teams played more three game serieses than not last season with 10 of Suning’s 16 serieses going the distance. Rogue have not won a game yet this season, but have had a tough schedule of IG and Top. They also should have taken a game off of both of those teams. Suning is nowhere near that quality. I think a play on Rogue as the underdog is also defensible, but plus money on the most likely outcome for these two teams is where the value is at.

EDG ML vs. IG (+130) 2u, EDG 2-0 (+355) 1u

I think EDG has looked really good. Not ho-hum, win against bad teams, get swept by good teams kind of good. Rather, a legitimate top 4 team in the LPL kind of good. Aodi has shown serious carry promise amongst over-aggression. Hope is a star right now. Scout is still his solid self. I’m a believer. I am not an IG believer. They are on a two game win streak against bad teams and should have lost games in both of those serieses. I don’t buy that they’re learning the meta now like Ning said in a recent interview. They looked like the same old disrespectful IG against RW and Suning. Those two teams just don’t have the solid macro play to punish them. EDG do. Hope has to be relishing the chance to play against Puff and Southwind. Bot Diff!

LCK: Pass

My odds and the implied odds of the books have been very close so far this split in LCK. I’m hoping that changes soon, but until then, taking passes.

LCS

Liquid ML vs. EG (-115) 2u

Maybe the only team I had the right read on in LCS was Liquid. They have looked fantastic. They are hovering around +10% in GSPD, a very impressive mark for even the best teams in LoL. EG is also a very solid team coming off an embarrassing loss. I don’t expect this to be a total wash. However, Svenskeren looked pretty heavily outclassed by Blaber today. Broxah has been that kind of talent so far this split after gaining comfort in LCS. Jungle feels extremely important right now. If you asked me to pick between the two junglers of these teams, it wouldn’t even be close.

FLY-C9-100T ML Parlay (+112) 1u, 100T -5.5 Kills (-115) 2u

Definitely tempting fate with a favorites parlay in LCS, but I really can not see any of these teams losing. Flyquest beat up on TSM today because TSM decided to beat themselves. You can one hundred percent count on Dignitas to beat themselves. Cloud9 doesn’t lose in NA. 100T is not as easy money as the other two, but they have played a brutal schedule so far and have looked worse than they actually are. Immortals have played some of the worst teams in the league so far and can not find a win. Ssumday will refuse to lose to this team that I believe has a real chance to go 0-18.

6/20 Major League Picks

6/19 Recap: 6-8 for -3.15u

Another solid day in LPL undone by upsets in LEC and LCS. Golden Guardians looked nothing like the team we saw last week and Mad Lions are much better than I expected them to be at this stage. I think I’m going to further scale back on those leagues until I can get a better read there. Some of the LPL teams are starting to come into clearer view, however, and I like our chances there going forward.

LPL

Dominus Esports +1.5 Games (-170) 2u vs. OMG, Dominus ML (+180) 1u


Both of these teams are terrible. Which is why +180 on either team is a must-bet. Would I give OMG something like a 55-45 edge? Sure. But a 65-35? Get out of here. Neither of these teams have showed any consistent ideas about how they want to play the game so far this season and were two of the worst K:D teams in the league in Spring. There is no clear favorite here. Take the big plus money dog.

Top Esports -1.5 Games vs. LGD (-105) 1u 

LGD is improved this split. They have won multiple games and series that I expected them to lose. They have also not faced anyone near Top’s quality yet. Top is playing like the best team in the league with an absolutely insane 2.11 K:D so far in Spring to follow up their Mid-Season Cup championship. They dropped a pretty silly game to OMG last time out. They strike me as the kind of team that will use that as motivation to improve on their performance, rather than an IG-style complacency.  I have them 2-0ing this at around 60%.

LCK: Pass

I am not in love with either of the matchups in LCK tomorrow. I just don’t know enough about Team Dynamics to handicap their games at all and the T1 -1.5 games is priced really well. Sometimes profitable handicapping is knowing when you can’t win.

LEC

Rogue ML vs. G2 (+180) 1u

G2 is in a little funk. They did not play that well today despite the dominating score line against Schalke. There were multiple occasions where individuals were getting caught out, making little misplays, and even a couple communication issues crept in. They will be fine long term, but getting Rogue at essentially 2 to 1 here is really nice. Rogue have been the best team in the league in Summer. They currently sport a huge  + 9.5% GSPD, the best tell for a team that is getting leads and using them efficiently. I think G2 could give up a lead to Rogue tomorrow with individual mistakes. If that happens, expect Rogue to close it out. 

Word of caution: There is a decent chance that G2 did not take their previous games seriously and decide to assert dominance tomorrow. I think that’s more likely next week.

LCS

TSM vs. Flyquest (-140) 1u

If you want to beat yourself, Flyquest will let you. If you want to beat up on them, Flyquest will let you. I really can’t believe this team is the second best North America has to offer. They have stats that suggest they should be a middle of the table team at best. Last season, in a split they finished second, they had a negative Gold Spent Differential. That is unheard of. The regression has to come for this team. TSM looked to have figured a couple things out tonight with Spica on an aggressive jungle and Doublelift on a signature pick. If these teams are playing at their peak, they’re not even close.

TSM-TL ML Parlay (+140) 1u

CoreJJ and Liquid seem to have left whatever issues with Doublelift they had in the past and are headed back towards dominance. 3 of the 5  players on this team were a part of the most dominant team NA has ever seen. Broxah could be seen as an upgrade from that team. Tactical looks on his way to best NA ADC in the near future. Teams of their talent level rarely lose to teams of 100T’s talent level. 100T is a team formed entirely around the top lane mega carry. There’s not a lot of those left on patch 10.12. It could be a rough season for them.

Evil Geniuses ML vs. Cloud9 (+215) 1u

This number is a little disrespectful to EG. They were one of the three teams in NA to take a game off of Cloud 9  spring split and have been utterly dominant to start the split. Their strength of schedule has been questionable, but you can only beat who is in front of you. EG has done plenty of that. They sport an unheard of +20% GSPD through three games that tops even Cloud 9. Stylistically, these teams play quite similarly and either way this should make for a great match.

6/19 Major League Picks

June has been rough for my LoL betting. There’s a few things I definitely had a bad read on and ideas I am ready to move on from. There were some bad beats too. There was also too much risk involved in week 1 games with new rosters. I will be straight up, I don’t understand the game at a high enough level to handicap with little to no statistical evidence. I’m not certain anyone does. Now, with a look at every team last weekend and a lot of mistakes made, I think we’ve got some pretty good ideas about how to attack the lines going forward.

LPL

Estar ML vs. LNG (-155) 2u, Estar -1.5 Games (+210) 1u

If this game was in the spring split, it would have been Estar -300. I genuinely believe that. Getting them at half of that implied odds is insane value here. LNG has beaten two very good teams to start the season in RNG and FPX. FPX was maybe 20% of themselves in that series however, and the RNG series had a slightly flukey feel as well. LNG also lost to Suning (who look wholly average at this point), that seems more like their level. Estar has been very similar to last year: conservative, solid League of Legends. They’ve failed to close out a couple series they probably should have won. When team’s lose close and win big, I like them for big upcoming value.

Fun Plus Phoenix ML vs. WE (-215) 2u, -1.5 Games (+145) 1u

I’m ready to admit I was wrong about Team WE. They are a good team. They will be solidly in the playoffs. This is just a bad matchup for them. They basically play like FPX lite: pick something for their mid laner to push waves in and then gank other lanes. Both teams try to win at every stage of the game with team play. Fun Plus Phoenix and Doinb are just better at that style than WE. WE despite being 3-1 only sport a 1.15 K:D ratio, meaning they’re winning some close ones. Regression to the mean time for both these teams.

LCK

DragonX ML vs. Gen. G (-130) 1u, DragonX -1.5 Games (+215) 0.5u

Dragonx looks finally ready to enter the “best team in the world” conversation. Their series against T1 looked more like a championship finals, than a week 1 best of 3. You could see multiple times in that series that Pyosik and Chovy put the team on their back and refused to lose. Particularly in game 3 when Chovy played his way out of 2 or 3 situations where an average mid laner dies 85% of the time. DragonX was the statistically superior team in the spring split and will have a bad taste in their mouth after losing twice to Gen.G at the Mid-Season Cup. Those two games gave us a little bit of pause here though, hence the smaller sizing.

LEC

G2-Origen-FNC ML Parlay (+115) 1u

G2 is coming off their worst weekend in recent memory with a get-right game with what looks like the worst team in the league. They stated in multiple interviews that they did not take prep for last week seriously. I don’t see them doing that again, so they ain’t losing. Origen is playing Excel who is another candidate for worst team in the league. Mid Laner, Special, has not looked like he belongs in the LEC so far. It will not get any easier this week against Nukeduck. I will be looking at the Origen kill spread as well if it’s under 9ish. More on Fnatic below.

Fnatic ML vs. Mad Lions (-220) 1u

 A lot of juice for one game, I know. Fnatic is just a match up nightmare for Mad Lions. Mad Lions have punched up and down by out thinking and out drafting their opponents multiple times. There’s no doing that against FNC. Their champion pools and flexibility are unmatched in the league. If Mad Lions are going to win, it’s through the bot lane. FNC is capable of winning through every lane and letting bot play weak side. In fact, it has at times been Rekkles’ strong suit. Mad Lions, also, tend to get a bit overrated because of their extremely fun playstyle. They are a blast to watch, but when you dig deep in their numbers, they often appear to be a middle of the table playoff team.

LCS

Golden Guardians ML vs. CLG (-155) 2u

I have a feeling this number is going to look ridiculous in a week or two. CLG is terrible. They only won against Immortals because they just have no idea what to do with a lead. Any competent team would have beaten CLG last weekend. Golden Guardians are not terrible. In fact, I would lock them into make playoffs at any kind of plus money. With Closer and Damonte, they have an early game centric, aggressive identity. After 2 games, they are the second best team in Early Game Rating on oracleselixir.com. CLG rank dead last in that metric. I would look for favorable numbers on First Blood and First Drake for GGS too. I’m pretty confident in a stomp here.

TSM- GGS ML Parlay (+121) 1u

I already made the case for GGS. So here it is for TSM: it is impossible to name one spot,lane, metric where Immmortals have an advantage over TSM. You might think jungle, but if Potluck plays again, I think, at best, it’s even for Immortals there. I legitimately believe this team could go 2-16, 1-17, or 0-18. Another spot to look for a 8ish kill line.








6/14 LEC and LCS

6/13 Recap: 7-7 for +0.25u

LCS and LEC remain very difficult to profit on. In best of 1s, truly anything can happen, but I do think we learned a couple things yesterday. SK and S04 should have been flipped in our preseason tiers. SK have played out two straight games as well as anyone in the league. I think there’s some opportunities incoming on them as betting markets catch up including tomorrow. In the LCS, EG is legit. I still want to see Kumo on more meta champs, but if we keep going towards tank tops, I think he’s completely serviceable. They seem to all be on the same pageto start. TSM does not seem even in the same book. There was a moment in yesterday’s game where they had 5 people grouped on the dragon for an advantageous fight and then just walked around in split directions until Jensen got an easy engage on Azir. Could have just been a bad day, could be an omen of things to come, we will see. I think I’m putting them in no-bet status for now.

 Here’s what I am betting tomorrow:

SK Gaming ML vs. MAD Lions (+225) 1u, Under 26.5 Kills (-115) 1u

Mad beat up on what looks like the worst team in the league to me, XL, yesterday. SK beat up on the other possible worst team in the league in S04. Their game 1 performances could not have been further apart. MAD were utterly dominated by G2. SK won a long, well-played game against Origen who picked up a win against G2 yesterday. Obviously, this is a small sample size, but I’ve loved what we’ve seen from SK so far. They look well coached and have a budding superstar in Crownshot. This line has moved a bit since I bet it this afternoon, but any plus money could be value on SK against MAD in a few weeks. Neither of SK’s wins covered this number, they are a very controlled team right now. 

G2-Rogue-FNC ML Parlay (-125) 1u

I think the Top 3 LEC parlay is going to be profitable again for the rest of the season. G2 and FNC just don’t lose to teams like Vitality and XL. No explanation needed there. Rogue looks to have made good use of the offseason with a much more varied approach in their first two games. They stepped to Misfits early and often yesterday something you would not have been able to say about them last split. Schalke look like a total mess. Lurox might be the worst jungler in the league now. You have to think Inspired is licking his chops at that matchup.

G2 vs. Vitality Under 28.5 (-115) 1u , FNC vs. Excel Under 26.5 (-115) 1u

These total numbers have not adjusted to this split yet. With the slower teamfight and poke style we’ve seen in LEC so far, these are tough overs. Playing the under is never the fun play, but it’s the right one here. G2 and FNC are just going to stomp these two teams and can’t get to 29 and 27 kills by themselves.



C9 vs. 100T Over 23.5 kills (-115) 1u

These were two of the higher kill total teams last split and both easily covered this number in their first game. It’s possible that C9 just easily takes 100 Thieves down, but I think 100T will be eager to put up more of a fight than they did in their first game of the season. If they keep it close in the early game, this will go over. 

C9-TL ML Parlay (-150) 1u

The only teams in NA that can beat TL and C9 are each other. They are not playing each other this week. I think we’ll be throwing them in lots of parlays this split. 

Team Liquid -5.5 kills vs. Golden Guardians (-125) 2u

2 units on a best of 1 is a lot. I just don’t see how Liquid does not cover this number vs. Golden Guardians. They are better than Golden Guardians in every lane and we saw yesterday that Broxah is back on form. CoreJJ completely took over in the first match. You have to love Team Liquid’s bot lane in this spot. GGS might have the worst bot lane in the league. I think we could see another perfect game here.

TSM-Dignitas Over 22.5 Kills, TL- GGS Over 21.5 Kills, CLG-IMT Over 22.5 Kills 1u each

These are all pretty small totals for a league with a lot of teams that are still figuring themselves out. Most of the games in LCS have gone over so far. I would expect that to continue for a week or two as the best teams get better at closing teams out. LCS has rarely been a poke comp heavy league, even when other leagues are doing it. Poke comps lean to the under.