Thursday, June 17th Recap
I’ll be recapping Thursday’s matches as I get to them, had to shift podcast recording to tonight so these will be delayed. Here are the results though.
FunPlus Phoenix vs LNG Esports (Net: -3.36 units)
ThunderTalk vs TOP Esports (Net: -3.3 units)
T1 vs Fredit Brion (Net: +1.0 units)
Afreeca vs DAMWON Kia Gaming (Net: -3.75 units)
Daily Net Total: -9.41 units
Another rough one. This has now been my worst two week stretch since 2019. Never feels good but keeping at it, trust and adjust.
LPL Summer 2021
Week Two – Day Five
Royal Never Give Up -3333 (-1.5 maps @ -312)
OMG +973 (+1.5 maps @ +228, -1.5 @ +2600)
Map Moneyline: RNG -1111 / OMG +598
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -108 / under -120)
Kill Spread: -9.5 @ -122 / +9.5 @ -105
Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 6.5
Time Total: 29:00 (over +104 / under -135)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: -573 / +378 (map), -1805 / +758 (series), -239 / +181 (-1.5 / +1.5 maps)
Model Suggested Play: OMG +1.5 maps (or map moneyline)
RNG – Xiaohu, Wei, Cryin, GALA, Ming
OMG – New, AKi, Creme, Able, COLD
RNG will be playing their first game here (schedule discussion a different time). The only case I can see for OMG here based on what we’ve seen from them is if you think RNG are going to be sluggish or shaking rust off with the extended time off. The thing is, with a week and a half to watch the rest of the league play out you’d think they have a reasonably good read on the metagame even if we haven’t seen them implement it on the stage yet. We discussed on The Gold Card Podcast today that part of the reason the dogs have been barking to open the season is because this is just a volatile metagame and it’s tough to really have a firm grasp on it with so many flexible power picks and volatile melee lanes.
The play here is to just hold your nose and take OMG for whatever stake you can stomach. This team did just beat Invictus and while that may have been a variance or lightning striking twice situation they still had to actually do it. There’s a very real chance that RNG just aren’t well equipped for this metagame and OMG are playing about as well as I think we’ll probably see them play all season.
Map Spread: OMG +1.5 maps @ +229 (1 unit)
Moneyline: OMG +973 (0.25 units)
Map Spread: OMG -1.5 maps @ +2600 (0.1 units)
UltraPrime +319 (+1.5 maps @ -109, -1.5 maps @ +798)
Suning Gaming -455 (-1.5 maps @ -116, +1.5 maps @ -2000)
Map Moneyline: UP +234 / SN -323
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -118 / under -110)
Kill Spread: +8.5 @ -111 / -8.5 @ -116
Team Kill Totals: 7.5 / 15.5
Time Total: 29:00 (over -132 / under +101)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: +180 / -240 (map), +259 / -355 (series), +106 / -135 (+1.5 / -1.5 maps)
Model Suggested Play: UP +1.5 maps
SN – Bin, SofM, Angel, Huanfeng, ON
UP – Zs, H4cker, Irma, Smlz, ShiauC
UltraPrime have been a weird team. After a great opening series where they looked confident and decisive in taking FPX to three competitive games, they fell 0-2 to LGD and dropped a game to Rogue Warriors. This team has some attitude and I think they’ll be capable of taking games from time to time but it’s a matter of figuring out when.
Suning had two difficult matchups to open the season in Invictus and Team WE, both of which were 1-2 losses. This team is in a weird spot. On one hand Bin and Angel should thrive in a metagame like this but SofM is more of an unknown. It could very well be a great way to enable his creative side but part of what has made SofM so good over the past 18 months is his consistently world class efficiency numbers. He was able to get a leg up in a metagame that was all about that, this one is less so.
Suning should win this but I think there’s a strong chance they drop a game in the process. I’m not as bearish on UltraPrime as my colleagues I think this team has some talent and they’re competent enough that they’ll be getting a play from me here. Of course, there’s a chance that Suning just completely destroy them with the step down in competition but any team that can challenge FPX I’ll pay attention to as an underdog.
Map Spread: UltraPrime +1.5 maps @ -109 (1.09 units)
Moneyline: UltraPrime +319 (0.25 units)
Map Spread: UltraPrime -1.5 maps @ +798 (0.1 units)
LCK Summer 2021
Week Two – Day Three
Hanwha Life Esports -278 (-1.5 maps @ +125, +1.5 @ -909)
Liiv Sandbox +207 (+1.5 maps @ -161, -1.5 @ +535)
Map Moneyline: HLE -200 / LSB +154
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -112 / under -115)
Kill Spread: -4.5 @ -123 / +4.5 @ -105
Team Kill Totals: 13.5 / 9.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over +122 / under -159)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: -200 / +154 (map), -271 / +202 (series), +129 / -167 (-1.5 / +1.5 maps)
Model Suggested Play: none
Sandbox left off the Spring season finally realizing the performance they’d been putting forth all season and transforming it into wins instead of bizarre losses. They haven’t maintained that momentum so far in the Summer split. They’ve dropped to Brion (0-2) and Nongshim (1-2) so far. It’s not a great look but as we’ve discussed quite a bit already both of those teams have looked a lot better this season in general and I don’t think Sandbox looked bad in either of their opening series. Don’t overreact to the results so far.
Hanwha had two brutal matchups to start the season facing T1 and Gen.G both of which were 0-2 losses. Maybe one of these games was competitive but the rest weren’t really close. I wouldn’t rule out seeing Arthur back in at jungle as I think this is going to be a carousel again this season until someone settles in but just in general I think you need to treat Hanwha as a volatile favorite in a similar vein as Evil Geniuses in the LCS. You don’t really want to be backing this team as large favorites to sweep. The moneyline is slightly more appealing but often not a good enough value. This puts them in betting no-man’s land.
This should be a competitive series though. Both of these teams are going to want a win to get off the schneid and both finished the Spring split in good form. In fact, I’d argue they were the two best non-elite teams in the LCK. This was a competitive series then albeit in a very different metagame.
I’m going to back the underdogs here despite the model making this line directly on market (more or less). Not only are Hanwha a volatile team stylistically, but Sandbox, and underdogs in general in the LCK, have been competitive this season. The bottom half of the table has leveled up quite a bit overall. Then there’s all of the stuff I’ve been repeating ad nauseam regarding the patch and early season. You really have to like a favorite right now.
Map Spread: Sandbox +1.5 maps @ -159 (1.59 units)
Moneyline: Sandbox +207 (0.5 units)
Map Spread: Sandbox -1.5 maps @ +535 (0.25 units)
Gen.G -500 (-1.5 maps @ -120, +1.5 @ -2000)
Nongshim RedForce +338 (+1.5 maps @ -105, -1.5 @ +856)
Map Moneyline: GEG -312 / NS +231
Kill Total: 21.5 (over -118 / under -110)
Kill Spread: -6.5 @ -123 / +6.5 @ -105
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 7.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -112 / under -115)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: -320 / +236 (map), -586 / +382 (series), -129 / +103 (-1.5 / +1.5 maps)
Model Suggested Play: none
Gen.G have looked really good so far this split and as I mentioned on the podcast this week, while I don’t think this meta is good for them specifically because of champion pools or picks, it is great for the decisiveness they show in drafts committing to one strategy hard which is what I think you want to be doing, particularly in this kind of metagame. That said, there is some concern for their reliance on Azir specifically but when you’ve got BDD it’s tough to argue against letting him play it.
Nongshim have looked much better with Gori and Peanut working well as a unit. They’ve done a great job maintaining lane priority and being first to neutral objective skirmishes and to maintain vision on the map. I don’t want to get too excited about Nongshim though. Their late game decision making still leaves some questions. I’m not exactly “to the moon” with this team. I don’t think they’ll be making any real noise in the playoffs against the elite teams despite the obvious improvements.
So the question becomes are they worth backing here. I think so… yea I know all four dogs Friday morning but … well I sound like a broken record at this point regarding the current state of the game.
Specifically in the LCK, underdogs have been very good against the map spread covering in 10 out of 14 matches so far as well as covering the kill spread in 9 out of 14 game ones. Trends aren’t always something to point to for specific game bets but big picture macro trends even over this short sample are worth paying attention to. It matches the optics as well, the bottom half have looked much improved over Spring split and the LCK looks a lot more competitive top-to-bottom already.
Gori and Peanut can take over at least one of these games and we all know Gen.G are no strangers to weird “off” series even though we haven’t seen one yet this season.
A quick note on the kill total… 21.5 is very low even for the LCK but for what it’s worth, the model actually likes the under even still in it’s projections albeit with a limited sample of the current patch. I’d lean to the over but I’m going to wait another week for derivative markets as the model performed significantly better after a couple of weeks of data.
Map Spread: Nongshim +1.5 maps @ -105 (1.05 units)
Moneyline: Nongshim +338 (0.5 units)
Map Spread: Nongshim -1.5 maps @ +856 (0.25 units)
LEC Summer 2021
Week Two – Day One
Week one was a bit of a strange one. You don’t always want to take too much away from a single week of games but this was over 16% of the season and there were some oddities.
- Underdogs covered the kill spread in 13 out of 15 games (Avg spread: +5.7 kills)
- 10 out of 15 games went under the kill total (Avg total: 26.37 kills)
- 10 out of 15 games went under the time total (Avg total: 32.0 minutes)
- Favorites covered their team total in just 4 out of 15 games
Clearly the dogs were barking in the LEC and that’s not really a news flash for anybody that watched but the degree to which the favorites underperformed I think is worth monitoring moving forward even if it doesn’t directly impact handicaps for this week.
SK Gaming +147 vs Schalke 04 -189
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -116 / under -111)
Kill Spread: +4.5 @ -111 / -4.5 @ -122
Team Kill Totals: 10.5 / 13.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -144 / under +108)(Pinnacle)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: +136 / -173
Model Suggested Play: none
This is just about on market to me. SK looked surprisingly good with Twohoyrz impressing in his surprise substitute debut. There’s a chance Blue returning gives a bump to SK Gaming but I think Schalke are a more talented roster top-to-bottom. I put them a full tier ahead of SK in my pre-season tier list and one week doesn’t really change that. A little fun stat though, SK Gaming had a +964 gold differential at 15 minutes in week one despite a -205 gold differential per minute and a 1634 gold per minute as a team. That’s abysmal…
While this metagame is volatile (tired of hearing this yet?) I also think it helps players like Brokenblade who can really abuse opponents on carry top laners like Gwen and Akali. I think Schalke win but I won’t have a position in this one.
I don’t usually like derivatives this early on but unders have been universally winning across the world thus far on this patch and in the LEC the totals have come down a little but not enough to compensate adequately in my opinion. I won’t be playing them all this week but this one I do like.
Kill Total: UNDER 24.5 @ -111 (1.11 units)
MAD Lions -417 vs Excel Esports +291
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -114 / under -114)
Kill Spread: -6.5 @ -120 / +6.5 @ -112
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 8.5
Time Total: 31:00 (over +116 / under -155) (Pinnacle)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: -634 / +403
Model Suggested Play: MAD moneyline
I don’t want to overreact to a rough look in week one but it was not a good look for Excel. I’m just going to keep it simple with that for the time being. They just looked sluggish. This team should be better than that. I’m not saying they’re going to blow anybody’s mind here but expect better. MAD Lions looked good even in the G2 loss. The hangover doesn’t appear to be kicking in for them. It certainly helps that this meta is outstanding for them both individually and stylistically.
I very rarely bet favorites to cover the kill spread but I think this is a short number for how much better a team MAD Lions are and they’re typically very good against the kill spread due to high scoring affairs. Excel don’t give a lot up in losses but that’s why this number is short. I still think MAD blast them here.
Kill Spread: MAD Lions -6.5 kills @ -120 (2.4 units)
Rogue -227 vs Misfits Gaming +173
Kill Total: 25.5 (over -103 / under -125)
Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -120 / +5.5 @ -112
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 10.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over +108 / under -144)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: -175 / +136
Model Suggested Play: Misfits moneyline
These are two of the teams I’m most bullish on this season. I expected an improvement for Misfits and the metagame is a great fit for their players but I didn’t expect that kind of performances we got from them. Misfits making intelligent late game plays? Patience? Appropriately deploying defenses to scale up? Wow this team has grown a lot. Could very well look like a bunch of rookies again this week but I’m cautiously optimistic.
Rogue managed to steal one that they probably shouldn’t have won against Vitality while down more than 6300 gold. The Fnatic game honestly could have gone either way for the majority of it despite the short timer but it was just completely blown open off of a great baron play by Fnatic.
I think there’s a reasonable chance that the LEC becomes an “elite four” similar to the LCK last season and that these two will be included in it. I’m just about the most bullish Rogue backer that there is and I think this number is disrespecting the progression of Misfits just a little too much.
Moneyline: Misfits +173 (1 unit)
Fnatic -130 vs Team Vitality +102
Kill Total: 28.5 (over -106 / under -122)
Kill Spread: -2.5 @ -114 / +2.5 @ -119
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 12.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over +118 / under -157)(Pinnacle)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: -163 / +127
Model Suggested Play: Fnatic moneyline
We talked quite a bit about this matchup on the podcast this afternoon. The model likes Fnatic primarily based on priors but in general this is a high variance matchup and I’ll just be sitting on the sidelines. I like the new looks for both of these teams but there’s just too many moving parts for me to make any kind of decisive call that I can justify.
G2 Esports -500 vs Astralis +337
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -116 / under -112)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -128 / +7.5 @ -105
Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 9.5
Time Total: 31:00 (over +115 / under -154)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: -411 / +288
Model Suggested Play: none
This looks like a sweet spot to take Astralis based on the projected line vs the actual but keep in mind diminishing returns the further we get from zero in American odds. I’ll cover this another time for those that don’t know.
Generally I think Astralis looked pretty good last week. They know who they are and I actually like how aggressively they’ll counterpick in the draft even if it’s with a “non-meta” champion like Trundle. If the spot is good for it, then do it. I like it a lot. That said, doesn’t it feel natural to want to fade a team like this coming off a winning week? I know for me it does. G2 looked tremendous against MAD Lions and while they may have fallen back down to earth against their apparent arch nemesis in Schalke, (seriously why can’t they beat this team…), they still looked much better overall.
This is a very VERY short kill spread number given the moneyline and the high total we’re getting here so I’m going to opt to take G2 -7.5. Another favorite kill spread… what could go wrong.
Kill Spread: G2- 7.5 kills @ -128 (1.28 units)
LCS Summer 2021
Week Three – Day One
Cloud 9 -323 vs Evil Geniuses +235
Kill Total: 25.5 (over -106 / under -122)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -111 / +7.5 @ -116
Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 8.5
Time Total: 31:00 (over -143 / under +110)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: -172 / +133
Model Suggested Play: Evil Geniuses moneyline
This is the classic Evil Geniuses situatoin. They have a bizarre weekend with a wild upset win and a head scratching loss to a team they should beat as moderate favorites.
This is the Evil Geniuses way….
I know it’s anecdotal and there is no real “science” to this but they are just a naturally volatile team. They take a lot of risks and with that comes great potential for both losses and greatness.
Cloud 9 got back on track but this number is simply too big in this volatile metagame and they’re still integrating a new player who will only be in his second week of LCS play. Even last season, with Cloud 9 dominating as much as they did this would have been a disrepsectful number. It’s the single largest edge on the market that my model found in all four leagues tomorrow. Hold your nose and back EG, they’ll win this one and lose to CLG or something stupid like that. If you’re not that squeamish then take the +7.5 kills, EG are 9-4 against the kill spread as underdogs (avg +4.0)
Moneyline: Evil Geniuses +235 (1 unit)
FlyQuest +276 vs Team Liquid -385
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -105 / under -123)
Kill Spread: +6.5 @ -103 / -6.5 @ -127
Team Kill Totals: 8.5 / 14.5
Time Total: 31:00 (over -122 / under -106)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: -599 / +393
Model Suggested Play: Liquid moneyline
You know I’m not a believer in this FlyQuest team whatsoever. Neither is the model but given the volatility in the metagame and the fact that Team Liquid have just looked “off” as a team despite some great performances from Jenkins in his debut is enough reasonable doubt for me to want to get some FlyQuest here in some way, shape, or form.
First tower at +202 or first herald at +153 seem very nice to me. Liquid aren’t so ridiculously dominant early game to deserve these kinds of numbers even against a team that’s been abysmal in the firsts. All it takes is a trade. Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of a best-of-three over which to play this plus money position out and I don’t want to flip a coin on a trade when it’s certainly possible that FlyQuest just get choked out of this game in lane.
Brutal, I really want to take some FlyQuest in this spot but I’ll just pass. The kill spread isn’t enough and I’d need a better moneyline to really justify a position. I’ll update this post if I add a play here. Maybe the under…. I’m going to see where this market goes.
Immortals +172 vs Team Solo Mid -227
Kill Total: 22.5 (over -122 / under -106)
Kill Spread: +5.5 @ -110 / -5.5 @ -118
Team Kill Totals: 8.5 / 13.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over +126 / under -164)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: +111 / -143
Model Suggested Play: Immortals moneyline
This was the model’s second favorite play in the LCS on Friday. I think both of these teams are on a positive trajectory and while I think TSM are a better team that is in pretty good form, Immortals are also playing very well. Combined with the current volatile metagame and I think it makes a ton of sense to back the dogs here. I feel like Immortals are consistently undervalued by the market. I don’t think this team is winning the split or anything like that but they’re almost always underpriced and their in-game performance doesn’t warrant the disrespect they get. And I say that as a TSM bull…
I also like the time total over at plus money here. I haven’t played a lot of derivative markets yet in any of the leagues this season but for a matchup that I think should be competitive and two teams that are no strangers to taking their time I like the over despite the metagame bringing the unders quite a bit so far.
Moneyline: Immortals +172 (1 unit)
Time Total: OVER 32:00 @ +126 (1 unit)
Dignitas -270 vs Golden Guardians +201
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -104 / under -125)
Kill Spread: -6.5 @ -108 / +6.5 @ -120
Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 9.5
Time Total: 31:00 (over -133 / under +102)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: -187 / +144
Model Suggested Play: Golden Guardians moneyline
I’m still looking for any reasons to fade Golden Guardians at reasonable numbers. They’re improved but not enough to really knock me off of my position on them. Over time they could work out of it but for now I’m not buying it. Solo has clearly made a difference I just don’t think he and Ablazeolive can keep getting good matchups on champions they’re good at and drag the rest of this team to the finish line. Maybe I’m wrong though. Either way this is too expensive for Dignitas. They should win this handedly and if I had to take a position it’d be the -6.5 kills but I’ll be passing this one.
100 Thieves -370 vs Counter Logic Gaming +268
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -109 / under -119)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -114 / +7.5 @ -114
Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 8.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -135 / under +103)
Eco/Obj Model Projected Line: -465 / +324
Model Suggested Play: none (very light edge 100T)
I mentioned it in the recap on Monday but you gotta feel for Broxah. Dude puts it all out there, is dead honest while keeping his cool in interviews and is exactly the kind of player I want on my team. Seems like an incredible locker room presence and person to be around.
That in mind… CLG have all sorts of stuff going on. Speculation of internal turmoil, disjointed play on the stage, and just to put the icing on the cake, they finally had what was looking like a good game and they punted it on Sunday. Just a heartbreaker. I was optimistic about this team coming into the season finally having their roster together but you can tell something just isn’t right at the moment.
All of that is speculatory however. 100 Thieves’ surge is not. They look like one of, if not they best team in the LCS right now and Abbedagge has made an immediate and massive impact on just about everything involving this team. They can play everything now! They’re versatile in draft, his incredibly potent on a few of the current power picks… it’s all coming up roses for 100 Thieves. I have very few, small issues with what I’ve seen so far from this squad.
I think 100 Thieves smash here but again, it’s just too easy to randomly lose games in draft to multiple power picks or to one of those picks themselves like Akali or Gwen just completely taking over a game. The correct play is probably to take the CLG kill spread but I’d expect more for this number than we’re getting so I’ll be passing altogether in this one.
I believe in accountability. For years I’ve tracked all of my picks publicly. 2021’s selections will be via this spreadsheet but it isn’t updated until AFTER the games have started. The Esports Department subscribers get the first look.
Check out The Gold Card Podcast and can find me on Twitter @GelatiLOL
(all lines from Nitrogen unless noted otherwise)