Friday, February 12th Recap
Schalke 04 vs Astralis (Net: no action)
Excel vs Vitality (Net: -1.04 units)
SK Gaming vs Fnatic (Net: +1.0 units)
Rogue vs MAD Lions (Net: +1.0 units)
G2 Esports vs Misfits (Net: -1.15 units)
100 Thieves vs FlyQuest (Net: +2.01 units)
CLG vs Liquid (Net: no action)
Evil Geniuses vs Cloud 9 (Net: +0.2 units)
TSM vs Golden Guardians (Net: +0.5 units)
Immortals vs Dignitas (Net: -1.0 unit)
LEC Net Total: -0.19 units
LCS Net Total: +1.71 units
Daily Net Total: +1.52 units
LOL European Championship (LEC)
Week 4 – Day 2
SK Gaming -139 vs Team Vitality +107
Kill Total: 22.5 (over -122 / under -108)
Kill Spread: -0.5 @ -120 / +0.5 @ -109
Team Kill Totals: 11.5 / 11.5
Time Total: 34:00 (over -123 / under -105)
I was as excited about the Crownshot acquisition as everyone else but I had my questions about whether it would work right away. Vitality had yet another game blown by questionable decision making in the mid game. Admittedly, Excel have … excelled at this so far this season despite giving up leads early. They’ve been the “slow and steady wins the race” team akin to DRX. More on them later.
SK Gaming got absolutely destroyed by Fnatic. Riven vs Vlad top… what is this 2014 solo queue? Fnatic are very good, I’m not sure how much to hold this loss against SK when I laid -263 on Fnatic yesterday. SK Gaming have beaten the other bottom half teams in 3 out of 4 matches this season (only loss to Excel). They’ve absolutely been better than I thought they’d be but I’m still not particularly excited about this team.
In short I think these two teams are roughly even despite the difference in records. I’ll take a shot on Vitality here. Crownshot against his old team revenge angle is an added bonus. I also like the under time total.
Time Total: UNDER 34:00 @ -105 (1.05 units)
Moneyline: Vitality +107 (1 unit)
(if you can get a better price than what I found on the alternate kill spreads consider Vitality -3.5 for +125 or something better than that if you can find it)
Misfits -172 vs Astralis +134
Kill Total: 25.5 (over -115 / under -114)
Kill Spread: -4.5 @ -123 / +4.5 @ -105
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 10.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over -161 / under +123)
Two teams that looked improved yesterday.
I know that sounds a little weird considering the beating G2 laid on Misfits but they showed me more good things in that game than even their wins this season. Punching back, finding their windows, keeping up the aggression knowing they don’t win that game late.
Astralis looked significantly better against Schalke yesterday but I wanted to make a quick side note that. A saw a lot of people across social media essentially pointing to MagiFelix being the difference since they finally looked decent as a team in what happened to be his first game. Perhaps he brings a different element but this was BY FAR the best overall team game that Astralis has played so far this season and I don’t think we should draw a direct correlation based on one game. Is it possible? Certainly but don’t draw conclusions from one game samples.
I’d actually lean toward Astralis but I won’t have a side in this contest. Misfits have only shown me one “good” performance from a deficit and it’s fairly easy to dig themselves a hole with the reckless aggression with which they play. I also don’t want to jump to any conclusions about Astralis looking much better yesterday based on one game. Don’t have a good feel for how this one will play out so I’m just passing altogether.
Schalke 04 -175 vs MAD Lions +136
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -122 / under -106)
Kill Spread: -4.5 @ -120 / +4.5 @ -109
Team Kill Totals: 13.5 / 9.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -159 / under +121)
Schalke had a rough game yesterday but otherwise have looked very good this season and I’d consider them in the “best of the rest” tier below Fnatic, G2, and Rogue. We somewhat know this team by now. They’re going to have performances like this once in awhile but they’ve mostly been very good this season.
MAD Lions on the other hand… Carzzy and Kaiser were so good in 2020 that it’s honestly tough to watch how they’ve played this season. They’ve always been an aggressive lane both in their willingness to counterpick as well as their play but they’ve been way WAY too overaggressive this season and other teams are punishing it. Yesterday they lost flash in a bad trade with the wave in a terrible place, Elyoya took the time out of his path to help them get the wave reset, and immediately after he leaves they take a losing trade anyway. If I’m Elyoya I’m screaming at them right for that. Now you could look at this like “this doesn’t get better for them” but in a lot of cases it’s the sort of deficit that’s manageable. They just refuse to lose a lane gracefully and if other teams are keen on that then MAD are going to have to make some adjustments ASAP or this is going to keep happening. Props to Elyoya, he’s been bailing his teammates out of more than just this situation this season.
The numbers think MAD are a value here but I want no part of this team until they show me they can fix this bottom lane issue. It doesn’t seem to matter who it’s against either. This is a fair price to me so I’ll pass on the side. MAD have been winning and losing very quickly but Schalke have had some weird games where they’ve struggled to close this season as well. This price is just too good though. I want a piece of this under time total.
Time Total: UNDER 32:00 @ +121 (1 unit)
Fnatic -270 vs Excel +201
Kill Total: 29.5 (over -108 / under -122)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -118 / +7.5 @ -111
Team Kill Totals: 17.5 / 10.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over +121 / under -159)
Excel are doing their best DRX impression, “slow and steady wins the race” but if you’re going to give up early leads, Fnatic are one of the last teams you want to see on the other side of the rift. This handicap is rather simple; this is a stylistic nightmare for Excel. We’ve seen Fnatic punt games here or there but they’ve completely smashed every game they’ve been ahead in this season in short order. I anticipate we’ll see another one just like yesterday’s performance here.
Time Total: UNDER 33:00 @ -159 (1.59 units)
Moneyline: Fnatic -270 (2.7 units)
G2 Esports -145 vs Rogue +115
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -119 / under -110)
Kill Spread: -3.5 @ -120 / +3.5 @ -109
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 11.5
Time Total: 34:00 (over +129 / under -169)
Doesn’t this feel like Summer all over again? People simply refuse to believe that this Rogue team is good and I haven’t the slightest idea why. They have one of the best kill agnostic economies in the world (any league), far better than G2’s by the way, triple the pre-20 differentials, and a lot more numbers I could flash and point to on top of these. Odoamne and Trymbi have also made a seamless transitions into this lineup. I’m not exactly sure what else this team needs to do besides win a split to prove to people that they’re legitimate but I guess they’ll have to do that. Don’t even get me started on the mischaracterizations by the broadcast…
G2 have also looked incredibly dominant this season. The Rekkles addition has also been a seamless one and adds a level consistency and depth to this team that’s hard to really quantify. I’d expect them to improve as it goes as well.
This is a battle between two of the three juggernauts in the LEC. G2 and Fnatic have the pedigree but Rogue have absolutely been the best team in this league this season without question to me. This is a 50/50 contest to me. I’ll take the plus money underdog and the unders.
Moneyline: Rogue +115 (1 unit)
Time Total: UNDER 34:00 @ -169 (1.69 units)
Kill Total: UNDER 26.5 @ -110 (1.1 units)
LOL Championship Series (LCS)
Week 2 – Day 2
Just to reiterate, my LCS evaluation is primarily art over science this early on in the season. It’s a lot more instinct and film review than statistics given the small sample size we’re still dealing with even with Lock-In. For that reason a lot of these writeups are going to be fairly short as we’re collecting data points and film on these teams to find out who they really are.
Counter Logic Gaming +155 vs FlyQuest -190
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -118 / under -112)
Kill Spread: +4.5 @ -106 / -4.5 @ -125
Team Kill Totals: 10.5 / 13.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over -143 / under +107)
FlyQuest got completely rolled yesterday by 100 Thieves but as we’ve discussed from the 100 Thieves side of the coin, that’s just the nature of how that team plays. Games are going to be lopsided one way or the other. Overall FlyQuest have improved but they’re still a team with a lot of question marks for me so I’m still waiting for them to settle into who they are.
CLG got rolled by Liquid yesterday so it’s tough to gauge their improvement as well.
CLG is probably the side in this one. As bad as CLG have looked I’m not entirely sure FlyQuest should be laying this much juice to anybody. I have absolutely no read for how this game is going to play out. I’d lean toward the plus money under as there’s a reasonable chance we see a lopsided snowball on one side or the other but I’m just going to pass this one.
100 Thieves +121 vs Cloud 9 -148
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -123 / under -108)
Kill Spread: +3.5 @ -104 / -3.5 @ -127
Team Kill Totals: 10.5 / 13.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over +159 / under -217)
We talked a reasonable amount about this one on the podcast this week. The TL:DR is these two are fairly evenly matched at least in current form and you should just take the plus money on a coin flip scenario like that. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Cloud 9 end up the better team but currently I think 100 Thieves are about as good or better than Cloud 9 especially as they’re still figuring out the Fudge situation in the top lane and Ssumday could potentially eat here.
Shop around for this one as not all of the books seem to agree. If you like Cloud 9 you can find them cheap.
The time total under seems “obvious” given how these two play but sometimes when you clash early and often games can stall out. I make this going over 33:00 in more than 40% of games between these two which presents a small value on the over given the price. Decent chance for a slobberknocker here.
Time Total: OVER 33:00 @ +159 (1 unit)
Dignitas -126 vs Golden Guardians +104
Kill Total: 22.5 (over -120 / under -110)
Kill Spread: -2.5 @ -118 / +2.5 @ -112
Team Kill Totals: 12.5 / 10.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over -121 / under -109)
Dignitas actually looked pretty good against Immortals yesterday handing them about as clinical a victory as you could ask for. Golden Guardians built up a massive 3000+ gold advantage in the first fifteen minutes only to slowly throw it all away despite having a superior scaling composition against TSM. This was not a good look for Golden Guardians at all and they continue to make questionable macro decisions as they’re taking their lumps with a young squad learning the pro-level game.
I never thought in a million years that I’d be laying money with Dignitas but I actually think that’s the play in this spot as weird as that sounds. Neither of these teams have been particularly good but Dignitas played their best game of the season yesterday and Golden Guardians have largely remained at about expectation. Specifically FakeGod has been having an excellent split, maybe the best start of his career and given the current “abuse Niles” strategy most teams are employing this actually seems like a weird matchup for Golden Guardians to manage at the moment.
It’s gross but Dig are the play here.
Moneyline: Dignitas -126 (1.26 units)
Team Liquid -357 vs Team Solo Mid +276
Kill Total: 22.5 (over -105 / under -126)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -114 / +7.5 @ -116
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 7.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -102 / under -129)
This is an extremely cheap price for Liquid given current performance levels for these teams and we’re only getting it because TSM pulled a rabbit out of a hat to win yesterday to claw back some semblence of respect. I do think TSM are likely to progress and improve more as the season goes along but with Liquid in their current form this is about as good a price as you’re ever going to get with these teams.
I don’t like playing kill spreads with Liquid as they tend to be a lower kill, lower total, win by any means type of team. They’ve been pretty poor against the spread since the year started and laying a big number there doesn’t make sense to me, I’d rather just take the moneyline.
Moneyline: Liquid -357 (3.57 units)
Time Total: UNDER 32:00 @ -129 (1.29 units)
Evil Geniuses -264 vs Immortals +210
Kill Total: 25.5 (over -106 / under -125)
Kill Spread: -8.5 @ -103 / +8.5 @ -128
Team Kill Totals: 18.5 / 7.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over +101 / under -134)
Immortals might not be as good as I thought although it’s still quite early. They’ve had a few games get away from them this season. Evil Geniuses, on the other hand, have been firing on all cylinders including a dominant win against Cloud 9 yesterday. Their only loss is to 100 Thieves. EG appear to be one of the class teams in the LCS at least right now and they’ve been doing it in style a la old G2 or current Fnatic with whopping kill totals in their wins. It feels a little weird to slam this over as I tend to be one that backs regression to a mean but EG are averaging 21 kills a game on their own right now. Even if we dial that back to a more realistic number this isn’t a difficult total to hit. They’ve full-on embraced this identity and I think we’re significantly more likely to see high kill bloodbaths than methodical wins from them. That said, 8.5 is a fairly big spread number even with a higher total here. Immortals team total over looks like a decent play to me but I’m just going to stick with the moneyline and the over.
Kill Total: OVER 25.5 @ -106 (1.06 units)
Moneyline: Evil Geniuses -264 (1.32 units)
I’m adding a Worlds future position on FPX while the number is still good. It’s extremely early in the year for these but I don’t see any real way the FPX end up at a better price than this as the year goes on. They’ve been the best team in the LPL and just looking at their underlying metrics and the fact that I think this team will get better before they get worse as Nuguri gets integrated I think it’s worth having a position on them.
As always, you can find all of my futures positions on the ‘Futures Portfolio’ tab on the spreadsheet linked below.
To Win Worlds 2021: FunPlus Phoenix +2000 (3 units)
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)