Saturday, February 13th Recap
Vitality vs SK Gaming (Net: 0 units)
Schalke 04 vs MAD Lions (Net: +1.21 units)
Misfits vs Astralis (Net: no action)
Excel Esports vs Fnatic (Net: -0.59 units)
Rogue vs G2 (Net: -3.69 units)
FlyQuest vs CLG (Net: no action)
Cloud 9 vs 100 Thieves (Net: +1.59 units)
Golden Guardians vs Dignitas (Net: +1.0 units)
TSM vs Liquid (Net: -4.86 units)
Immortals vs Evil Geniuses (Net: -2.38 units)
LEC Net Total: -3.17 units
LCS Net Total: -4.65 units
Daily Net Total: -7.82 units
Rough day on the rift but frankly I deserved it. I always preach about waiting for plenty of evidence before backing big favorites or fading certain teams especially in best-of-ones and especially early in the season and didn’t listen to my own advice on this one. Mostly this was games not going how I’d anticipated though. Rogue vs G2 was an epic back-and-forth so we not only missed on our unders but the side as well and then both of the biggest favorites losing the moment I back them in the LCS bit me. I feel responsible for this one. I know better. Do better for next time.
LOL Championship Series (LCS)
Week 2 – Day 3
Team Liquid -159 vs 100 Thieves +125
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -105 / under -123)
Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -127 / +5.5 @ -103
Team Kill Totals: 13.5 / 9.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over +153 / under -204)
Liquid are coming off of a rough loss to a TSM squad that had been struggling mightily so far this season and this matchup and 100 Thieves are, at least so far, a significant step up in competition. 100 Thieves had a bloody brawl against Cloud 9 but ultimately cloud soul wasn’t enough for them to overcome the raw gold and compositional advantage the Cloud 9 had. Still they looked good in the match.
This is a difficult match because it feels like you should have a strong stance regardless of which team you’re on. This is either an obvious undervaluing of Liquid based off of a loss yesterday and a price that we likely won’t see again the rest of the season or it’s a coin flip and you take the 100 Thieves. Personally I think this price is just about right. Liquid have shown way fewer holes, to me at least, in the limited film we’ve seen on them than 100 Thieves have but I’m also more than well aware that the way teams have beaten Liquid is to jump out to a lead on them which 100 Thieves have been exceptional at through one month this season.
I’m passing on a side in this one but I’d lean toward Liquid. However, I am going to take the time total over at big plus money again like I did in yesterday’s games. Both of these teams have been winning games quickly but we’ve seen almost every single matchup between the “top” teams in the LCS this season end up being slugfests and the price is just right in this case.
Time Total: OVER 33:00 @ +153 (1 unit)
Immortals +148 vs Team Solo Mid -185
Kill Total: 22.5 (over -109 / under -120)
Kill Spread: +5.5 @ -119 / -5.5 @ -110
Team Kill Totals: 8.5 / 13.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over -102 / under -128)
Both teams closed out Saturday’s card with big upset wins as underdogs but both teams have been very two-faced and inconsistent so far this season. What’s even more confusing is that I’ve pegged both of these teams as ones that would improve as the season went on and their wins have been wild. Immortals seem to only show up against the good teams while TSM have struggled with the bad teams and then completely blew out Liquid yesterday.
I’m not entirely sure if that’s just how the LCS is going to be this season with nobody truly being that much better than anyone else but I’m having a really hard time figuring out how this game is going to go so I’m just going to pass.
Evil Geniuses -294 vs Dignitas +221
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -106 / under -122)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -103 / +7.5 @ -127
Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 8.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over +113 / under -147)
Evil Geniuses had a poor performance against Immortals yesterday while Dignitas kept trucking along and picked up another win although it was against Golden Guardians who are looking like the worst team in the league (more on that later).
EG had been rolling until this point against good teams and bad. We talked yesterday about how they’re going to be a difficult favorite to trust in a best-of-one format because the aggressive way they play the game can sometimes backfire. Dignitas have also looked surprisingly competent so far. Dardoch has been his usual self delivering quality jungle performances but the real standout, to me at least, has been FakeGod who has been excellent so far this LCS season.
Rather than back the volatile EG as big favorites here, as we learned yesterday, I’m instead going to go back to the kill total over. EG have gone over in almost every single game this season and I absolutely love this over kill total here as they’re a “trade up” kind of team willing to trade kills for overall advantages. Their games are extremely bloody by design, not by variance.
Kill Total: OVER 23.5 kills @ -106 (1.59 units)
Cloud 9 -370 vs FlyQuest +268
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -111 / under -118)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -127 / +7.5 @ -103
Team Kill Totals: 17.5 / 9.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over +102 / under -133)
Cloud 9 showed yesterday that they’re more than willing to troll, run the score up, intentionally prolong games for laughs when they’re winning. Multiple times against 100 Thieves yesterday they could have won the game and instead opted to chase a meaningless kill, recall, or simply not put the foot on the gas pedal. Obviously this is going to favor overs but I do think it gives a bit of a glimpse into the mindset of that team right now. Perkz teams have always had this loosey-goosey, lackadaisical attitude early in the season and C9 seem very much to share in that identity with their new leader. It’s not always a bad thing long term. The uncanny ability to “elevate when it really matters” has been a hallmark of Perkz teams and maybe it helps them stave off burnout by playoffs or end of year World’s considerations. That said, it’s also something that can be taken advantage of. We’d frequently see G2 go a little too far off the deep end clowning around and punt games to bad teams.
FlyQuest have been competitive against the good teams this season. They lost all three matches to 100 Thieves, Liquid, and Evil Geniuses but they were competitive in all three of them. They handled TSM and CLG easily in their other two matches. They’ve also looked better and better as the season has progressed as well as a willingness to play some of the more powerful champions that I think are being underutilized by other teams like Seraphine. I think FlyQuest are a live dog here. Cloud 9 are certainly the better team but we have a few things working in FlyQuest’s favor here. First, the Fudge issue has been better but still not great and Licorice is a formidable opponent in the top lane, oh and he’s against a team that moved on from him for added motivation here. Second, Johnsun and Diamond have been lights out this season on a number of different styles and picks. Obviously Perkz has a massive edge over the young Palafox in the mid lane. Licorice, Palafox, and Diamond are all former Cloud 9 org members so they’ve got some extra motivation to prove them wrong in this match.
I don’t typically subscribe to those narratives but FlyQuest are also just a live dog in this game even if you exclude that as a factor. It’s just icing on the cake. Give me the underdogs and the over. Cloud 9 are going to fight you tooth and nail, throw themselves at you if they get behind and run the score up when they get ahead so I see this getting bloody in significantly more scenarios than not even with this high total.
Kill Total: OVER 26.5 @ -111 (1.11 units)
Kill Spread: FlyQuest +7.5 kills @ -103 (1.03 units)
Moneyline: FlyQuest +268 (0.5 units)
Golden Guardians +107 vs Counter Logic Gaming -137
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -110 / under -118)
Kill Spread: +1.5 @ -118 / -1.5 @ -111
Team Kill Totals: 11.5 / 11.5
Time Total: 34:00 (over -104 / under -125)
What an exciting way to end the weekend…
Golden Guardians have been absolutely dreadful this season. Their only win was a 48 minute clown fiesta against Immortals that took eight dragons to finally get it done. I wanted to be optimistic about this team and figured they’d be taking their lumps as they had two people essentially learning the pro game on-the-fly but they look completely lost from both ahead and behind through the Lock-In and first two weeks of the LCS.
CLG haven’t looked much better at 0-5 but they’ve at least had some substantial leads this season although they’ve managed to throw those away too.
I have absolutely no idea what to expect from these two right now. I do think CLG have looked slightly better I guess but there’s not a chance in hell I’m laying money on CLG right now and it’s not just because of their 0-5 start either.
The over kill total and over dragons are the only things that really stick out to me here. If you have access to a book that does alternate kill spreads you could create a synthetic line by taking both sides of the minus spreads. Take Golden Guardians -3.5 and at a range of -3.5 to -6.5 at a book such as Pinnacle and create a synthetic “team wins by 3.5 or more” to scrape pennies. For example: GGS -3.5 @ +125 AND CLG -3.5 @ +106 you guarantee a minimum of that 6 cents if it doesn’t land between the 3’s. This isn’t for everyone but I just thought I’d mention it as an option.
Why did they make this the last game of the weekend?
Kill Total: OVER 24.5 @ -110 (1.1 units)
Prop: OVER 4.5 dragons slain @ -189 (1.89 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.
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(all lines from Nitrogen unless noted otherwise)