I’d recommend checking out my Mid-Season Cup: Tier List and Futures Strategy article for a clearer understanding of the big picture angles in this tournament. It will provide more context for many of positions in this post.

I’m releasing both group days before the matches are played and will be doing a recap on the first two days in Saturday’s knockout stage article. There will likely be adjustments. Any updates based on action Thursday morning will be included in the Thursday evening edit of this post.

At the time of this writing there were no kill totals posted. I wrote this with my numbers and targets in mind and will fill in any pending wagers as the lines are released and update this post Thursday afternoon/evening. You should have all you need with what I’ve included.

Disclaimer:  I try to avoid posting stale numbers or bets I placed ahead of time but given that these lines came out a week ago and we weren’t up and running on the site yet there are a few wagers in this article that are “old.” I was also uncertain whether or not we’d have alternative markets and props for these games. I include what I’d do at the current numbers. Moving forward we should be seeing each other almost every day so this shouldn’t be an issue.

 

Consensus Odds aggregated from 5Dimes, Pinnacle, Bet365, and Bovada.

Opening Lines May 20th 4pm Eastern from 5Dimes.

Lines current as of 9pm Eastern 5/27.

 

Day Two – Friday, May 29th

Start Time: 3am Eastern

 

JD Gaming vs Gen.G

Opening: -172 / +128

Current Consensus: -165 / +129

Trends:

JD Gaming were 10-3 as favorites in the LPL this season

JD Gaming were 13-5 in game one in the LPL regular and post-season

Gen.G were not underdogs until the LCK Spring finals vs T1 where they lost

Gen.G were 12-7 in game one in the LCK this season

Record vs elite teams (top 3):

JDG: 2-2 matches (7-5 games)

Gen.G: 1-4 matches (4-10 games)

 

While Gen.G have struggled with elite competition this season it would be a disservice to them if I failed to mention that having multiple weeks of downtime only to come into the final, your first match in an empty stadium in months, is a daunting task. Being “cold” and having very little time to shake off any rust is a real effect that we’ve seen in the LCK finals with the #1 seed before. In the 2019 Summer Finals, Griffin had to sit out and watch as T1 came in riding a ton of momentum. The #1 seed has only won six finals out of the past eleven in the LCK. The #2 has won three times now. Don’t assume Gen.G is bad because they got 3-0’d by T1. With that in mind you could compare that scenario to this one. Long layoff and an elite team that was playing well coming into it albeit with both teams having extended breaks.

There has been some movement toward Gen.G in the past few days which I’d presume is just blind underdog bettors, which is understandable given the tournament format and long layoff. You can get as low as -152 for JDG at 5Dimes. That line is pretty sharp to me. I thought that people would pile on JDG given recency bias with them winning in spectacular fashion and Gen.G massively disappointing but it appears bettors thought that opener was a bit too big. I agree.

Gen.G tend to struggle adapting to curveballs or within a series if their initial game plan fails them but they have multiple weeks to prepare for this match and even with a new head coach at the helm that’s plenty of time to prepare for a short tournament like this one. Gen.G have the pound-for-pound talent to hang with the elite teams in this tournament, that’s not in question. Nobody should be favored by this much against this team.

I’ll take a small shot on the underdogs here. The number is too big for the situation and JDG aren’t a particularly “weird” team to play against meaning I doubt they’ll really surprise Gen.G in that way. Clid will also be the toughest test Kanavi has faced this season which is an underrated factor to consider coming into this matchup. The best number is +138 on Pinnacle if you have access to it.

Kill totals are yet to be posted for this game but my projections show the following. As with all of the kill totals in this post, we’ll take another look at this tomorrow and I’ll update this post. My composite combined kills per game (CKPG) which is a 75/25% regular season/playoff weighted split has this total at 21.9 kills. Odds-weighted CKPG which factors in my personal odds projection into the composite number has this at 22.31. In a projected underdog win, in this case Gen.G, my projections shows 21.65. I’ll be taking anything under 23.5 and hopefully we’ll get some 22.5 at plus money.

My Picks:

Moneyline: Gen.G +126 (0.5 units)

Kill Total: UNDER 24.5 @ -137 (0.685 units)

Kill Total: UNDER 22.5 @ +100 (0.315 units)

(5Dimes)

Live Trading Plan:

I want to see Gen.G play this very proactively. They’re more than capable of doing so but tend to be a bit over-conservative in the draft sometimes. I’ll be looking for a mid+jungle duo that can win skirmishes or maintain priority to put the pressure on Kanavi as well as at least one side lane that should be able to maintain priority or shove. If we don’t get this I’ll probably end up hedging out of this position live. Conversely, if JD Gaming put themselves behind in these aspect I’ll be wagering accordingly. Do not mischaracterize these teams. There are a lot of misconceptions about what each of these teams are.

 

 

DragonX vs Invictus Gaming

Opening: +102 / -135

Current Consensus: +105 / -133

Trends:

Invictus were 13-3 as favorites this season in the LPL

Invictus were 11-7 in game one in the LPL this season

DragonX were 1-3 as underdogs in the LCK this season

DragonX were 14-6 in game one in the LCK this season

Record vs elite teams (top 3):

Invictus: 2-3 matches (5-9 games)

DragonX:  1-4 matches (5-9 games)

 

This is one of the matches I bet when lines were posted last week for a few reasons. First, I was anticipating some sort of issue with the jungle position for Invictus as the rumors that Leyan would be leaving were picking up steam and I figured people would be looking to fade Invictus when they heard about it. Second, DragonX are a better team in pretty much every aspect. The only thing truly impressive about Invictus relative to the level they SHOULD be playing at is that their record was somehow as good as it was with how inconsistent their performance was this season.

Leyan has left Invictus so we’re getting the Ning version. Invictus played 15 games with Ning including the regular season and playoffs and went 8-7. The wins were as follows: vs TOP (2), vs LGD (1), vs RW (2), vs Vici (2), vs FPX (1). I’d say the TOP wins were good even though JackeyLove wasn’t there yet. The FunPlus win was in week one in Khan’s first match with FPX. The losses include three to FPX in the 3rd place match, two to eStar, one to Rogue Warriors, and another one in that same week one FPX match.

Overall Ning has been feast or famine. I think Invictus are slightly better when he’s in the lineup but he doesn’t fix most of the problems Invictus have been having this season. Ning is still outclassed by every jungler in this tournament to me even if he might be a tiny upgrade over Leyan. He does have the advantage of experience in international events and even has some games against junglers in this tournament under his belt. I’m slightly upgrading Invictus but not enough to move them out of the tier they’re in.

If Invictus win this game it will be because TheShy puts on a clinic against Rascal. It’s certainly within the reasonable realm of possibility but DragonX have been a better team in every other aspect this season. I also think Invictus have struggled since the halfway point of the season against good, intelligent teams that know how to game plan against them. They no longer have that unique factor they have in years past. Would it surprise me to see them get hot for this tournament? No, but I’m not counting on it, in fact I’m betting against it.

Invictus have just a single game win against an elite team in three opportunities since their 2-0 over TOP Esports on March 21st. Their record against the “good but not elite” tier below that isn’t much better. The second half has simply been treading water. Invictus were beating the mediocre teams because they have superior talent but don’t have more than a game win against an elite opponent since that TOP series going 1-8 in that window.

My composite combined kills per game (CKPG) has this total at 26.513 kills. Odds-weighted CKPG has this at 27.45. In a projected underdog win, in this case DRX,  my projections show 25.48. This is the largest gap in my projected numbers on the slate but I’d anticipate this over under being set at 26.5. I’ll be light on the under in that case given that I think DRX take this match AND the previously mentioned “tournament” factors (best-of-one, a lot at stake, pressure, overcautious, etc).

My Picks:

Moneyline: DragonX +111 (1 unit)

Kill Total: UNDER 27.5 @ -106 (0.53 units)

Kill Total: UNDER 26.5 @ +101 (0.47 units)

Live Trading Plan:

TheShy is obviously the x-factor in this matchup. If IG can get a red side counterpick that’s overwhelming I’ll likely hedge out unless the team composition heavily favors DRX.

 

 

DragonX vs Gen.G

Opening: +121 / -161

Current Consensus: +116 / -146

Trends:

Gen.G were 14-4 as favorites in the LCK this season

Gen.G were 12-7 in game one in the LCK this season

DragonX were 1-3 as underdogs in the LCK this season

DragonX were 14-6 in game one in the LCK this season

These teams split the regular season series one match each

Record vs elite teams (top 3):

Gen.G: 1-4 matches (4-10 games)

DragonX:  1-4 matches (5-9 games)

 

This is another wager I put in when these lines came out at DragonX +121. I think DragonX are a better team but even if you’re bearish on them this is a 50/50 matchup at worst and we’re getting +121? I’ll take that all day. Apparently some people felt the same way and came in on DragonX as well.

These two teams are very similar in build and style and are the two best teams in the world from a metric and statistics standpoint. DragonX are slightly more versatile and a slightly better uptempo team. I favor their players slightly more as well, primarily for playmaking intangibles but that’s personal preference. If you’re not in agreement, treat this as a 50/50 matchup. I still like DragonX at any number better than even money.

My composite combined kills per game (CKPG) has this total at 21.29 kills. Odds-weighted CKPG has this at 21.2. In a projected underdog win, in this case DRX,  my projections show 23.56. I’d expect this total to be 22.5. I’ll be passing at that number.

Gen.G had the highest first blood rate in that LCK during the regular season while DragonX had one of the lowest. I like the first blood in this spot. While it’s not a good indicator of winning it is an indicator for teams that prioritize making the action happen first like Gen.G does. They love to make the first aggressive move and sit on a lead to choke you out with it. Clid has been one of the best first blood junglers of all time with a 61.4% participation in his career with only a 4.5% victim rate.

Both teams have been excellent first tower teams but with both sides of that market laying money I’d only lean to DragonX not wager on it.

My Picks:

Moneyline: DragonX +121 (1 unit)(5Dimes, placed last week)

Prop: Gen.G first blood @ -123 (0.615 units)(5Dimes)

Live Trading Plan:

BDD and Chovy are two of the best mid laners on the planet. They’re so good in fact that they frequently manage losing matchups as if nothing is wrong. I’m looking more to the outer lanes and junglers in this series. I don’t have a lot of red flags besides the champions I personally dislike such as Lee Sin and will likely just be letting this one play out unless there is a drastic loser in the draft. Both of these teams play well early so I’d lean to whichever has the superior early game.

 

 

JD Gaming vs Invictus Gaming

Opening: -161 / +121

Current Consensus: -161 / +128

Trends:

JD Gaming were 10-3 as favorites in the LPL this season

JD Gaming were 13-5 in game one in the LPL this season

Invictus were 1-1 as underdogs in the LPL this season

Invictus were 11-7 in game one in the LPL this season

JD Gaming won the regular season meeting between the two 2-0

Record vs elite teams (top 3):

JDG: 2-2 matches (7-5 games)

Invictus: 2-3 matches (5-9 games)

 

As bearish as I am on Invictus in this tournament I’m not going to lay the JD Gaming moneyline at this number in a best of one. Zoom is one of the only top laners I trust to be able to handle TheShy but to me this matchup features the mid lane and jungle duo above all else. Kanavi has been an absolute monster this season while both Invictus junglers have left a lot to be desired. I’d give Rookie the edge over Yagao overall but not enough so to make that an advantageous matchup for Invictus. This number feels about right to me. If anything I’d lean toward Invictus given the best-of-one and long layoff but I’ll pass on the side.

My composite combined kills per game (CKPG) has this total at 27.13 kills. Odds-weighted CKPG has this at 27.5. In a projected underdog win, in this case Invictus,  my projections show 26.41. The first time these teams met game one had 33 kills and game two had 21. This total will likely be set at 27.5. If that’s the case I’ll be half weight on the under for the “tournament factor” I mentioned previously. At 26.5 I’ll pass.

I’ll also be on the JD Gaming first blood as they were one of the highest rates in the league while Invictus were under 34%.

My Picks:

Kill Total: UNDER 27.5 @ -103 (0.515 units)

Prop: JD Gaming first blood @ -123 (0.615 units)

(5Dimes)

 Live Trading Plan:

Again, TheShy could run away with a counterpick but if Invictus play this straight up I don’t particularly like their chances. If Kanavi gets one of his specialty champions (Kindred, Graves) I’ll be all over JDG live.

 

 

Invictus vs Gen.G

Opening: +102 / – 135

Current Consensus: +105 / -138

Trends:

Gen.G were 14-4 as favorites in the LCK this season

Gen.G were 12-7 in game one in the LCK this season

Invictus were ???? as underdogs this season in the LPL

Invictus were 11-7 in game one in the LPL this season

Record vs elite teams (top 3):

Gen.G: 1-4 matches (4-10 games)

Invictus: 2-3 matches (5-9 games)

 

On The Gold Card Podcast last week I discussed liking this spot for Invictus if they were going to take a game at all but the more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve disagreed with it. Gen.G may struggle to adapt to weird happenings in-game and Invictus are particularly good at inducing those types of situations, but Gen.G are also an extremely disciplined team that aren’t going to let Invictus run them around if they get ahead.

The top lane matchup looks like a severe mismatch with TheShy against Rascal but I’d argue that the jungle mismatch is an even bigger gap in favor of Gen.G. Clid has experience against Invictus in international play and understands the LPL teams better than any LCK jungler from his time spent there. I think Gen.G take this matchup down. If they look ill-prepared in their first game I’ll probably hedge out of this position but I like them as my only favorite selection on day two.

My composite combined kills per game (CKPG) has this total at 25.55 kills. Odds-weighted CKPG has this at 25.341. In a projected underdog win, in this case Invictus,  my projections show a 26.31. I’d expect this line to be a 25.5 and if it is I’ll pass. If we get a 26.5 at a good number I’ll be on the under.

Gen.G had a 75% first blood rate and a 59% first tower rate which are both about twice as high as Invictus’ rates in both.

My Picks:

Moneyline: Gen.G -123 (0.615 units)

Prop: Gen.G first tower @ -127 (0.635 units)

Prop: Gen.G first blood @ -116 (0.58 units)

Kill Total: UNDER 26.5 @ -110 (0.55 units)

Live Trading Plan:

If Gen.G end up drafting in a way that simply surrenders the early game I’ll likely move out of my position and into Invictus. Similarly, if they look poor in their first match I’ll be watching this draft even more closely. Obviously keep an eye out for counterpick matchups with TheShy.

 

 

DragonX vs JDG

Opening: +138 / -185

Current Consensus: +136 / -179

Trends:

JD Gaming were 10-3 as favorites in the LPL this season

JD Gaming were 13-5 in game one in the LPL this season

DragonX were 1-3 as underdogs in the LCK this season

DragonX were 14-6 in game one in the LCK this season

Record vs elite teams (top 3):

JDG: 2-2 matches (7-5 games)

DragonX:  1-4 matches (5-9 games)

 

This was yet another position I took immediately last week. This matchup should have JDG as slight favorites, maybe -120 or -130 range; not -180. It’s almost entirely a value play and it’s amplified by the fact that I’m bullish on DragonX in this tournament. I’ll mention again that Kanavi will be tested by the best jungle talent that he’s seen this season between Cuzz and Clid in this group and if JDG are to fall that will be the reason.

My composite combined kills per game (CKPG) has this total at 22.86 kills. Odds-weighted CKPG has this at 22.985. In a projected underdog win, in this case DragonX,  my projections show 23.66. I’d expect this total to be set at 23.5 which is just about right and I’ll pass.

It turns out, this number came in at 25.5 for the books, I like the under on that and the 24.5 to win half unit each.

My Picks:

Moneyline: DragonX +138 (1 unit)(5Dimes, last week)

Kill Total: UNDER 25.5 @ -123 (0.615 units)

Kill Total: UNDER 24.5 @ -109 (0.545 units)

Live Trading Plan:

The jungle will almost definitely be the focus in this matchup especially because Pyosik and Kanavi share similar specialty champions (Kindred, Graves, and others). If one gets a pick and the other ends up with a “vanilla” selection I’ll likely favor that side a bit depending on the rest of the draft. In all likelihood I’d expect we’ll see something like Jarvan vs Gragas or similar after a handful of jungle bans. The mid laners should be looked out for as well with picks like Leblanc. I want DragonX to put their rookies on comfort picks or playmakers. Don’t see either of these teams getting a huge draft edge because they’re both rather well-rounded and deep but we’ll see.

 

I’ll likely update this post Thursday afternoon/evening with the kill total numbers and fill in any of the “???” I used as placeholders.

See you then!

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