Thursday, February 28, 2019

Betting: March 1st (LCK, LPL, LEC)

Working on getting integrated and up on iTunes, Stitcher, etc should be up within the next week, potentially tomorrow but you get yours anyway.

It's also on John George's YouTube

LCK Spring 2019 W6D2:

I have a lot of respect for Hanwha Life and think they'll be competing for a playoff spot but to me Kingzone look like the third best team in the LCK and I'd say they're at least a tier better. Kingzone look good right now and I think this line is a bit of an overreaction to Hanwha 2-0'ing Kingzone two weeks ago. They have the better lineup and metrics for sure. This is more of a film study plus momentum bet. Hanwha are a solid team fighting team but they have a lot of difficulty transitioning into the mid game and in the current meta that happens very quickly. They've struggled a lot against strong early game teams. It's also worth noting that Kingzone are their only win over what I'd call a "good" team. Their last match involved a dropped game to a floundering Afreeca team and DAMWON split pushed them out in game one and then completely decimated them in under 22 minutes in game two. IF you consider DAMWON and Kingzone in the same ballpark/tier like I do then this is a no brainer. I'm probably going to add on to this, check twitter for updates.

Moneyline: Kingzone -137 (3 units)

Handicapped: Kingzone -1.5 maps @ +206 (1 unit)

On the podcast we all said we're passing this game. Gen.G randomly mise wins sometimes but Gen.G are showing up to gun fights with a knife. In years past they could actually find ways to compete in such a fight but this year the guns are just too good and Gen.G have been stripped down to a butter knife. Their style of play is just far too optimal for the current state of the game. The only value in this match is whether you think SKT easily 2-0 this and even then -192 is a tad too rich. It's close. I'll probably put it into a parlay.

No wager (lean SKT -1.5)


LPL Spring 2019 - W6D4:

If you read yesterday's post you'd know this is my Pick of the Week. Listen... the books are grossly overreacting to WE 2-0'ing EDG before the break (when they started vacation early apparently). They're also overreacting to RNG's soft start where they weren't playing Uzi. Cook into that WE's back to back wins and it looks like WE are something right? WRONG. Watching this team play is like glorified solo queue. It's honestly abysmal. They have no idea what to do in a lot of situations. It's important to remember that, other than some individual stars like ZWuji, the bottom of the LPL is just as bad as the bottom of a lot of leagues. Team WE winning matches against LGD and OMG doesn't tell us anything other than they are capable of beating similarly bad teams. Against good teams? 0-2 stompfest against FunPlus, 2-0 weird flukey win against EDG before holiday, wrecked by Suning 0-2, and SinoDragon took their time with it in a week one 0-2.

Team WE is awful, I think they might be the worst team in the LPL and despite beating LGD and OMG I honestly don't think they're any better than these bottom dwellers. RNG have some ground to make up after a sluggish, Uzi-less start and even if they're looking ahead to a showdown on Sunday against Victory 5 I still think RNG stomp this. Hell Karsa might be able to 1v9 this game... grab the shoebox of money and jam it on the -1.5 this should be a slaughter. I got this line when it was -120 and you would have too if you read yesterday it's since ballooned to -147.

I'll warn you that I'm 0-4 in 5 unit plays this year but I was 70%+ on them last year.


Handicapped: RNG -1.5 maps @ -120 (5 units)

See I'm glad I do the podcast AND blog posts because I might have missed this one. Snake have looked awful and no that wild and whacky win against Rogue Warriors doesn't mean anything they're awful too. It's dangerous talking yourself into something sometimes but TopSports are also not a team that randomly punts games to bad teams. SinoDragon is a good, up and coming team that they lost their most recent match to but before that TopSports haven't lost a single individual game since their two week one matches a 2-1 vs Victory 5 and an 0-2 against Invictus. That streak includes 2-0's over RNG and JDG for what that's worth.

TopSports are a great team. They're going to finish in the top four in the LPL. I don't know if they're quite on the level of IG or RNG yet but they along with FunPlus are trying to make their case for it. 

Handicapped: TopSports -1.5 maps @ -143 (2 units)


LEC Spring 2019 W7D1:

We actually went into a good amount of detail on the podcast about this slate and how there are a few crucial inflection points here for a few teams. Misfits and Vitality could tell a lot about the trajectory of both squads as well as Fnatic and Schalke. 

Origen vs Splyce seems like it could be interesting but I really am not a believer in Splyce. There's just not enough value to pull me to either side here but it will be interesting to see if Origen can bounce back from an 0-2 week six and whether or not Splyce will finally be punished for their sloppy mistakes (which has yet to happen by the way).

I think SK are one of the top teams and they need to take care of business in games like this. I don't think Excel is that bad of a team ... ehhh maybe they are but I think they can progress. -250 is too rich to pay for SK and I don't like the dog here.

Misfits vs Vitality is a super interesting one and yet another mid-season inflection point for both squads. I think Misfits is better than a lot of sharps/analysts think but I also don't think they're as good as public perception either. Vitality feels like the right side but they've shown a tendency to punt games before. John George (@TheEsportsPlug) made a really great point on the podcast about this series. If, in fact, Misfits win this series and they do so by means other than HansSama going berserk like he's been doing then maybe there's something to look into about this Misfits team moving forward but we shouldn't put a lot of weight on a win with the same methods that happens to break their way. This team, much like Splyce, is ripe to be exposed and people aren't talking about it. I like Vitality but this is a good line and the fact that it's best of one is keeping me off the favorites.

Rogue vs G2... not much to say here folks I think there are better long shot lottery tickets on Saturday's slate.

Fnatic vs Schalke is yet another fascinating one. Is Fnatic going to have a second half surge? I think they will. We discussed on the pod that we all think Fnatic can't be as bad as they've been and will almost certainly take steps forward it's just a matter of how much and when that happens. If you think that happens tomorrow then this isn't an awful spot to bet them but you're not really getting great value. I do think Schalke are a better team even with Fnatic improving as a consideration and I actually like Schalke here for a unit. They shouldn't be underdogs just because they went 0-2 last week. If I didn't feel strongly that Fnatic could start their second half surge as early as tomorrow this would be a three unit wager but we're going to keep it to one for now and bet it live.

Moneyline: Schalke +105 (1 unit)


PARLAY (3): TopSports -1.5 + RNG -1.5 + Kingzone ML @ total odds +403 (0.5 units)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Betting: February 28th (LCK)

LCK Spring 2019 W6D1:

I've said it a ton already this season but I just can't see Afreeca being this bad. IF there's any momentum for them to gain it's over their past few matches. The question here is whether or not you see them as a team that can improve steadily over the rest of the season or one that's just going to struggle. I for one think that they'll improve. After all they can't really get much worse than they've been with players this caliber.

Sandbox are sort of trending slightly down from their red hot start but to me this is still a playoff team and even with some regression will likely end up in the top four or five teams and perhaps higher. Sandbox are just built for the game right now and even if there's some degree of teams "figuring them out" I still think this is just a good roster.

The metrics will tell you Sandbox all the way here. They dominate almost every statistic mostly because they've been winning and their rate stats have also been better. What we need to ask ourselves is how much do we factor in strategy/matchups, momentum, and potential improvement for Afreeca here. I really think Afreeca will improve but I'm not going to overreact and take them outright here. -208 is too rich for the +1.5 but I do like a small wager on both the over 2.5 maps and exact Sandbox 2-1 @ +228. I actually think Afreeca can take a game here. Side choice, ridiculous solo lanes and a bot lane that I think should be able to manage Joker's antics give me some hope that Afreeca can take one  here. If you don't like anything about Afreeca the bet is -1.5 at a nice +156 but I'm going to go light on the dogs in this instance.

(bets removed by book ;0)

This one is pretty simple. Great value if you see literally any signs of life AT ALL from Jin Air but I'm just not seeing it. I'll throw the -1.5 in a parlay but that's about it. Maybe the subs can do something for Jin Air if they are given a shot? I don't see it....

No wager

Parlay (2): Sandbox ML + DAMWON -1.5 maps @ -105 (0.5 units)


Going to put a little Easter egg pick here and spoil one of tomorrows picks for my avid readers to jump on. I'm going to putting a full five unit hammer wager on RNG -1.5 maps @ -120 to beat Team WE on Friday. Team WE sucks. Period. This line is grossly inaccurate because they won a few matches against bad teams back to back. DON'T FALL FOR IT THIS TEAM IS BAD. More tomorrow.

Handicapped: Royal Never Give Up -1.5 maps @ -120 

The Ignite Podcast - Episode 1

The Ignite Podcast - Episode 1

Pilot/Episode 1 of The Ignite Podcast (tentative)
Recorded on: February 22nd, 2019
Discussion, analysis, and strategy for betting in professional League of Legends
Vince C @GelatiLOL
John George @TheEsportsPlug
Chris C @Prim3_T1m3
Kalvin @RulerrSama

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Betting: February 27th (LPL)

LPL Spring 2019 - W6D3

I'm not trying to overreact to one win that made us a bunch of money but there is absolutely no way in hell this line is right. +288 is 25.8% implied odds. Really? Look, I don't necessarily think Victory 5 are the new hotness in the LPL but they're at least a C tier team which is exactly where I have JDG. As a matter of fact I'd say JDG are likely around the same level as Victory 5 with their in-game inconsistencies this season. JD haven't really looked great. Their record does, but they don't. They've struggled against a bad OMG team, haven't had a win against what I'd call a good team except for that weird pre-break match against Invictus who appeared to have started their vacation early. That said I do respect these players and the potential this roster has. 

This could blow up in my face but I absolutely love Victory 5 here especially with side selection. There's no way this should be anywhere near this. I'd make JDG maybe -160 to -175 favorites if I was just capping this based off of what I've seen so far this year. Both teams have similar metrics in damage per gold and gold differntials but Victory 5 have the edge in more or less every category except first tower percentage. Maybe V5 are starting Pepper and Road? I can't see any other explanation for this. 

With all of this said I still think JDG win this series so I won't be dumping a truck of money on this however this line is far enough out of whack that I'm going to attack it more aggressively than I normally would a normal "value" play. Victory 5 is trending up, JD are a huge question mark to me, and the line is absurdly off.

(I got in on these a few hours later and the line had already shifted accordingly but still tremendous value for us)

Handicapped: Victory 5 +1.5 maps @ -137 (3 units)

Moneyline: Victory 5 +239 (1 unit)

This game looks like it's going to be a chore to watch tomorrow. If you have any faith in Snake to rediscover themselves this is as good a place as any because I believe Rogue Warriors are one of the worst teams in the LPL. I've been burned a lot by Snake this season and they look like they're in complete disarray so as much as I want to put a unit on the .... jeez I can't believe they're underdogs. Anyway I'd love to put something on Snake especially at home but I just don't trust this team right now. They still feel like the right side though. Let's put a unit on them purely for speculation. Tail at your own caution here this is two awful teams I'm just hoping to see Snake summon up any sign of hope.

Moneyline: Snake -110 (1 unit)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Betting: February 25th (LPL)

LPL Spring 2019 W5D6:

I don't feel strongly enough to fire on either of these teams. They're both in the bottom tier of LPL teams for me. If you're looking for a reason one way or the other I think LGD have had higher ceilings and are probably the slightly stronger team but it's mostly just based on one win and the fact that I really think WE are just a mess and look like they're playing solo queue every game. I'm passing on this one with a slight lean to LGD.

No wager (slight lean to LGD)

I still think Suning haven't realized their potential but will. Unfortunately they ran into the EDG buzzsaw who look like one of the best teams in the league right now but they also had a weird loss to Rogue Warriors. The close one against FunPlus was relieving as I believe them to be a good team as well. Invictus haven't exactly been completely themselves either but I actually feel relatively confident in Invictus 2-0ing this with Suning in their current state. I know a lot of people don't like betting IG -1.5 since they frequently punt games to all sorts of teams but I do think Suning are still figuring things out and it'll take another few weeks, and likely some matches against weaker opposition, before they really hit their stride. 

Handicapped: Invictus -1.5 maps @ -125 (1 unit)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Betting: February 24th (LCK, LPL, NA LCS)

LCK Spring 2019 W5D5:

We talked about this matchup a bit on The Ignite Podcast this week and Kalvin @RulerrSama made a really good point about DAMWON in that, against the elite teams, they don't play like their normal, confident and aggressive selves. So the question is whether or not you think they can break that trend of take the fight to SKT or not. I'm betting on not. The last time these teams met SKT won 2-1. The weird draft by SKT kind of spoon-fed a win to DAMWON. Credit it where it's due but SKT came right back in game three and took care of business. 

DAMWON have faced and 2-0'd their last three opponents HLE, Jin Air, and Afreeca but two of those teams look like absolute dumpster fires right now so how much credit do we really want to give them. Before that they got stomped by Kingzone and played a slugfest against Sandbox. SKT have won four series in a row but they haven't been the cleanest themselves either dropping games to Gen.G and Kingzone.

I don't think there's a real "momentum" advantage to either squad here I just think SKT are a much better team despite being really close in the standings currently. DAMWON have gotten at least partially figured out and Nuguri inparticular has been exposed a few times now. Do I think DAMWON have been solved and they're due to crash and burn? No. DAMWON are a good team and they'll be in the playoff conversation but SKT are pretty clearly, to me at least, in their own class above the rest of the LCK but below Griffin. DAMWON have gotten by on just having superior players to other teams but they don't have superior players to SKT so I just don't think they'll get an advantage that way. You could spin that the other way and explain that that is a reason to take the dogs here but I'll be on SKT to soundly 2-0. We're not going to see a number like this for SKT very often the rest of the season especially with the metagame moving towards a place that's even more pro-Teddy. There's just too many things to deal with against this roster.

Moneyline: SK Telecom -169 (4 units)

Handicapped: SKT -1.5 maps @ +174 (1 unit)

I'd been loving Hanwha Life but the series they played on Friday against DAMWON was really bizarre. A 21 minute loss? Did you really just let that happen? It wasn't like a flukey level one or anything it just got blown wide open around the 11 minute mark. Maybe it was the lineup change I don't know but based on what we saw from this squad the rest of the season I'm going to consider that match a bit of an outlier. Hanwha have been pretty clearly better than the bottom dwellers with 2-0 victories over Gen.G, Jin Air, and Afreeca. They also have a 2-0 against Kingzone and the weird 0-2 loss to DAMWON both in the last nine days. 

Afreeca.... oh Afreeca who are you? After an embarassing game one loss to Sandbox where they had a lead and looked completely confused on how to slam it home they came out and blew Sandbox out of the water in games two and three playing a complete change of pace uptempo style. So the question is, as we also talked about on the podcast, is that who Afreeca will be moving forward? Did a light just switch on for them or was that just the coaches lighting a fire under their ass for that day? Along the same lines is Hanwha really that much worse than Sandbox? In the standings it sure looks like it but we've discussed a lot about how Sandbox have holes in their game that haven't been exposed and Afreeca didn't even expose them and still won. 

There's a lot of questions with Afreeca. I desperately want this team to be good. Kiin and UCal are too talented to not carry a team to playoffs but this team legitimately looks lost when they have a lead unless the game happens to push them in the direction of winning. Hanwha on the other hand are well-coached and kind of the opposite. They lack the players (besides Tempt apparently...) to overwhelm you so they have to be more than the sum of their parts. 

I hate to say it but I think Afreeca might turn back into a pumpkin here. I'm not going to change my analysis of them based on one series and while I'd like nothing more than to see them completely stomp Hanwha tonight and make things interesting I can't help but think this goes the complete opposite direction. I'll be placing light wagers on this match but I think Hanwha is the correct side.

Moneyline: Hanwha Life -159 (1 unit)

Handicapped: Hanwha -1.5 maps @ +165 (0.25 units)


LPL Spring 2019 W5D5:

So I'm not saying OMG is a good team. They did look better towards the end of last year and decently in the first few series this season but they've been pretty bad since. That said, JD haven't really impressed me either. They've had a few surprising series so far, inparticular their upset win over Invictus before the break, but they've largely been very mediocre. JD are somewhere in the mid tier and it's yet to be decided. So far I'd say they're like more D-Tier if we were doing A through E. Definitely better than the awful teams but not proving enough to convince me they're really in the middle of the table yet. OMG I have as in that E-tier but they started the season closer to C. I don't know this is a tough game to call because I really don't think OMG have been that great but the truth is I don't think JD should be -417 favorites over ANYONE especially without side selection.

We'll be firing on OMG here mostly for line value. I don't think JD is that much better than anybody. It's not a statement in faith of OMG but they've shown signs of life this season and JD, while better, isn't this much better than even the worst teams.

Moneyline: OMG +275 (1 unit)

This series is a head scratcher. Both teams have looked good sometimes and horrible others. I actually think SinoDragon should be just short of favored here and that sounds kinda crazy but hear me out because this is how we got an edge with Victory 5 this morning as well. 

BiliBili play more like a Korean team which isn't all the different from last year other than the players so this isn't some sort of revelation. They play a great macro game when ahead and know how to choke you out of a game but where they struggle is against team fighting teams that manage to get any kind of lead. BiliBili have a tendency to just get run over. Now against a team that I'd consider similar to SinoDragon in Victory 5, BiliBili were able to get and maintain a lead and just strangle them out of the game but against yet another similar team in JDG they were just overpowered. 

BiliBili have the individual players to be able to stand up to SDG and not get completely run over but we've also seen this team lose outright to OMG. We're betting a little on BiliBili's inconsistency and a little on the stylistic mismatch here. I don't think BiliBili should be favored by this much here. Are they deservedly favorites? Probably but just not by this much. We'll be putting a unit on SinoDragon as value dogs.

Moneyline: SinoDragon +125 (1 unit)

If you exclude their most recent win, a surprise 2-0 of Suning, Rogue Warriors look like one of the worst teams in the league. ZWuji and Killua are a great bottom lane and perhaps ZWuji is the next great Chinese ADC but overall this team has looked pretty bad. The question is how much stock do we put into their win over Suning which is ultimately a judgement decision on your part. I'll give you my take on it which is that Suning didn't look like themselves. They looked uncharacteristically lazy and got punished for it and I think the shock of actually dropping game one might have scared them off in game two. I expect Suning to bounce back but this isn't a Suning thread....

Rogue Warriors might not be quite as bad as I think but I still don't think they're a great team. EDG also took care of Suning on Friday morning and while they struggled against the Uzi-equipped RNG last week have appeared to have a strong grasp on the metagame showing the ability to play split push as well as traditional 5v5. EDG look like EDG has looked for the past few years; an LPL team that will be a playoff contender with a ceiling to be more than that. As an added bonus ClearLove actually looked really good in his first two games back in the lineup including a saucey win on Skarner!

I actually love the 2-0 here but I'm a tad skeptical that RW might be a tad better than I'm giving them credit for so I'm going to be limiting this wager to a single unit. I think EDG should be able to break serve and then take game two down as well. EDG are a top five team and RW are likely bottom five and EDG don't really have a stylistic weakness that I've seen thus far.

Handicapped: EDG -1.5 maps @ -133 (1 unit)


NA LCS Spring 2019 W5D2:

I don't know why Golden Guardians played into that weird Clutch draft yesterday but I'm going to pretend it didn't happen. On the podcast we were all pretty much in universal agreement and John @TheEsportsPlug even made this his pick of the week. Screw the "Rush doesn't lose on Sunday" narrative. I'm going to keep betting this until everyone realizes it's just an anomaly and not an actual thing. I also think Golden Guardians are the better team anyway. They better at every position individually. You could argue the bottom lanes are even based solely on Apollo and Hakuho being together for so long but with the meta trending in Deftly's favor and  hopefully a more standard draft coming in this game I just can't see how GG don't obliterate Echo Fox. It would take a heroic performance by Rush to get his lanes ahead and I'm going to bet against that. This is a slam dunk for me. I'll be putting my best of one maximum three units on this one even with the weird performance yesterday. 

Moneyline: Golden Guardians +104 (3 units)

OpTic and Clutch are just so tough to get a read on. OpTic played the split push well against 100 Thieves but 100 Thieves also left themselves totally exposed to it in the draft with no real engage tool available to them something that I feel could be remedied easily. Clutch took a match convincingly over GG yesterday. I don't really know what to think here. My gut tells me Clutch is the right side but I haven't had a good read on these two all season so we're going to abstain from this game.

No wager

Cloud 9 is the right side but this is too rich. I know we took CLG "for value" yesterday but I think Cloud 9 are a significantly better team than TSM so we'll just be passing on this one.

No wager

TSM absolutely demolished a CLG team that suddenly turned into exactly what I thought they'd be going into the season so this is going to look sketchy but I'm in agreement with Chris on his pick of the week from the cast. FlyQuest are a WAY better team than CLG so we're potentially getting a lot of value here from overhyped bettors riding TSM. I might not be as heavy on it as @Prim3_t1m3 but I'll be placing a one unit wager on FlyQuest. TSM has struggled against stronger teams (except Liquid Kappa) and even lost to FlyQuest the first time around in convincing fashion. I love the underdogs for a unit here.

Moneyline: FlyQuest +113 (1 unit)

100 Thieves could win this. I know that sounds nuts but it's best of one and after getting humiliated by OpTic yesterday it wouldn't surprise me at all to find that they had prepared more for Team Liquid. That said I'm not going to touch this game. I know Kalvin (@RulerrSama) had 100T as his pick of the week here citing that they shouldn't be underdogs by this much and while I agree with him I'm going to abstain. I'll be honest I was scared off this by rewatching that match once again this morning. It wouldn't surprise me but I'm not going to get burned on this one.

No wager (strong lean 100T for value)

Betting: February 23rd (NA LCS)

Didn't have any picks for EU this morning so didn't both with a post on it but here is NA LCS. Tomorrow mornings Eastern slate as well as NA LCS for tomorrow will be up later tonight.


NA LCS W5D1 - February 23rd:

We talked a lot about the NA LCS slate on the pilot episode of The Ignite Podcast and we unanimously loved 100 Thieves to bounce back this week. This team had a rough week last week. Maybe it was a bad week of practice or people were sick or something but what you saw was not what this team is. OpTic isn't a good team. They've earned first blood in every single one of their games and first tower in half of their games and this team is still 2-6. They don't know what to do with a lead, their drafts have been suspect, and if Crown doesn't carry these games I just can't see how any of the players on OpTic can outperform their 100 Thieves counterparts. 

I'm loading up on this one with my best of one maximum wager of three units. This is a slam dunk and 100 Thieves should probably be -200 or better favorites but we get a discounted rate due to their performance last week. There is also the off chance we get to see OpTic play a different lineup in which case I love 100T even more.

Moneyline: 100 Thieves -167 (3 units)

While I've been higher on Echo Fox than a lot of people I do think Team Liquid should stomp this. I don't see any lines I can take in this one that I like and I don't like the dog at all so we'll be passing here.

No wager

The Golden Guardians seem to unanimously be underrated. After a rough start they're starting to piece things together and I think with the meta shifting toward the crit carries I think Deftly could turn an already solid start into a monstrous second half. This bet is half a bet on GG to continue their improvement and half a bet on the fact that Clutch just look lost right now. Damonte has been excellent this season but the bottom lane AND even more so the top side of the map have struggled mightily. I want to believe in Huni turning this disaster of a season around but it's pretty hard to bet on that until we see it. 

I love the Guardians here. These are two teams trending in opposite directions but because there are some unknowns I'll be limiting this to just two units.

Moneyline: Golden Guardians -123 (2 units)

Cloud 9 vs FlyQuest is an interesting matchup and one that we'll be value betting. Cloud 9 are almost certainly a better team but we discussed on the podcast that none of us believe that they're this much better than FlyQuest. This is line should be closer to even money maybe -130 for Cloud 9 or -150 but instead it's at a ridiculous -196. We take the value dogs for a unit here. FlyQuest are a good team and have a reasonable chance to win this match.

Moneyline: FlyQuest +151 (1 unit)

I'm higher on TSM than my colleagues but they're still just a mid tier team right now.I'm also lower on CLG than my colleagues. With that in mind I thnk the correct thing to do here is to bet CLG. There's just no way this line should be this far apart. Neither of these teams have shown us any reason why one should be this heavily favored over the other and even projecting them going forward I expect them to be similar. I don't like CLG at all but this line is too off so I'll be putting a half unit wager on them.

Moneyline: CLG +154 (0.5 units)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Betting: February 22nd (LCK, LPL, LEC)

LCK Spring 2019 W5D3 - February 22nd

This match is actually fascinating to me. Both of these teams appear to be battling for the 4th-6th spots in the LCK and more than likely for a playoff spot because of it. Both have looked excellent at times and I'd say they're both really solid teams. Both are coming off of two victories in their last two matches heading into this one. DAMWON have had the considerably easier schedule facing Afreeca and Jin Air while Hanwha had Gen.G and Kingzone. 

With the meta shifting more towards and ADC focus I actually find myself liking Sangyoon quite a bit and Tempt is absolutely on fire so the question here is whether or not we think Thal/SoHwan will be a liability against Nuguri. I also think whether or not Punch gets games again will matter in this series but I'm going to attribute his starting to the fact that DAMWON faced Afreeca and Jin Air in their last two. Canyon should be in for this potential playoff deciding match.  

With this information I still think Hanwha Life have a reasonable chance in this series and feel that this line should probably be closer. That said, I'm not sure I'm confident enough to wager anything here. If you're a value bettor then the argument could be made for either side here. You could think that we're not going to see DAMWON this cheap again or that Hanwha should be closer. I'm going to hold off on this one and see if there's any line movement in a few hours. For the time being lean to Hanwha simply on value but I do think DAMWON are favored here.

No Wager (lean to Hanwha for line value)

The first time these two met last week the first game looked close for awhile as KT Rolster tried their hand at the Smeb Yorick but Griffin had all the answers and took control shortly after the start of mid game. Game two was classic Griffin speedrunning. 

These lines are too outrageous for me so I'll be abstaining from this but I do kinda like the double under. I'm not sure KT Rolster can cook anything up in a week to surprise Griffin more than they already tried to and while I'm a little optimistic about KT the rest of the season this isn't the time or place for them to upset. I know it's a lot of juice to pay at -125 but I like the double under here.

O/U: Map 1 UNDER 33:00 @ -125 (1 unit)

O/U: Map 2 UNDER 33:00 @ -125 (1 unit)


LPL Spring 2019 W5D4 - February 22nd:

I absolutely LOVE Invictus in this spot. Everyone is going to overreact to their 0-2 loss to LGD. While some reaction is definitely deserved I'd be out of my mind to look this gift horse in the mouth. Invictus are still the best team in China. We can forgive them for taking what appears to be their first series or two off in over a calendar year. I like SinoDragon's confidence and attitude but this just feels like an Invictus speedrun to me. I think they remind everyone who they are.

O/U: Map 1 UNDER 32:00 @ -114 (1 unit)

O/U: Map 2 UNDER 32:00 @ -114 (1 unit)

I'm having a tough time reading EDG this year. I'm 1-3 when picking them. They've had bad losses and solid wins. The eye test tells me that they're sort of like Afreeca, a good team with good players that doesn't really know how to play right now but they're learning. I think with the direction the metagame is going they'll be fine with this setup. 

Suning were looking like the premier team in the league until their 0-2 loss to Rogue Warriors on Tuesday but they also didn't play a match for literally 20 calendar days so some weird things can happen in those situations. I'm not going to look too much into that series and I'm willing to give them a pass on it. That said it's definitely worth at least noting. The FunPlus series was an excellent one to watch and I was a little surprised Suning found a way to lose it but I think generally Suning will be a top three team. 

Suning feels like the right side here but I think this is too rich. EDG have looked kind of all over the place but I feel like the metagame is settling into a place that's good for them. It wouldn't surprise me to see either side win though I'm not confident enough in EDG to fire on it.

No wager (lean EDG for value)


LEC (Europe) Spring 2019 W6D1

I'm leaning toward Rogue but this is more or less the toilet bowl so it would only be for like a unit. I think they've shown improvement over the season but after last week it's tough to think about that. I'm not going to fire for now but if this gets towards the +130 range i might.

No wager (Lean Rogue)

I love Vitality against Splyce tomorrow. Those that aren't aware I still feel Splyce has been getting away with murder in a lot of games and I think they're tremendously overrated right now. I also think Vitality are a rough matchup stylistically for them.

Moneyline: Vitality -182 (2 units)

The rest of Europe I'm going to hold off on for now and likely live bet tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Betting: February 21st (LCK)

LCK Spring 2019 W5D3 - February 21st)

Kingzone have shown some weird game planning this season and that's what scares me about this matchup. They've played into Gen.G's long game and won, they've rumbled and tumbled with DAMWON and won, and they've also completely run over the attempted early aggression of KT Rolster. While it does say something to me that they are winning these series there has to be some element of tempting fate here. Let's attack our opponents where they're strongest? Sometime it works but when you're doing it a lot it's sketchy. 

I'm not saying Kingzone are going to lose this series or even drop a game but I had to take a step back and think about my initial reaction to these lines being posted which was "34 minutes? Really?" I had to double check and Kingzone have had some really weird series this season. Anyway we've seen Jin Air twice since the break and honestly nothing has changed. This team is a mess and for awhile Teddy was their only redeeming characteristic but if you exclude him this entire organization has been a trainwreck. Even the very worst LCK teams get a few wins but I really don't think Jin Air are going to get more than two or three without some major shakeups or major improvements. 

If you consider how bad Jin Air is and the fact that I actually like this Kingzone team quite a bit (I think they're probably the 4th best team in Korea right now?) this seems like a slam dunk. I'm perhaps a little gunshy because this feels really fishy to me but we're going to fire on the Kingzone sweep for a few units. I just don't see Jin Air getting it together and unlike years past where teams could get trapped into playing Jin Air's game, they aren't even good at "their game" anymore. I see no redeeming characteristic to this entire Jin Air roster outside of a few individual players potentially being good projects for other organizations to work on after this season.

Handicapped: Kingzone -1.5 maps @ -175 (3 units)

I just don't know what the hell is going on with Afreeca and it's simultaneously boring, terrifying, and frustrating. If Afreeca showed me ANY signs of life I'd be firing on the +1.5 here because I think it's a great spot but for as much as I keep pointing out the holes in Sandbox's game they sure do win a lot. I think this is in a roundabout way similar to the Worlds situation last year. The Korean teams simply didn't have the tools to punish some of the sloppiness of the aggressive Western and Chinese teams. Whether that was from practice, regional tendencies, or some combination of both didn't matter they just couldn't deal with it. Sandbox reminds me of that. They just brute force everything. I'm not saying they're a bunch of cavemen bashing their opponents in with clubs, they're a bit more creative and nuanced than that, but it's not out of line to say that's too far off. We'll say they're cavemen that occasionally try out a new kind of club to beat their opponents to death. That's a bit more tasteful.

I desperately want to put something on Afreeca here. This team can't possibly be as bad as the Jin Air's and Gen.G's of the world can they? CAN THEY? Come on guys SHOW ME A SIGN! .... I can't do it. 

Handicapped: Sandbox -1.5 maps @ -141 (3 units)

PARLAY (2): Sandbox -1.5 maps + Kingzone -1.5 maps @ +168 (0.5 units)

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Betting: February 20th (LCK, LPL)

I know it's been a really weird weekend and beginning to this week but is anybody honestly giving Gen.G a chance here? I think the bigger question is why on earth is this under set at 33:00 when Griffin's average game time this season has been 31:56. If you count the LMS, LCK, LPL, NA, and EU the average game time on patch 9.3 (combined hotfix and not) was 33:52 which was down from 35+ the patch before. So why are we going to bet the unders? Because this is Griffin and this is Gen.G. Gen.G don't deal well with teams that play fast and even with subs in I just can't imagine a world where Griffin don't completely run over Gen.G's anemic early game.

O/U: Map 1 UNDER 33:00 @ +101 (1 unit)

O/U: Map 2 UNDER 33:00 @ +101 (1 unit)

While I think KT Rolster are ever so slowly and slightly trending up I think they're unfortunately going to run into a buzzsaw here in SKT. While they haven't looked as crisp and clean coming out of the break with game losses to Gen.G and Kingzone they're still a top team and KT are still in that weird "are we bad?" phase. KT did take a game off of Sandbox and have had the unfortunate displeasure of facing both Sandbox AND Griffin as their first two games coming out of the break but this feels like an SKT 2-0 to me. 

If you're looking for angles on the KT +1.5 you could make the "Telecom Wars are always good" arguement as well as the SKT have looked sloppy relative to them while KT have looked ever so slightly improved. I don't know I'm just not seeing it. It took a massive throw from Sandbox in game two to even make people consider this. If that game becomes a clinical close like it looked like it could be then we'd be talking about double sub-34 minute victories which is a decisive win in most cases. There is also side selection for KT in their favor.

This match goes one of two ways to me. Either it'll be a swift SKT 2-0 or a 2-1 SKT win but maybe a bit of a rough and tumble slugfest. I'm leaning towards the former despite all of the historic trends saying otherwise. SKT are just miles better than this current KT roster and neither team has looked exceptionally good or bad coming out of the break week even with  SKT's dropped games and KT's tough schedule. They are who they are and I think SKT take this down 2-0 despite the side choice disadvantage AND historic trends saying these Telecom Wars tend towards three games. I tend not to give too much credit to historic trends in league where the teams, attitudes, coaching staffs, etc change frequently.

Handicapped: SKT -1.5 maps @ +112 (1 unit)


This matchup is mildly interesting to me because I think they're both teams that could be mid tier by seasons end and are playing that way at the moment but it's hard to tell if it's just a favorable metagame for them. I think Victory Five are the better team but not by this much. That said I don't really feel strongly enough either way to make a wager here. If I had to pick a side I'd probably take the underdog Vici for the value but I do think Victory probably win this match.

No wager (lean Vici ML for value)

The toilet bowl... so you could look at this match and say it's similar to Vici/V5 in that it's two teams trying to prove their worth but I think both Vici and V5 look better. Team WE might be the worst team in the league and while I was initially excited after OMG's first few matches they've fallen promptly on their face. WE did 2-0 EDG right before the break but that looked a little like EDG looking forward to the time off. WE was immediately spanked by FunPlus when they returned. Team WE have definitely faced the harder schedule here facing FunPlus, EDG, Suning, and SinoDragon while OMG have faced V5, TopSports, BiliBili, and Invictus but it's fairly similar. Both of these teams have one random spike victory and garbage otherwise. I'd lean toward OMG here because just from the film they look like a slightly better organized team while WE just look like they're playing solo queue but the truth is both of these teams are so bad I'm going to just avoid this one. I might change my mind in the morning and place a light wager on OMG but for the time being we'll pass.

No wager (strong lean OMG ML)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Betting: February 19th (LPL)

LPL W5D2 - February 19th:

Every once in awhile in this field you're reminded just how much difference a couple weeks can make. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Invictus are on the down swing or anything like that, as a matter of fact I'm quite the contrary and will be fading the haters next match, but LGD looked leaps and bounds better. This is a team that, before the break, looked like even if IG took the day off they would have struggled. That may not be the case anymore. 

FunPlus have been rolling and their only game losses have been to Suning who looks like an elite team and a really weird one to Snake that I'll call a half-fluke based on one really dumb mistakes in the 2v2 bot early on. I'll be honest they've impressed me. I figured they'd be a playoff team but something tells me they're due for some regression, the question is when. 

I'm going to bet this isn't the time for regression. More specifically I'm going to bet that, while I'm intrigued by LGD moving forward, LGD aren't that Invictus slayers because I honestly don't think Invictus showed up to play the other day (Kindred? Really?). You can agree or disagree and that's fine but I'm sticking to my gut and the full season sample size here. LGD aren't a good team. They came out of the two week break hungry for a win and Invictus looked hungover. Keep in mind that this LGD team gave up series against Rogue Warriors (a bad team), and BiliBili (a mediocre at best team). They were also trounced by TopSports. Regardless of whether you think FunPlus are a top three good or top six good they should be able to handle this LGD team with relative ease and especially after the Invictus loss the other day they're not going to want to be embarassed in the same fashion. 

Handicapped: FunPlus -1.5 maps @ -135 (3 units)

I've been saying it all season but other than ZWuji this Rogue Warriors teams is B.A.D. BAD! They might be the worst team in the LPL by seasons end. They've faced a number of good teams that have played absolutely terribly against them and STILL LOST. They have poor macro understanding and their individuals aren't particularly great either other than ZWuji. I know we've talked about the "post break" weirdness factor but I just don't imagine a universe where Suning lose this game. They've been dominant and even played a competitive series with a few roster swaps against the similarly talented FunPlus.

Unless you think Suning will have a similar hangover effect to Invictus than this is one of those "free" bets. I'm going to limit it due to by week weirdness and the odds but we'll be placing a few units on the handicap here. Suning with prep time and side selection should be able to get the job done even if WeiWei and Angel start. I'll be avoiding the over/under here because Suning haven't shown to be the speedrunners that teams like RNG and IG are yet. 

Handicapped: Suning -1.5 maps @ -222 (3 units)

Parlay (2): Suning -1.5  + FunPlus -1.5  @ +139 (1 unit)

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Betting: February 18th (LPL)

LPL Spring 2019 W5D1 - February 18th

Snake have actually had one of, if not the hardest schedule in the LPL thus far facing Invictus, Suning, SinoDragon, FunPlus, and EDward but the question is whether or not their 1-4 record is the result of this, bad play, or both. Other than Suning and IG they've actually been competitive in each series and if you consider that SinoDragon is more or less the same style of team and massive deathball teamfights are closer to 50/50 then perhaps that's a team that might be worse or similar level that's not an ideal matchup for them because their advantage is sort of negated. I know that's kind of outside of the box and all but it's worth considering. Really I just think this team can't be this bad and after this murderers row of a schedule they're probably on the upper end of the middle of the table teams while BiliBili look more towards the bottom end of that middle tier. BiliBili got destroyed in game two against JD I have a feeling Snake are a slightly better team than JD this season and should be able to win this series. 

I have absolutely no idea why this line is this far apart. My only thought is that the metrics looked at the records and said Snake are a bad team and they aren't. These teams are even AT WORST and honestly I think Snake is probably better. If nothing else Snake are the WAY better team for this specific metagame. Flandre is a split pushing monster and they're the better team fighting team than BBG as well. This seems like a slam dunk to me and we'll be opening the week with a five unit hammer play of the week here.

Moneyline: Snake +162 (5 units, PLAY OF THE WEEK)

JD won fairly convincingly against a mediocre BiliBili team that isn't equipped to play in a metagame like this and while the 2-0 was impressive immediately afterwards the more I thought about it the more I found myself saying that BiliBili might be closer to a bad team than a good one. That said I don't think JD are that hot either. That's going to sound like crazy talk considering their win over Invictus the day before the two week break but I'm going to attribute at least some of Invictus' anemic performance (and it was) to looking forward to the break too much. Then again who knows IG lost coming out of the break as well. 

Basically, I think JD look better on paper than they do if you actually watch them. This isn't exactly a sound fundamental team they've just kinda stumbled into a lot of their victories. It's not entirely that they've had wins gifted to them but other teams certainly haven't showed up against them. Maybe this team is good, maybe they aren't but I'm betting that they're definitley not as good as their 3-1 record. They were also bodied by FunPlus, a team that I think is in a similar vein to TopSports. There's also the fact that we haven't seen TopSports since before the break while we've seen a series from JDG so TopSports have the information as well as the element of surprise on their side.

I absolutely love TopSports here. I wasn't super confident about this team with 369 up top but the other four players have just been so completely dominant and with plenty of time to prepare as well as game film on JDG combined with JDG perhaps being slightly overrated because of recent results I think TopSports is the right side here.

I'll be taking the handicap but if -244 isn't that rich for you feel free to fire on that.

Handicapped: TopSports -1.5 @ +133 (2 units)


I'm also going to parlay both the TopSports -1.5 and Snake ML and TopSports + Snake ML. I feel strangely confident about this slate tomorrow. 

Parlay (2): TOP ML + Snake ML @ +269 (1 unit)

Parlay (2): TOP -1.5 + Snake ML @ +510 (0.5 units)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Betting: February 15th (LCK, LPL, LMS, LEC)

LCK Spring 2019 W4D3 - February 15th:

So the story this week has been whether or not a weird thing will happen because of the break week. So far we haven't had anything besides one very odd game yesterday in the Jin Air series. For the most part things have gone as expected. I think this is another "according to plan" situation. Griffin should stomp this match. KT Rolster's only wins have been against the league worst Jin Air and debateably second worst in Afreeca. I don't think this KT squad is quite that bad and they're at least approaching the game the right way but their execution is just so bad and they've shown an inability to cleanly close out games. I do think KT are more of a middle of the pack team by seasons end but Griffin are just on a different plane of existence right now. 

I'm not touching this one. The odds are too far out of whack. If you're one of the spicy underdog bettors these are good odds for a KT team that has players that could conceivably steal a game here but I'll leave that to you. If you want to dabble in the UNDER 33:00 I actually don't think that's a bad number but Griffin have done a lot of splitting one over and one under. Typically they smash in game two after breaking the spirits of their enemies. I'll be abstaining there too. Other regions have opted to play on the hotfixed version of patch 9.3 but Korea I think is going to finish this cycle out on it so honestly anything could happen.

No wager (lean to UNDER 33:00)

If we consider the top three LCK teams to be Griffin, Sandbox, and SK Telecom then I think Kingzone are solidifying themselves as the #4 and I think they have more room to grow than Sandbox, who I believe might be due for some regression. Kingzone had a rough start but in hindsight their first two matches were against Griffin and Sandbox so those losses don't look so bad. They played well against SK Telecom and other than a weird punt to Gen.G have looked convincingly better than the rest of the league. Kingzone are a good team.

Hanwha Life are sorta floundering around with all these roster swaps and it's driving me insane. Going into the season I thought they'd be a little worse than last year and that has mostly turned out to be true but I just don't understand all these changes. I feel this team has the right idea they simply can't get into a rhythm. That said, Hanwha have shown us absolutely nothing against good teams. They're firmly ahead of the bottom of the table with convincing wins over Gen.G, Jin Air, and Afreeca as well as one over the middling KT Rolster. They did look quite good against Gen.G Wednesday morning but it's Gen.G.

I think the post-break weirdness factor is the only thing keeping me from firing heavier on this match. Regardless we'll be confidently taking Kingzone. They've not only improved with every match but have strong, decisive victories against teams similar or better than Hanwha like DAMWON. I also think Hanwha's strongest asset besides Lava, who has weirdly been on and off the bench, is their bottom lane of Sangyoon and Key and they have to face one of the strongest bottom lanes in Deft and Tusin in a matchup where I believe they'll struggle. Between the musical chairs of the roster, side selection, Kingzone's strongest lane likely handling Hanwha's biggest strength, and Kingzone overall looking like a much stronger team I feel confident enough to go bigger on this wager. We're simply not going to get value much better than this with Kingzone in a few weeks as they solidfy themselves as a playoff team so we need to fire now while the gettin' is good.

Moneyline: Kingzone -159 (3.5 units)

Handicapped: Kingzone -1.5 maps @ +185 (1.5 units)

Parlay (2): KZ -1.5 maps + GRF -1.5 maps @ +276 (0.5 units)


LPL Spring 2019 W4D1 - February 15th:

The LPL returns from it's two week break with a matchup between two very intriguing teams. One is RNG who have only played two series and without Uzi. The other is Vici look much improved this season, which may not be saying much compared to last year but still, improved. All three of their series have gone three games including a 2-1 victory against SinoDragon and 1-2 losses to likely playoff teams in EDward and Suning. They're aggressive and take the fight to you unlike anything they've done in the past two calendar years. It's promising but....

UZI IS BACK! Royal are a different team with Uzi in the lineup and after a short and well-deserved break after the long offseason the Eastern players go through with extra international tournaments immediately after Worlds we can hope to see him refreshed. This is the lineup a lot of people figured would start for RNG and I think with a couple weeks to relax and/or hammer out some ideas RNG should roll right over Vici and start their climb to the top of the table.

You know I'd say it's not just Uzi and that this whole team looked a little lost but there is a really good chance they just didn't give a damn about the first few weeks of the season knowing they had a two week break coming up. This lineup could have been a bit burnt out from a busy, shortened off season and really looked at the start of the season as tomorrow morning. Also Uzi and Karsa and simply two of the best of all time to play the game and if you consider that Karsa was solo carrying this team in a lot of their games already this season it can only improve with Uzi in the lineup. This should be a stomping.

Handicapped: RNG -1.5 maps @ -145 (4 units)

SinoDragon are a lot like what we'd consider a typical "Chinese" team. They're aggressive, love skirmishing, great team fighters, and while their macro game has holes they generally have the right approach to the game right now. They're kinda like a diet version of Snake from a couple years ago. Great deathball team with potential split push win cons too. SinoDragon are on of only a couple of teams we've seen play four series already. That said they've only really faced one top of the table team in EDward and struggled in that series. Decisive wins against Snake and Team WE as well as a really snowbally 1-2 loss to Vici where both teams seemed incapable of playing from behind make this team appear to be at least in the huge jumble in the middle of the LPL table. 

Rogue Warriors on the other hand have looked absolutely awful in my eyes. I know they have three games wins in four series which isn't abysmal but two of them were against LGD who look like they might be the worst team in the entire league and the other was against a JDG roster that's mostly brand new and honestly doesn't look that great yet either (or maybe never). ZWuji and Killua have been excellent and since replacing HuaTian, KongMing has been solid but I think this team looks better than they actually are. In game one of the LGD series this team was spoon-fed a massive lead by two completely moronic decisions by LGD early in the game and STILL punted their lead away multiple times. They're sloppy, careless, and I'm not even sure you can call them proactive when a team just gives you stuff like that. As a matter of fact, all of their game victories have come in this way. 

ZWuji looks like a promising young start but unfortunately I think this might be similar to Teddy's situation on downright awful Jin Air teams for most of his career. I don't think SinoDragon are the next big thing I just think Rogue Warriors are much worse than their record and more so their statistics show. I like SinoDragon here. They're a much stronger team fighting squad and have shown the ability to be effectively proactive even against better teams. 

Moneyline: SinoDragon -132 (1.5 units)

Handicapped: SinoDragon -1.5 maps @ +217 (0.5 units)


No selections but I wanted to mention that the LMS is in flux right now. In the two weeks and seven matches per team before the break there are only three wins separating first from last and that includes four teams at five wins. It's pretty interesting and there is definitely value to be gained in actually combing through these VODs to see who are the showers and growers but I simply don't have the time to at the moment (hopefully soon). Flash Wolves still appear to be the best team based on the few matches I have watched but it's debateable. Anyway it's just interesting and thought I'd mention it.


Spring 2019 LEC W5D1 - February 15th:

No lines posted yet,

It should be noted that the LEC have opted to play on the HOTFIXED Patch 9.3.

While there aren't lines posted on my primary book yet I do like the situation for Fnatic to beat Splyce. I know Fnatic have struggled but I simply can't see this team remaining bad. They have too much talent and experience. I also think Splyce is tremendously overrated so this is a weird version of the overrated/underrated concept and the spot is OUTSTANDING for Fnatic here in my opinion. I'll likely fire on them in the morning.

I'm also looking at Origen depending on the odds. I have a feeling to books will have them as slight favorites but I think anything less than -150 and I'm going to fire a couple on it for sure.

More on EU tomorrow.