Saturday, March 30, 2019

Betting: March 31st (LCK, LPL, NA LCS)

LCK Spring 2019 - W10D4:

You could make an argument for taking Jin Air here because Griffin has nothing to play for but Jin Air are locked into the #10 seed so the only inpsiration for them is bench players battling for jobs. The problem is they're bench players against Griffin. There isn't any value here unless you think Jin Air steal a game. I'm not touching this one.

No wager

I desperately want to like KT Rolster here but they got utterly smoked by a Hanwha team that had nothing to play for while they were battling to avoid relegation so it's really hard for me to trust them not just to show up for this, but to actually do well enough if they show up. It's seriously sad that this team is this bad and it's frustrating. They remind me a lot of the Jacksonville Jaguars. A great roster that basically just quits on their season a couple games in when they realize their quarterback isn't worth putting your body on the line for. Except the Blake Bortles in this situation is the two ADC's. Let's see KT Forg1ven or something or ZWuji next season! I'm not going to touch this game. I really want to bet KT but my brain is telling me DAMWON are going to do exactly what they did to Gen.G and smash. This is one of the benefits to having subs that are playing for a job. Just like we saw against Gen.G they have a lot to prove for next split. DAMWON don't want to finish on a bad note especially as a new team to the LCK and just like the Sandbox discussion we had yesterday newer teams tend to not coast into playoffs in the years they do that, in every region.

"Gut": KT Rolster ML (light)(initial)

Confidence: 1.5/5 (handicap), 1.0/5 (ML)

Value: 1.5 /1.5 (handicap), 1.5/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: DAMWON -1.5 @ +123 (2 units)


LPL Spring 2019 - W10D6:

This one is really tough. Two teams that have been colossal disappointments and before this morning one was going to be a MUST WIN situation... but SinoDragon have locked their playoff spot with a BiliBili loss this morning so it's really really difficult to get a feel for this one. My instinct tells me that Suning are going to want to end this incredibly disappointing split on a good note if for no other reason than their psychology going into summer. I think these teams are kind of even as it is and in a similar tier. I've had them both in the same spot all season. I'm actually going to take a one unit flier on Suning here. SinoDragon are going to want to avoid showing anything while Suning have nothing to lose. I know SinoDragon are going to want to go into playoffs on a good note but there's a certain amount of taking your foot off the gas when you don't need to win a series and almost everyone is guilty of it. This should be even money so we'll take the couple points of value we're getting on the dog.

Gut": Suning ML (light)

Confidence: 3.5/5 (handicap), 3/5 (ML)

Value: 0 /1.5 (handicap), 0.5/1.5 (ML)

Moneyline: Suning Gaming +103 (1 unit)

The toilet bowl... I mean jeez it's a good thing DAMWON and KT will be on because there's no way I'd stay awake for this one. The correct move here is probably to just take Vici because I don't think OMG are -154 better than anybody but this could also be a spot for the patented "bet both 2-0's" because it's arguably the two worst teams in the LPL. 

On second thought I think I've been too timid with betting bad team games this season and it's something I was profitable at last season. I should probably put a couple units on Vici here. The more I look at this Vici actually have better metrics almost entirely across the board in vision, damage, gold, and they've had a slightly more steady roster than OMG. I think OMG have the best player in the series in Icon which is often my tiebreaker in situations like this but honestly OMG shouldn't be this heavily favored against anyone. I'm going to do a really weird bet here and take the Vici ML for two units. Never in a million years did I think I'd do that but the value is right, they get selection, and honestly is OMG this much better? The answer is no.

Gut": Vici ML (light)

Confidence: 4.0/5 (handicap), 3/5 (ML)

Value: 0 /1.5 (handicap),  1.0/1.5 (ML)

Moneyline: Vici Gaming +115 (2 units)

JD can't catch Royal for the #4 seed and a bye past the first round and neither can WE so there really isn't a whole lot to play for here unless you want to come up with some narrative about avoiding EDG (I honestly kinda think there is something to that, EDG is so much better than these first round teams). This is a tough game to pin down. We don't know who is going to care, who is going to mail it in and honestly even if these teams had everything to play for this would be a close series. The correct play is probably to take the underdog in this situation because given nothing really matters, unless you think avoiding EDG matters which is maybe a thing, you should just take the plus money. I'm going to put a unit on WE here mostly just because I feel it's stupid for this not to be even money. JDG might be an ever so slightly better team but with side selection and both teams in the exact same situation there's no reason they should be favored by this much.

Gut": Team WE ML (light)

Confidence: 3.0/5 (handicap), 2.5/5 (ML)

Value: 0 /1.5 (handicap),  0.5/1.5 (ML)

Moneyline: Team WE +110 (1 unit)


NA LCS Playoffs Round 1 Day 2:

This was our unified bonus pick of the week on the podcast so you can go listen for more details but the long nad short of it is that we think TSM are clearly the #3 team and a full tier above the rest of the pack but a full tier below Team Liquid and Cloud 9. John had Echo Fox as the worst team in the league and while I wasn't quite that low on them I sincerely expected this team to finish 9th before this weird run they had to end the season. On one hand you could argue that the momentum is in favor of Echo Fox here but on the other you need to just look at what's being handed to you. I think you bet the 3-0 and if you're a pessimist you bet the 3-1 TSM win. There's a case to be made for a game being dropped by TSM as they "test the waters" in a five game series trying something out but they aren't the type of team to do that. I actually feel really strongly that TSM 3-0 this and as John said, "I think TSM would win every game in a best of ten." TSM are so much better than this team and I'm willing to risk the Echo Fox chaos for plus odds on this.

Gut": TSM -2.5 (moderate)

Confidence: 4.0/5 (handicap), 5/5 (ML)

Value: 1.0 /1.5 (handicap),  0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: TSM -2.5 maps @ +132 (4 units)

Friday, March 29, 2019

Betting: March 30th (LCK, LPL, LMS, NA LCS)

The Gold Card Podcast - Episode 6 is out!

iTunes Link

PodBean Link


LCK Spring 2019 - W10D3:

With a loss this morning KT didn't quite seal their fate as the #9 seed yet because Gen.G and Afreeca both have matches still AND KT has one more but KT now need to win their next series. What this means for Gen.G is that with a single game taken in this series they can avoid relegation based on game differential IF they take a single game. 

We've lost a few clicks of value since recording the podcast last night but as I mentioned then, I think Sandbox are exactly the kind of team that don't take games off and stylistically they're a difficult matchup for Gen.G. Gen.G struggled a lot with DAMWON who is a similar team in many ways to Sandbox. 

I'm a little surprised this line is this low so while I was initially going to be light on it, the more I look at it the more appetizing it seems to me. Sandbox should blow Gen.G out of the water even with Gen.G needing this win to stave off a potential relegation series. The catch here is that Sandbox are now locked into the #4 seed because Kingzone managed to win this morning against Griffin. They don't really have anything to play for except momentum but as we talked about before this is a young, new team and typically newer teams don't mess around with the "coasting into playoffs" method. They don't always respond to the negative momentum so I actually expect Sandbox to show up here. 

I made this my pick of the week on the podcast and I'm having just a bit of buyers remorse but I still feel pretty strongly about it. There is a good chance I get burned on this one because Kingzone managed to clinch #3 but I expect Sandbox were already preparing hard for this match and should be able to handle Gen.G even with these conflicting motivational factors. Sandbox should show up here and if anything they'll want to make a statement to their first round foes DAMWON that they too can smash Gen.G. We're also getting a reasonable value even though this was +108 yesterday.

"Gut": Sandbox -1.5 (moderate)

Confidence: 4.0/5 (handicap), 0/5 (ML)

Value: 0.5 /1.5 (handicap), 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: Sandbox -1.5 maps @ -103 (4 units)

I mentioned it on the podcast but I actually think a veteran team like SK Telecom are more likely to take this series off than the hungry new comers in Sandbox. Luckily for us we don't really need to make that decision because these odds are quite far out of range for us in a situation where Afreeca must win and SK Telecom only need to win a single game because they would still own the head to head tiebreaker against Kingzone. As long as SKT don't get shutout here this doesn't matter to them.

That said I think Afreeca are a wild team and I actually think there is a reasonable chance they take a game or even this series. It's not likely but it's certainly more likely than these odds imply considering the situation SK Telecom is in. However SKT could simply show up and stomp game one then coast because it'd be locked up at that point. SKT could also lose game one, get nervous, and somehow tilt off and lose game two. I could imagine that so maybe a flier on the Afreeca 2-0 @ +1071 is actually not that crazy...

I'm not going to touch this game but if I had to bet this it'd be Afreeca +1.5 for a light amount.

No wager


LPL Spring 2019 - W10D5:

I went on a long tyrade/love fest for FunPlus Phoenix last night. The bettor in me desperately wants to play Victory Five here but FunPlus are, as I said last night, "The most LPL team to ever LPL in the LPL." This team has no tactfulness whatsoever. They're the god damn Incredible Hulk. Who needs a fancy weapon or suit of armor when you just brute force manmode through everything. I'm not saying FunPlus aren't exploitable, far from it in fact as has been demonstrated, BUT they still win a lot of times even when exposed just through raw outplaying. They're exactly the kind of team I can't stand because of how dumb they are in draft sometimes but I just can't look away. FunPlus are so quintessentially Chinese League of Legends it's hilarious and it's truly fun to watch. 

 These odds are outrageous and FunPlus Phoenix have nothing to play for but this team, DoinB inparticular as a leader, is just so gung ho and balls to the wall that I can't even imagine even with a good game plan Victory Five taking this series the way they've been playing recently. I'm not going to bet this game and while I think Victory Five is the correct spot to be, I don't think they're likely to win this even if they "exploit" the weaknesses of FunPlus. 

No wager 

We've got three popcorn games in the LPL tomorrow, and yes I call FunPlus/V5 a popcorn game because FunPlus are simply a blast to watch. BiliBili absolutely must have this game to make playoffs as they've somehow fallen to a point where they're under threat to drop to #9. TopSports are also still playing for the #2 spot which would give them directly past the first two rounds of the playoffs. In other words both teams are highly incentivized to win this series. 

BiliBili have struggled in this absolute nightmare part of their schedule. This match will make them face literally the five best teams in the LPL in a row. I do think BiliBili are the #6 team in the LPL but as we've discussed on the podcast, they're still a cut below those teams. So the question here is whether or not we think the BiliBili MUST WIN or their season is done has more weight to it than TopSports battling to get another round bye in playoffs by clinching. I agree with what John said on the cast last night. I think TopSports is the most overrated of the top five teams in the LPL but they're still better than BiliBili. The thing is BiliBili are good AND they're in a must win.

To me this series goes one of two ways. BiliBili take the first game and win this series OR TopSports take the first game and BiliBili just get crushed under the pressure and cumulative confidence loss of this rough patch. BiliBili's victory against Invictus impressed me because IG were still playing for something and BiliBili were backs against the wall, rough losses watching their playoff chances slip away and they were able to get up for that game and take down arguably the best team in the world still. That takes guts. Do I think BiliBili are likely to win this series? No, but I do think +166 is a reasonable number and I LOVE the +434. Kalvin (@RulerrSama) said he loves the TopSports 2-0 on the cast and made it his pick of the week but I'm going to opposite direction. This isn't a heavy wager but I think BiliBili can fight their way through TopSports if they were able to do the same against Invictus and while I don't think this team is quite as good as these top five teams I do think this is the team they can beat and the situation is much more dire for them.

"Gut": BiliBili ML (light)

Confidence: 3.0/5 (handicap), 3.0/5 (ML)

Value: 0 /1.5 (handicap), 0.5/1.5 (ML)

Moneyline: BiliBili +166 (1.5 units)

Prop: Exact BiliBili 2-0 @ +434 (0.5 units)

I'm might not end up betting this game but I'll certainly be dialed in to it. I kind of like EDG here for similar reasons to BiliBili in the previous game but with Invictus and TopSports battling to bypass the first two rounds of the playoffs with the #2 seed and EDG attempting to steal the #4 seed from RNG to earn a bye past the first round. With both teams being the top tier of the LPL and both with a lot to play for it's difficult to see why even the World Champs are favored by this much. Don't get me wrong I think IG are the better team but not by this much. If I end up betting this game it will be a light wager on the EDG moneyline but I'm going to wait and see if we get favorable line movement. If it goes the other direction I'll be content to just watch this one since it should be an excellent series.

No wager (lean EDG ML and/or OVER 2.5 total maps)


LMS Spring 2019 - W9D4:

OK OK so I've been burned saying Flash Wolves are the best team in the LMS, they've looked shakey their past couple of matches but this line was quite literally Flash Wolves -192 yesterday and you're telling me that that loss, which does not eliminate their chances at first place in this final match showdown against MAD Team, dropped the odds that much? Seriously? There isn't a chance in hell that maybe, JUST MAYBE, Flash Wolves were looking past J Team this morning to this match? 

I'm all over Flash Wolves this is going to be a five unit hammer play. As a matter of fact I'm putting a unit on the Flash Wolves 2-0 also. In what universe does this line move that much because of a "bad" loss that didn't particularly matter. With a 2-0 Flash Wolves steal first place, with a 2-1 win a tiebreaker match gets played. Flash Wolves have the better metrics and the matches where they show up to play they look like the clear cut #1 team, they just take matches off. There is no way in hell they take this match off. Easy peasy slamalamadingdong!

"Gut": Flash Wolves ML (heavy)

Confidence: 3.5/5 (handicap), 4.5/5 (ML)

Value: 3.5 /1.5 (handicap), 3.5/1.5 (ML)

Moneyline: Flash Wolves -118 (5 units)

Prop: Exact Flash Wolves 2-0 @ +208 (1 unit)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Betting: March 28th (LCK, LMS)

LCK Spring 2019 - W10D1:

There might actually be something to the Jin Air +1.5 @ +271 here if SKT didn't actually need this to maintain their hold on the #2 seed. With a 2-0 here SKT would insulate themselves from Kingzone who would then need to 2-0 Griffin and hope SKT lose to Afreeca in order to take over the #2 spot. Not likely to happen but SKT could basically take care of business here and then not show anything against Afreeca or start subs because they'd have #2 locked up. Griffin already have #1 locked so SKT can't catch them.

There isn't really much more of an angle to this one. I guess you could say SKT might not care THAT much about the 2-0 because as long as they win their next two they're fine but I think even a lazy SKT is going to roflstomp this Jin Air squad. I'll almost never fault anyone for taking +1.5 @ +271... that's a ludacris number but I'm not touching this game.

No wager

This matchup is a bit more complex because there are a lot of angles and storylines at work here. DAMWON are locked into the #5 seed. They can't catch Sandbox and have too big a lead over Hanwha to lose their playoff spot in any scenario. So DAMWON have nothing to play for here besides momentum and pride but keep in mind that some of the subs who have seen a lot of time this season like Flame could be playing for either future jobs elsewhere or making a case to start in the second half. This is why I love extended rosters, because the subs don't check out in situations like this and you avoid, to some extent, player fatigue. 

Gen.G on the other hand are still technically battling to avoid having to play for relegation. Hanwha are locked in #6 while Gen.G, Afreeca, and KT Rolster are all currently battling to avoid the #9 spot. The current standings are as follows:

(compliments of Leaguepedia)

Gen.G have an extra series to play but have superior differential. With a win here they don't actually avoid relegation because theoretically Afreeca and KT could win out. KT plays against Hanwha and DAMWON, two teams that have nothing to play for but pride/momentum. Afreeca play SK Telecom who, if they 2-0 the first game tomorrow, will have nothing to play for either later this week. The point I'm making is that Gen.G don't just get to rest on their superior game differential because their actual series record is too close to their competition.

Now all of this might not mean anything to some people. You could just simplify things and say "this team is better than that team." I actually tend to side more with that because historically most teams DO NOT just mail it in. Nobody likes ending on a weird note. Most teams will go out and play a real series even if it's with subs. They might not be 100% all in try harding but I think the "nothing to play for" narrative gets a little overrated by some. I think it's important to know about but shouldn't weigh much more than a tiebreaker when making a decision about these picks. 

If you look strictly at situation then Gen.G is the correct side here and this looks like a good value but to me DAMWON aren't a veteran team and will potentially be playing subs that want to fight for a starting job next split. Gen.G didn't look particularly great against Afreeca who have been an absolute mess, as a matter of fact that series was an absolute clown fiesta despite the 2-0 score. 

It's counterintuitive because I think Gen.G are well-suited for this metagame but I'm going with the DAMWON 2-0 here because I think the value is actually in that selection and not the Gen.G +1.5. I honeslty figured we'd get better odds on this game and we didn't. It'd be easy to say DAMWON mail it in for this series but with new teams especially we rarely see that and I don't think Gen.G is as good as the "they've improved!" hype that's been following them the past few weeks. Much like early season JDG this team has lucked into a lot of wins this season or had wins handed to them, they rarely create on their own.

"Gut": Gen.G +1.5 (light) (INITIAL REACTION)

Confidence: 3.0/5 (handicap), 2.0/5 (ML)

Value: 0 /1.5 (handicap), 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: DAMWON -1.5 maps @ +133 (2 units)


LMS Spring 2019 - W9D2:

I'm going to wait to see the line movement on this AHQ/DGT game but just a few details about the final week in the LMS. Currently MAD and Flash Wolves are battling for #1 and unless Flash Wolves somehow go 0-2 this week AHQ isn't able to catch them at #2. The rest of the field #3-#7 are all battling for the 3rd and 4th playoff seeds. AHQ, JTeam, G-Rex, Hong Kong Attitude, and somehow Alpha are fighting for playoff spots. With a win against the abysmal Dragon Gate Team AHQ could all but lock up the #3 spot by taking a commanding two series lead over JTeam who has to face Flash Wolves later this week. I have hated AHQ this year because they've roasted me a few times but they've been steadily improving as the season goes on. That said, the LMS is a little like NA where the top two teams are a cut better than the rest and the rest is a crap shoot besides #3 AHQ. Earlier this year I thought that might be JTeam and it still might be but we might have two teams in that next tier above the rest of the league.

Anyway all of this is to say I actually like AHQ to 2-0 DGT. Dragon Gate are really really bad and while I hit on an upset pick on them earlier this year I'd expect AHQ to take care of business here especially because Dragon Gate embarassed them by winning 2-1 earlier this season. AHQ are going to retailiate and they are the better team by a good margain. That said this is the LMS and the bottom six teams aren't that far apart, they're all mediocre at best. I wouldn't fault you for avoiding this because DGT have shown the ability to upset "good" teams this split with game wins against AHQ, G-Rex, and MAD Team. I think we're getting good enough value at -159. 61.4% implied odds of the 2-0 I actually think its a little less than where I'd put this (around 70%). I'll take a couple units on the sweep for that especially given the revenge narrative. Embarassment can be a powerful motivator.

 "Gut": AHQ -1.5 (light)

Confidence: 4.0/5 (handicap), 5/5 (ML)

Value: 0.5 /1.5 (handicap), 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: AHQ -1.5 maps @ -159 (2 units)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Betting: March 27th (LPL)

Anybody that followed me last year knows that I punted away a ton of money during the second half of the season in the summer in the LPL just lazily betting 2-0's. That isn't the case here. I had good reasoning and thought process for all four of my selections this week and I still think they were the right side it just didn't pan out for us in this situation. It's just something to be aware of.


LPL Spring 2019 - W10D3:

I've had one hell of a week. We're down 17 units in the last two days but hey aggression gets punished sometimes and three out of four of those wagers I actually still feel fine about regardless of the outcome. Onward we march.

FunPlus have a chance to clinch not only an automatic bid to the semifinals with a win here but also a chance to secure side selection if they were to meet Invictus or TopSports in the finals by clinching the #1 seed with two wins this week. That's plenty of incentive but this line is just a bit too pricey for me to wager here. Vici have taken games in about half their series this season even against some good teams like EDG and JD but this team can't be relied on to do that. 

At these odds you could make an argument for the Vici +1.5 but I'm not going to mess with this match outside of including the FPP -1.5 in a parlay.

No wager

I've rewatched the RNG/SDG series twice now and I really just can't understand what's going on with this RNG team. On one hand you could say RNG tried the Kayle out in game one and still almost won. (side note: Uzi was unbelievable in this game watch it). On the other hand you could say RNG really just look lost in team fights. It honestly feels like nobody else is doing anything in these games and teams are just all in blitzing Uzi and RNG can't take advantage of that. It's a really tough thing to figure out. RNG have been sometimes been playing with good macro and play defense well as evidenced by SDG's struggle to close that game one but this isn't a consistent thing.

It might just be fatigue or laziness but RNG look a bit like they're just going through the motions. Against teams with playoff aspirations like SDG for example, you simply can't do that and unlike Invictus who have been reckless aggressive, RNG don't even appear to be consciously thinking about a lot of things in these games. 

All of this said I actually am going to bet RNG here. I know they've looked bad but this is their last regular season game and a win could potentially secure them the #4 seed if EDG lose to IG later this week which would give them a first round bye and potentially some rest for what appears to be a really exhausted team (at least to my eyes). I don't normally bet lines above -200 and almost never heavily but OMG are more or less barely better than a challenger team and I'm fairly certain RNG could sweep this in their sleep. The counterargument is that OMG did just take a series decisively over a team that likes to play in much the same style of scaling that RNG does in RW but RW are arguably the worst team in the league (like OMG and Vici). 

I look like a lunatic but RNG are going to take care of business here and this feels kind of free to me. Even with Zzt1ai getting his feet back under him I think RNG received a bit of a wake up call from SinoDragon yesterday and should obliterate OMG tomorrow.

"Gut": RNG -1.5 (heavy)

Confidence: 4.5/5 (handicap), 5/5 (ML)

Value: 0 /1.5 (handicap), 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: RNG -1.5 maps @ -204 (5 units)

LMS Spring 2019 - W10D3:

I think the MAD -1.5 is intriguing at plus money. Just thought I'd mention it. G-Rex managed to take a game in this series the first time around. The counterargument is that MAD just punted a series to Alpha and G-Rex took a game off of Flash Wolves and won three of their other previous four series. MAD also need these wins if they want the #1 seed which, much like Korea, seeds you directly to the finals. It's also worth noting that Flash Wolves and MAD team play in the final game of the season later this week and both teams are currently tied in match score while MAD holds the 2-1 edge in the head to head (first tiebreaker).

On second thought I'm going to put a couple units on MAD here and keep an eye on this for positive movement. It'd be easy to scare off after their pathetic loss to Alpha but MAD are the better team here by quite a bit and if I think the MAD 2-0 is the most likely outcome and we're getting plus odds I'm going to fire. 

"Gut": MAD -1.5 (moderate)

Confidence: 3.5/5 (handicap), 4.5/5 (ML)

Value: 1.0 /1.5 (handicap), 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: MAD Team -1.5 maps @ +105 (2 units)

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Betting: March 24th (LCK, LPL, LMS, NA LCS)

LCK Spring 2019 - W9D4:

I put this bet in on Wednesday night shortly after the show but I'm on Sandbox -1.5. With their loss last match, Hanwha aren't mathematically eliminated from playoffs but they'd have to win out AND DAMWON would have to lose out which isn't something anybody sees happening with DAMWON facing Gen.G and KT. It's not out of the realm of possibility at all but it's certainly not likely. I mentioned during my selection of Griffin -1.5 against Hanwha that playing back to back to back "must win" games is not only exhausting but demoralizing, especially when you lose all three of them. I can't see Hanwha being up for this game. Add in the fact that I think Sandbox are a tier above them AND need this game to stay in the running for the #2 seed with Kingzone and SK Telecom. They could also secure a minimum of the #4 seed with a victory here.

Combine all of these factors and you have a recipe for a biblical beatdown. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Sandbox absolutely obliterate Hanwha in this spot. Hanwha have exhausted all of their draft surprises, they physically looked defeated against Griffin before and after the games, and Sandbox are exactly the kind of team that can taste blood in the water and attack. We're also getting plus odds on what I believe is the most likely outcome in this series which I'm going to attack every single time.

"Gut": Sandbox -1.5 (heavy)

Confidence: 4.5/5 (handicap), 5/5 (ML)

Value: 1.0/1.5 (handicap), 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: Sandbox -1.5 maps @ +139 (5 units)

Anybody that watched Afreeca and Gen.G doesn't really need reason to justify this one. Afreeca are terrible and Kingzone look like the 3rd best, arguably the 2nd best team in the LCK right now. They're looking excellent recently. I also put this one in on Wednesday night/Thursday morning and we've lost some odds on it but once again we're getting plus odds or close to it on what I believe to be the most likely outcome. I'm going to fire every single time. Kingzone have also been one of the few teams that haven't dropped a lot of random games to middle and bottom of the table teams this season. They've lost 0-2 to SKT, Hanwha, Sandbox, and Griffin, lost a 1-2 to SKT, and had a 2-1 win against Gen.G, other than that they've 2-0'd EVERY OTHER SERIES. Kingzone take care of business and with the possibility to steal the #2 seed from SK Telecom as well as Sandbox also fighting for the same spot, Kingzone are not only going to be incentivized to win this game but specifically 2-0 it against a bad team. 

They've done it all season and they have tons of motivation to do it again. I absolutely love this pick. I'm actually going to add on to it and make it my pick of the week.

"Gut": Kingzone -1.5 (heavy)

Confidence: 4.5/5 (handicap), 5/5 (ML)

Value: 1.0/1.5 (handicap this was 1.5 at + odds), 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: Kingzone -1.5 maps @ +104 (3 units)

Handicapped: Kingzone -1.5 maps @ -132 (3 units)(Add on)



LPL Spring 2019 - W9D6:

I put this bet in during the show on Wednesday night. I think BiliBili are being severely underrated here because they've hit a tought part of their schedule and lost three series in a row but all of them were three game series and two of them were against great teams in EDG and RNG as well as a decent Team WE who are well positioned in the metagame. Do I think BiliBili are as good as the top five teams? I don't but they're not far and as a matter of fact I think they're the best of the rest in the LPL. 

This line shouldn't be this far apart. FunPlus have struggled the past couple of weeks both because of their schedule and because they've been a bit figured out. They haven't really adjusted at all, they're just brute forcing their way through teams which is actually impressive. This team is so good and so decisive that, despite being one dimensional, they're just overpowering people. Props to FunPlus but I think between being locked for playoffs (more or less) and BiliBili being underrated we're getting a lot of line value here. These two teams shouldn't be this far apart. I do think FunPlus are better but this line should be like -160 or something like that not -357... that's disrespectful to a team that's an intelligent macro team and will know how to execute the plan other teams have laid out to defeat FunPlus. I also think the players on BiliBili are being somehow underrated this season. ADD and Kuro have been out of this world for old school Korean players in a competitive LPL, a region that stylistically doesn't fit them. 

I'm going to be splitting on the moneyline and handicap here.

"Gut": BiliBili ML (moderate)

Confidence: 3.5/5 (handicap), 2.5/5 (ML)

Value: 1.5/1.5, 1.5/1.5 (ML)

Moneyline: BiliBili Gaming +238 (2 units)

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

I'm still skeptical of Team WE and maybe it's stupid that I'm not firing heavy on what looks like easy money here but I'm going to limit myself to two units on this. We're still getting close to even money on what I think is the most likely outcome (theme of the day....). The TL:DR here is that Vici look like one of the worst teams in the league and Team WE are in a meta that fits the one strength they have. If this was at any other part of the season I'd actually like Vici here because they've shown the ability to play spoiler against decent teams this season but Team WE are still in the momentum driver's seat at the moment and I'm not going to look a potential gift horse in the mouth.

"Gut": Team WE -1.5 (light)

Confidence: 4.0/5 (handicap), 4.5/5 (ML)

Value: 1.0/1.5, 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: Team WE -1.5 maps @ -102 (2 units)

Maybe the two worst teams in the LPL. We talked about this one on the cast a bit and I'm actually going to use our double 2-0 approach. In series with two awful teams it's often a matter of who shows up that day. There's almost a higher chance of either team winning 2-0 than there is a close three game series. I do think Rogue Warriors have the best player in this game in ZWuji but I'm going to split a unit each on the 2-0's here as I don't feel strongly either way just that we'll get a lopsided series. Either OMG will "stun" RW with a map one win and then win game two or Rogue Warriors will pound OMG in map one and the same thing. You could make an argument for always betting the underdog here too and OMG are at home for this series. On the cast I said I "kinda liked" OMG here because if they're going to get any kind of win this season this is the spot but I'm going to recind that recommendation. I wouldn't fault you for that though.

"Gut": OMG +125 (lean)

Confidence: 1.5/5 (handicap), 2.5/5 (ML)

Value: 0/1.5, 0.5/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: Rogue Warriors -1.5 @ +177 (1 unit)

Prop: Exact OMG 2-0 @ +294 (1 unit)


Parlay (2): Sandbox -1.5 + Kingzone -1.5 @ +293 (1 unit)

Parlay (3): Sandbox -1.5 + Kingzone -1.5 + Team WE -1.5 @ +659 (0.5 units)

Parlay (5, full Eastern slate prediction): Sandbox -1.5 + Kingzone -1.5 + Team WE -1.5 + BiliBili +1.5 + Rogue Warriors -1.5 @ total odds +3537 (0.25 units)

Parlay (5, full Eastern slate prediction with BiliBili win): Sandbox -1.5 + Kingzone -1.5 + Team WE -1.5 + BiliBili ML + Rogue Warriors -1.5 @ total odds +7132 (0.25 units)


VCS Spring 2019:

I haven't watched a lot of the VCS this year but I was perusing the other leagues and spotted what looked kinda weird. First of all Sky and EVOS are the #2 and #3 respectively but Sky have significantly better metrics they look, statistically speaking, a cut above the rest of the league. In other words there's a big gap between #2 and #3. Sky Gaming decisively 2-0'd the first meeting between these two teams with two sub 29 minute blowouts. EVOS haven't taken a single game from either of the top two teams this season and recently they've even lost a few games to middle of the table teams. This is sort of like the LMS. The top two are pretty clear, the #3 is better than the rest but not remotely close to the top two and the rest of the league is weak. Getting +187 on the exact same result happening seems absurd to me and while I don't normally fire this aggressively on leagues I don't follow closely I just thought it looked bizarre. We're going to try our hand here.

Handicapped: Sky Gaming -1.5 maps @ +187 (1.5 units)


North American LCS W9D2:


Friday, March 22, 2019

Betting: March 23rd (LCK, LPL, LMS, NA LCS)

LCK Spring 2019 - W9D2:

We talked about this one quite a bit on the pod considering the two teams at hand. With Gen.G's win today, KT Rolster move into a situation where they're battling to not have to play their relegation match and Afreeca have two match wins up on them. The lowdown is this. KT Rolster play Jin Air, Hanwha Life, and DAMWON to finish out the season. Afreeca have two more matches one each against Kingzone and SK Telecom. It's likely that Afreeca lose those final two and move to 5-13 in match score. KT Rolster need to win two of their next three in convincing fashion in order to tie and the tiebreaker is game differential. Currently KT are -14 and Afreeca are -12 so KT are going to be extra motivated not to drop any maps if possible. 

So the question is whether we think KT Rolster can cleanly 2-0 Jin Air. I'm thinking yes and before you all jump in with your "oh but the meta is moving towards the way Jin Air play" argument I'm going to slap it right down and just ask you to look at this challenger team and then look me in the eye and tell me they care enough to even show up for this match. Jin Air are actually locked into 10th place. Their game differential is so far down that even with back to back match wins against KT and Griffin (lol) they couldn't catch up. KT are going to give it their all in this match and Jin Air are still trying to figure out what roster they like. 

I know Jin Air have taken some games/series recently but this feels like a KT stomping to me. We have had a lot of trouble trusting this KT team to close games and while it terrifies me to no end to bet a KT sweep on this patch where closing cleanly is important I can't help but think this team is going to be up for this game. I also think they have superior players at every position and yes, that includes both ADCs. People are going to be afraid to bet this one because it's KT but I'm going to be aggressive and actually take the KT sweep here. We're not really getting any particularly great value but I do feel very confident in this selection, something I never thought I'd say about KT. 

"Gut": KT Rolster -1.5 (moderate)

Confidence: 3.5/5 (handicap), 4.5/5 (ML)

Value: 0 /1.5 (handicap), 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: KT Rolster -1.5 maps @ -139 (2 units)

I said it on the podcast and I'll say it again. Unless there is a disaster I'll be betting the Griffin -1.5 for the rest of the split. We get some value because people are overhyping some losses. Griffin are still clearly the best team in the LCK and to me it's not particularly close even heading into a changing meta. Like I said in my last post, patch changes and "Sword being patched out" is an extremely overblown declaration. I'm saying all of this and still acknowledging that DAMWON need this win. What people don't realize is that Griffin also need this win to hold on to #1. Actually with a win here and a series up on SK Telecom they could clinch the #1 seed because of game differential with a win here. 

I love betting against people doubting a great team due to a few losses and that's what we're doing here. I know Griffin punished us for betting them back to back coming off their first loss but I'm going to ride with them. As I've said, I think this team is exceptional. They're special and different and they're able to clinch #1 with a win here. I love Griffin at this number even against a good, desperate team in DAMWON.

"Gut": Griffin -1.5 (heavy)

Confidence: 4.0/5 (handicap), 4.5/5 (ML)

Value: 1.0 /1.5 (handicap), 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: Griffin -1.5 maps @ -122 (4 units) 


LPL Spring 2019 - W9D5:

Road will be starting for Victory Five and Suning are starting a new ADC. I don't know enough about either of these players but I do know that this line opened at -263/+172 and this is where it is now. I tend to think a change of pace benefits both teams but before the changes I kinda liked V5 +172 just because that number is out of line because these two teams aren't that far apart. Both of these teams have been inconsistent and disappointing and with these change ups I just don't know how these teams are going to respond. I'm abstaining because I just don't know the new Suning carry at all.

No wager

I put this bet in when this was +189 but I'd still bet this at that number. I absolutely love EDG here primarily because I think Top, while definitely an elite team, are not this much better than EDG and because I think if both teams played at their ceilings EDG would win. Top have also clinched a playoff berth already and will be potentially taking the foot off the gas a little. I'm not saying Top aren't going to be trying but I do think they'll be a little less motivated than EDG who not only have a tough remaining schedule but still need the wins, albeit less after beating BiliBili. TopSports also just lost a series to WE and while they're a team that's surging at the moment in a metagame that suits them, they're still not as good a team as EDG. TopSports aren't as easily exposed at FunPlus and are still one of the best teams in the LPL but I think the top five teams are all pretty close and none of them deserve to be this heavy a favorite over one another in my opinion. 

EDG need the win, TopSports don't AND I think this line should be closer to even than this.

"Gut": EDG ML (moderate)

Confidence: 1.5/5 (handicap), 3.5/5 (ML)

Value: 1.5 /1.5 (handicap), 1.5/1.5 (ML)

Moneyline: EDG +189 (3 units)

The new "best" rivalry in League of Legends and a potential final preview! RNG have been IG's kryptonite but I can't help but feel that the script will be flipped here. The deal with this game is this, the "smart" bet is RNG because they're an underdog with side selection and homefield and these two teams are basically even, give or take a few percentage points. So if you're going to bet this either take RNG or take a stand on either of the 2-0's for value, otherwise just watch. I happen to think IG are, and have been the better team and just so happened to drop two playoff series to RNG. I think the revenge factor is real, and I think IG are just the better team overall. 

That said this is a popcorn game. I'm placing a light wager, mostly for fun, on the IG -1.5 because I think it's totally reasonable to expect IG to come out 200% to shut all the naysayers up and conquer their own personal boogeyman. 

"Gut": IG -1.5 (light)

Confidence: 2.5/5 (handicap), 2.5/5 (ML)

Value: 1.0 /1.5 (handicap), 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: Invictus -1.5 maps @ +168 (1 unit)


LMS Spring 2019 - W9D2:

For now no wagers but might bet MAD -1.5 tomorrow. I don't feel strongly enough about this slate but the MAD -1.5 is intriguing. Only reason that number is that way is because AHQ swept Flash Wolves. Don't think it's likely they do it again, the team isn't that good.

No wagers 


North American LCS Spring 2019 - W9D1:

(BetOnline lines)

(images from

The last week of the NA LCS is fairly uninteresting this year. The things you need to know:

  • Team Liquid have already secured #1
  • Cloud 9, Team Solo Mid, and FlyQuest have already clinched a playoff berth
  • Cloud 9 clinch #2 with any win this weekend
  • 100 Thieves are the only team truly mathematically eliminated but Clutch would need to 2-0 and have a few things fall their way to get the #6 seed. Highly unlikely.
As it stands I'll just tell you my predictions because it will paint how I'm betting this. I think OpTic are getting in with one of the two remaining seeds. They're a one dimensional team but they're very confident and have been looking the strongest of the bottom six LCS teams in recent weeks in my opinion. I think they take down Golden Guardians today and 100 Thieves tomorrow which will put Golden Guardians in a must win against FlyQuest who are basically locked into 4th because of TSM's lead. FlyQuest have little to nothing to play for this weekend other than momentum. It'd be pretty hard to make a legitimate case other than "best of ones dude..." for FlyQuest (which is why I'm playing them in DFS #Contrarian). 

Those are the only games I feel strongly about on this entire slate tbh. I don't dislike betting any heavy underdog against any team that has nothing to play for but I won't be doing that in every situation this week. Examples of that include Echo Fox +274 vs TL and FlyQuest +147 vs C9. I don't include Clutch vs TSM in that list because TSM are technically still playing Cloud 9 for the #2 seed which matters in NA because #1 and #2 both get first round byes. 

I'll be riding with Echo Fox +274 for one unit because Echo Fox are not eliminated and need to 2-0 this weekend while Team Liquid have nothing to play for and I'd assume would rather not show anything unless they absolutely have to. Echo Fox are going to throw the kitchen sink at this game and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see them steal a win. Do I think it's likely? Not particularly because I think TL could win this even just playing vanilla but I think it's more likely than these odds imply so I'm going to bet it.

Moneyline: Echo Fox +274 (1 unit)

I'm also going to put two units on OpTic +111 vs Golden Guardians. I love Froggen and think he's still a great player but his team has brought absolutely nothing to the table the past couple of weeks. This team is in a spiral and I frankly don't trust them to get it together for even a week in a must win situation. I wanted GG to be good so badly this season but they just aren't. I'm not sure what happened to some of these players but expectations have not been met. OpTic look confident, GG do not. I'm sticking with the momentum and the team with the best individual player here.

Moneyline: OpTic +111 (2 units)

I know on the cast I said I liked CLG here after John convinced me  but I've flip flipped again. I tend to love fading the "they're done" narrative. For as bad as 100 Thieves have looked I can't help but think this team wants to end this season on literally any positive not they possibly can and I think Counter Logic Gaming are terrible. I'm putting a half unit on 100 Thieves. I don't think CLG are -217 better than literally anybody in this league and 100 Thieves could want to play spoiler and perhaps end the season on any kind of good note they can muster. I'll go down with the "they can't possibly be this bad" ship one last time.

Also if 3-4 academy players start I still like this pick. I really think CLG are trash and I'd rather the academy players giving it their all showing for a job next season over CLG. Again this is a light half unit wager. I also think people tend to over compensate for subs especially if it's a bad team subbing.

Moneyline: 100 Thieves +167 (0.5 units)

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Betting: March 22nd (LCK, LPL, LMS)

The Gold Card Podcast Episode 5

We talk about every game in the major regions and some other things on the podcast. Recorded last night.



LCK Spring 2019 - W9D2:

On the cast last night we went fairly deep on this match and what it boils down to is whether you prefer two superior solo lanes or a superior bottom lane. In the current metagame, it's not entirely about stalling or anything quite like previous season but it is a little more friendly to scaling compositions, something that suits Gen.G very well.

I'm going to be light on the over 2.5 maps played here because unlike my collegues I actually don't think this is going to be a clean Gen.G win. These two teams are similarly disappointing but play in completely opposite ways. They're also both fighting to avoid relegation and KT Rolster could throw a wrench in those plans. This should be a weirdly competitive series and a display of two distinctly different styles.

I like Gen.G to win this series and I find it a little strange that they're slight dogs. The main reason I think Gen.G take this is because I feel Afreeca have struggled to close quickly in a lot of their limited number of wins this season and that's not the kind of game you want to play against Gen.G. In other words Gen.G have one redeeming characteristic and I can totally see Afreeca playing right into it. That said I do think Afreeca's bizarre drafting and strategy will probably throw Gen.G for a loop and they'll take a game. I like getting plus odds on the Over 2.5.

"Gut": Gen.G ML (light or nothing)

Confidence: 1/5 (handicap), 3.5/5 (ML)

Value: 0.5 /1.5 (handicap), 0/1.5 (ML)

Prop: Over 2.5 maps played @ +105 (1 unit)

It's so tempting to look at this +152 number on Sandbox and take them. They've been so impressive this season but I keep thinking back to that stretch where they struggled in the middle of the season and can't help but think this team is going to have their ups and downs. Sandbox are a fairly linear team. They figure out one thing that works for them on a patch and they stick to it. Sometimes this is good and sometimes this is bad. If they are figured out early in a patch they seem to struggle but that hasn't been the case often this season. I actually think when you look at this game it screams Sandbox ML but after a lot of thought and discussion on the cast I'm actually going with the SKT 2-0. 

For as good as Sandbox have looked they are still a one dimensional team and SKT are not. I still think SKT are the second best team in Korea despite their ups and downs this season and I feel pretty strongly that they will go into playoffs as the #2 seed. After andi mpressive sweep of Kingzone SKT dropped a 1-2 slugfest (best series of the year) to Griffin and then dropped games to the weaker KT Rolster and Hanwha Life but both KT and HLE were in must win situations and soundly defeating teams with everything to lose can prove difficult even for the very best. I also can't help but think that SKT were looking ahead to this matchup and will be approaching this with a playoff intensity. The meta is unbelievably good for this team right now with premium picks on this patch as specialities for every player. I also think SKT just outclass Sandbox at every position. 

I wouldn't fault you for the Sandbox ML because it looks enticing but I think SKT are going to stomp this.

"Gut": Sandbox ML (light)

Actual Wager: below
Confidence: 3.5/5 (handicap), 4.5/5 (ML)

Value: 1.5 /1.5 (handicap), 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: SK Telecom -1.5 maps @ +156 (2 units)


LPL Spring 2019 - W9D4:

John made LGD his pick of the week on the podcast last night and while I might not be as heavy on this game as he is I do agree with the premise. LGD have looked, perhaps, like they don't belong in the bottom tier of LPL teams as they've been challenging the mid tier teams but they also lost to Vici so it's pretty tough to get a feel for this squad. I look at the individual players and feel that not only are they good (except Condi who I'm lower on than most people) , but that this should be a favorable meta for them. SinoDragon have also been a bit up and down this season with spike wins against TopSports, FunPlus, and BiliBili but also struggle against JD, Vici, and some surprisingly close games against OMG. SDG are a team I pinned to be a new player in the LPL but after watching this team I feel similarly to my cohosts, this team just doesn't have it. They are like the diet version of the store version of FunPlus Phoenix. One dimensional, figured out, and reliant on outplays but unlike FunPlus, they don't know what to do with a lead or how to generate advantages. They're just a battering ram. 

Basically what I'm saying is that I actually think these two teams are a lot closer than both the standings and odds show you. I wouldn't quite say this is a trending up plus trending down situation because I'm not sure LGD are what you'd call "trending up" but I do think SinoDragon have lost a bit of respect from me. This team just isn't quite as good as I thought they were and quite frankly they aren't -227 better than anybody which is the primary motivation for my bet on LGD. This is a value bet. There isn't really a reason LGD should be this big of an underdog against an underwhelming, inconsistent, and one dimensional team. I also think that LGD could potentially rumble and tumble with SinoDragon at their own game to a good enough level to actually win straight up in that way. Love the value we're getting with LGD here. I actually don't hate the exact LGD 2-0 @ + 386 OR the over 2.5 as wagers either but I'm going to stick to the ML and a light prop wager.

"Gut": LGD ML (light to moderate)

Confidence: 1/5 (handicap), 3.5/5 (ML)

Value: 0 /1.5 (handicap), 1.5/1.5 (ML)

Moneyline: LGD Gaming +166 (2 units)

Prop: Exact LGD 2-0 @ +386 (0.5 units)

I can't believe I'm actually considering betting OMG here but I am. Listen, I think OMG might be the worst team in the LPL but Snake haven't done jack to impress me and quite frankly, OMG at home after an awful season and nothing to lose feels like as good a time as any but in reality this is a similar approach to the last game. Snake are not -222 better than ANYBODY which is almost reason enough to bet the dogs here. I'm going to wait to fire on this one but it's a strong lean to OMG ML. I just need to see if I can actually convince myself to bet on this team.

No wager (STRONG LEAN to OMG ML)


I didn't get a chance to talk about it on the cast last night since we ran over but this is the last weekend in the LMS regular season and it's going to reach a peak on Sunday where the #1 and #2 Flash Wolves and MAD Team will meet in what will likely be a showdown for the #1 seed in the final game of the season. First of all sweet scheduling LMS. Second of all I'll be betting Flash Wolves 2-0's until and perhaps in that match. Flash Wolves are the better team and are only behind in the chase for #1 because of a slow start to the season while figuring out their new roster. They're firing on all cylinders now. They might not be quite as dominant as previous iterations of the wolves but this is still the best team in the LMS and we're getting bettable handicaps. The LMS does tiebreakers with first head to head series record followed by head to head single game record, and then if still tied there is an actual tiebreaker game played. MAD Team won the first meeting 2-1 so Flash Wolves could 2-0 MAD on Sunday to steal first place or win 2-1 and force a tiebreak game but I digress. 

The point is Flash Wolves need this win and AHQ, like the majority of the LMS is a bad team. AHQ being 4th place currently has absolutely no significance to me because this league is extremely shallow and much weaker than it was years ago. There are two relevant teams maybe three if you are super optimistic about JTeam. I know AHQ came close in the first meeting playing two long games but it was a long time ago and Flash Wolves wasn't quite up to strength yet.. Flash Wolves should wipe the floor here and we're getting a very bettable -143 handicap.

"Gut": Flash Wolves -1.5 maps (heavy)

Confidence: 4.5/5 (handicap), 5/5 (ML)

Value: 1.5 /1.5 (handicap), 0/1.5 (ML)

Handicapped: Flash Wolves -1.5 maps @ -143 (3.5 units)