Friday, August 30, 2019

Betting: August 31st and September 1st (LCK, LPL, LEC playoffs)

LCK Summer 2019 - Grand Finals

SK Telecom -167 (-1.5 @ +116, -2.5 @ +311)
Griffin +130 (+1.5 @ -152, +2.5 @ -455)

We spent a lot of time talking about this one on the podcast Wednesday night. This is going to be a great series between two of the top teams in the world. I think this is pretty close to 50/50 which might come as a surprise to some people given SKT's dominant performances recently. Griffin were absolutely embarassed by SK Telecom in Spring Finals. Combine that image and SKT's current form and people are understandably leaning toward SKT here. I'm going against the grain for a number of reasons.

Firstly, Griffin are going to have side selection as well as the advantage of watching three series from SK Telecom on this patch against good teams. It's worth noting that historically the team running the gauntlet with momentum has won a fair amount in Korea compared to other regions but it hasn't always been the case especially in recent years. You could choose to look at this as a disadvantage for Griffin but I'm still viewing it as an edge. Preparation time has proven to be extremely valuable to the top LCK teams.

Secondly, we're getting a lot of line value here based on how I handicap these teams. For all intents and purposes I rate Griffin and SKT as equals so this should be a 50/50. Side advantage usually accounts for some amount of points especially in best of fives, as does preparation time. If you consider those as small edges for Griffin, say 10 points each, then this line should probably be more like -120 for Griffin. Also worth considering is that the head to head match score during Summer was 1-1 with Griffin holding a 3-2 game score lead. If you look over the course of the year Griffin have won three out of four regular season series and lost the Spring Finals. All told Griffin hold a 3-2 series lead with a 7-6 game score if you include the Spring Finals. Both teams also looked similarly excellent to end the season, in fact I'd argue Griffin looked slightly better in the last three matches given SKT's density of uncharacteristic errors.

Thirdly, and this point holds a bit less weight given SKT's early Summer struggles, but Griffin hold a metrics edge in more or less everything besides literal wards placed per minute (but they hold a near 5% edge in % of enemy wards cleared), and damage per gold per minute. Griffin hold commanding leads in gold per minute, gold differentials at 10 and 15 minutes, gold differential per minute, experience differential, a 71% first tower vs SKT's 40%, a 60% first blood vs SKT's 47%.. Once again some of these are skewed in Griffin's favor due to SKT's struggles early in the season but it's worth mentioning that the rate statistics are fairly indicative of good play. 

There's also the eye test and strategic elements to this. For as good as SKT have looked they haven't been perfect. They've had a bit of a swagger which is fun to watch but also can cause critical errors especially against an extremely disciplined team like Griffin. Griffin haven't had to show anything. I know this point tends to get overstated because they could simply have the wrong read and get blown out but Griffin have similar champion pools. Perhaps the most different is Clid vs Viper as they both have a handful of unique selections and their main pools don't overlap quite as much as some other junglers. Picks such as Lee Sin or Khazix could end up being a catalysts for good or bad. 

Experience is clearly on the side of SK Telecom with four Hall of Famer's on their side while Griffin are likely marching out Doran into his first playoff series ever. Nerves could certainly play a role in this so SKT get the edge here. 

Narrative is on the side of Griffin wanting revenge and to get the proverbial monkey off their back after the embarassing loss to SKT in Spring Finals. However you could also argue that "they don't care about this" because they've clinched Worlds already. I think that second arguement couldn't be further from the truth. This team wants revenge and is tired of being the bridesmaid but never the bride.

All in all I think if you weigh these factors you could tell yourself a story for either side based on what measures you put more weight on. I'm going to be siding with Griffin here. Something about this feels kind of like KT Rolster last year. A long history of disappointments and shortcomings and "somehows" finally put to rest. Griffin are one of the best teams in the world. So are SK Telecom. To me there isn't any reason one should be this heavy of a favorite over the other. I like Griffin to win this series in what will likely be an absolute slobberknocker. LCK Summer Finals seemingly ALWAYS deliver on drama and ridiculously high level gameplay and I expect nothing less from these two juggernauts.

(NOTE: I'm putting a little extra on this mostly to plant my flag but you should be able to determine your risk tolerance/preference and wager accordingly for this one. I think the Griffin +1.5 is the smart play here but I'm rolling with the moneyline and no +1.5 instead of the +1.5 or BOTH. Just the ML for me.)

Moneyline: Griffin +135 (4.5 units)

Moneyline: Griffin +160 (1 unit)(add on at 5d)

Spread: Griffin -2.5 maps @ +575 (0.25 units)


LPL Summer 2019 - Semifinals

FunPlus Phoenix -625 (-1.5 @ -256, -2.5 @ +143)
BiliBili Gaming +397 (+1.5 @ +190, +2.5 @ -189)

This line has moved up from -500. This is more or less too rich to bet by any angle other than extreme spreads of kill totals. I have been locked out of the books that offer totals bets but I absolutely LOVE the OVER 26.5 kills here so take that if you have it offered. I originally liked BiliBili here mostly citing line value and FunPlus' "choke artist" history as my reasoning but the more I've thought about BiliBili's struggles against the elite teams the more I think FunPlus probably just run this one over 3-0 or 3-1. The problem is that the lines are too far out of my range given the likelihood of that outcome. If you can get BiliBili closer to +500 maybe you take a shot or the +1.5 or something but I'm just going to pass this. This is one of those cases where I think the value shouldn't supercede the "do you actually think they'll win?" factor. I'm passing this one.

No wager (take the over 26.5 kills if it's offered)

Royal Never Give Up -125 (-1.5 @ +155, -2.5 @ +395)
TOP eSports +105 (+1.5 @ -185, +2.5 @ -545)

I'm not sure if it's name brand value or what but at no point this season have I thought RNG were better than TOP. John felt the same way on the podcast. The only way you can logically see this line is either overreaction to the LNG win, and really how much credit do we want to give RNG there, or the angle that RNG "always step it up in playoffs." I've been absolutely burned by a few teams this season operating under that "they always step up" logic but RNG are seemingly uncanny at it. 

I actually like TOP here. I think they're a legitimately better team and one of the few teams that could beat RNG at their own game if they choose to handshake. Loken has been a better player than Uzi this year. Put them even if you wish but I think Loken is arguably the best ADC in the world right now. Knight has been one of the best mid laners on the planet as well. Xiaohu is a great player but he's not on the level Knight has been at over the past two calendar years. Top lane I'd probably lean toward Langx but 369 reminds me a lot of Impact, incredible as a neutralizer but still able to put in carry performances. The biggest edge for RNG comes in the jungle with Karsa who is one of the best at his position in the world, maybe the best. Both teams play a somewhat similar style with TOP being a tad more disciplined while RNG are a tad more wild, or loose. 

To me this series comes down to Knight vs Karsa. There is a ton of weight is on Karsa's shoulders. It's going to be on him to neutralize the carries for TOP or I don't think I like RNG's chances. That said, in these kinds of situations I want the jungler to be the tiebreaker. I want a world class jungler to bail my team out so that's a good thing for RNG. I'm siding with TOP here. Not only do I think they're the better overall team but they also get side selection and got to see a series from RNG. A win for TOP here could also propel them to the World Championships on circuit points if FunPlus Phoenix end up winning the Summer split but I doubt they're thinking anything less than winning the split themselves.

TOP are a damn good team and I think a lot of people who don't watch the LPL don't realize that. Sometimes they aren't exciting but they're excellent. If you believe in the "RNG always clutch it out" narrative then feel free to go the other way but I think TOP are inaccurately rated as underdogs here when they shouldn't be. Unless you want to hold their lack of playoff experience against them compared to RNG (who doesn't RNG have an experience edge on?) then you should be on TOP. 

Moneyline: TOP eSports +105 (4 units)


LEC Summer 2019 - "Juggernaut" Match

G2 eSports -400 (-1.5 @ -182, -2.5 @ +167)
Fnatic +286 (+1.5 @ +139, +2.5 @ -222)

This new format is actually interesting because it makes me think these two teams will come into this series a lot looser than they normally would. Typically, even with great teams, the first game or two of a high pressure best of five tend to be a bit more reserved. Nobody wants to make the first mistake and there's an element of feeling each other out. I think this series goes one of a few ways. Both teams treat this very blandly. Both of these squads are so much better than Schalke that I don't think they're necessarily must takes this match that seriously. Reasonable chance that both squads will treat this blandly, not wanting to show anything. Conversely this could also be open air to experiment and try to gain some draft equity by showing something wild to try to earn bans in finals, assuming they see each other. It's really tough to tell. 

For these reasons I actually think the play is OVER 3.5 maps @ -182. Sure there is a chance either team 3-0's if one team shows up not wanting to show anything but I tend to think it's more likely that we either get a few total clown fiestas or a few rather bland games. I initially liked the over 29.5 kills (which is obscenely high by the way) but I'm not a bit afraid of the possibility of both teams not wanting to show anything. I'd still bet it but for half the amount. European teams tend to be very brazen so I expect these two to be a little loose and have fun testing each other in this one. If you're feeling really froggy and want to jump then take a show on the Fnatic moneyline although that time may have passed with this line moving down to +286 from as high as +350. 

Prop: OVER 3.5 maps played @ -165 (4 units)

Moneyline: Fnatic +350 (0.5 units)(got this at 5D)

Spread: Fnatic +1.5 @ +160 (0.5 units)(also 5d)



Parlay (2): Griffin ML + TOP ML @ +280 (1 unit)

Parlay (2): G2/FNC OVER 3.5 maps + TOP ML @ +120 (1 unit)

Parlay (2): G2/FNC OVER 3.5 maps + Griffin ML @ +218 (1 unit)

Parlay (3): Griffin ML + TOP ML + Fnatic ML @ +1940 (0.5 units)

Parlay (3): G2/FNC OVER 3.5 maps + Griffin ML + TOP ML @ +635 (0.5 units)

Parlay (4): Schalke -1.5 (won) + G2/FNC OVER 3.5 + Griffin ML + TOP ML @ +1485 (0.5 units)

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Betting: August 30th (LEC Playoffs Round 2)

LEC Summer 2019 - Playoffs Round 2

FC Schalke 04 -189 (-1.5 @ +104, -2.5 @ +280)
Rogue +146 (+1.5 @ -135, +2.5 @ -400)

Over/Under: 27.5 kills, 32:00

UNDER 3.5 maps @ +186
UNDER 4.5 maps @ -250
OVER 3.5 maps @ -250
OVER 4.5 maps @ +185

I'm back from Vegas and boy oh boy am I glad I was out there instead of sweating it here this weekend because WHAT A FIESTA! Seriously what the hell happened this past weekend. I've been combing over the VODs for the past two days and jeez what a weird one. C'est la vie I suppose.

Right away your gut reaction is that Schalke stomp this series. I still think that's true. Historically it's very profitable to bet against teams coming off of a massive upset. Every so often you get one that's a true momentum squad but Rogue weren't a good team all year and even when they were surging, weren't particularly impressive. Schalke aren't exactly a dominant team either but they looked rather dominant in their series against Vitality. As a matter of fact I think they looked uncharacteristically confident and carried themselves with a certain swagger.

We talked a lot about this one on the podcast this week but now that I've had the chance to watch the VODs for these teams I have to say it's harder than it looks not because Rogue looked surprisingly good but because I really don't know how much stock to put into the Schalke victory. Vitality was really bad... like REALLY REALLY bad. I guess you can't really count it against Schalke that their opponent was terrible but I'm basing most of this call on a full season of film and the context of a team coming off of a massive upset. In these cases it tends to pay to be the wet blanket of reason so we're going to be on Schalke here. A lot of times a "bad" team has to pull out all the stops with a weird pick or strategy or just play way above their level to have a chance at an upset the level of Rogue's last week but it's tough to repeat that. It's not quite automatic because Rogue look confident as hell but I'm extremely confident that Schalke handle them 3-0 or 3-1 so we're going to hammer the -1.5. I'm no longer able to bet kill/time over unders for the time being but I love the over 27.5 kills here too.

Spread: Schalke -1.5 @ +104 (5 units)

Spread: Schalke -2.5 @ +280 (0.5 units)

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Betting: August 22nd-25th (Playoffs, LCK, LPL, LEC, NA LCS)

LCK Summer 2019 Playoffs - Round 2

#4 SK Telecom -244 (-1.5 @ -120, -2.5 @ +233)
#3 Sandbox +183 (+1.5 @ -108, +2.5 @ -323)

Just like I said yesterday about SKT's match with Afreeca, if it wasn't for uncharacteristic errors that are sadly becoming more and more common and some really arrogant drafting SKT probably would not have lost a single game since Rift Rivals. We saw what happened after that first mistake riddled performance against Sandbox last week, SKT brought it back in commanding fashion and smashed. I expect a much similar result. To me Afreeca actually pose a more stylistically potent threat against SKT's preferred playstyle. Their uptempo, early game oriented approach can punish the way SKT prefers to play and we saw that this morning although, admittedly, it took an abysmal draft for them to do so. 

I know I keep getting burned on it but SKT are capable of playing without these devastating mistakes and Sandbox are more of a jack of all trades, master of none type team. You simply aren't going to beat SKT in a five game series like that. I absolutely love SKT in this spot. I'm going to lay heavier on the -1.5 than the moneyline because I think SKT will 3-0 or 3-1 this series even with the short prep time AND Sandbox getting some film. They didn't show anything new or unpredictable against Afreeca. There weren't any surprises. SKT have historically dominated best of fives because they adjust better than anybody, use information better than anybody, and have a collection of veteran talent that is seemingly immune to tilting. The pressure is actually on Sandbox here not SKT. SKT are the intimidating force. As I mentioned I'll be heavier on the -1.5 rather than using the moneyline to cover my bases. Usually you'd do something like (effectively) bet 244 to win 100 and maybe put 80-100 on the spread so that if the spread doesn't hit you're at least covered down. I'm going be leaning more towards the -1.5 here. Again feel free to do a more traditional approach.

Moneyline: SKT -244 (5 units)

Spread: SKT -1.5 maps @ -120 (3 units)


LPL Summer 2019 Playoffs - Round 1

#5 EDward Gaming - 238 (-1.5 @ -115. -2.5 @ +243)
#8 Suning Gaming +175 (+1.5 @ -114, +2.5 @ -345)

Suning quietly took care of business over the course of the Summer split after a tremendously disappointing Spring. Props to them. The thing is now they have to face the big boys and they struggled against good teams all season with the exception of a 2-0 against the three sub version of TOP. EDG haven't exactly been great either but this is a pedigree'd team that always performs well in playoffs. It was a close game one that EDG probably should have lost but for what it's worth EDG did 2-0 Suning just last week. 

This boils down to a much simpler explanation for me and that's the I think EDG are a much better team than people are giving them credit for. I think that because we have FunPlus and BiliBili performing well as well as the Invictus drama and RNG rolling people have legitimately forgotten about EDG. I'm impressed with Suning's rebound but I'm going to take EDG in a playoff series over a mid tier team all day long. Scout and Meiko have been playing out of their minds recently too which only helps matters. EDG also have side selection. I like EDG to 3-1 or 3-0 as the two most likely outcomes here.

Spread: EDG -1.5 maps @ -115 (3 units)

Spread: EDG -2.5 maps @ +243 (0.5 units)

#6 Invictus Gaming -556 (-1.5 @ -222, -2.5 @ +144)
#7 LNG eSports +353 (+1.5 @ +167, +2.5 @ -189)

Look, I know Invictus have had their struggles with their lineup this year but it's crunch time, we're getting the full lineup, and after the complete and utter stylefest we just saw over Rogue Warriors (I know, they're bad) you can safely assume that IG have their swagger back. Invictus are ready to roll as they prep for Worlds. I have a lot of respect for LNG, they vastly exceeded my expectations and I don't think this was a fluke, they were solid this season but they're not in the same ballpark as focused Invictus. The matchup we saw earlier in the season was the mailing it in because Lucas is starting version of Invictus that we saw look absolutely dreadful for a few series as if they didn't care. This isn't the same team. 

Long story short Invictus are going to smash this. They might punt a game like they usually do if they get a little too ahead of themselves but Invictus are going to make a deep run and it starts with obliterating these middle tier teams. Just remind yourselves of how Invictus looked in the Spring finals against what many would consider a similarly rated team in JDG. Just because they're the kings of best of threes in regular season doesn't mean they won't wipe you off the face of the earth in playoffs.

Spread: Invictus -1.5 maps @ -222 (6 units)

Spread: Invictus -2.5 maps @ +144 (1.5 units)


LEC Summer 2019 - Playoffs Round 1

Europe is trying a new "juggernaut" bracket. Basically it's #3 chooses #5 or #6, #4 plays the non-chosen, those winners play each other, then #1 and #2 play their own match for a chance to go directly to finals, the loser of this match will play the winner of the winners, etc.

#4 FC Schalke 04 -323 (-1.5 @ -145, -2.5 @ +200)
#6 Team Vitality +230 (+1.5 @ +112, +2.5 @ -270)

Am I the only one that thinks this line is completely out of whack? I don't think Vitality win this but I think it's a lot closer to 50/50 than this line suggests. This should probably closer to -200 for Schalke so because of that I think we're getting enough value here to just make this a light value play. Vitality barely snuck in on what I thought would be a "for sure" playoff bid and they didn't exactly look great doing it but this is a momentum team and if they're able to steal game one they're the type of squad to just run away with a series. I like Vitality quite a bit here. It's mostly value but I'm almost always a fan of Vitality to upset, albeit a little less so in a best of five. They just have the stylistic genetics to have spike performances and that's always appealing. 

Prop: OVER 3.5 maps played @ -208 (5 units)

Spread: Vitality +1.5 maps @ +112 (1 unit)

Moneyline: Vitality +230 (0.5 units)

Spread: Vitality -2.5 maps @ +768 (0.2 units)


North American LCS Summer 2019 - Finals and 3rd Place

#3 CLG -179 (-1.5 @ +113, -2.5 @ +305)
#5 Clutch Gaming +135 (+1.5 @ -147, +2.5 @ -455)

I think we were all rather impressed with Clutch's performance against Team Liquid but the truth is Liquid looked like they didn't even have a specific gameplan against Clutch and still got it done.What I'm getting at is don't automatically assume because Clutch looked better that they should crush this match. 3rd place matches are historically unpredictable. It's always challenging knowing who is motivated still, who has crushed emotions after a devastating loss, who is actually good, who is bad, who is going to hide strategies in preparation for the regional gauntlet, etc. There's just a lot of factors at play. 

My gut tells me that Clutch are a bit soulcrushed by their loss to Liquid but might also be very motivated and heartened by their performance. They're going to have a lot more confidence than CLG. I believe we mentioned on the podcast that we'd probably set this line at -130 or so for CLG before last weekends matches just for consistency but that we'd all look to bet Clutch in that spot. Well we're getting that spot. 

This is going to be a rare bet on a 3rd place match for me. I not only like Clutch in this spot but they've been steadily improving as the split has gone on while CLG just kind of are what they are. CLG are the more consistent team for sure but I absolutely love Clutch in this spot. I'm going to limit myself on this because it's difficult to know a teams' motivations here. Clutch could very well just want to withold information or picks looking forward to the regional gauntlet. They can't improve their standing enough to move up to the top gauntlet seed over TSM but they can move past CLG. I'm going to put two units on the Clutch +1.5 and one on the moneyline. I actually think they've looked good enough to warrant this and I like their stylistic matchup against CLG. If Clutch choose to play a more vanilla, hide strategies approach CLG are justifiably the favorite because they're better at that style. I'm not betting heavily on the over 3.5 maps here because one of these teams could easily just not show up for this match. That's happened a lot over the course of time in these 3rd place matches in every region but I do like Clutch here.

Spread: Clutch +1.5 @ -147 (2 units)

Moneyline: Clutch +135 (1 unit)

#1 Team Liquid -294 (-1.5 @ -137, -2.5 @ +214)
 #2 Cloud 9 +214 (+1.5 @ +105, +2.5 @ -294)

It feels like the majority of people are just assuming this will be a close series just because Team Liquid actually went to five games against Clutch. Don't assume this. Quite frankly I don't think Team Liquid had much of a game plan for Clutch. They didn't seem to care about stopping Clutch from doing their patented weakside lane swap + wave clear top (Rumble in Huni's case) and they lost a game (I'd call it a game and a half) to it. Liquid basically beat Clutch without having to reveal anything other than "we're still willing to Taric/Sona." Team Liquid are still miles better than the rest of NA and it took Clutch playing out of their heads AND Liquid straight up disrespecting them for Clutch to get two games. I think Cloud 9 are better than Clutch but honestly they're similar teams. 

Cloud 9 will probably have some weird, zaney pick from Reapered to mix this series up. I don't think motivation is on any side inparticular here since both are going to Worlds it's just a matter of who is the #1 seed (which matters a lot). I think Liquid handle this series but will probably drop a game. Cloud 9 are good when they're at their peak level and they look to be that way but something tells me Liquid have a lot more respect for C9 than Clutch and may have been looking ahead just a little to this match. I like the Liquid -1.5 quite a bit. Frankly nothing would surprise me in this series besides a Cloud 9 3-0. Liquid could very well 3-0 this, it could be a five game slobberknocker, who knows. I'm going to avoid the over maps on this one too even though -217 is tempting for the over 3.5 and just stick to my Liquid -1.5. I think the value is best there. Likelihood of that outcome exceeds the odds by quite a bit for me.

Spread: Liquid -1.5 maps @ -137 (3 units)



Some of these weights don't look like they make sense but it's because I'm leaning toward more risk since I'm limited. Feeling confident about these and it gives me the most exposure to higher odds. If you're not limited adjust these weights to a number that makes more sense for you. More on the lower odds, "safer" plays and less on the riskier ones.

Parlay (2): Invictus -1.5 + EDG -1.5 @ +171 (2 units)

Parlay (2): Invictus -1.5 + EDG ML @ +106 (2.5 units)

Parlay (2): TL -1.5 maps + Clutch +1.5 maps @ +191 (1 unit)

Parlay (2): Invictus -1.5 + SKT -1.5 vs Sandbox @ +151 (pending)

Parlay (3): Invictus ML + EG ML + SKT ML (from Wednesday) @ +131 (2 units)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Betting: August 21st (LCK Summer Playoffs Round 1)

LCK Summer Playoffs  - Round 1

#5 Afreeca Freecs +197 (+1.5 @ -141)
#4 SK Telecom -263 (-1.5 @ +109)

I said it during the SKT/Sandbox series the other day but I'll reiterate it here. In SKT's last three series of the regular season there were some VERY uncharacteristic mistakes and a couple unlucky turnouts in what otherwise could have been another 6-0 or 6-1 worth of games. To me SKT legitimately outplayed seven out of their last eight games, the execption being game one against Hanwha who absolutely took it to them and handedly outplayed them. The rest were characterized best as super bizarre lapses in judgement that are uncharacteristic of the veterans on SKT. I heavily bet SKT to win these series and lost a bunch of money but the entire time their process was sound and it was a few bizarre situations that kept cropping up. I related it to rolling snake eyes or three six or seven times in a row. Of course mistakes happen, of course flukes happen but not this many and not in a row so I heavily bet SKT to bring that series back against Sandbox the second I saw yet another weird throw in game one after SKT should have closed out an easy win. 

SKT are doing everything right except for those weird mistakes. To me, even with their recent struggles, they're the best or second best team in Korea and one of the best teams on the planet. This is no disrespect to Afreeca who I believe might be the best uptempo team in the world right now but SKT just have more ways to win than Afreeca do and unless some uncharacterstic errors crop up again I doubt Afreeca get more than a game. SKT's lanes are just too good to accrue large advantages without really poor drafting from SKT and the SKT bottom lane is much stronger overall regardless of whether it's Mata or Effort. Afreeca win this by doing their thing and forcing errors from SKT early or they don't win at all. Afreeca have had trouble when things are even going into late game and SKT are one of the best teams at getting there as well as staving off early pressure. 

Another angle to approach this from would be to side with Afreeca based on value. I can see this. There are a lot of shared champions in this game. Both UCal and Faker are obscenely good Azir players, Dread and Clid are probably the two best Lee Sin's in Korea, and Khan and Kiin share a similar affinity for lane bullies in the top lane. So I could totally see the argument for taking Afreeca on value but I think side selection is crucial in series with a large shared pool of champions. It puts the pressure on the lower seed to have a way to "break serve" which is difficult to do with little prep time.

I'm going with SKT -1.5 here. I could see Afreeca +1.5 or ML but I think SKT 2-0 is the most likely outcome. It's kind of a bummer because I really like this Afreeca team but they're a half tier lower for a reason, they have a liability in the bot lane with Senan and have had trouble in even late games. If Afreeca don't roll you over they're a much different team. That said, just like with all the tier 1.5 teams in the LCK, they're more than capable of exerting their strength and taking a series so we're only going to be on SKT for a moderate amount.

Spread: SK Telecom -1.5 maps @ +109 (3 units) 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Betting: August 18th (LCK, LPL, NA LCS Playoffs Round 2)

LCK Summer 2019 - Week 10 Day 4

Griffin -526 (-1.5 @ -161)
Hanwha Life eSports +352 (+1.5 @ +118)

(O/U: 32:00, 18.5 total kills)

This was my pick of the week on the podcast this week. Hanwha continue to impress but we saw over the course of their last series that they've been figured out a little bit. Griffin don't need the 2-0 specifically but they do need the series win here to clinch the #1 seed in the LCK. Any win will lock #1 because they have enough of a game differential lead over DAMWON and Sandbox that they just need to win. 

Hanwha have been impressive and will actually need this win to avoid relegations with KT Rolster winning this morning. If you're looking for a reason to bet Hanwha then by all means but Griffin are going to be taking Hanwha seriously especially after the little run they've gone on. I envision a game one loss and a full breakdown by Hanwha in game two under the pressure of relegations. I think people are sipping the Hanwha punch a little bit too much. I've said before that when weaker teams go on runs like this it's typically because better teams are either disrespecting them or they have a strategy that's working for them. I think it's been a combination of these things but also Hanwha performing excellently. That said, I think this run is over and Griffin take care of business here.

I'm going to ride with the under kill total as well here but only for half a unit per game. Hanwha have been taking the fight to people unlike Griffin's recent competition but when Griffin win they're usually very low kill total, highly controlled games.

Spread: Griffin -1.5 maps @ -161 (5 units)

O/U: Maps 1 and 2 UNDER 18.5 kills @ -114 (0.5 units)

DAMWON Gaming -270 (-1.5 @ +108)
Gen.G +201 (+1.5 @ -145)

(O/U: 33:00, 20.5 total kills)

This is a must win for Gen.G. If SK Telecom lose to Sandbox and Gen.G win then they get into playoffs. If they win AND SKT win then it's a little weird. A Gen.G 2-0 would mean they leapfrog Afreeca due to having a one game better game differential. If Gen.G win 2-1 they'll be forced to play a tiebreaker with Afreeca because the head to head is tied and the game differential would be tied.

Gen.G need to take care of business here but DAMWON are battling for the #2 seed and potentially even #1 if Griffin somehow lose their match before this against Hanwha. DAMWON hold a game advantage over Sandbox but the same match score. Because they hold the head to head against Sandbox all DAMWON need to do to secure #2 is win this match by any score. 

This is really tough for me. On one hand I think DAMWON have been a shockingly poor fundamentals team but their players, especially the top trio, have been absolutely ridiculous and running away with games. They allow this team to get away with really bad macro mistakes even agaisnt teams like SKT. On the other hand is Gen.G, a team that historically has lost me more money than any other on earth. I can never seem to have the right read on them. I can't stand how they approach the game and I can't stand that they've gotten away with it. Gen.G are one of the luckiest teams I've ever seen.... but I kind of like Gen.G's spot here. Gen.G are a good fundamentals team but their approach to the game is just archaic. They've been adapting recently but generally how they've approached things I feel is so suboptimal that they have to play near perfect and they're far from that. 

These are both teams that make me say "They can't keep getting away with it!" Both of them are really tough to predict. I'm going to side with Gen.G +1.5 for a couple units and the Gen.G moneyline for a half unit. In all likelihood DAMWON just raw strength their way through this but I can't help but think Gen.G, who are a great late game team, can stall one out and/or punish some of DAMWON's really sloppy macro. I also think Ruler and Life should put Nuclear and Beryl in the dumpster.  It's how Gen.G went on their win streak and I think this is a good spot for that to happen. They also MUST WIN this game and have had a full week to prepare for this while DAMWON had to play SKT on Thursday. Gen.G had to have seen this game on their schedule and known it'd be a must win so you know they'll be very prepared. It's an intangible and maybe you don't believe in it (I usually don't) but Gen.G have a knack for clutching it out this time of year. The Gen.G Worlds Buff is a thing and this is exactly the kind of spot they pull an upset.

Spread: Gen.G +1.5 maps @ -145 (2 units)

Moneyline: Gen.G +201 (0.5 units)


LPL Summer 2019 - Week 11 Day 6

LGD -167 (-1.5 @ +156)
Vici Gaming +129 (+1.5 @ -217)

(O/U: 32:00, 24.5 total kills)

Two teams that are eliminated but that have looked slightly improved from their botton dwelling status. The numbers don't really back this selection but I totally expect this to be a final game clown fiesta for both squads. Vici haven't been the lethargic squad we've grown accustomed to over the last year or two. They've been taking the fight to people and being proactive. This match should be a bloodbath. I'm not sure who wins but we're getting a low number because the metrics look at these two teams as relatively low total teams and I want to attack that in this spot.

O/U: Maps 1 and 2 OVER 24.5 total kills @ -114 (2 units each)

Suning Gaming -179 (-1.5 @ +148)
LNG eSports +138 (+1.5 @ -204)

(O/U: 33:00, 24.5 total kills)

We talked a lot about this match on the cast and after a long discussion we all went from begrudgingly liking Suning to win to loving LNG. LNG haven't had a game since August 7th. Suning  have had two very tough games against EDG and FunPlus this week. A week and a half to prepare for a must win match against a team that's had to play a few matches this week is such an incredibly good spot that even though I think Suning are a better team I actually love betting LNG here. Suning aren't that much better a team. I know LNG have looked pretty bad with losses in four of their last five and six of their last eight including dropping a game to Vici in their last series but with so much prep time I can't help but think they at least get a game here. Suning also have nothing to play for in this series as a win or loss doesn't impact their standings AT ALL. It wouldn't surprise me to see subs or just a vanilla, show nothing, type performance. Suning could win in that situation anyway but I'm willing to fire a few units on the dogs here.

Moneyline: LNG +138 (3 units)

FunPlus Phoenix -208 (-1.5 @ +132)
TOP eSports +159 (+1.5 @ -182)

(O/U: 32:00, 25.5 total kills)

With RNG dropping game one against JDG TOP have officially locked #2 regardless of the result here. That said I don't see TOP mailing this match in. They were preparing for it as a must win for the #2 seed and I expect them to show up here. So the question is whether or not FunPlus finally take their foot off the gas (they haven't yet) or TOP's incredible individual players and macro can actually punish FunPlus' sometimes suspect macro play. TOP could beat FunPlus straight up with none of these motivational factors in play and I don't think people should forget that. That said I think this line is mostly correct. I think it might be a little closer but not by enough to matter.This is just going to be a popcorn game unless we get some line movement one way or the other.

No wager (lean TOP ML)


North American LCS Summer 2019 Playoffs Round 2

Team Liquid -1000 (-1.5 @ -385, -2.5 @ -105)
Clutch Gaming +535 (+1.5 @ +264, +2.5 @ -123)

Maps Played:
UNDER 3.5 @ -112
OVER 3.5 @ -115
UNDER 4.5 @ -556
OVER 4.5 @ +356

(O/U: 32:00, 21.5 total kills)

This match comes down to whether or not you think Clutch can take a game or not. That's where all the key numbers are. If you think the new look Clutch and their momentum and confidence can make this interesting and stay competitive then bet the +2.5 @ -123. I'm going to stay away from this. It feels bad but honestly I think the most likely outcome is a Liquid 3-0. I was just hoping we'd get better odds on a 3-0 than -105. I'm going to monitor this. If the odds move one way or the other I'll probably fire but until then I'll be passing and just including the TL -1.5 in some long shot parlays.

No wager (lean Liquid -2.5, check back for updates)



Parlay (2): Griffin -1.5 + LNG +1.5 @ +141 (2.5 units)

Parlay (2): LNG +1.5 + Gen.G +1.5 @ +152 (0.5 units)

Parlay (2): LNG ML + Gen.G ML @ +616 (0.5 units)

Parlay (4): LNG +1.5 + TOP +1.5 + GRF -1.5 + Gen.G +1.5 @ +532 (0.25 units)

Friday, August 16, 2019

Betting: August 17th (LCK, LPL, LEC, NA LCS Playoffs Round 2)

LCK Summer 2019 - Week 10 Day 3

Sandbox +159 (+1.5 @ -182)
SK Telecom -208 (-1.5 @ +132)

(O/U 33:00, 20.5 total kills)

SK Telecom arguably could have 2-0'd DAMWON if it weren't for some really egregious macro errors. Getting picked in game two, and a really poorly positioned dragon fight in game one. On one hand it's concerning for SK Telecom who are normally lights out in terms of decision making, on the other you could say it's an uncharacteristic mistake that we shouldn't put too much weight on.

I thought Sandbox didn't look particularly great against a KT Rolster squad that's battling to avoid relegation. A competitive game one followed by a near flawless victory in game two, and a 53 minute slugfest in game three that could have gone either way are not what you'd like to see from a top three team against a bottom team but so goes the final weeks of regular seasons.

This is a really tough series to cap because both teams were disappointing in their last outings. This last two weeks have been brutal for me in the LCK and my brain is telling me that SKT should 2-0 this. Really they should have 2-0'd DAMWON and I think Sandbox are a similar team to DAMWON in construction. On the other hand I think the "correct" way to play the rest of the LCK season, and what I said I was going to do before completely ignoring my own advice, was to just value bet and take every dog when the top seven teams play each other. 

At this point you could make an argument for betting every dog besides Jin Air period. That's totally defensible but I'm going to follow my eyes here and go with SK Telecom -1.5. Outside of those uncharacteristic errors they've been an excellent team it's just really hard to remove that from the 0-2 result we just saw. Sandbox have had a lot of really weird points of focus, selling out TP's for ocean drakes, forcing skirmishes in losing situations, and others. Sandbox are displaying all the hallmarks of those tier 1.5 teams I keep grouping them with. Exceptional at some things (in their case, their solo lanes) but less consistent and with more flaws than the top teams (SKT and Griffin). I liked SKT vs DAMWON to 2-0 and I think Sandbox have less upside than DAMWON do. The way Sandbox like to play the game is exactly what SKT want. Additionally if Mata ends up playing I thought he looked great in his return.

SKT are also going to be playing for their playoff lives while Sandbox have already clinched and are simply playing for a higher seeding. The first time these two teams met SKT was in shambles but they're a signifcantly improved team since then. I'm going to keep this wager lighter than most I've placed over the past two weeks, because the bettor in me says to just play every single dog from here out but I trust my film review and I trust SKT to take care of Sandbox. After all they nearly handled DAMWON or we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

Spread: SK Telecom -1.5 maps @ +132 (2 units)

Kingzone DragonX -227 (-1.5 @ +120)
KT Rolster +175 (+1.5 @ -164)

(O/U 33:00, 20.5 total kills)

This is a bizarre spot for both teams. KT Rolster are battling Hanwha Life for the 8th seed but trail by a game differential of three so they need to 2-0 and Hanwha lose 0-2 to Griffin to outright over come them OR 2-1 and then Hanwha 0-2 OR 2-0 and Hanwha 1-2 to force a tiebreaker match since the head to head is even. No matter what KT Rolster need this match. On the other side, Kingzone are now eliminated from playoffs after this mornings' results. It's hard to judge whether or not Kingzone will be up for this match or not. I think it's too easy to just assume they'll be depressed about their season ending. There is still a gauntlet to play through and they were preparing heavily for this match anyway because they needed it and some other things to go their way to steal a playoff spot. 

I think KT Rolster have actually looked improved recently. They still have a lot of the same problems and Kingzone are a strong macro team but I can't help but think that even though I think the spot for KT is a tad overrated, that it's still impactful enough. Kingzone have also been struggling mightily in the last couple weeks losing five out of their last six series with their only win coming against Jin Air. 

What this boils down to is whether you think Kingzone are going to want to end on a good note and have been working hard to fix their problems. If you think they'll be up for this match then this is probably a pass. If you like KT's recent form and the narrative that they're battling for a realistic chance to avoid relegation (Hanwha could totally lose 0-2 to Griffin in fact I'd call that likely) then KT could be a nice selection. Keep in mind Kingzone have had five days off to prepare for this one.

I'm going to be light on KT Rolster to take a map here and very light on the moneyline. The bottom LCK teams, besides Jin Air, appear to have hit some amount of their form as the year comes to a close and KT actually have more to play for than Kingzone do in this spot as well. 

Spread: KT Rolster +1.5 maps @ -164 (1.5 units)

Moneyline: KT Rolster +175 (0.5 units)


LPL Summer 2019 - Week 11 Day 5

Royal Never Give Up -556 (-1.5 @ -169)
JD Gaming +373 (+1.5 @ +123)

(O/U: 32:00, 25.5 total kills)

JDG still have a long shot chance to make playoffs if a few things go their way and they win this 2-0. Royal are looking for the 2-0 to attempt to catch TOP and their +3 lead in game differential. One team is fighting for their lives while the other is fighting for luxury. RNG will be starting Langx after ADD put LoveZrr in the dumpster in the BiliBili match. He has a future in the LPL, he looked mostly good until that game and ADD is excellent so nothing to worry about there. 

I guess the question is which JDG is going to show up. The one from playoffs last year that showed exactly how to attack a team that likes to play the way RNG does or the meteoric crash back to reality we've seen this season. JDG have historically succeeded against teams that play ADC centric but they also just lost to Rogue Warriors, a bad team that play that style. 

I'm going to pass this game but I might change my mind. I'd think Royal want to take care of business here and come into playoffs with some momentum but I've got a funny feeling about this one.

No wager (lean RNG -1.5)

Invictus Gaming -667 (-1.5 @ -189)
Rogue Warriors +430 (+1.5 @ +138)

(O/U: 31:00, 26.5 total kills)

Invictus actually need to win this to guarantee a playoff spot. They've announced the full world champion starting lineup with TheShy, Ning, Rookie, Jackeylove, and Baolan. They also just got their first 2-0 victory of the entire season in their last match against LGD and they did that with Leyan at jungle. It wasn't pretty but they did it. I think Invictus are going to absolutely stomp this series and while I know they're the kings of three game series I expect them to utterly decimate Rogue Warriors. IG have also gone OVER the kill total in seven of their last eight but Rogue Warriors are rather anemic soemtimes with their drafts so it's unfortunately going to be a pass there.

Spread: Invictus -1.5 maps @ -189 (3 units)

Team WE -400 (-1.5 @ -130)
Victory Five +289 (+1.5 @ -104)

(O/U: 31:00, 27.5 total kills)

This is a must win match for WE. They need to win this and hope for and LNG loss to Suning on Sunday. One game differential separates the two but LNG own the head to head tiebreaker. WE are going to be up for this game. They dropped a game to Rogue Warriors in their last match but have won six of their last seven series and and seven of their last nine. Victory Five have lost 0-2 in six of their last seven series with their only win coming as a 2-1 against LNG. You could look at that as a sign since the rest of the schedule was arguably the toughest in the league and LNG is similarly rated to WE but I think the five 0-2's in a row means something. Victory Five's double generic solo lane strategy only has wings when both players can hang with their opposition. I don't think they're outclassed here but I also think we just saw Dominus destroy this team and their laners aren't exactly Forgiven.

This meta is excellent for Team WE and ever since they solidified their roster they've looked like a playoff contender. I think they're the 8th best team in the LPL and I'm a bit biased because I'd rather see them make it than LNG but I do think WE are going to take this one down. That said there is a lot of nerves and Victory Five are capable of playing spoiler with some weird picks and another laner in Otto added to the mix to prepare for. 

Spread: Team WE -1.5 maps @ -130 (3 units)


LEC Summer 2019 - Week 9 Day 2

Splyce -400 vs Misfits +286 (O/U: 32:00, 25.5)
Origen -189 vs SK Gaming +145 (O/U: 33:00, 25.5)
Schalke -167 vs Vitality +129 (O/U: 33:00, 25.5)
G2 eSports -588 vs Excel +391 (O/U: 29:00, 28.5)
Fnatic -227 vs Rogue +173 (O/U: 31:00, 27.5)

Not much today just some over/unders

O/U: SPY/MSF OVER 25.5 total kills @ -125 (2 units)

O/U: Origen/SK OVER 25.5 total kills @ -114 (1 unit)


North American LCS Summer 2019 Playoffs 
Round 2

Cloud 9 -250 (-1.5 @ -125, -2.5 @ +228)
Counter Logic Gaming +191 (+1.5 @ -103, +2.5 @ -312)

Maps Played: 
UNDER 3.5 @ +169
OVER 3.5 @ -227
UNDER 4.5 @ -270
OVER 4.5 @ +200

(O/U: 33:00, 22.5 total kills)

I talked a lot about it on the podcast this week but I think this series is a lot closer than people are giving credit for. Assumptions are dangerous. Do Cloud 9 often play better in playoffs? Yes. Should we assume that? Absolutely not. I don't think CLG are better than Cloud 9 but what I do think is that they play at their best level significantly more often than Cloud 9 does, it's just a matter of what that level is. I think if Cloud 9 are playing at 90% of their potential they're a better team that would likely take this series 3-1 or 3-0 but they've been inconsistent enough this season that I'm having my doubts. Reapered has a history of being an excellent best of five coach, often putting the pressure on other teams to adapt the Cloud 9. In other words they dictate the momentum, pace, and weirness factor of any series they're in. Sometimes that backfires. 

People are sleeping in CLG. They didn't have to show anything in their series against OpTic and I actually think their "KISS" (Keep It Simple Stupid) approach to this season has worked wonders for them. I think they have a huge edge in the bottom lane in this series and that Wiggily has been outstanding this season. I think people look at the name brand value of Cloud 9 and have price memory of years past and this isn't the same team anymore. 

Could Cloud 9 have some cheesy pick to throw CLG off and they never recover from it and this turns into a swift 3-0? Absolutely but I honestly think Cloud 9 have showed more of their hand than they normally do. I could be wrong because they've had a week to prepare for this but CLG didn't have to show anything crazy on film and soundly whooped on a weird OpTic team just playing standard, vanilla League of Legends. I'm not exactly sure what else C9 could have cooked up with this roster and with the limited practice time I'm assuming they've had due to injuries. 

I think Cloud 9 win this series but I think these odds are off. I'm surpemely confident that CLG take a game and reasonably confident they take two. I think Cloud 9's bottom lane as well as Reapered's willingness to aggressively draft weird or cheese picks that can backfire lead me to be sextremely confident in the OVER 3.5 maps. I'm going to be taking a small wager on the CLG ML, a small wager on CLG +1.5, and a heavy wager on the OVER 3.5 maps. I believe all of these are strong values.

Prop: OVER 3.5 maps played @ -227 (5 units)

Moneyline: CLG +191 (1 unit)

Spread: CLG +1.5 @ -103 (1 unit)



Parlay (2): SKT ML + KT +1.5 @ +138 (0.5 units)

Parlay (2): SKT -1.5 + KT +1.5 @ +274 (0.5 units)

Parlay (2): Invictus -1.5 + Team WE -1.5 @ +171 (1 unit)

Parlay (3): SKT ML + Invictus ML + Team WE ML @ +113 (2.5 units)

Parlay (3): SKT ML + Invictus -1.5 + Team WE -1.5 @ +301 (1 unit)

Parlay (3): SKT -1.5 + Invictus -1.5 + Team WE -1.5 @ +528 (0.5 unit)

Parlay (4): SKT -1.5 + Invictus -1.5 + Team WE -1.5 + CLG/C9 OVER 3.5 @ +805 (0.25 unit)

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Betting: August 16th (LCK, LPL, LEC)

LCK Summer 2019 - Week 10 Day 2

There isn't really a lot to think about for this one. Griffin have already locked playoffs but haven't locked the #1 seed. I expect them to smash Jin Air here. If you want to look at the over/unders I'd lean UNDER 32:00 but Griffin tend to take their time.

No wager

Hanwha Life are playing their best League of Legends of the entire year which, contrary to what you'd think, is not actually the common amongst bad teams. Hanwha straight up dominated SK Telecom in convincing fashion and before that took advantage of some poor play by DAMWON to defeat them as well. So why am I so confident in Afreeca here? This is a combination of market value and my personal expectations. Afreeca are a way WAY better team than Hanwha but people tend to remember recent and memorable performances a bit too much. Hanwha are being overvalued here even considering their improved performance and we're going to take aim and fire at that. 

Afreeca are playing their last series of the year and are in must win mode to earn one of the two playoff spots that are remaining up for grabs. Gen.G have to face the formidable DAMWON, SKT gets Sandbox, and Afreeca get Hanwha Life. I absolutely love Afreeca to sweep this. I know motivation tends to get overrated but I think Afreeca are going to be incentivized to sweep this series and really, at the end of the day, they should. I think people will be scared off of this bet due to Hanwha Life's recent performances. To me a bad team is going to have a lot of trouble maintaining that kind of level for more than a couple of series and there is some degree of other teams figuring out how Hanwha is going to approach facing stronger teams. Afreeca have looked good and I expect them to smash this series tomorrow. 

Spread: Afreeca -1.5 maps @ +108 (4 units)


LCK Summer 2019 - Week 11 Day 4

I'm half tempted to take Dominus at this number but FunPlus look unstoppable. There is a narrative driven approach to this series which is that FunPlus have now officially locked a bye into the semifinals so they literally have nothing to play for except for pride. That's the thing though, this team has a ton of pride. I'm going to avoid this one but I could understand a Dominus bet.

No wager (lean Dominus +1.5)

If TOP were a fast team I'd like the under here but this number is just too rich to pay. That said this is pretty close to a surefire thing.

No wager


LEC Summer 2019 - Week 9 Day 1

The only matches that truly matter for playoff seeding are Fnatic/Splyce battling for the #2 spot and Origen/Rogue because if Roguie can manage to win and then win again on Saturday they'd steal the last playoff spot from Origen even if Origen were to win on Saturday. Instead we're going to look toward over/unders and props here in the final week of the LEC. Europe tends to be a lot more laid back and willing to troll games or make fun selections in general so I'm expecting a high likelihood of clown fiestas. Let's try to pick a few out.

O/U: SK Gaming/Excel OVER 26.5 total kills @ -114 (3 units)

SK Gaming have had 30+ kills+deaths in their their last three games and they were all similarly non-relevant.

O/U: Fnatic/Splyce OVER 26.5 total kills @ -141 (3 units)

Ton of juice on this one but Fnatic are averaging almost 30 kills+deaths per game for the entire season and Splyce have been much more willing to fight. There's an argument against this pick which is that both teams are battling for the #2 seed and could be a little more reserved under the pressure but I think especially in Europe they tend to loosen up and just fire.

I'd also lean toward taking a shot at Schalke moneyline but I'm not sure yet. G2 are going to wanna run back the Garen after Fnatic won with it >.<



Parlay (2): FNC/Splyce OVER 26.5 + SK Gaming/Excel OVER 26.5 @ +321 (1 unit)

Parlay (3): FNC/Splyce OVER 26.5 + SK Gami/Excel OVER 26.5 + Afreeca -1.5 @ +669 (1 unit)

Parlay (3): FNC/Splyce OVER 26.5 + SK Gami/Excel OVER 26.5 + Afreeca ML @ +440 (1 unit)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Betting: August 15th (LCK)

LCK Summer 2019 - Week 10 Day 1

(from Leaguepedia)

The current playoff race for the LCK realistically goes all the way to 7th. Kingzone no longer control their own fate as they would need to win their last match against KT Rolster as well as have Afreeca AND Gen.G both lose their final matches. Afreeca need to take care of business against Hanwha Life and have Gen.G lose their match to DAMWON on Sunday. SK Telecom has two matches remaining one tomorrow against DAMWON and another on Saturday against Sandbox but they could make a theoretically jump all the way up to first place with wins over both and any Griffin loss in their last two series (but they play Hanwha and Jin Air...). 

I think the most likely outcome projecting forward a bit is that Afreeca are going to earn the last playoff spot and quite frankly I'd rather see them make playoffs than Gen.G or Kingzone in their current form. I also think SK Telecom are going to beat both Sandbox AND DAMWON but that DAMWON will likely beat Gen.G (motivations aside) later this week. This would put SKT into second place because they'd have the better game differential than DAMWON and Sandbox if they win out and defeat both of them.

It's a lot of moving parts, it's really close. Get your foldable grids out!

This is a huge match for the standings because the winner will likely finish second or third in the final standings assuming most things go as they appear. Almost comically both of these teams just lost to Hanwha Life so you could say we have that measuring stick available. I'm not putting too much weight on those series HOWEVER I do think DAMWON showed much more significant flaws in their loss than SKT did. Hanwha outplayed SK Telecom playing what I'd consider their best series of the entire calendar year BY FAR. SKT got run over early in both games one and three mostly be good proactive plays by Hanwha. DAMWON, on the other hand missed really routine professional concepts like not playing aggressive in the 2v2 lane when the jungler can ONLY BE BOTTOM AT THAT TIME and then immediately doing the same thing top and then doing it again in the next games. I chronicled this on my Twitter that day but quite frankly that's unacceptable for a high level or even medium level professional team. Even if they're "mailing it in" that sort of thing should be automatic and it's disturbing that it wasn't. DAMWON came right back and smashed KT Rolster the next series but that kind of lack of fundamentals is profoundly disturbing to me and quite honestly made me question whether or not DAMWON have really developed their macro as much as many of us thought over the course of the year and didn't, instead, just get really lucky. If it's the latter I'm going to be really disappointed in my film analysis but time will tell I suppose.

I'm going to be on SK Telecom here. They were absolutely rolling up until the Hanwha Life loss and while I thought Hanwha played extremely well more than SKT played poorly I could see the argument against them. I think SKT have been resoundingly the better team over the course of the second half of the season. That said the entire season has sort of come to this apex and this specific match has massive implications. SKT have a history of showing up in spots like this and their collection of grisled, Hall of Fame-bound super stars is built to shine in spots like this. DAMWON have been sputtering a bit and have shown some extremely poor fundamentals in the past few weeks. I could see them snap out of it and "get up" for this match but I'm going to side with the previously molten hot SK Telecom lineup. I think DAMWON are firmly in the 1.5 tier while SKT look like one of the two best teams in Korea. 

I also didn't spend much time discussin the X's and O's of this match but DAMWON are clearly having trouble with Azir currently. Showmaker hasn't had good performances in either of his games (both against Hanwha) and they banned it against KT Rolster the following week. Faker is also a perfect 6-0 on what has become one of his modern signature picks. It's just one champion but it's a crucial one right now and if DAMWON don't feel they can pilot it effectively that could have massive implications on the draft. I also think DAMWON's lane aggression isn't something they can rely on to solely carry them against lanes the caliber of SK Telecom's. 

I like the SKT moneyline here a lot. If they break serve in game one I fully expect them to 2-0 this series. I'm going to put a few units on the spread but a much heavier five units on the moneyline in this spot. I've lost a lot of respect for DAMWON in recent weeks and I don't think this is a case of "sandbagging" or the season growing long on them or anything they've just been fundamentally bad. Of course their players are good enough to just pop off in any given game but I'm going to stick with the tried and true here. SKT have been ridiculously consistent and very efficient. Both of these teams like playing uptempo so regardless of the winner I like the UNDER time.

Moneyline: SK Telecom -164 (6 units)

Spread: SK Telecom -1.5 maps @ +159 (3 units)

O/U: Map 1 UNDER 33:00 @ +105 (1 unit)

O/U: Map 2 UNDER 33:00 @ +100 (1 unit)

Sandbox are making it work. It's not pretty but they're getting wins when they need them. To me Sandbox fall into that tier 1.5 in the LCK with DAMWON, Gen.G, Kingzone, and Afreeca. They all have very clearly defined weaknesses but have great enough strengths that they can overcome those. The thing with this series is whether or not you want to gauge KT Rolster as a defeated team that's assuming they're relegated because they're trailing Hanwha by three games OR if they'll be hyper motivated to show up for this match and win outright. With two matches left each Hanwha and KT Rolster I believe will be playing hard looking to not only play spoiler but avoid relegations. Realistically Hanwha only needs a single game win because I doubt KT Rolster will 4-0 both Sandbox and Kingzone BUT until KT Rolster see that they're going to fight for their lives. 

So the question is whether or not we think KT on life support is enough to overcome Sandbox battling to hold a top three spot. Hard to tell. I think Sandbox have very clear flaws but I'm not sure KT Rolster are the team to exploit it. BDD is an exceptional player and the mid lane meta is damn near perfect for him right now which is going to cause a lot of problems in the draft. 

Sandbox SHOULD win this but I think the odds we're getting on KT Rolster are more than reasonable. KT was, in my opinion, worse at the beginning of the season and played a slugfest three game series including a game two stomping against Sandbox the first time around. I actually expect KT Rolster to get a game here and perhaps win outright.

Moneyline: KT Rolster +302 (0.5 units)

Spread: KT Rolster +1.5 maps @ +100 (1 unit)



Parlay (2): SKT ML + Afreeca ML (Friday) @ +119 (2.5 units)

Parlay (3): SKT ML + Afreeca -1.5 + Griffin -1.5 @ +312 (0.5 units)

Parlay (3): SKT -1.5 + Afreeca -1.5 + Griffin -1.5 @ +563 (0.5 units)