League of Legends LCS Betting Preview & Picks | Week 9

LoL LCS Championship Series betting preview and picks

As we head into the last week of the regular season in North America’s League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), only two teams are locked into their positions. Cloud 9 secured the first seed a couple of weeks ago and Counter Logic Gaming is mathematically eliminated in 10th. The other eight teams are jockeying for playoff berths or higher seeding.

With the new format, the third and fourth seeds matter significantly more than they used to because they avoid having to play in the 5th/6th place match when they previously did not matter other than pairings. This should provide for more competitive matches amongst the teams battling for those spots

A number of positions were immediately appealing on this slate but let’s take a deeper dive and look at the five matches on Saturday.

Saturday March 28th – Start Time: 5pm Eastern

100 Thieves (+148) Vs. Team Solo Mid (-182)

100 Thieves Vs Team Solo Mid Odds

TeamMoneylineKill SpreadTotals
100 Thieves+148+5.5 (-121)OVER 22.5 (-107)
Team Solo Mid-182-5.5 (+100)UNDER 22.5 (-123)

Team And Match Analysis

Team Solo Mid (TSM) started the week off with a dominant victory over Golden Guardians on Saturday but chose to go with a more experimental draft against Immortals on Sunday. The Diana champion selection did not work as intended and TSM were punished for it with a resounding loss.

Winning five of their past seven matches, 100 Thieves are coming in on quite the hot streak after dropping four straight prior to the run. Last weekend they went 1-1 against the unenviable schedule of FlyQuest and Cloud 9. Import middle lane player Tommy “Ryoma” Le has had a few excellent showings of late that have contributed greatly to the winning performances in recent weeks. With a win here, 100 Thieves will likely make the playoffs.

Even with 100 Thieves on a roll, I’m going with TSM in this spot for a number of reasons.

This is an extremely difficult personnel matchup for the 100 Thieves who have relied heavily on laning prowess during this streak. With both solo lanes performing well they’ve been able to easily transition to the mid game with advantages. TSM has superior players at all but one position, the top lane which I think is an even matchup between two of the best in the league. Without a substantial lead 100 Thieves are a significantly worse team.

TSM are 8-5 as favorites this season while 100 Thieves are 5-7 as underdogs. In their nine wins, TSM has won by 10 or more kills in five of them. They have an average margin of victory of 9.77 kills. 100 Thieves have an average margin of defeat of 8.75 kills. TSM won the first meet between the two 16-7 although it was a closer game than that score would indicate.

Cloud 9 (-296) Vs. Evil Geniuses (+233)

Cloud 9 Vs. Evil Geniuses Odds

TeamMoneylineKill SpreadTotals
Cloud 9-296-6.5 (-124)OVER 21.5 (-121)
Evil Geniuses+233+6.5 (+102)UNDER 21.5 (-110)

Team And Match Analysis

Cloud 9 has secured the first seed for playoffs and have nothing but momentum and pride to play for in this spot. Evil Geniuses, on the other hand, have won five in a row and finally appear to be meeting the lofty pre-season expectations most had for them. Evil Geniuses will either maintain a tie for second or allow them to control their own fate heading into the final day of the regular season.

In League of Legends, the pre-game draft is critically important. It can decide the game before it even begins. The best teams are able to leverage advantages from strategies, tendencies, or specific champion picks that they’ve shown over a given sample size. Typically, when a team has secured their position, they will often experiment or try to show a new look in order to force other teams to prepare for it in the future. While Cloud 9 hasn’t done a lot of that this season, I’d expect them to try something here.

Evil Geniuses have looked much better recently and Cloud 9 has very little to play for. Take the underdogs. If you remove the one outlier game, Cloud 9 has had an average margin of victory of only 6.6 in their last six wins.  Over the season that number was much higher. Combine that with the tendency of these two teams to play action-packed, high-kill games and I like the kill spread as well.

FlyQuest (-100) Vs. Team Liquid (-121)

FlyQuest Vs. Team Liquid Odds

TeamMoneylineKill SpreadTotals
FlyQuest-100+2.5 (-106)OVER 20.5 (-109)
Team Liquid-121-2.5 (-114)UNDER 20.5 (-122)

Team And Match Analysis

Team Liquid has had a tumultuous season but it will all come down to this game. With a win, Liquid keeps their playoff hopes alive. With a loss, their season ends in one of the most disappointing performances of all time.

FlyQuest is in a three-way tie for second with Team Solo Mid and Evil Geniuses and are battling for the second seed to avoid facing Cloud 9 in their first playoff match. They have been a model of consistency throughout the season even after making a bizarre roster move, substituting out their star top laner Omran “V1per” Shoura.

In the first meeting between these two teams, Team Liquid was still without their star free agent Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pederson and still smashed FlyQuest in one of their worst losses of the season. I see that happening again.

While Team Liquid has been inconsistent, I have a very difficult time seeing them lose this matchup. When Team Liquid drafts proactive team compositions they’ve been excellent, especially in the early game. FlyQuest has struggled in the early game with negative gold and tower differentials as well as giving up first blood in more than half their matches.

Golden Guardians (-198) Vs. Counter Logic Gaming (+134)

Golden Guardians Vs. Counter Logic Gaming Odds

TeamMoneylineKill SpreadTotals
Golden Guardians-198-3.5 (-112)OVER 22.5 (-118)
Counter Logic Gaming+134+3.5 (-118)UNDER 22.5 (-112)

Team And Match Analysis

While Golden Guardians still have a chance at a playoff berth, they need to win both games this weekend and have a few other scenarios bounce their way. It’s not looking likely. The Guardians come into this match losing six of their past eight games.

Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) have been mathematically eliminated but playing much better than they did earlier in the season as they’ve become more acclimated to Eugen “Pobelter” Park in the mid lane. They don’t have the wins to show for it, but CLG nearly defeated Cloud 9 on Sunday and got off to a good start against Evil Geniuses before it slipped away.

Both of these teams have poor economic metrics, suggestive of their records, but Golden Guardians have three more wins. Given the recent form we’ve seen, these two teams should be rated equally. This line is severely inflated.

Golden Guardians have not been favorites in a single game this season. Counter Logic Gaming are 0-5 as favorites but it was because they came into the season highly rated and it took the books a bit of time to adjust. In a 50/50 matchup like this you take the value in the underdog.

Dignitas (+128) Vs. Immortals (-156)

Dignitas Vs. Immortals Odds

TeamMoneylineKill SpreadTotals
Dignitas+128+4.5 (-115)OVER 21.5 (-112)
Immortals-156-4.5 (-105)UNDER 21.5 (-118)

Team And Match Analysis

Dignitas have lost six of their past seven games with their only win coming against last place Counter Logic Gaming. Prior to that they defeated Immortals. Dignitas are in a similar position to Golden Guardians. They need to win both games this weekend and will still need some help in order to get a playoff spot.  

Immortals sit at 8-8 in a tie with 100 Thieves for the final two playoff positions. A win here would secure that for them. After a four game losing streak, Immortals have won three of their past five including victories over Team Solo Mid and Team Liquid and a good start against FlyQuest that was a better showing than the final score would indicate.

Both of these teams have been hot and cold but I think Immortals have been the better team over the course of season. They have advantages in every position besides marksman and the current patch meta-game fits their roster construction and players very well.

Dignitas are 3-6 as underdogs. Immortals are 2-2 as favorites. Immortals have an average margin of victory of 6.14 kills, Dignitas have an average margin of defeat of 9.0 kills. Dignitas have just a single loss of six kills or less, a punted lead against 100 Thieves.

I like Immortals to win this match, cover the kill spread, and secure a playoff berth.

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