LOL LEC Spring Week 5 – Day 2 Betting Previews and Predictions
Excel vs Astralis
Saturday, February 20 – 17:00 CET
Excel looked like a far bloodier team in their match with MAD Lions, but I wouldn’t expect that was any indication of Excel looking to change up their playstyle and step away from the slow, scaling approach they’ve been showing this season. It was more the fact that Excel tried something new against a stronger team, where you have to bring a bit more aggression to compensate for the lack of quality – which unfortunately backfired.
Astralis are starting to look like a much better team with Carl Felix “MagiFelix” Boström and I must admit I like their aggressive approach to their games, but that can prove to be a double-edged sword as it can easily see Astralis “int” and give up plenty of unnecessary kills.
Getting straight to the point, Excel are the better team and will likely win this match. There is a world where Astralis gain an early lead, but I wouldn’t expect that to accelerate the game to the point where Astralis dumpster Excel and win in under 30 minutes. That is because Excel are very disciplined when behind and normally look to play sit slow and outscale rather than keep throwing themselves at the opponents in hopes something will go their way.
The kill handicap for this match is set at 5.5, which seems good enough for us to consider Excel with a handicap. Excel average 14.4 kills and eight deaths per win, whereas Astralis average 6.4 kills and 14.3 deaths per loss.
Prediction: Excel -5.5 kills – 1.884 Pinnacle
SK Gaming vs Misfits Gaming
Saturday, February 20 – 18:00 CET
SK Gaming took down Schalke 04 yesterday and are now 5-5 on the season, which sits them one spot above Misfits, who are 3-7 after their loss against Rogue. Despite what we have seen from SK of late, I still believe Misfits are the better team and even if we compare these squads lane by lane there is not a single argument to be made SK field better quality players.
Misfits might look like a complete mess, and in some way they are, but that’s largely because they tend to approach their games against stronger opponents (Rogue, G2, Fnatic) with a very aggressive and volatile playstyle to compensate for their lack of quality. That, however, is not something they will need to do when faced with a mid- or bottom-table teams such as SK, Astralis, Vitality etc.
In a best-of-three match, I would bet on Misfits every day of the week, and while Bo1 series leaves a strong possibility SK might cause another upset win, I still don’t believe they should be priced as the favorites.
In their match against Schalke 04, SK showed way too many errors (individually and as a unit) and I don’t see them prospering in the long run until they fix them. All in all, the odds make no sense to me and it seems like people overreacted to SK’s upset win against S04. Misfits are going to look better sooner or later, which is why I’m ready to take a shot with them for this match with a -3.5 kill handicap.
Prediction: Misfits to win – 2.03 Pinnacle
Team Vitality vs Rogue
Saturday, February 20 – 19:00 CET
What I expect to see from this match is another commanding victory from Rogue, who should secure an early lead and close out the series relatively quickly. Although Vitality enter this match off an upset win against Fnatic, it truly wasn’t anything more than an upset win.
Fnatic had a terrible draft and made very painful mistakes yesterday, so it was not so much Vitality winning rather than Fnatic losing. In other words, I can’t really praise Vitality too much for that showing.
Since Rogue are not a particularly kill-hungry team, I am a bit skeptical about betting on them to cover the 7.5 kill handicap even though I believe there is a realistic possibility they win with an eight-kill margin. That said, I am ready to take a shot with a bet on the game lasting for less than 30 minutes.
Rogue’s average game time sits at 33:53 which is the fourth-highest in the league, whereas Vitality’s average game time is at 34:22 (third highest). Rogue’s numbers, however, are a bit misleading since it does not take into account their long-games against the stronger teams in the leagues.
Prediction: Under 30:00 – 2.52 Pinnacle
Fnatic vs MAD Lions
Saturday, February 20 – 20:00 CET
Fnatic fell flat against Vitality yesterday and are now set to face MAD Lions who have already won this match at the end of Week 2. Despite MAD Lions’ success last time out, they enter this match as 2.32 underdogs, which seems fair considering how dominant Fnatic have been before their loss yesterday.
If we compare these two teams lane-by-lane there is not a lot to set them apart. Fnatic might have an edge in the top lane, but I am not too concerned with İrfan Berk “Armut” Tükek’s ability to hold his own against Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau and I feel the same about the jungle matchup, largely because Javier “Elyoya” Prades Batalla has had some very good performance of late. As far as the mid and bottom lanes are concerned, there are arguments MAD Lions field better players even though some might not agree with me.
Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer is doing fine in the LEC, but he’s not better than Marek “Humanoid” Brázda and I would be hard-pressed to say Elias “Upset” Lipp is a better player than Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság.
As a unit, Fnatic are a better team still, but they’re also far more volatile than MAD Lions. This game can end either way and I’m not ready to pick a side.
One bet I do like is Fnatic to secure ther first drake. They are very effective in taking down the first drake in their games which I don’t expect to change anytime soon, Another thing working in their favor here is that MAD Lions’ bottom lane tends to be overly-aggressive in the early game, and frequently give up the first blood – and who better to exploit that than Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov? First blood in the bottom lane translate well into drakes and that’s exactly what I expect to see here.
Prediction: Fnatic first drake – 1.606 Pinnacle
Schalke 04 vs G2 Esports
Saturday, February 20 – 21:00 CET
Many people will likely take a shot with Schalke 04 who are priced as high as 3.34 ML, which I can understand considering that when G2 lose they lose hard. What’s more, S04 tend to perform much better when faced with a tough opponent, so there is a world where they stop G2, who have looked very questionable in their game against Astralis.
At this point, I don’t know whether G2’s poor performance yesterday was because they’re just not good at the moment, or was it a byproduct of G2’s tendency to take games against weaker opponents lightly. The only player on G2 who has looked good in that match was Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winther and I would go even so far as to say that had he not won the mid lane matchup G2 would have probably lost.
Despite all that, G2 are still by far the better team on top of the fact that this is a revenge game for them, which they rarely lose. I wouldn’t like to face G2 after beating them the first time out and I don’t think S04 are very happy knowing what awaits them tonight.
I have a gut feeling G2 will win this match with over 10 kills to spare, but I’m not ready to bet on this match. Pass for me.