Although the Tools at FantasyLabs and The Action Network don’t yet include eSports, this weekend there are several matchups that should be highlighted. If you’re new to eSports, that’s not a problem: Check out my League of Legends introduction.
Due to the major patch changes a few weeks ago (when Riot Games changed the power levels of their various champions), sportsbooks and DraftKings have released lines and salaries for this weekend’s slate that are exploitable. The sportsbooks and DraftKings often rate teams based on their overall win rates for the season rather than their win rates in the current metagame, which is a mistake since Riot Games updates LoL on a regular basis, rendering much of the data from earlier in the season irrelevant.
This weekend there are several teams that started the season strong but have faded recently as favorites, and they are facing some consistent teams that have been in good recent form the past month with the new metagame. For betting and daily fantasy, these are the matchups/teams you’ll want to target. All lines are from Bovada except for the last one, which is from eSportsbets. I recommend looking around for the best possible odds. These matches can all be viewed on the LoLeSports YouTube channel.
Team WE vs. Snake: China LPL, Week 10 (Apr. 6; 5 am ET)
- World Elite -120
- Snake -110
Snake has been atrocious in the last few weeks and has clearly fallen off from its early-season dominance. WE isn’t a world-beater, but the team is fairly consistent and should win this match easily. Any single-game bets as well as full-match bets are great here. Snake is coming off a few terrible recent losses, including one to the worst team in the league last week, so this is one of my more confident bets. Snake is 3-7 over the last 10 games and riding a six-game losing streak. Snake’s only win in the last four matches came against the subpar Vici. Snake also lost during this stretch to two non-playoff teams without taking a game. WE took a game off of the excellent EDG (in a match it might have won with better drafting) and is 6-4 in recent games in a meta that fits its style. This is a nice opportunity to profit off of a Snake team that just can’t seem to figure anything out in the split.
WE is also priced as the underdog on the DraftKings slate, making a team stack highly recommendable.
Splyce vs. Vitality: EU LCS, 3rd/4th Place Match (Apr. 7; 11 am ET)
- Splyce -180
- Vitality +125
This one is a little closer, but Splyce should be a bigger favorite. Splyce looked great up until some bad drafts last week, but Vitality should be dealt with fairly easily. Odoamne (top), Xerxe (jungler), and Kobbe (ADC) will be the most important players for Splyce, and if they select champions with the late game in mind then this will be an easy win. Splyce is 6-4 in the past 10 games against opponents much tougher than Vitality, who is 4-6 over that span. Vitality does have a win over Splyce during the time period, but that was in a one-game match. Vitality was lucky not to lose to H2k, and it was unimpressive in a loss to Fnatic.
This is probably the closest of the matchups I’m highlighting. If you want to play it safe on a parlay, you can leave this one out.
Echo Fox vs. Clutch Gaming: NA LCS, 3rd/4th Place March (Apr. 7; 3:30 pm ET)
- Echo Fox -130
- Clutch -110
This one is almost laughable. Clutch is clearly the better team and should take this match easily. Not only is Echo Fox’s roster performing badly, but the players haven’t been able to navigate the pick/ban process for the past month, and it’s showing in their results. Clutch is 6-4 over the last 10 games, with five of those wins coming against TSM and 100t, two of the better teams in the league. Echo Fox, meanwhile, is 3-7 in that time with a loss to CLG and a series against Liquid that was not competitive. Everything points to Clutch.
Priced as underdogs on DraftKings, the Clutch players will make roster construction easy.
Fnatic vs. G2: EU LCS, Finals (Apr. 8; 10:30 am ET)
- Fnatic -130
- G2 -110
This is another match that shouldn’t be this close to a pick’em. Fnatic has been the better team the entire split and has the advantage at every position other than top (Fnatic is playing the backup, Bwipo) and possibly mid (which might be a wash). The new G2 is a hyped unit, but this Fnatic lineup is suited to this metagame. Fnatic is 8-2 over the last 10 and has looked dominant in its wins while G2 has gone 6-4 in that span against much weaker competition (Giants, H2k, S04, and UoL in the last five games).
Fnatic is the DraftKings underdog, so lineup creation should be relatively easy on the Sunday slate.
Team Liquid vs. 100 Thieves: NA LCS, Finals (Apr. 8; 4 pm ET)
- Liquid -230
- 100 Thieves +165
This one is debatable, but 100 Thieves (to me) is the better team. They had the harder playoff road, which might’ve skewed the odds against them. The Liquid ADC Doublelift experienced a family tragedy this past week, so perhaps his decision to play this weekend could inspire his teammates, but it’s also possible that his concentration or mindset could be off. The Thieves are 8-2 in their last 10 games, with the only two losses coming against Clutch Gaming, which is probably the second-best team in the league. Liquid is 9-1, but in the quarter- and semi-finals it was lucky to play against Echofox and c9, two faltering teams that went 3-7 in their final 10 games and were awful since the patch change.
DraftKings has the Thieves priced as underdogs, which means that if you want to roster them along with Fnatic on the Sunday slate you’re likely to have extremely contrarian roster construction, which could pay off big time in guaranteed prize pools.
Pictured above: Su Han-We (xiye) of World Elite