LOL Betting Odds and Picks: League of Legends LCK, LPL Preview (April 11)

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Christoph Soeder/picture alliance via Getty Images.

The stakes continue to grow with a little more than a week remaining in the regular season for both the LPL and LCK. Just two wins separate seventh from 13th-place in the LPL, where just eight teams will make the playoffs.

In the LCK, three teams are battling over the two final playoff positions and a tight race to avoid relegations at the bottom of the table gives those eliminated from the playoffs plenty to play for as the season draws to a close.

There is a ton of action around the world this weekend including playoffs in the LEC and LCS, the early stages of the European Masters and plenty of smaller region play, some of which have also entered the playoffs.

LOL Pro League (China)

Royal Never Give Up (-1000) vs Rogue Warriors (+553)

  • Kill Spread: Royal Never Give Up -8.5
  • Kill Total:  25.5
  • Time: Saturday, 7 a.m. ET

Notable Trends:

  • Royal Never Give Up are 4-3 as favorites, 2-5 against the map spread
  • Rogue Warriors are 4-5 as underdogs, 6-3 against the map spread
  • Rogue Warriors are 4-0 ATS in their past four appearances as underdogs
  • Favorites are 68-38, 42-64 against the map spread in the LPL this season
  • Since March 30, underdog spreads (+1.5) are 21-11 (65.63%)
  • Seven out of the 20 underdog 2-0 sweeps have occurred in that same span

Royal Never Give Up are coming off of an embarrassing 2-0 loss to 14th-place LGD Gaming, who had just three match wins going into that series. This was a colossal blunder for the perennial contenders, who could potentially lose their playoff spot to Team WE if they don’t nab at least two more match wins in their final four series. The quality of play in their previous series against first-place Invictus Gaming was incredibly high which further amplifies just how tremendous of a let-down this appearance was.

The underdogs enter this series fresh off of an upset of their own, a victory over Vici Gaming  which put Vici’s playoff hopes in jeopardy. In the prior match, Rogue Warriors took a game off of TOP eSports, although you could argue it was somewhat handed to them in the draft.

They also swept the reinvigorated BiliBili Gaming, 2-0. Since making the switch to Chen “Haro” Wen-Lin in the jungle full-time, Rogue Warriors have gone 2-2 in matches and 5-5 in games, a significant improvement over the three match wins in their previous eight series.

Rogue Warriors are what I like to call a good “punch up” underdog; one that doesn’t back down when they’re outclassed. Their aggressive play-style can be very feast-or-famine but one thing it does provide for is both higher kill total games and angles to attack the kill spread markets.

For the season, Rogue Warriors have averaged 10.06 kills per loss, good for the third-highest rate in the league and an above average 20.8 kills per win in their five wins since the switch.

In their past six wins, Royal Never Give Up have an average margin of victory (AMOV) of 6.33 and 16.66 kills per win, well below league average in both. In that span they would have covered this 8.5 kill spread on only two occasions.

At first glance this appears to be a perfect bounce-back spot; a good team coming off of a bad loss against a relatively poor team.

Stylistically, this should be an easy matchup for Royal Never Give Up, who typically manage to stifle aggressive teams but given the recent form of both squads and the fatigue of the condensed schedule wearing on these players I’d expect a more competitive matchup than this initially appears.

Favorites have been struggling recently and most of them have dropped at least a game per series even against weaker competition. I like the dog, I like the decline in recent form of the favorites, and I like the number.  Three-quarters stake on the spread, one-quarter on the moneyline.

Picks: Rogue Warriors +1.5 maps (+150); Rogue Warriors ML (+553)


DFS Considerations:

Rogue Warriors are a great underdog to target for DFS purposes given their above average kill per win of 18.69 which has increased to 20.5 in their past six wins.

Keep an eye on the starting lineups and avoid the top lane if possible unless you’re trying to get some lineup differentiation. The constant swapping of their two players at that position even within a series can be maddening.

LOL Champions Korea (LCK)

SANDBOX Gaming (+181) vs KT Rolster (-238)

  • Kill Spread: KT Rolster -4.5
  • Kill Total:  20.5
  • Time: Saturday, 7 a.m. ET

Notable Trends:

  • KT Rolster are 3-2 as favorites, 1-4 against the map spread
  • KT Rolster are 0-2 against the map spread in their past two appearances as the favorites
  • SANDBOX Gaming are 2-7 as underdogs, 4-5 against the map spread
  • SANDBOX have lost 0-2 in their past two appearances as underdogs
  • Favorites are 55-26, 32-49 against the map spread in the LCK this season
  • Since March 30, underdogs are 15-6 against the map spread (+1.5) and the underdog has won, 2-0, in 6 out of 21 matches in that same span

For the time being, the LCK is the only remaining major league that has a relegation process. The two teams that finish at the bottom of the standings after the season have to play against the top two teams from the developmental league, Challengers Korea, and the winners move onto the LCK while the losers are relegated.

This introduces an interesting dynamic and incentive for the bottom of the table teams to continue battling over the course of the season even after they’ve been eliminated from playoff contention.

With just two matches remaining, SANDBOX sit at 5-11 in a tight battle with three other teams to avoid relegation. They’ve lost four of their past five matches with their only win coming in a 2-1 victory over Hanwha Life eSports. During this stretch SANDBOX have faced the top three teams, T1, Gen.G, and DragonX. They also lost, 0-2, to APK Prince.

SANDBOX have been a very inconsistent team this season in large part due to the constant shuffling of their starting roster including the benching of superstar top laner Park “Summit” Woo-tae, one of the best at his position in the league.

Back-to-back matches are very rare in professional League of Legends but KT Rolster enter this bout fresh off of a stunning 2-0 rout of second-place T1. Not only did the savvy veterans of KT Rolster defeat one of the best teams in the world, but they did so with a completely different look beating T1 at their own game.

Since opening the season with five match losses in a row, KT Rolster have gone on to win nine of their next 11 in one of the most impressive turnarounds in recent history.

It’s difficult to ignore a dominant performance like the one we saw Friday morning from KT Rolster. To adjust the style they’d been playing with all season and execute something completely different to such a high degree speaks volumes.

KT Rolster dropped the first game to SANDBOX in their first meeting this season before completely dismantling them in the next two. While underdog spreads have been dominant over the past couple of weeks in the LCK and KT Rolster are just 1-4 ATS as favorites, I still think the value is on the KT -1.5 here.

We shouldn’t be getting plus money on them especially considering the variety of ways that they can beat you.

Pick: KT Rolster -1.5 maps (+130)


DFS Considerations:

This is a series I’d avoid for DFS purposes. With KT Rolster showing that they’re both willing and capable of playing a slower and more controlled style that’s another avenue toward lower kill total games which you want nothing to do with.

You can play them in the team slot considering how complete most of their victories have been and that it’s reasonable to expect the 2-0 which gives bonus points for ‘games not played’ but I wouldn’t play any of the players if you can help it especially in cash games.

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