LOL Betting Picks and LPL Spring Finals Roundtable Preview: Top eSports vs. JD Gaming (May 2)



May 01, 2020, 02:13 PM EDT

China’s LOL Pro League will be crowning a new champion on Saturday. TOP eSports and JD Gaming each eliminated the previous two world champions, Invictus (2018) and FunPlus Phoenix (2019), respectively and in dominant fashion over the weekend to bring each organization to their first LPL finals appearances.

LOL Pro League (China): 2020 Spring Finals Odds and Picks

TOP eSports (+124) vs JD Gaming (-149)

  • Kill Spread: JD Gaming -4.5
  • Kill Total: 26.5
  • Time: Saturday, 5 a.m. ET

 Notable Trends:

  • Favorites are 88-54 overall and 57-85 against the map spread in the LPL this season (includes playoffs)
  • Favorites  3-3 overall and 3-3 ATS in the playoffs (includes third-place match)
  • JD Gaming (JDG) are 10-3 overall and 8-5 ATS as favorites
  • JDG are 5-0 overall and 4-1 ATS in their past five appearances as underdogs
  • JDG are a perfect 15-0 in games since Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran returned to the lineup on April 5
  • TOP eSports are 4-1 overall and 4-1 ATS as underdogs
  • TOP have won, 2-0, in three of their past four appearances as underdogs

Top eSports vs. JD Gaming: Projected Starting Lineups:

  • TOP eSports: 369, Karsa, Knight, JackeyLove, QiuQiu
  • JD Gaming: Zoom, Kanavi, Yagao, Loken, LvMao

TOP eSports won the first meeting between these teams back on March 25 but the texture of the league and both of these teams was much different.

After struggling coming out of the multi-week pandemic hiatus, TOP eSports managed to notch five match victories in a row which including the win against JD Gaming. At the time, Ying “Photic” Qi-Shen was starting to hit his stride after a lukewarm start to the year as the team’s new starting AD carry and seemed to have settled into a good rhythm with his lane partner Zhang “QiuQiu” Ming in the support position.

Conversely, JD Gaming were in the midst of a three-game losing streak after a blazing hot start, winning five of their first six matches with the only loss coming to the defending world champions FunPlus Phoenix.

He “705” Yu-Long was helped quiet criticism of the coaching staff as the 17-year-old rookie replacement of long-time starter Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran was playing well in the early going.

Since then a lot has changed. TOP eSports acquired super star AD carry free agent Yu “JackeyLove” Wen-Bo after a tumultuous series of contract issues plagued his off-season. In that time they’ve won 10 out of 12 games and all five series including two playoff victories against Team WE and Invictus Gaming. JD Gaming also shifted back to “Zoom” in the top lane and have since gone undefeated, a perfect 15-0 in games with him in the lineup.

These are the two hottest teams in the LPL, going a combined 25-2 in games since moving to these iterations of their starting lineups. Their playoff gold differentials per minute are an absurd 252 (JDG) and 220 (TOP) and are double their nearest rivals, and they’re even more extreme if you include the end of the regular season.

Both of these teams deserve to be here. Not only do we get to see the two best teams in the LPL but there’s also the potential revenge storyline for JD Gaming’s AD carry Lee “Loken” Dong-wook as he faces off against his former team and his eventual replacement and former rival “JackeyLove.”

It’s shaping up to be a real slobberknocker!

Seeing as this is the final League of Legends match in the four major regions until mid-May I’ve invited fellow LOL contributors at The Action Network John George and Josh Roberts for a roundtable discussion on the finals in what many consider the world’s best league.

Is this the finals you expected at the beginning of the playoffs? The season? Where did you have these teams ranked going into the season?

John: While this isn’t the exact finals I expected, I did have these two teams ranked second and third going into the regular season and that was before TOP eSports picked up “JackeyLove” so I feel pretty good about that call.

I assumed Invictus would fall off pretty hard, which was only somewhat true, but I did have FunPlus above both of these squads in my power rankings.

Joshua: Not at all. I expected FunPlus and Invictus to be in the finals since FunPlus were the defending world champions and seemingly only upgraded their roster while Invictus has the most dominant solo laners and had acquired a more stable and consistent bottom lane in the off-season.

I had TOP eSports in the top three due to the addition of Karsa, who has arguably been a disappointment, and I had JD Gaming fifth behind Royal Never Give Up.

Vince: I’m a bit surprised FunPlus isn’t here but not shocked to see these two. I had TOP at four in my “S” tier and JD Gaming at two in my “S+” tier with FunPlus at one. The addition of “Loken” was such a massive upgrade over Gu “Imp” Seung-bin who was a huge liability last year despite his borderline hall of fame career achievements.

I looked at this as a -10 to +10 kind of upgrade and the other four players on JD Gaming were absolute studs that had a lot of experience together. They fixed their only problem and made, in my opinion the single best off-season pick-up out of any team worldwide.

JD Gaming were probably my favorite futures position going into the season at +1500 to win the Spring title.

What was your initial impression of the lines and markets for this matchup?

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