LPL Day 1 Game Previews and Betting Picks
Emrick breaks down his picks for the opening day games of the LPL Spring Split.
It's almost here folks. The start of the LOL Spring Split across all major and minor leagues is nearly upon us. While we wait for DraftKings to drop the first slate for us degenerates to feast upon, let's take a look at some of the betting lines currently offered over on Bovada. I had been previewing the leagues themselves and talking about each of the future bets I had. For the most part, those bets centered around the LCS Lock-In. While I do have some additional small positions on other leagues some of the line movement from when the lines first opened has been so significant that the value that was once there in some of the teams is no longer available. So telling you about a bet I made, that you can't just seems kind of like a waste of my and your time.
That being said, make sure if you see a line here or that you like on the books you act quickly. The early season lines are often the easiest to take advantage of. The books have a hard time making adjustments when it comes to esports. If a line seems wrong, you aren't missing something like you would be in some of the major sports, they are. If you do have any questions about lines that have moved from the time of this writing and your reading feel free to hit me up on twitter at @emrickd4u.
LPL Day 1 Games Preview and Betting Picks
Seeing as it's the first major (or minor for that matter) region taking off let's take a look at some of the early games coming out of the LPL. These two games are the first of the Spring Split, taking place next Monday the 10th.
Oh My God vs. Thunder Talk
The communal sentiment surrounding OMG this season seems to be that of optimism. After going 3-13 last spring the team made some massive roster moves and made some major noise in the summer. The carry combo of Creme (Mid) and Able (ADC) was able to give this OMG squad some life. This team played an up-tempo style and was able to get key upsets against WE and RNG during the summer. Aside from those two games they typically beat bad teams and lost to good ones. Certainly an improvement from their spring performance but I don't believe their overall performance matched the hype. The series against WE was amazing to watch and it's my belief that some of the aura of those games bled into the perception of the rest of the season for them. They finished the split 9-7, good enough to earn the final playoff spot where they were 3-0'd by that same WE team they beat earlier in the year. Will they be able to build off that? They're bringing back almost the same roster with a “slight” improvement in the top lane. M1kuya joins replacing New who left for TT. This team was the fifth-worst in GPM and GDM during that split with a meager 35% First Tower rating.
TT on the other hand seems to have the exact opposite feelings out there. People don't like this team at all. I get it, I do. Last season was rough. They had some awful throws, and even their wins felt like they didn't deserve them. Often times that was in fact the case. But this isn't really the same team we saw last year. New comes over from OMG to play top and Puff comes from IG to join Pudding in the bottom lane. Frigid and Captain round out the lineup as two prospects getting a chance in the main league. For Frigid, this will be his first real chance as he previously played for WE's LDL team. He's had a solid career and his teams tend to finish near the top of the standings. This will be Captain's second time in the LPL, as he got a shot briefly last year for this TT squad prior to them deciding on Twila. At one point one of the most revered prospects in the LDL, Captain was part of a team that won the 2020 LDL summer and playoffs for IG.
OMG is overrated this year and I think they're overrated here. I don't think this TT team will make the playoffs but I do think they can contend for a final spot. Puff and Captain have played together before, New in the top lane will provide a solid, even if unexciting, part of this team.
The odds in favor of OMG are too large and are driven by hype. I'm backing TT in a few spots:
- .5 Unit at -125 on the spread
- .25 Unit at +260 to win
FPX vs. RNG
These two teams gave us an epic Spring Final so many months ago. After FPX had an extremely disappointing Worlds 2020 this match-up will look nothing like that Spring Final. Almost everyone on the FPX side will be different from that game. Gone are Tian, Nuguri, Crisp and the long-time face of the franchise Mid DoinB. In are a few guys we'd seen fill in before Xiaolaohu (top) and Beichauan (jungle). Gori returns to the LPL after a split in the LCK and Clid recently signed. Lwx is the lone holdover as part of this rebuild.
On the RNG side, it's almost the same team that won Spring and MSI, then fell in the QF's at Worlds to eventual champion EDG. Xiahou is moving back to mid, and BIN comes over to man the top lane. Other than that it's still Wei, Gala and Ming.
Given all that the thought is RNG should still be pretty good. With a mostly intact roster, why wouldn't they be? Look, they could be, and they probably will be a decent team. For me though, what made the difference last year and allowed them to be one of the elite teams in the LPL was the top/jungle tandem. Having Xiahou up there gave them a unique dynamic as one of the few teams that constantly would look to play through top. The difference between him even in his first year as a top laner versus other tops was massive. Taking that advantage away seems like it could hurt the team drastically. Bin is very good, but he isn't as good as Xiahou. Will the difference of Xiahou/Cryin be enough to out weight the difference between Xiahou/Bin? I think they'll be closer to a 4-6 team this split than a top three team.
1 Unit on FPX to win (I got +210 odds line open and would still bet the 195)