There are many reasons to enter the world of LoL esports bets. Perhaps you want to flex your analytical talents and kick-start a successful gambling career. Or you want to spice up your viewing experience by backing your favorite team. Or maybe you’re just looking to have a bit of fun. But if you’re going to be a part of this scene, it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into.
So if you want to bet on the most anticipated League of Legends LCS matches, you should get familiar with the available gambling opportunities. It’s for this reason that we prepared a guide for the most common types of LoL esports bets!
League of Legends betting markets
Let’s get this out of the way first. If you’re not sure what the whole “betting market” talk is about, it’s just a fancy way of saying “bet type”. With that in mind, these are the LoL betting markets you want to keep track of.
LoL match winner bet
As we’ve mentioned in our ultimate League of Legends betting guide, the most important market to master is match winner bets. These wagers look deceptively simple. After all, it seems like all you have to do is predict a winner in a head-to-head clash between two LoL teams. Easy, right?
Well, not exactly. Many things go into predicting a victor of a game of League of Legends. For one, you have to keep track of the player matchups. Who’s doing well? Who’s going through a slump? What’s the current meta? And does it favor any side in particular?
Then, you should analyze teams themselves. Different organizations have their own ways of approaching League of Legends—and these don’t always match well with each other. As an extreme example, a weak, but aggressive team can turn into the kryptonite of a slow-starting powerhouse.
The reason why we’re devoting so much time to this topic is that it’s the cornerstone of most esports bets. Your success in other betting markets will largely depend on how well you can predict the match winners. So it’s in your best interest to get it right.
LoL correct score bet
This is the more complex variation of the match winner bet. Predicting the correct score isn’t relevant if you’re making wagers on Bo1 LCS matches. However, if you want to bet on LoL Worlds (or any other major event), you can put your money on the exact results of any given series.
Winning correct score bets comes down to how well you can read teams’ strategies. Factors like drafts, champion pools, and in-game versatility play a huge role here.
Some teams will approach the match with the mindset of testing the waters before unleashing their arsenal. Others will come out swinging in an effort to build up momentum.
In the end, you should stay up to date with professional teams to get a good grasp of their playstyles and mentalities. Of course, the risks of betting on the correct score will be high, especially for the Bo5 matches. But you can make insane profits if you nail your prediction.
LoL handicap bet
On the other hand, if you’re the type that likes to minimize risks, look into LoL handicap bets. This might seem like a weird concept at first, but it’s very straightforward. Basically, you’re still making a wager on the match winner, but the lineup you’re choosing has a number of wins added to its score. If this LoL esports bet sounds confusing, take a look at the example below:
Let’s say, CLG and TSM meet in a Bo3 series. You think CLG can pull off an upset, but ultimately, they’re on the back foot. So you place a +1.5 handicap bet on them. With that, if CLG win the series 2-0 or 2-1, you’ll get paid because… well, your team won! But even if they only take a single game, you’ll get your money because the handicap adds 1.5 to CLG’s score.
In short, the actual result may look like CLG 1:2 TSM. But since the handicap adds 1.5 to the former’s score, the result changes to CLG 2.5:2 TSM in the context of your bet. So the only time when you don’t get anything out of your wager is when CLG loses 0-2. This makes League of Legends handicap bets ideal for reducing variance. Use them if you’re gambling on close matchups or powerful teams that need some time to get off the ground.
LoL maps total over/under bet
Sometimes it can be excruciatingly difficult to predict a winner. In this case, you can still get in on the action using LoL maps total over/under bets! Let’s go back to our CLG vs TSM example:
If CLG and TSM play a Bo3 series, and you think they’re evenly matched, you should bet on the maps total being over 2.5. With that, if either team wins with a 2-1 score (i.e. the match goes to 3 games), you get your money.
Now, let’s say you’re dealing with two momentum-based lineups like Team Vitality and Team ROCCAT. Both of them have the necessary firepower to clinch the series.
However, the team that takes the first game will likely carry that momentum to the next one. In this situation, you can make a wager on the maps total being under 2.5, so you’ll get paid if either lineup scores a 2-0 victory over the other.
As you can see, this esports bet is quite similar to the previous example. Both serve the purpose of minimizing risks, and it’s up to you to decide when’s the best time to use them.
LoL first blood/dragon/baron bet
The title might seem a bit confusing, but there’s a separate category of LoL esports bets that revolves around teams that are first to do something. Usually, you’re trying to predict which lineup will be the first to claim objectives like towers, dragons, Baron Nashors, and inhibitors. Naturally, first blood also falls into this category. And if you’re really trying your luck, you can make a wager on who’s going to be the first to get a Quadra kill or a Penta kill.
These variables might seem pretty random, but in the end, you can add some structure to them. For example, a team that specializes in early game aggression will have more first bloods than a lineup that plays around late game skirmishes. In a similar fashion, a team with a dominant bot lane will have a much easier time securing dragons and demolishing turrets.
Of course, you won’t be able to know the ins and outs of all lineups. Hell, even if you watch every LCS game, you might miss out on key details because of the camera movement. What you can do, though, is check out team stats at the Oracle’s Elixir. These include cool variables like Early Game Rating, First Blood Rate, First Baron Rate, and etc. And if you combine knowledge with statistics, you will be able to make a significant profit on this type of esports bets.
LoL player bet
Some League of Legends betting sites will offer player-specific wagers. Things like whether your players will deal more damage or score more kills compared to their opponents. Again, this looks pretty random, but it actually isn’t.
Oracle’s Elixir offers detailed player stats, and you can use them to find which players have the highest KDA and DPM (damage per minute) numbers. Then, you need to factor in champion pools. Players that favor scaling picks will naturally do a ton of damage in late game scenarios, but they might not get to that point if they’re facing aggressive opponents.
Speaking of the late game, the longer the match goes on, the more team-fights there are. And that means more opportunities to deal damage. Consider putting your money on late-game carries if you’re trying to win a damage-based bet.
LoL tournament winner bet
Most League of Legends bookmakers will give you the opportunity to bet on the tournament winner. In short, you’re putting your trust into a team to win the title. There are many tournaments in the League of Legends landscape that are eligible for these esports bets. Still, you usually want to make a wager on large competitions like the NA/EU LCS, LPL, LCK, Mid-Season Invitational, and Worlds.
Of course, predicting an outright tournament winner is no easy task. There are ten teams in most major leagues, and this number only grows larger at international competitions. Plus, you only get one shot to pick your champion. Even so, there’s a way to work around that.
First, most leagues have their top dogs. Teams like G2 Esports and Fnatic for the EU LCS or TSM, CLG, and C9 for the NA LCS. These are competitive powerhouses with long-standing histories of domestic success, so it’s a good idea to bet on one of them.
Second, international tournaments tend to be dominated by South Korean teams. So if you’re keeping up with the LCK, you should be able to tell which lineup has the biggest chance of winning. And if that fails, you can always bet on the best LoL team in the world, SKT T1.
LoL random bets
While we would consider gambling a game of skill, some LoL esports bets are no different from leaps of faith. Mainly because they involve a high degree of randomness. For example, predicting which team gets a Quadra kill or a Penta kill is next to impossible because of how rare these events are in the first place. Plus, professional lineups tend to play to win, so they don’t care who gets the kills in a game-deciding teamfight.
Then, there’s the kills odd or even bet. This is quite literally a coin toss because you’re making a wager on whether the number of kills will be odd or even. And not even the best League of Legends experts would be able to forecast that. All in all, we’d advise you to stay away from this type of esports bets because they’ll always lose you money in the long run.
LoL risk-free bets
If there’s one thing every League of Legends gambler should know, it’s that you can set yourself up for success even before you start betting. We’re talking, of course, about the risk-free bets and deposit bonuses. When you, as a new customer, sign up with a LoL betting site, you’ll usually gain access to special offers and promotions. And it would be a shame not to use them!
These offers differ from one bookmaker to another. Still, the most common one is the deposit bonus. Essentially, you put a certain sum onto your gambling account, and the bookmaker doubles (or even triples!) the amount. This is a great for increasing your equity—at least, in the short term. Keep in mind, though, that you will have to place a fair share of wagers to claim your deposit bonus. Otherwise, everyone would just withdraw the extra money as soon as possible, and League of Legends betting sites would go out of business.
However, some platforms go above and beyond by offering risk-free bets. This means that anyone that deposits a certain amount of money gains access to extra funds. You can use these to place LoL free bets and get an edge over other esports punters. This is a no-strings-attached type of deal, so if you win anything, you get to keep it. And if you lose, no hard feelings.
Granted, this isn’t exactly a separate category of esports bets. That said, it’s a good way for newcomers to get more experience under their belts without worrying about the risks. If you want to take advantage of deposit bonuses or LoL free bets, you can check out our list of the best League of Legends betting sites.