Call of Duty League Playoffs 8/21 betting preview: Picks and plays

Super Bowl Ticket Drop

Welcome to another Call of Duty esports breakdown! This article will be filled with stats, both team based and player based, that give you everything you need to know about the teams to make informed bets on them and their matches. Whether you are a hardcore bettor or an avid fan, getting some action in on the game you are watching always makes things that much more fun, so let’s get things going

Models and disclaimer

I’ll be using a couple of different methods to break down the teams and matchups involved in these articles, so it’s important that you know what I’m talking about when I reference them. These models can be found here and are based on some of the basic matchmaking algorithms used in the world of competitive gaming.

The main model I’ll be using for betting matchups is called an “ELO” based model, which is a ranking system that considers a team’s wins relative to the skill of their opponents rather than in a vacuum. The ELO system is used in competitive environments around the world and is a much more accurate assessment of skill than traditional rankings based on wins and losses alone. My version of ELO rankings for esports is based on seasonal rankings and gives increased points for wins against quality opponents and bigger losses in ELO points to teams that lose against bottom-tier teams, as well as awarding extra points for sweeps. 

I’ll also be using proprietary projections to give more depth to the players involved and their roles on teams, which can help us better assess what teams bring to the table if a substitution happens or if we are considering prop bets. These projections will typically be used over a 3 months sample and corrected for wins and losses.

Let’s get on with things!

For our complete guide to betting on COD click here!

Teams playing

Chicago Huntsmen

Chicago is one of the fan favorite teams with a lot of star power. They feature Scump, one of the most famous Call of Duty pro players, as well as FormaL and Prestinni who they recently picked up in a trade. They have had a strong season up to the finals with a 57.81% win rate against top rated teams and a league best 69.09% win rate against bottom half teams through the entire year. The recent sample is a bit more concerning as that win rate against bottom half teams has dropped to just 46.15% over the last 3 weeks. It’s not uncommon in any sports, both esports and traditional, for teams with a lot of veteran presence to start coasting towards the end of the regular season, so we can expect them to get back to their strong play in the playoffs.

New York Subliners

Fresh off of a shellacking of the Minnesota ROKKR (that was easy to see coming) the Subliners will have a significantly more difficult task on their hands today. The Subliners continue their strong play in the second half of the season with a sterling 70.59% win rate against bottom-half teams and a solid 53.33% win rate against top-half teams. Their carry, Mack, actually had an off game in their first playoff match and will need to pick it up if they are to stand a chance in future matches as the competition gets significantly stiffer.

Florida Mutineers

The Mutineers are another one of the teams that started out the year in dire straits and didn’t look like they had a chance to compete, and yet they finished the regular season in third place in championship points after exceptional finishes to multiple late tournaments. Florida feels a lot like the Subliners but with a wider group of talent. Any one of Fero, Skyz, or the rookie Owakening can put the team on their back and win matches by themselves. With a 46.05% win rate to top half teams and a 62.96% win rate to bottom half teams, they don’t have the most dominant record but can hang with any and all opponents. The recent sample of just a 25% win rate to top tier teams is certainly concerning though, and it’s worth recognizing that this team is not as consistent as you would hope.

Toronto Ultra

The Ultra continue to play well above their current tournament standings as their ranking in the ELO model has them as the third-best team in the league over the last three weeks. After taking care of business against the London Royal Ravens, they now have the third-best win rate against top-half teams over the recent sample with a 57.69% mark. Likewise, they have a better full-season record against such teams than both the Subliners and the Mutineers. To put the cherry on top, they have accomplished all of this recent success having the hard schedule in the league by far in the recent run, with 26 maps played against top-half teams where the second hardest is the ROKKR with 20. If they didn’t have the respect of the league yet, they should now.

Matchups

Chicago Huntsmen vs. New York Subliners

This should be a really good match and it’s really difficult to feel confident in taking either side because of how good both these teams are and how even they have been across the season. Chicago is without a doubt the most consistent team with just two matches that they have been swept and seven matches they swept their opponent while maintaining one of the three best records in the league against top half opponents. One of those matches that they got swept, however, was against the New York Subliners who they face today, and that match happens to be the last time these teams played each other. Over the season, these squads have played each other five total times with 11 map wins going to Chicago and 10 maps going to the Subliners ending with the Huntsmen having the advantage 3-2. There are sure to be fireworks in this one and it should end up being a close match.

Florida Mutineers vs. Toronto Ultra

Another close match on the docket for the day, these teams are less familiar with each other and haven’t played one another since week five and thus the results are less indicative of what we should expect this one to be. Those matches have the series between these two teams tied at 1-1, with the Ultra taking the first match 3-2 and the Mutineers winning the next one 3-1. The concerning part of this spot is just how different these teams are in the recent sample. Overall, the Mutineers are the better team, with an ELO rank of fourth best in the league, but their recent rank form is just eighth best because of how terrible they have been against top tier squads. Toronto is the opposite situation, with their season-long ELO rank of eighth being far outdone by their recent rank of third best in the league. One thing that should be more predictable is this game going at least four maps, with Toronto only being involved in three matches that ended in a sweep.

Favorite bets

Toronto Ultra Moneyline (+120, up to -125)

I don’t think that the Mutineers are a team that is going to be able to maintain their mid season resurgence and am fully bought in on the synergy that the Toronto Ultra exhibit in their recent form. Remember, the Mutineers are sporting a young squad and one of the reasons for their success is Owakening, a rookie who might not know how to deal with the pressure of the playoffs. The 25% win rate for the Mutineers against top half teams in the league over the last three weeks is just too low a mark for me to feel confident that they show up against one of the most well rounded teams in the playoffs and I’ll take the points on the underdog here.

Chicago Huntsmen -1.5 maps (+162, up to -125)

I don’t think that the Subliners looked especially strong in their win over the ROKKR, and that just doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in me that they can beat, or even keep up with, the Chicago Huntsmen. Remember, the Huntsmen are a star-squad. They have at least three players considered to be top tier players in the league and a consistent rifle to hold down spawns in Arcitys. The Huntsmen have swept seven teams in the season and these team teams have been involved in 18 sweeps out of their combined 59 games, so I think we see someone’s wheels fall off. I know the Subliners have been stronger in the second half of the season but I’m going to bet on FormaL and Scump to come through where it matters the most and cover the spread for plus money. If you don’t feel comfortable with the handicap here, taking the moneyline at -139 (up to -160) is fine with me as well.

Super Bowl Ticket Drop