With the Bali Major starting this week, Dota 2 expert Ben "Noxville" Steenhuisen is taking a look at the Outright betting markets for the tournament and its first matches. Following up on his Power Rankings article, he has spotted some teams that have value in his eyes – and instead of keeping this information to himself, he’s sharing his insights with us!
With every big international event, there is a lot of uncertainty as to how teams will interact. Some teams that dominate their regional leagues fall apart when they face international opposition, whilst others flourish in a more diverse environment. Although the Bali Major is a LAN event, the Group Stage takes place behind closed doors. However, nerves still play a factor - even more so given the stakes of the tournament with The International qualification on the line.
This pre-event uncertainty often means the most enticing and open markets are concentrated right at the start, with day one match-ups and overall Outright markets.
My focus here will be on three-way match winners and some of the first objective markets (for example, First Roshan and First Tower). A lot of these are close to symmetrical for Map 1 and Map 2 (the Group Stage is entirely made up of best-of-two series, so it’s guaranteed to be just two maps). First Blood is too chaotic of a market in general, and Odd/Even Kills is essentially a coin flip.
In DreamLeague, Tundra Esports were averaging 0.69 Roshan kills at the 25-minute mark (the highest of all 16 teams), whilst Team Spirit were averaging just 0.33 (the second lowest). The current line is 1.654 for Tundra to kill the first Roshan in Map 1, and 1.666 in Map 2. These are implied odds close to 55%/45%, which in my opinion undervalue Tundra by a fair amount.
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Slightly less valuable in the context of First Roshan we have 9Pandas against Gaimin Gladiators (GG). The current lines are ~2.220 (Map 1) and ~2.270 (Map 2) when betting on 9Pandas. These two teams are relatively close in average Roshans at 20 minutes in DreamLeague, although GG did face more skilled opponents over the entire event, which could balance this out. I would wait to see how Map 1 goes, and then consider a Map 2 value bet on 9Pandas if their first game was at all competitive.
Team Aster’s First Tower market against Team Spirit is currently at ~1.819 (Map 1), which makes sense considering that this is something Aster have been doing consistently faster for a while now. There is some value here on Aster, and if Map 1 goes well, I would immediately bet on Map 2 action.
In my Power Rankings, I suggested that Quest Esports and Bleed Esports might be dark horses of the event, and could be dramatically undervalued. Unfortunately, they play each other early on, and Quest go on to play Gaimin Gladiators whilst Bleed go on to play PSG.LGD. This leaves a few options on the table: backing one to succeed and the other to fail, leaving them both alone, or waiting and seeing. The wait-and-see approach means waiting for Map 2 Quest vs. Bleed (the current Money Line is Quest at 1.781, and Bleed at ~2.06), but I’d be willing to back Quest with a moderate amount from the start. I would even be tempted by Quest +0.5 (at ~1.892) against Gaimin Gladiators if Quest start off well against Bleed (Gaimin vs. Quest in the DPC Tour 3 went 2-1 favouring Gaimin).
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In the Group and Event Outrights there are only small value bets to make. Tundra to win Group A (at ~3.000) seems great given Team Liquid’s slight overall drop in performance (both in Regional Leagues and at DreamLeague Season 20). In Group B, I think Gaimin Gladiators are a bit overpriced at ~2.370, so I’d rather take smaller bets on BetBoom (~3.750) and PSG.LGD (~5.000).
The Outright for Gaimin Gladiators to win at ~3.580 seems fairly priced, but I think Tundra Esports (at ~5.900) or BetBoom (at ~8.140) also represent some value. The To Win Outright option seems to slightly overvalue the middle to lower end of the market, and as a result it undervalues a few of the top eight teams, so if there is a bet to be made, it’s here. As mentioned previously for the Group Outrights, you could make a judgement call on Team Liquid - was their dip in Tour 3 and DreamLeague just a temporary drop, or was it a sign of things to come?