With basketball as huge as it is in the Philippines, it is no surprise that there is a domestic league for local fans to wager on. The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is the top professional Filipino basketball league, and it’s one of the most popular sports leagues for bettors in the islands.
Among Filipinos, PBA basketball betting is not as popular as betting on the NBA, mainly because MegaSportsWorld (MSW) allows NBA wagering but cannot legally offer PBA betting. Still, it is a well-trafficked betting category at offshore sportsbooks, all of which consistently offer PBA odds.
This basketball betting guide has information on how the PBA works, who the current teams are, where to legally bet on games online, and much more.
Is PBA Basketball Betting Legal In The Philippines?
It is legal for Philippines residents to bet on PBA basketball through licensed offshore sportsbooks. There are other domestic options like MegaSportsWorld, a popular local sportsbook platform, but MSW cannot by law offer action on any Philippines-based events.
As a result, Filipino bettors can safely and legally wager on PBA action only at offshore sportsbooks that are legally licensed and regulated. Without a proper license and regulatory system in place, any offshore sportsbook would be considered illegal. All of the offshore operators listed in his guide have been licensed and are regulated in accordance with all applicable laws, making them safe to use.
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Breakdown Of The PBA Season
Philippines basketball is broken up into three different “conferences” that are combined into one large season. This contrasts with the American National Basketball Association (NBA), which has a long regular season format that leads into the Playoffs and Finals.
The Philippine Basketball Association has three conferences (which can be viewed as tournaments or “sub-seasons” for those unfamiliar with the platform), and each has its own playoffs and championship series. In theory, this is more exciting for fans and gives teams multiple chances to win championships each year. The competition in the PBA is much closer than in the NBA, so bets can go either way, and any team can win year in and year out (though the San Miguel Beermen are historically the most dominant club across all three conferences).
The three PBA conferences that make up the PBA season are contested in the following order each year:
Each Cup’s postseason features a best-of-3 quarterfinals and a best-of-7 playoffs and finals format, though this is subject to change. If a team wins all three conferences in a calendar year, they are considered the Grand Slam champion.
Typically, the Philippine Cup runs from December to April, while the Commissioner’s Cup runs from March to July. The Governors’ Cup is the last of the year and runs from July to October. All dates are subject to slight variations depending on international tournaments and other geopolitical events.
PBA Basketball Teams You Can Wager On
The PBA is a considerably smaller league than other basketball leagues around the world. Teams have come and gone, but there are currently 12 in the running for the separate titles.
Each team is named after the corporation that sponsors them as opposed to the individual city-based names you’ll find in most other leagues.
2021 PBA Teams
- Alaska Aces – Alaska Milk Corporation
- Barangay Ginebra San Miguel – Ginebra San Miguel, Inc.
- Blackwater Bossing – Ever Bilena Cosmetics, Inc.
- Magnolia Hotshots – San Miguel Pure Foods Company, Inc.
- Meralco Bolts – Manila Electric Company
- NLEX Road Warriors – Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
- NorthPort Batang Pier – Sultan 900 Capital, Inc.
- Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters – Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc.
- Rain or Shine Elasto Painters – Asian Coatings Philippines, Inc.
- San Miguel Beermen – San Miguel Brewery, Inc.
- Terrafirma Dyip – Terrafirma Realty Development Corp.
- TNT Tropang Giga– Smart Communications
2021 PBA Defending Champions
- Philippine Cup – Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (2020)
- Commissioner’s Cup – San Miguel Beermen (2019*)
- Governors’ Cup – Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (2019*)
*There were no 2020 Commissioner’s Cup games or 2020 Governors’ Cup games due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Philippine Cup took almost the entire calendar year to be contested as a result of frequent delays and pauses to the schedule.
Can I Bet On PBA Games From My Phone?
Yes! The licensed offshore sportsbooks recommended in this guide all feature mobile suites that host mobile betting lines on PBA games. The mobile versions run via web browser, meaning they do not require a separate mobile application download.
Mobile betting is a mirror image of desktop betting, only with remote accessibility and easier-to-navigate odds boards. Responsive design technology ensures consistent functionality on any size of screen, which means you can use your tablet devices as well. Apple, Android, Windows, and Blackberry devices are all compatible for mobile use.
Is There Live Wagering On PBA Games?
Yes. Filipino bettors can bet on Philippine Basketball Association games in real-time using the live betting section of licensed offshore sportsbooks. Live betting allows you to place a wager during a basketball game as opposed to the standard format of betting before the game begins.
Live betting lines typically expire faster than standard lines and can sometimes come with higher payouts. Be sure to read up on each sportsbook’s rules for live betting on basketball, as these can be different than what you’re used to in the regular betting format. Live bets are available throughout each of the PBA conferences/tournaments.
How Can I Bet On PBA Basketball?
Basketball betting is broken down into several categories: point spread betting, money line, totals (over/under), props, and futures. You can find all of these at licensed offshore sportsbooks, and each offers bettors different ways to win big. We’ve provided a brief explanation of the betting types below:
Point Spread – Point spread betting involves betting on a specific team to win or lose by a certain amount of points. For example, you could bet on TNT KaTropa to beat the Alaska Aces by at least 6 points. This would look like the following at your sportsbook:
- TNT KaTropa -6.0 at Alaska Aces +6.0
In order for your bet to hit, TNT KaTropa must win by at least six points. Even if they win, your bet will not be successful unless the margin of victory falls within that “spread.” If TNT wins by exactly six points, the bet results in a “push” and all wagers are refunded.
Moneyline – Moneyline betting is when you wager on a team to win outright. These types of wagers do not account for the point spread. Novice bettors often stick to the moneyline until they get a feel for how the point spread works. Moneyline bets are also called straight bets or straight moneyline bets, and they look like this:
- Magnolia Hotshots +235 at Barangay Ginebra San Miguel -170
Here, the positive number represents the underdog and shows how much you would win on a $100 bet. The negative number is for the favorite, showing how much you must risk to win $100. These are payout ratios, not betting minimums, as most PBA sportsbooks will accept wagers of as little as $0.50.
Totals – Totals bets require you to wager on the combined final score of the game to either be “over” or “under” a predetermined amount. If both teams have high-scoring offenses, you would likely take the over bet. If one team is strong on defense, the under might be better. Totals are also called over/under bets, and they look like this:
- Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters at Meralco Bolts O/U 142.5
If the above teams combine to score more than 142 points, the over wager wins, whereas if they combine to score fewer than 142 points, the under wins. Bookmakers use half-point increments when they want to prevent the possibility of a “push.”
Props – PBA prop betting involves wagering on a specific occurrence to happen within a given game. Props can focus on individual stats or team stats, and these are called player props and team props, respectively. For example, you could wager on an Alaska Aces player to have at least 10 rebounds in one game, or you could bet on the San Miguel Beermen to to collectively grab 35 rebounds.
There are lots of props throughout the season, and some can get quite whimsical in nature. We recommend you stick to props that revolve around player stats if you’re just starting out.
Futures – Futures bets are for those punters who are very confident in their wagering. An example of a futures bet would be betting on a Grand Slam champion at the beginning of the Philippine Cup, though the most common futures involve picking a conference winner or MVP before the conference starts.
The allure of futures betting is that you can make a lot of money if you place your wagers at the beginning of the season when odds are longest.