Legal PBA Betting Guide
The PBA – or Philippine Basketball Association – is the top level of professional basketball in the Philippines. The islands are well-known for their love of basketball, and the PBA was founded in 1975 as the culmination of the many different pro hoops leagues that have come before. There are 12 teams in the PBA, and you can wager on all their games at all the best legal PBA betting sites.
For legally betting on the Philippine Basketball Association, all you need is a membership to a top online sportsbook that is operating outside of US jurisdiction and holds a legitimate bookmaking credentials in its home country. The outlets we recommend here are the best basketball betting sites in the world, and they’ve each withstood the test of time so you can trust that your wagers will be honored and you’ll be paid out on time.
Read on to learn more about the PBA and why it’s one of the most fun international basketball organizations for both fans and bettors.
Is It Legal To Bet On The PBA Online In The USA?
Yes! If you live in the United States, you have two ways to bet on the Philippine Basketball Association: domestically at state-based sportsbooks in states with legal sports betting (online and/or brick-and-mortar) or via overseas sportsbooks legally operating outside of US jurisdiction such as the ones on this page.
IS IT LEGAL TO BET ON PBA GAMES ONLINE IN THE PHILIPPINES?
Yes, as long a the bets are placed at a reputable offshore sportsbook. Philippines gambling laws prohibit residents from betting on basketball via locally operated online sportsbooks. However, the Philippines government has declared that offshore betting options are perfectly legal for Filipinos. All of the sportsbooks on this page are legally sanctioned sportsbooks for Filipinos seeking legitimate online PBA betting options.
Best Online Sportsbook For Legal PBA Betting
Real Time Gaming + Rival
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BetOnline is one of the best Internet bookmakers in the industry, and the site has been in constant operation since its founding in 2004. Based in Panama City, Panama, BetOnline is fully regulated, licensed, and insured, and millions of USA bettors and international punters call the site home.
While some online books have significant national restrictions, BetOnline accepts players from the USA, the Philippines, and other nations. As long as you’re 18 or older, you can sign up for free and bet on the PBA – and literally any other sport in the world – at BetOnline.
Mobile and live betting are also supported, so you never have to be tied down when you want to bet. As long as you have an active Internet connection, you can pull the trigger and beat the shot clock on favorable PBA odds the second you see them.
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1000s of daily sports betting odds + props
Bitcoin + altcoin support, including QB Direct
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USA + Filipino residents accepted at 18+
Restricted State: New Jersey
Sports betting bonuses not available in all regions
Is Betting on PBA Basketball Legal in the Philippines?
Yes, it is. Locally regulated brick and mortar betting outlets in the Philippines support wagering for PBA games. In addition, the Philippines government has declared that offshore betting is legal for Filipino residents, therefore bettors on the island nation can enjoy any of the sportsbooks listed on this page without violating any Philippines gambling laws.
Philippine Basketball Association League Format
Unlike NBA basketball or NCAA basketball, the PBA season is structured around three different tournaments or “conferences.” These are called the Philippine Cup, the Commissioner’s Cup, and the Governors’ Cup. These are played in succession, with each basketball tournament crowning a single champion.
The different legs of the PBA season also have slightly different rules that sports bettors should be aware of. That said, they are all structured the same way, each starting with an 11-game seeding tournament followed by a quarterfinal series, a semifinal series, and a championship series.
The Philippine Cup is the first tournament or “conference” of the three-conference PBA season, and it is nationally the most prestigious portion of the PBA year.
The Philippine Cup is limited to native-born Filipinos, making it the pride of the season among local Philippine bettors. However, because the Philippine Cup is restricted to native players alone, it is less wagered on by the international audience.
The Philippine Cup consists of 11 games in the first round, followed by an eight-team quarterfinal, a four-team semifinal, and the Philippine Cup championship round.
The Commissioner’s Cup is the second leg of the PBA season, and each team is allowed to employ one foreign-born or naturalized citizen player on its roster. These “import” players have a height limitation of 6’10”, which is something bettors must consider.
Additionally, because these imported players allow the PBA to garner more well-known international talent, it opens the door to more international familiarity and generates a higher betting handle than the Philippine Cup.
The Commissioner’s Cup is structured identically to the Philippine Cup, with an 11-game round robin that seeds the quarterfinals. Then a semifinal and final are contested to determine the Commissioner’s Cup champion.
The Governors’ Cup is the third leg of the PBA season. This conference also allows each team to hire a single foreign “import” player, though the height limit is reduced to 6’5” for greater parity.
As with the Commissioner’s Cup, the inclusion of foreign players garners this portion of the PBA season a bigger betting audience and wider international television reach.
The length of the leg – 11 games followed by an eight-team quarterfinals, semifinals, and Governors’ Cup championship series – is the same as the previous two legs of the PBA campaign.
2021 PBA Season Preview
For 2021, only two legs of the PBA season will be contested: the 2021 Philippine Cup and the 2021 Governors' Cup. The 2021 Commissioner's Cup, which is usually the second leg of the season, has been canceled. This is due to the fact that the Philippine Cup was delayed by several months from its usual start date (COVID-19 restrictions), necessitating the removal of one PBA conference from the calendar.
While Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is the defending Philippine Cup champion, the favorites to win this year are the San Miguel Beermen, largely because superstar June Mar Fajardo is back in the lineup after missing last season with an injury. Fajardo is the most popular player in the league and is a perennial MVP, and he's largely considered the greatest Filipino basketball player in history.
The 2021 Philippine Cup tips off on Friday, July 16, 2021, and all the best online sportsbooks already have odds posted for the initial slate of games.
2021 PBA Teams
Philippine Basketball Association teams are all corporate-owned, and the team names may occasionally change to reflect new products or services that these national companies are promoting year-to-year. The current 2021 PBA teams include the following:
- Alaska Aces – Alaska Milk Corp.
- Barnagay 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
2020 PBA Season - Recap
The 2020 PBA season was thrown into turmoil due to the coronavirus outbreak in the Philippines. After the Philippine Cup tipped off on March 8, 2020, a single game was played before the Manila lockdowns forced a cessation to league play.
The PBA was finally approved for a restart on October 11, though only the 2020 Philippine Cup was ultimately contested. The 2020 Commissioner’s Cup and the 2020 Governors’ Cup portions of the season were both canceled.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel defeated TNT Tropang Giga four games to one to take the 2020 Philippine Cup Finals title.
2020 PBA Philippine Cup Bubble Format
The 2020 Philippine Cup officially started on March 8 with the season-opening game between the San Miguel Beermen and the Magnolia Hotshots. The Beermen – as defending Philippine Cup champions – were clearly still drunk on power, beating the Hotshots by a final score of 94-78. No other games were played before the coronavirus lockdown.
Seven months later, the PBA Philippine Cup resumed (October 11), with all 2020 Philippine Cup games played in a “bubble format.” The PBA bubble was located at the Angeles University Foundation Gym (Angeles, Pampanga), and players, coaches, and team personnel underwent regular swab testing for the duration of the tournament.
Bettors had to take these conditions under consideration to make informed wagers, as the lack of a home-team advantage for any club – in addition to the lack of fans in the stands – had tangible effects on scoring and team play. The 2021 Philippine Cup should represent something of a return to normalcy, as there will be no bubble. However, like last season, there will be no fans in the stands, which could have an effect on home team momentum.
Types Of Legal PBA Bets
When you bet on PBA action, you’ll get access to all the typical sports betting odds and lines you’re used to in NBA basketball games and other sporting contests. These include the following kinds of sports bets:
- PBA Straight Bets (aka Moneyline Bets)
- PBA Point Spread Bets
- PBA Totals Bets (Over/Under Bets)
- PBA Player Prop Bets
- PBA Team Prop Bets
- PBA Futures Bets
- PBA Special Bets
- PBA In-Game Bets
PBA Live Betting
Live basketball betting is one of the most popular ways to gamble on the sport. With basketball in particular being a game about streaks, surges, and lulls, live betting allows PBA gamblers to put money on different betting lines that shift in accordance with the pace of play on the court.
All of the best online sportsbooks offer live, in-game betting on the Philippine Basketball Association, but you have to pay attention to the game and the odds boards, as these wagers come and go in just seconds or minutes.
If you hesitate even for a moment, that pump fake might fake you out of pumping up your bankroll. With live PBA betting, when you see a line you like, you need to take your shot ASAP.
PBA Mobile Betting
No PBA sportsbook would be worth an inbound pass if it didn’t offer a full mobile betting experience. Fortunately, all the operators we recommend have total mobile compatibility via their web app portals.
This means that regardless of the device you use, you’ll get a custom betting interface with responsive design elements that conform to your individual screen, allowing for one-tap betting and easy, intuitive PBA odds browsing.
Best of all, with mobile sports betting, you can bet on the go from anywhere in the USA or the Philippines. All you need is a relatively recent iPhone, iPad, Android device (or any other network-connected device with a modern web browser), and you can gamble on the PBA for real money with real convenience.
There are no iPhone betting apps or Android betting apps to install or update, either, so you never have to deal with the App Store or Google Play – Just visit any of the sites listed here using your mobile device, sign up, deposit, and bet!
The Philippine Basketball Association uses a mix of rules based on NBA and FIBA international basketball guidelines. These include the following basics, which all sports bettors should be aware of, particularly if they’ve never bet on FIBA basketball or Asian basketball before:
- Games: Four 12-minute quarters
- 3-point line: 6.75m (22.1 feet)
- New players: Must play in D-League before being PBA Draft eligible
- Zone defense allowed
- Trent Tucker Rule enforced
- Foreign players: One per team (Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup only)
- Height limits for foreign players: 6’10” (Commissioner’s Cup), 6’5” (Governors’ Cup)
- Coaches: Must be natural born Filipinos or naturalized citizens
For basketball bettors, the most important rules to keep in mind are the Trent Tucker rule and the height limits on import players. These have serious on-court ramifications that make the PBA league unique and add greater nuance to how basketball prop bets should be considered.