Features of the Best Asian Bookies for Basketball Betting
With so many Asian bookies claiming to be best, we understand it can be difficult to decide where to sign up. Luckily for you, we aren’t swayed by bold claims and dig deeper to put those claims to the test.
We take many factors into consideration when reviewing and rating the best Asian bookies for basketball betting. We analyse everything from the registration process and security features to the range of payment methods available and how knowledgeable the customer support agents are.
How Can I Bet on Basketball at Asian Bookies?
We’ve already written a step-by-step guide on how to bet on basketball online, so we’ll focus on which betting markets you should expect when betting on basketball at Asian bookies for this section.
Basketball betting markets are the same whether you’re betting on the NBA or any of the European or Asian basketball leagues. The most popular betting options are:
- Handicap (Point Spread): Because in most basketball games one team is much better than the other, handicap betting is more common than home/away. How this works is if the home team is favoured by 7.5 (shown as -7.5) and you bet them, they’ll need to win the match by at least 8 points for your bet to be a winner. If you bet the other team who is +7.5, you win this bet if they win the game, or if they lose by 7 or less points.
- Home/Away (Moneyline): This is a straight bet on which team will win the game. When betting big favourites the odds will be small, and when betting big underdogs the odds are large. Again, so often favourites have such small odds that many recreational bettors avoid this option and look for close to even-money on the handicap.
- Total Betting (Over/Under): With this option the bookmaker predicts how many points will be scored in the game (both team’s points added to together) and punters make wagers on whether the total points scored will be over or under his predicted total.
The best Asian bookies for basketball betting offer quarter, half, and full game betting lines with the above options. Quarter and half betting markets can be particularly lucrative if you do your research and anticipate how the game will play out.
For instance, one team might have travelled a long distance following a busy schedule. If you think they will start the game strong but fade as the minutes tick away, you can take advantage by betting on the opposing team winning the second half.
For NBA betting, many bookies also offer proposition bets (also known as props or prop bets). For example, you can bet on outcomes such as the first team to score 10 points, whether a player will score over or under a certain number of points, which of two players will score more points, and much more. Props are a fun alternative to betting on the main basketball betting markets discussed above.
Is Basketball Betting Popular in Asia?
Sports betting websites most often associate Asia only with football (soccer) betting. These websites are owned by European and American companies who often don’t appreciate how popular basketball betting is in Asia.
It is legal to bet on basketball in several Asian countries, including China and Taiwan, where NBA odds are available via Chinese Sports Lottery (Sportery) and Taiwan Sports Lottery (TSL) respectively. There are also numerous Asian basketball leagues that are popular betting markets at online bookies.
While the NBA is the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world, drawing an average attendance of over 17,000 per game, two Asian leagues make the top four list.
Second overall is the PBA in the Philippines, which draws over 7,000 attendees per game. Europe takes the third slot on the average attendance list with Spain’s Liga ACB drawing almost 6,500 fans per game. And then it’s back to Asia where China’s CBA is drawing over 4,600 spectators per game.
While Europe’s Lega Basket Serie A (Italy), LNB Pro A (France), Bundesliga (Germany) currently take the fifth, sixth and seventh slots on the attendance leaderboard, Japan’s B.League is eighth and is in a close race with these three. The Japanese league is still relatively new, but it is rapidly growing in popularity across Asia. The Korean Basketball League (KBL) is another popular basketball league in Asia.
Why Is the NBA Most Popular in Asia?
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has the most television coverage and the largest sponsorships of all the world’s basketball leagues and there is no league coming anywhere close to competing. Although the NBA is a basketball league in North America, NBA betting is extremely popular across Asia.
They pay the highest player salaries and have no restrictions on foreign players. The same way Yao Ming played most his career in the NBA instead of China’s CBA, the best players from around the world do not play domestically.
For example: Spanish players Marc Gasol and Juancho Hernangomez play in the NBA rather than in Spain’s Liga ACB, and German star Dirk Nowitzki played in the NBA rather than the Bundesliga. It’s the dream of young basketball players everywhere to someday get a shot at playing for an NBA team.
NBA teams gain great followings globally due to their foreign star players. For years the Houston Rockets were the most popular NBA team in China due to Yao Ming.
More recently, a young American-born player of Taiwanese descent made the New York Knicks an international sensation after an unlikely heroic run. This saw Taiwan’s only legal betting company Taiwan Sports Lottery (TSL) incorporate promotions and betting selections around the success of the Knicks and Jeremy Lins’ performance in games. As a free agent, during the 2012 offseason, Lin signed a three-year, $25 million (USD) contract with the Houston Rockets. Lin currently plays as a point guard for the Beijing Ducks in the CBA.
The bottom line is that the NBA has the best players and the most coverage. This is the league all online betting sites focus on for basketball. This is true at Asian bookies, US betting sites, and UK bookmakers. While other leagues don’t have much international following, there are popular domestic leagues around the world.
For example, PBA is hugely popular in Philippines and CBA is famous in China. Betting websites have customers from all over the globe and to compete they offer betting on virtually every league.
The History of Basketball in Asian Countries
Considering we’re discussing Asia and basketball; it only makes sense to provide information about popular Asian basketball leagues and to discuss how national teams have performed over the years.
We’ll start by discussing basketball in the Philippines, as this is where the history of Asian basketball dominance began. Then we’ll discuss the history of basketball in China, South Korea, and Japan.
This history of basketball developing in Asia started with the Philippines dominance of the sport on the continent during the 1950s to early-1970s. The Asian Games is an Olympic-style multi-sport competition for Asia that started in 1951 and is held every four years. Basketball has always been a part of it.
The Philippines men’s national team won this competition the first four times it was held (1951, 1954, 1958, and 1962). In 1960, what’s now called the FIBA Asia Cup was started. This tournament is held every two years and acts as the Asian qualifying tournament for the FIBA World Championship and the Olympic basketball tournament.
The Philippines won a medal the first seven times this tournament was held (1960 to 1973), including four gold medals, two silver medals, and one bronze. During this period of dominance, at the 1954 Olympics Philippines became the first country outside the United States and Europe to earn an Olympic basketball medal when they took the bronze.
Philippines’ dominance in Asian basketball competitions came to an end in 1973, as this would mark the last year they’d compete in these competitions for almost two decades. What happened is the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) was started in 1975. This is the world’s second oldest professional basketball league; only the NBA is older. When it was started professional athletes were barred from the Olympics and FIBA events. This meant, from 1975 on, the best players from the Philippines were no longer eligible to play, and for several years they didn’t even field a team in some of the biggest Asian competitions.
Even after the rules were modified in 1992 to allow professionals, Philippines has been mostly a non-factor as a national team. They’ve been in numerous disputes with FIBA and were suspended from FIBA competitions for the 2001 season, and again for the 2005-2007 seasons. While they may not dominate on an international scale as a nation, their professional basketball is still well followed and popular for betting.
Today, PBA basketball is broken down into three segments. The Philippine Cup version allows no foreign players, which helps prepare them for Asian team competitions where imported players are not allowed. The other two segments, Governors Cup and Commissioners Cup, allow teams to import a limited number of foreign players.
After the Philippines’ dominance of Asian basketball ended due to ineligibility, shortly after China took over as the dominant nation for basketball in the region. Their men’s national team won the FIBA Asia Championship (now the FIBA Asia Cup) five consecutive times from 1987-1995, skipped a year finishing third in 1997, and then won four more consecutive times from 1999 to 2005. They were also runners-up in 2009 and won their sixteenth FIBA Asia Cup in 2015.
To put this in perspective, China has won the FIBA Asia Cup 16 times. The only other countries to ever win this tournament are Philippines (five times) Iran (three times), South Korea (two times), Japan (two times), and Australia (once). Also, at the Asian Games (held every four years) out of all eleven tournaments held from 1978 to 2018, China has won eight times.
With a country so dominant in Asian basketball it should come as no surprise there is a strong professional basketball league as part of their national setup. This league is the China Basketball Association (CBA). This is a highly competitive league that you can bet on with the best Asian bookies for basketball betting.
The season has a total of 560 games and draws an attendance of 1.29 million per season. Quite a few CBA players have also played in the NBA. This includes Yao Ming, Wang Zhizhi, Yi Jianlian, Mengke Bateer, and Sun Yue. Each team can have a limited number of foreign import players. Such players have historically dominated the league in scoring. Notable CBA players include NBA All-Stars Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, and Kenyon Martin. Also, J.R. Smith and Aaron Brooks are former NBA players who have been CBA All-Stars.
While Philippines might draw bigger crowds due to historical and longevity reasons, there is no doubt Chinese basketball is now tops in Asia. CBA is the most competitive and most profitable basketball league. If you live in China and want to bet on basketball, read our guide to betting online in China.
South Korean Basketball
South Korea, while a distant second, is China’s top competitor on the Asian basketball scene. Their men’s national team has finished top two in 10 of the past 13 Asian games, winning gold four times. They have also won the FIBA Asia Cup twice (1969, 1997), but 11 second-place finishes will live long in the memories of many Korean players.
South Korea’s professional basketball league is called the Korean Basketball League, almost always abbreviated KBL. While not quite at the level of Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) or Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), it is still one of the better financed basketball leagues in Asia. There are ten teams, each playing 54 games in a season (27 home games and 27 away games), and each team is allowed two foreign players (now with no height limit).
Not as many Asian bookies offer betting on this league, and live streams are even more difficult to find. If you’re from South Korea and want to bet on the KBL or even WKBL (the ladies version) online, be sure to read our guide to online betting in South Korea to discover the safest solutions to depositing, getting paid, and getting around ISP redirects to warning.or.kr.
The final country worth discussing for Asian basketball is Japan, a 1936 founding member of FIBA Asia. Japan has one of Asia’s longest basketball traditions, and the men’s national team is one of the most successful basketball teams in Asia.
The Japan national basketball team have twice won gold at the FIBA Asia Cup (1965, 1971). They have also finished as runners-up five times (1969, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1997) and they have settled for bronze medals seven times to date (1960, 1967, 1977, 1981, 1987, 1991, 1995). Unfortunately, they have missed out on gold at the Asian Games, but they have won silver twice (1951, 1962) and took home bronze medals on six occasions (1954, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2014).
Japan’s professional men’s basketball league is known as the B.League. The league was formed as a result of a merger between the National Basketball League and the Japan Basketball Association. The 2016/17 season commenced on 24 September with a game between four-time JBL/NBL champions Alvark Tokyo against four-time bj league champions Ryukyu Golden Kings.
The league consists of three divisions, named B1, B2, and B3. The first division (B1) features 20 teams and the second division (B2) has 16 teams. These divisions are further divided into East and West conferences, and a system of promotion and relegation determines who moves up and who moves down. The promotion-relegation playoffs always present lucrative opportunities at the best Asian bookies for basketball betting, so follow the regular season action and take advantage of weak lines.
While not quite to the level of other leagues mentioned in this article, the B.League is growing and very popular with Japanese punters. If you live in Japan and want to bet on the league, read our guide to the best sports betting sites in Japan to discover the most reputable sites.
Betting on Other Asian Basketball Competitions
The best Asian bookies for basketball betting also cover major competitions such as the ASEAN Basketball League, the FIBA Asia Cup, and the FIA Asia Champions Cup. These exciting competitions present lots of betting opportunities, so allow us to give you an overview of each competition.
ASEAN Basketball League
The ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) is Asia’s first and only regional professional basketball league. The competitive league was founded in 2009 and currently comprises nine teams: Formosa Dreamers (Taiwan), Hong Kong Eastern (Hong Kong), Kuala Lumpur Dragons (Malaysia), Macau Black Bears (Macau), Macau Wolf Warriors (Macau), Saigon Heat (China), San Miguel Alab Pilipinas (Philippines), Singapore Slingers (Singapore), and the Taipei Fubon Braves (Taipei). The top two teams compete in a best-of-five series to crown the champions.
FIBA Asia Cup
Formerly the FIBA Asia Championship, the FIBA Asia Cup is an international tournament contested by the men’s national teams of Asia and Oceania. The tournament was first played in 1960 and took place every two years until the 2015 edition, but it’s now a quadrennial event. Following changes in 2017, the tournament was renamed to FIBA Asia Cup and teams from FIBA Oceania were added into the mix. The 2017 FIBA Asia Cup was also the first to be played without the event being part of the qualifying process for the World Cup or the Olympics.
FIBA Asia Champions Cup
Founded in 1981 and known as the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC) Champions Cup until 2002, the FIBA Asia Champions Cup is the Asian club championship for professional basketball. The annual championship is contested by eight teams from across the continent, and the top Asian bookies for basketball betting always offer competitive outright and game odds. Expansion plans could mean champions from the Basketball Africa League (BAL), Australia’s NBL, and possibly the NBA, could be invited to compete in the future.
With so many Asian bookies claiming to be the best destination for basketball bettors, we understand it can be difficult to choose where to bet. Luckily for you, we have reviewed and rated every Asian bookmaker to bring you an honest and unbiased list of the top sites for basketball betting.
It depends where you live and which online bookmaker you use. Thankfully, the best Asian bookies for basketball betting allow you to switch between fractional and decimal just as easily as you can switch between Asian odds formats such as Malay odds, Indo odds, and Hong Kong odds.
When betting on basketball at Asian bookies, +0.5 means the team is starting with a half-point lead. Let’s say you bet on China +0.5 against the Philippines. If the final score was 80-80, then your bet would win as tour handicap means China end the game with 80.5 points versus the Philippines’ 80 points.
Absolutely! With so many competitors and so many customers to lure, the best Asian bookies for basketball betting entice new customers with generous welcome offers. You may receive a free bet, or you may receive a deposit bonus. And the rewards continue long after you open your account.