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PBA Governors' Cup Playoffs Predictions & Betting tips

The PBA Governors' Cup takes place in the Philippines with the top teams in the country taking part.

PBA Governors’ Cup 2023

The PBA Governors' Cup is the Philippines third and final conference cup of the season. Similar to how South American football competitions work with the Apertura and Clausura structure, a normal league season is divided into three separate competitions, called “conferences'', with each winner considered to be league champions at the end of the season. The 2023 edition of the Governors’ Cup allows teams to hire one foreign player (or import) with a height limit of 6 foot 6 inches (1.98 m). With the regular season and the quarter-finals in the books, only a few teams remain to claim the Governors' Cup crown. Keep reading below to see our thoughts as well as some invaluable betting tips and strategies to implement when betting on this action-packed competition! 

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PBA Governor's Cup Betting Tips

2023 Governors' Cup Playoffs structure

The league consists of 12 teams, all who play each other once in a single round-robin format. After the 11 games are completed, the teams are seeded first to eighth based on record and then compete in a playoff elimination quarterfinal-semifinal format. The quarterfinals follow a twice-to-beat / twice-to-win structure in which the top four placed seeds have the advantage of only needing to win once in their quarterfinal matchup while the bottom four seeds must win twice in order to advance. The semifinals follow a standard best of five series where the first team to win three games advances to the finals, which is then played as a best of seven series to determine the champion.

Important Dates:

Regular season: January 22 - March 17

Playoffs: March 19 - April; exact dates TBA

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Advice for Governors' Cup Playoffs betting selections

PBA Governor's Cup Predictions

For the PBA Governors’ Cup, and basketball betting in general, there are a few guidelines you might want to take into consideration that could add a serious boost to your winning percentage.

We’ll start with one of the simplest yet often most overlooked: line shopping. This simply means getting the best available odds for your bet. To do this,it is important to register accounts with several online sportsbooks as they will be offering different odds. A few points on a spread or a total can often make the difference between a winning bet and a losing bet - in the long run these small edges add up. SportyTrader makes it easy to compare odds, access new sportsbooks and take advantage of great bonus offers when signing up.

When making your betting selections, you will want to be thorough in your research for each team regarding injuries, team news, recent schedule, form and motivation. Keeping up to date on injury reports will ensure that you don’t mistakenly place a bet on a team that has just lost their star player. Gauging a team’s motivation can also be a useful tool that, at times, is not fully accounted for by betting lines. Situational spots often come up, especially as the playoffs approach, where one team might have more incentive than their opponent to win. A team already out of contention will find it hard to play with the same intensity as a team that is battling for the final qualification spot. Similarly, a team that has already secured their position might choose to rest players in preparation for the more important elimination game coming up.

Another piece of advice we can offer is to take note of where certain marquee matchups fall on the schedule. For example, Barangay Ginebra vs Magnolia - the Manila Clasico and considered to be the biggest rivalry in the league - is a highly anticipated matchup for both fans and players. The players might find it difficult to focus their attention on the game immediately preceding the rivalry clash, especially if they are going against a weaker team that they are expected to beat.

Live betting, or in-play betting, can be a great way to read the flow of a game and take advantage of some lopsided point spreads. Basketball is a game of runs and you’ll often see double digit leads be gained and lost over the course of a single match. A common situation that occurs is when the pre-match favorite falls behind early in the game. Often the live line will offer you great odds on the stronger team that is likely to soon go on their own scoring run.

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Different ways to bet on the PBA Governors' Cup Playoffs

PBA Governor's Cup - Free Betting Tips

The most common form of betting on basketball is generally the point spread. This involves a predetermined number of points that the favorite either must win by or that the underdog is permitted to lose by to still register a winning bet. Of course if you would rather forgo the point spreads and take a team to simply win outright then you can make a moneyline bet. Be advised though, although a few points may not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, it can often alter the moneyline price heavily. For example, to back a five-point favorite on the moneyline you will often have to lay around 1.50 odds.

It’s important to keep in mind that the PBA often sees a greater disparity in talent between the top teams in the league and the very bottom teams, more so than a league such as the NBA. The best team in the Governors' Cup regular season, TNT Tropang Giga finished the season with a 10-1 record and an average points differential of +9.7. The league’s worst statistical team in the Governors' Cup regular season was Blackwater Bossing, who finished the regular season with a 1-11 record and had an average points differential of -14.5. Compare this to the current NBA season where the best team so far has an average points differential of +6.3 and the worst team is at -8.7. Something that should be taken into consideration when analyzing point spreads between teams.

Points total bets are also popular in the sport of basketball. This involves betting that both teams' combined score will either go over or under the posted amount. These types of bets are a fun way to follow a game without having to worry about which team will come out as the winner. Futures bets are always entertaining and oftentimes profitable regardless of the league you are betting on. With the playoffs in full swing be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any attractive odds that pop up for the team that you think can go on to win it all.

A look at the regular season shows us that the average points scored across all 12 competing teams was 108.7 points per game. TNT Tropang led the way with 117.3 points per game each while Blackwater Bossing were the league’s lowest scoring side with only 101.5 points per game. This is a notable increase over the 2022/23 Commissioner's Cup which saw an average scoring mark of 99.2 points per game by all teams. This is likely down to the increase in the talent on the court as teams are allowed to contract import players from overseas for this tournament. While the games don't quite hit the Don’t be expecting the 220-230 type of betting totals that you can expect from a league like the NBA, there is still plenty of talent on show in this competition to make the games extremely entertaining affairs.

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Recent winners

PBA Governor's Cup Betting Tips - Basketball

Following the conclusion of the Governors' Cup regular season, many had TNT Tropang and the San Miguel Beermen as favorites to make it to the final given their superb regular season performances. TNT is in the middle of upholding their end of the bargain as they currently have the lead over the Meralco Bolts in the semi-finals but the Beermen will have to wait yet another season to claim their first Governors' Cup title since the 2014/15 season.

The Beermen were swept by the defending champions Barangay Ginebra 3-0 in the best of 5 semi-finals series despite entering each game as the oddsmakers betting favorite. Ginebra displayed the kind of championship pedigree that we've become accustomed to as they write another chapter in their overall dominance of this particular tournament. The Gin Kings have made yet another Governors' Cup final, their fifth in the past six seasons. During that stretch Barangay Ginebra have been a perfect 4-0 when making the finals and they will attempt to make it five against the winner of either TNT or the Meralco Bolts. A victory for Ginebra would also mean that the team has won five of the last seven tournaments overall after being crowned champions in the 2019 Governors' Cup, the 2020 Philippine Cup, the 2021 Governors' Cup and the 2022/23 Commissioner's Cup. 

Much of their success can be attributed to Justin Brownlee who has a case to be the best foreign player to ever suit up in the PBA. The 34-year-old is a three-time Best Import Award winner, a six-time PBA champion and finished the regular season averaging 27.6 points per game, 8.6 rebounds and 7.1 assists.

TNT Tropang are looking to win only their ninth ever PBA championship which would move them up to a tie for the sixth most all-time. They do have experience at this stage in recent seasons as TNT took down the 2021 Philippine Cup, outlasting the Magnolia Hotshots and winning the series 4-1. TNT were by far the cream of the crop in the regular season, finsihing with a league best 10-1 record and leading the league in scoring. Tropa have one of the deepest squads in the league and are filled to the brim with scoring talent.

Former NBA player Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is the star of the show, putting up 29.1 points, 12.6 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game. He's complemented by an excellent supporting cast including all-star Roger Pogoy, averaging 19.4 points per game, and Mike Williams who poured in an additional 17.6 points per game. 

Will Barangay Ginebra be able to win a historic fifth Governors' Cup crown in the past six seasons or will one of TNT or Meralco ultimately be able to rain on their parade? Whatever happens, there is sure to be plenty of drama still to play out in the PBA Governors' Cup playoffs. 

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