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PBA Governors Cup 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).

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PBA Governor's Cup Betting Tips

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 - April; exact dates TBA

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Advice for Governors' Cup 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

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 regular season team in the recently completed Commissioner’s Cup (excluding Bay Area Dragons as they are not competing in the Governor’s Cup), the Magnolia Hotshots, finished the season with a 10-2 record and an average points differential of +8.3. The league’s worst statistical team last season was Terrafirma DYIP who finished the regular season with a 1-11 record and had an average points differential of -19.6. Compare this to the current NBA season where the best team so far has a 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. Although at the moment it might be hard to find these kinds of wagers available - keep your eyes peeled as the playoffs approach.

A look at the 2022/23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup shows us that the average points scored across all 12 competing teams was 99.2 points per game. The San Miguel Beermen and Converge FiberXers led the way with 106.9 points per game each while Blackwater Blessing were the league’s lowest scoring side with only 90.7 points per game. Don’t be expecting the 220-230 type of betting totals that you can expect from a league like the NBA as there simply isn’t the same level of scoring talent on the court, despite both leagues playing with 12 minute quarters.

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Recent Winners

PBA Governor's Cup Betting Tips - Basketball

Barangay Ginebra will enter the 2022/23 iteration of the competition as the favorites by many to win yet another Governor’s Cup. The Gin Kings are the champions of the recently completed Commissioner’s Cup conference and are on a run of three consecutive Governor’s Cup titles and four in the past five seasons. 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 will be leading his Ginebra teammates in their quest for yet another championship as they seek their fifth overall title in the past seven conference tournaments. 

Despite the rise of Ginebra over the past few years, the San Miguel Beermen are still considered the giants of PBA basketball. San Miguel have a record 28 conference titles to their name, almost double that of second most Barangay Ginebra with 15, with their last championship coming in the 2022 Philippine Cup. Ginebra and the Beermen have been the two dominant forces in the PBA over the last eight years, accounting for 13 of the last 15 conference championships. 

Lastly, another team that could potentially breakthrough in the 2022/23 Governor’s Cup are the Magnolia Hotshots. The Hotshots have been a model of consistency over the past four conference tournaments but have failed to put it all together in the playoffs. Magnolia has amassed a total regular season record of 35-10 over that time while never finishing below third in the overall end of season standings. They’ll fancy their chances to have yet another solid campaign but will they finally be able to win their first conference title since the 2017/18 Governor’s Cup?

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