Why the NPB is one of the best leagues to bet on

Why the NPB is one of the best leagues to bet on

Baseball fans from the West mostly ask 'does Japan have a baseball league of its own?'. The country definitely has one and it has a huge fanbase. The Nippon Professional Baseball is one of the known baseball leagues in the world outside of the United States.

As the highest level of the sport in Japan, the NPB has gained a huge following since its inception in 1950 and has found a lot of success on the global stage. More known as Puro Yakyu (meaning ‘Professional Baseball’), the NPB is considered to be one of the top sports leagues in Japan.

With a lot of intense games, the NPB has been praised for its diverse style of play and has been a favourite among many punters at the same time. Japanese baseball betting has been popular over the years, and you may still be keen to learn how you can make the most of their winnings in the NPB. So far, the league has been a rewarding market to bet on, and Sportsbet.io is here to aid you in your quest to get the best wins.

The roots of the NPB can be traced all the way back to the Great Japan Tokyo Baseball Club, which was then founded in 1934. It served as the original circuit for the sport in the Empire at the start of World War II all the way to its closing years.

Since being reorganised in 1950, the NPB now has evolved into one of the most popular leagues to watch in Asia. While cricket has been a dominant sport in the region, baseball has been mostly kept alive thanks to the prominence of the NPB.

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If you are wondering ‘why is baseball popular in Japan’ and how did it start, the sport did gain popularity in the Land of the Rising Sun at the end of the Second World War as it was played by a lot of US forces in the country.

Since then, baseball has been promoted by US troopers and a lot of Japanese companies saw a chance for profit - by backing the teams formed as sponsors. There were many talks of changes in the system of the game, such as how many innings in Japanese baseball are actually needed to finish the game compared to the Major League Baseball in the US.

The NPB limited its innings to 12 in the regular season (15 in the playoffs) compared to the MLB’s continuous innings until there is a winner. None of those system changes helped the sport thrive in a big way, it was the continued promotion of the sport with the help of the American presence in the country.

Games played with US baseball legends such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio had a huge impact in giving the sport a much bigger reach in Japan.

The biggest reason why baseball has been a consistent sport in the country is the fact that the game itself reflects some of the known values of Japanese culture. Discipline, hard work, and team effort are all applied into the sport, which is something that also ticks with Japanese work ethic.

On top of that, the lively spirit of the Nippon Baseball League has continued to be a dominant force in the country and its neighbouring countries. Even those who are not into the sport are starting to take their time in watching NPB games and enjoy the game themselves.

League structure

The NPB has two big leagues with six teams each. The Central and Pacific League teams are all set to play the whole season with the hopes of making it to the playoffs. While the MLB has a lot of teams to choose from, the NPB is only locked to a total of 12 teams in the league.

Both leagues have followed a pattern of playing 146 games per season, with 73 games both at home and on the road. On a regular basis, Japanese baseball league teams play six games per week, which means more chances for you to bet on their matches.

By the end of the season, qualifying teams will come in for the playoffs, known as the ‘Nippon Series’. It is also known as the Japan Series championship playoff tournament, where the best teams in the league are given a chance to shine at the big stage.

Unlike the MLB, the NPB does not have a regular Spring Training to indicate when is Japanese baseball season going to begin. The season usually starts either in late March or in the early weeks of April. There are two or three games allotted for players to join in all-star games in July and it serves as the break for the whole season before resuming play all the way to October.

There is also a minor league in the country, which is known as the Eastern League and the Western League. Games are played at a shorter schedule since the main goal is to develop players who are keen to get their chance to become a part of the professional Japanese baseball scene in their careers.

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Betting on NPB games

Learning how to bet on Japan baseball games is a top priority for you if you want to get the best wins. You need to do whatever it takes to win in your bets, and with a lot of NPB games being locked into a tight one, you might just need to consider your options.

There are a lot of markets to choose from, and all you need to do is to learn how they work and make the best bet by trusting your gut. Here are some that you should try in NPB betting:

Betting on money lines can be a huge plus for you since this just replaces the whole point spread betting if there are certain games that will be low in scoring. All you need to do is to pick the best team that has a chance to win the game.

This is quite different from betting on the margin of winning, which is usually done with ice hockey, football, soccer and other sports that are usually limited to low scoring games from time to time.

The run line works the same way as the money line wagers. The difference here is that you have to make a call if the favourite will beat the underdog by a set number of points, or if the latter will pull off a shocking win by defeating the favourite by a run or more. That depends on the handicap given by the sportsbook to begin with.

Japanese baseball odds are always dependent on the two playing teams, but the lines are always set at -1.5 and +1.5. Those would just change depending on how well the opposing team is over the other, which is usually determined by a club’s record in a season.

This is one of the most tricky markets you can bet on when it comes to NPB betting. You just need to make a call and predict the total number of runs that the two teams combined will score for the whole game combined.

The result has to be over or under a set number by the sportsbook, so make sure you are ready to either win or lose on this wager. Punters are advised to at least consider this bet as a last resort since it is a rewarding market but also risky as well.

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Top things to consider for successful NPB wagers

Here at Sportsbet.io, we give you the best chances of winning your wagers, making the most of your opportunities in betting lies in your hands. While betting on NPB games are made easy with our improved site interface, you still need to know some tips and tricks to get a lot of winnings.

Here are some of them to get started in NPB betting:

Research plays a huge role in every sport. Betting is not all about who wins and who loses, but also how and why they are poised to get a win at the end of the game. Make sure to know a lot about your favourite teams and players before you get started in placing wagers in the game.

You may also want to know more about the NPB itself. The NPB is a popular league to bet on, and a lot of punters have discovered certain trends about teams and players. This means there may be some fun facts and stats that can help you make a better bet and help you win in the long run.

The playing squad always plays a huge role on how they are going to get a winning chance in the game. It is easy to say that a team’s roster has to be the same as it was in the middle of the season, where clubs have already made their adjustments with trades and lineup changes.

On top of that, Japan baseball odds may also change on a bigger scale if a team misses its star players. A single absence from a star player can make a huge impact on the overall outcome of the game. For instance, even the best team in the NPB can still lose.

NPB teams are not winning every season, but each of the last five years is a good example for every team to look out for. A team’s track can change at any given year, which means that you may need to see if they have either overhauled their roster for a rebuild or just had tough luck in losing. If that is the case, then it is best to keep an eye out for changes one game at a time.

Winning teams, on the other hand, have surely enjoyed a huge success in the past few years. These are the ones that have a chance at clinching the league title, and they have a much bigger reason to get a win.

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Ranking the best teams in the NPB

All NPB teams have tasted success on the big stage. So far, all active 12 teams have won the league title at least once, so it is easy to say that you have a good range of betting options at the end of the day. Most of these teams have flexible rosters as well, which means they are easily good betting options.

These NPB teams have shaped their rosters in the past few years, and no one can deny the fact that this league has some of the best clubs compared to other baseball leagues. That says a lot about the quality of games played in the league.

Here are some of the best teams in the NPB:

The Giants are seen as the best baseball team in Japan. They are also the oldest among the current lineup of Japanese pro clubs. The team has 22 title wins in the Japan Series and nine in the Japanese Baseball League under their belt.

Known as the equivalent of the New York Yankees in Japan, the Giants are popular and have stayed relevant for decades. Their rivalry with the Hanshin Tigers has also seen a lot of betting markets in the past few years as their games featured the tightest battles so far.

The Lions were known to be the ‘Invincible Seibu’ during their golden era in the 1980s and the 1990s as a tribute to their long run of dominance in the league. During that time, the Lions amassed a powerful lineup of sluggers such as Koji Akiyama, Kazuhiro Kiyohara, and Orestes Destrade.

Seibu has won the league title 13 times while locking down the Pacific League 23 times. The team is also known for their flawless management system that closely resembles the ones in the MLB, further showing the influence that the American league has on Japanese teams.

Formerly known as the Nankai Hawks based in Osaka, the team made its move to Fukuoka in 1988 and was bought by Daiei from the Nankai Electric Railway Co. as a new team. SoftBank bought the team in 2005 which led to the new sponsorship name.

Since then, the Hawks have become a prominent name in the NPB and have been a consistent team to watch. They have won 11 Japan Series titles to go along with 19 championships in the Pacific League.

The Swallows are one of the two teams based in Tokyo, the other being the Giants. The team added Tokyo to its name in 2006, which led to the logo of the capital city now added into the team’s uniform. It made them one of the iconic teams to remember in the league as well.

The team has played its games at the Meiji Jingu Stadium since 1964, and they have won the Japan Series six times. The Swallows have also clinched the Central League title eight times, which just puts them as one of the teams to look out for.

The Orix Buffaloes have established themselves as one the consistent teams in the early era of the NPB. The team was founded in 1936 but won most of their titles in a three-peat from 1975 to 1977 and a lone title in 1996.

Since then, the Buffaloes have never won a Japan Series title but came close in the 2021 season with their 13th Pacific League Championship. That means that they are really starting to grind well and push for a big win in the years to come.

Enjoy your betting experience in the NPB

Betting on the NPB is more delightful when you wager on Sportsbet.io. We give you the best odds and betting options in every game to ensure that you will have a fun, fast and fair betting experience with us. Time to get the big wins and hit the home run.

For more baseball and sports updates, visit Sportsbet.io

Words: Paul Daniel Flores

Image: Alamy


The information provided by the blog above on Sportsbet.io is for general information purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation, warranty, or guarantee of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, or completeness of any information or betting tips on the Site.

7 Aug 2023

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