A helpful guide to CBA betting
The Chinese Basketball Association stands as one of the best leagues to bet on aside from the NBA and the EuroLeague. It is a first-tier basketball league in China and is even regarded as the best in Asia, which makes it a bigger market than most fans think.
The Chinese basketball league is known for being a secondary option for a lot of players who did not find a big break in the NBA or the EuroLeague. As a league of a top standard, the CBA stands as one of the biggest basketball associations in the world.
As one of the top basketball leagues, the CBA takes pride in its big scale games. For starters, the league focuses on giving each team a spotlight, especially on national television. There are a total of 20 teams, which used to be split into two divisions before the league expansion.
The CBA no longer uses the division designation for regular season games. Teams now only play against each other once at home and once on the road. There will be eight additional games within each of the four rotating ‘strength of schedule’ sub-groupings as well.
Basketball leagues define the success of the sport in a nation. So far, the CBA has set the standard for the game in China and Asia, which makes it a top league to look out for.
Brief history of the CBA
The CBA started in the 1995–96 season. The league had fewer teams at the time and played under the supervision of the Chinese Basketball Association (organisation). It served as the nation’s governing body in the sport and is connected to FIBA before switching up supervision to the Chinese Basketball Management Centre.
The league is mostly composed of players from the mainland. Then in 1956, Mihail Savinkov became the first import in the CBA. The Uzbek star joined the Zhejiang Squirrels in the league’s first season. In the next run, James Hodges made history as one of the first Americans to ever play in the CBA after inking a deal with the Liaoning Hunters. The star helped pave the way for many more imports from countries like the United States to follow.
Other notable foreign stars in the CBA include the likes of John Spencer, who joined the Jiangsu Dragons later in the 1996–97 campaign, and David Vanterpool, who inked a deal with the Jilin Northeast Tigers the following winter, and helped the team move up to the CBA in time for the 1998–99 season.
The CBA became a breeding ground for imports and had the reputation of being a league full of foreign stars. Most of the time, the league has Chinese coaches to lead the teams, but Robert Hoggard, who led the Sichuan Pandas for the last eight games of the 1997–98 campaign, began the era of foreign coaches in the CBA.
There are a lot of notable players who played in the CBA in the early stages of their careers, such as Wang Zhizhi, Mengke Bateer, Yao Ming, and Yi Jianlian. These players would later play in the NBA. Xue Yuyang and Wang Zhelin were chosen in the draft, but have not played in the NBA.
Betting markets in the CBA
Chinese basketball fixtures are seen as one of the top games wagered on. As Asia’s leading basketball league, the CBA has seen a huge spark in betting volumes, which means it is a top market for a lot of fans.
Here are the top betting markets in the CBA:
Moneyline betting is common in most basketball games and every CBA betting site will include this one at most. This is a wager placed on a team to win the league as a whole, and players to win a certain award by the end of the season. Moneyline bets begin as soon as the previous season ends and will close their markets as soon as the tip-off of the next season begins.
Spread betting means placing wagers on a team that you think will win and the number of deficits that a winning team will have over their opponents. This bet allows punters to place wagers on a team even if they are not evenly matched against their opponents. Depending on how the game will turn out, Chinese basketball bets can be rewarding if the wagered team wins and the guessed deficit is correct.
Handicap betting is one of the most considered options when betting on CBA games. Punters consider this market especially when there are lowly teams playing against one another. A team must meet a certain goal of either winning the game over the set handicap or less than the set mark.
Every game in the CBA is exciting since it is more competitive than other low scoring basketball leagues. It is guaranteed that you can get the best CBA betting lines here on Sportsbet.
Top teams to bet on in the CBA
The top teams in the CBA are those that have won the most league titles. Success is what defines a team’s progress in the league, and they are mostly favoured by CBA betting odds most of the time.
CBA betting odds are quite unique compared to most leagues. The future odds are mostly tighter compared to the ones in the inplay bets. This is because most games in the CBA are hard to predict due to the fact that their league standings are mostly close for each team—especially in the top ones.
Here are teams that have left a mark in the league and proved their worth in the CBA:
Guangdong Southern Tigers (200)
The Guangdong Southern Tigers is the most successful team in the CBA as of writing. The Tigers have won a total of eleven titles—more than any other team in the league and is the only one to make it to the playoffs every season since the league launched in 1995.
The team made it to the final of the inaugural season with the odds in their favour, but lost to the Bayi Rockets. After a finals drought of seven years, the team finally made it in the 2002-03 season. The Tigers soon won a title in the next run to mark their first success in the league.
Since then, the Tigers have won titles between 2002-03 and 2012-12. They made it to the finals eleven times and have won eight league titles in that span while losing the other three, making them one of the favourites to bet on in Sportsbet. That made them a popular team to bet on since they are the league leaders of the CBA.
The Bayi Rockets are one of the founding teams of the CBA and represent the country’s heritage of the People’s Liberation Army. The Rockets have already won 34 league titles before the CBA began, and they are the first to score a title win in the newer league in its inception.
Bayi owned the CBA from 1956 to 1974, winning a total of seven titles in the first eight runs - including the first six. The Rockets stood strong that time and went undefeated in playoff games in the first five seasons despite being an underdog in most of those runs.
The Rockets had an unbeaten run of 65 games at home. That ended in 2002, which also closed the dominant era of the team as they have only won one more title after the initial winning spree. That lone title came in the 2006-07 season.
Before joining the CBA, the Beijing Ducks played as the Beijing Basketball Team in 1956. The team has undergone a lot of changes over the years due to sponsorship reasons and it was in the 2004 offseason where the team was bought by the Beijing Jinyu Group Co. Ltd. and assumed the naming rights.
The Ducks have won the CBA league title three times, all thanks to a spark from former NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury, who carried the team on his back and defeated the Guangdong Southern Tigers in five games in the 2011-12 season.
After losing in the semi-finals of the 2013 CBA Playoffs, the Ducks went on to win back to back titles from 2013 to 2015. That made them go for three titles in four years, and the team has cemented their contender status ever since.
Liaoning Flying Leopards
Originally the Liaoning Hunters in their first run at the CBA in 1995, the team soon changed their name to the Liaoning Dinosaurs in 2008. After a sponsorship change, the team finally earned the ‘Flying Leopards’ name in 2011 after the Liaoning Scale Industry took over the sponsorship.
The Leopards won their first league title in the 2017-18 season despite being an underdog. The team swept the Zhejiang Lions in the Finals at 4-0. It was one of the biggest moments of the city as it was the first sports title won as well.
The team has gone through some changes in the past few years and has failed to make it back to the finals since then. They are still considered as one of the best title contenders in the league and have done a great job to stay in the top rankings of the CBA.
Xinjiang Flying Tigers
The Flying Tigers joined the CBA in 1999, two years after the league was founded. The club first played in the Division 2 of the league before moving to the Division 1A in the 2002-03 season after a winning run prior to that.
The team has enjoyed a total of three Grand Finals appearances in the CBA’s 2008–09, 2009–10, and 2010–11 seasons. The Flying Tigers failed to win in all of those three attempts but then won their first title in the 2016-17 run as the heavy favourites in the league, where they went on to sweep their rivals Guangdong Southern Tigers 4-0 in the finals.
After winning the league title, all-star centre Zhou Qi went on to join the NBA and played for the Houston Rockets. The Tigers went on to lose to the Southern Tigers in the first round of the playoffs. The team then signed Xinjiang native Adiljan Suleyman as their new head coach and changed centres four times in the next season, going for the likes of Al Jefferson, Nick Minnerath, Hamed Haddadi, and Darius Adams.
The Shanghai Sharks are seen as the most popular team in the CBA not for their title wins, but most notably for developing Yao Ming before he made it to the NBA. With Yao, the Sharks reached the CBA Finals three times in a row, facing the Bayi Rockets in each of those.
The Sharks lost the first two title runs before winning their first CBA title in the third time. That also snapped a winning streak of six Bayi titles in a row. Yao then came back to buy the team after it faced a lot of serious financial issues in the 2008–09 season, and were in danger of not being able to compete in the 2009–10 season due to their shaky finances.
The Sharks is also known to be a hot spot for a lot of foreign players, especially from the NBA. They are usually the ones that fans see as a future team for those players who perform poorly, especially in the playoffs.
Aside from Yao, the Sharks have also other notable players who have won individual awards and have set records in the club, such as Wang Zhelin, and two foreign players in Jamaal Franklin and Ray McCallum Jr.
Enjoy top-notch CBA games and place your wagers on Sportsbet.io!
The CBA is home to a lot of teams that showcase the intense games that take place every season. This is perfect for a lot of punters as they want to see the best of each squad while they also place their wagers with the teams they are rooting for.
As the best teams in the league take their shot at the top, now is your chance to enjoy the big stage and bet on different Sportsbet.io markets.
Learning how to bet on CBA games can benefit you. After all, the Chinese basketball league is indeed rewarding to all those who make the best bets and do a lot of research prior to their games.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores
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