It’s remarkable how such a “small” tournament – at least, compared to things like the NBA Playoffs or NCAA March Madness – can last for what feels like so much longer than these massive events.
And while it’s obviously a volume thing, it’s also a cultural thing and – most likely – a COVID scheduling thing, too.
We are, of course, talking about the 2021-2022 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
As a best-of-seven series, Western viewers might think this thing would have ended a week after it began. But it’s still going.
The Governors’ Cup Finals got underway April 6, 2022, pitting the 4-seed Meralco Bolts against 6-seed Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
Amazingly, both top-seeded teams – the Magnolia Hotshots and the NLEX Road Warriors – were dispatched without much effort by the aforementioned, with the Bolts beating Magnolia three games to two and Barangay Ginebra taking down the Road Warriors three games to one.
Now, nearly two weeks later and only five games into the finals (American championship series should pace themselves this way for maximum drama, shouldn’t they?), Barangay Ginebra is leading the Bolts – which were the betting favorites at the outset – by one game after five.
San Miguel can close out the series on April 20 (6:00 PM, One Sports) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Here are the results for the first five contests:
- Game 1 – Meralco Bolts 104, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 91
- Game 2 – Meralco Bolts 93, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 99
- Game 3 – Meralco Bolts 83, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 74
- Game 4 – Meralco Bolts 84, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 95
- Game 5 – Meralco Bolts 110, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 115
We’re not sure what sort of PBA betting edge can be derived from the above, as the scores are really all over the place. However, the odds are interesting, as the lines at BetOnline Sportsbook demonstrate:
2021 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals Odds – Game 6
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel vs. Meralco Bolts
- Spread: Meralco Bolts -1.5
- Straight: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel -110, Meralco Bolts -110
These basketball betting odds actually favor the Bolts on the spread at -1.5 points. Meanwhile, on the moneyline, both teams are trending at the exact same -115. And, for what it’s worth, the over/under is set at 186.5 points.
But it’s that parity at -115 that’s really interesting.
We’ve been covering legal online Philippine sports betting for years (actually, it’s been just over two decades now, all together, though we worked at some different sites in the early days before LOC launched), and we’ve rarely seen a championship betting line even out this way.
It’s not completely unheard of, but it’s wildly uncommon.
What it means for the sportsbook, of course, is that the house won’t take a loss regardless of which team loses. That’s usually critical only when the money coming on both sides of the bet is erratic and generally without a predictable pattern.
Sure, the lines could shift toward a clear favorite between now and tipoff tomorrow, but this is basically a coin toss.
As such, we’ve got to go with the team that has the most momentum, and that’s Barangay Ginebra. They’ve won two straight, and as a six-seed, they’re looking to make a bit of history by muscling their way through this tournament as if they were the team to beat all along.
If you’re still on the fence, another good way – usually – to “break” the tie is to add up the total aggregate points for both clubs through all their previous games in the series.
All things being equal, the team with the higher offensive output ought to continue that trend, right?
Here’s how that breaks down:
- Meralco Bolts – 474 points
- Barangay Ginebra San Miguel – 474 points
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Like we said, “usually.”
This should be a fun one!
In other gambling news, the Philippine Presidential election is less than a month away, and the lines are…about what you’d expect. Only more so.
With the Western media just catching on that Bongbong Marcos is the heavy favorite and doing its best to undermine the frontrunner’s campaign by doubling down on smears of his erstwhile dictator father (while at the same time upholding challenger Leni Robredo as the victim of some sort of degenerate mudslinging scandal we can’t actually find any first-hand reference to online), it’s actually nice to see that – try as they might – these “news” agencies won’t play a role in the outcome of the 2022 Philippine Presidential race.
Here are the odds that, barring disaster for the front-runner, should translate to an easy victory:
2022 Philippine Presidential Election Odds
- Bongbong Marcos -2500
- Leni Robredo +800
- Manny Pacquiao +5000
- Sara Duterte-Carpio +10000
- Isko Moreno +10000
- Bong Go +12500
- Antonio Trillanes +15000
- Alan Peter Cayetano +15000
Notably, the last time we checked in with this line (March 29), Marcos was sitting at -800 odds to win.
It’s going to be a wipeout.