Betting on Japanese Football
There is a lot of football played in Japan, from the J1 League at the top of the men's football pyramid, proceeding down through the J1 to the J2, J3 and Japan Football League, which is the fourth flight of Japanese football. Under that there are a series of regional leagues. It is possible for teams to be promoted all the way up through these levels.
As well as the league system there are a number of domestic cup competitions: the Emperor's Cup, YBC Levain Cup (the league cup), and the Super Cup.
The most successful teams from the J1 League qualify for the AFC Champions League, which was won in 2018 by Kashima Antlers.
In the women's game, firmly established after the successes of the Japan women's national team, there are three divisions featuring promotion and relegation systems. Japanese football, both the women's and men's game, is a big deal and so attracts a lot of betting action.
Completing the set of matches featured in our Japanese football odds checking tool are the games featuring the Japan men's and women's national teams.
Japan Football Odds
The top league of Japanese football, the J1 League, is played between the months of February and December, and is currently contested between 18 clubs, who face each other on a double round-robin basis.
The 2018 edition of the competition was won by Kawasaki Frontale, who clinched only their second title, reclaiming the prize they won just a season before. In fact, the J1 League, and its precursors, have been regularly won by a number of different sides, cementing the reputation of the J1 League as one of the most competitive divisions in Asia. In the division's 54-year history, two teams have won the championship 8 times, with another 5 teams having won the competition on 4 or more occasions.
Looking more closely at the completed 2018 competition, there were no notable statistical quirks in relation to the number of goals per game or the number of draws or home wins, for example. However, what was noticeable was the fact that only 18 points separated the team in second and the team in 15th, which is second from bottom. On any given day, any team can beat any other, ensuring the importance of conducting informed research and checking odds before placing a bet.
Japanese Football History
Japan are one of the powerhouses of Asian football, having won the AFC Asian Cup on four occasions, and the J-League being one of the most-established competitions anywhere on the continent. Of course, the passion and fervour of Japanese football was made clear to the world during the FIFA World Cup of 2002, which Japan co-hosted with South Korea.
Over the years the J-League, which was established in 1992, has attracted some significant world stars. Gary Lineker was one of the first European footballers to try his hand in the competition, and since then Basile Boli, Lukas Podolski, David Villa and Andrés Iniesta have all opted for a footballing adventure in the land of the rising sun. And Japan has produced some notable players too: Shinji Kagawa, Hidetoshi Nakata, and Japan's leading scorer of all time, Kunishige Kamamoto, who with 80 goals is the fourth-highest international goalscorer of all time.
In the latest Asian Cup competition, of 2019, Japan started at betting odds of around 9/2, placing the nation as the third favourites behind South Korea and Iran. Japan was to outlast both of those competitors by reaching the final. However, it was there that the team was undone by Qatar, who are set to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Yet the most stunning success in Japanese football must surely be the achievement of the Japanese women's national team, who in 2011 secured the country's only world title to date by clinching the FIFA Women's World Cup. The team also finished as runners-up four years later, establishing Japan as one of the leading sides in women's international football.