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J1 League Betting – Best Picks, Odds, Predictions

The clubs in this league may not have the same star power as those in the top European leagues in the world, but there are a lot of quality teams and players to be enjoyed here. There’s also plenty of action to be enjoyed by those who are taking part in J1 League betting.

By the end of this guide to J1 League betting, you’ll know everything there is to know about wagering on the top league in Japanese club soccer.

Here, you’ll learn about how to bet on J1 League action, including how J1 league odds work and how we make J1 League predictions. While this league may not get as much attention as those in Europe and the Americas, there’s still a lot to like about it.

Best Sportsbooks to Bet on J1 League

Finding a sportsbook for J1 League betting isn’t an overly difficult task, but finding the best betting sites for J1 League betting can be more of a challenge. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered when it comes to finding the best sites for wagering on the Japanese top-flight.

These sites in particular are worth checking out when you bet on this league, as they’ve got the betting markets and the features that should meet the needs of most Japanese soccer bettors.

J1 League Previous Season Recap

Last season, Kawasaki Frontale put together an incredible year, winning the J1 League in dominant fashion. They quickly became and remained the J1 League betting favorites throughout the year, losing just two matches out of their 38 for the season. They finished the year on 92 points, getting the better of everyone in the field by at least 13 points en route to winning the league.

Behind the winners in the outright J1 League betting markets was the second place finisher in Yokohama F. Marinos. In most circumstances, a 79-point season and a +47 goal difference may have been enough to come away with the league title at the end of the year. They were forced to settle for second this time around, earning a spot in the AFC Champions League for their trouble.

Vissel Kobe finished in third place last year, thanks to one of the more interesting rosters in the J1 League. Their international players are among the most recognizable in the league, making them an appealing choice in J1 League betting markets. They dropped points in 17 of their 38 league games last season, causing them to finish 19 points back of the champions.

On the relegation side of things, four teams were sent down to the J2 League to make up for the lack of relegation during the 2020 season. Yokohama FC, Vegalta Sendai, Oita Trinita, and Tokushima Voltis were the four sides sent down to the second division. Tokushima Vortis finished just a couple of points away from safety, and will have to fight their way back to the J1 League as a result.

Summer 2021 Transfer Window Recap

The transfer window in J1 League doesn’t often feature the high-profile moves European soccer leagues do. But the moves in the transfer market can make enough of an impact to alter the J1 League betting markets. There were a few moves during the summer 2021 window in particular that could give teams a leg up as they look to make it to the top of the mountain in Japan.

Vissel Kobe made an interesting move to bolster a team who finished Top Three last season when they brought in Bojan Krkić. Bojan has played at Barcelona, in the Premier League, and for iconic clubs like AC Milan and Ajax in his long career. Now, he joins an intriguing team looking to take the next step to win the league that’s going to be very competitive at the top.

Just as important as a transfer for Vissel Kobe was an extension signed by Spanish icon Andrés Iniesta. Iniesta agreed to prolong his career with the J1 League side over the summer, and the pairing of Iniesta and the Spaniard Bojan could make them the team to beat in the 2022 campaign. At the very least, Iniesta’s leadership will be valuable this year.

Winter 2022 Transfer Window Recap

The winter transfer window in the J1 League was not as exciting as the most recent summer window, which saw Bojan and Andres Iniesta involved. This winter, the biggest move to come out of Japan may have been an outgoing transfer. That came in the form of Thiago Martins leaving the Yokohama F. Marinos, being signed by New York City FC, the defending champions in Major League Soccer.

What made that move so significant in the J1 League is the transfer fee that Martins commanded from NYCFC. The center back was worth just over $4 million in transfer fees, which is a significant influx of funds in the J1 League where those kinds of fees are more exception than rule. That move helped put Yokohama F. Marinos over $3 million in the black in their net transfer funds this winter, which could help them in future windows.

There did not appear to be any incoming transfers that would have changed the balance of power in the J1 League. But that is the beauty of the transfer market, as players have the potential to exceed expectations and find a way to help their teams do better than they were expected to do if the chemistry is just right.

FC Tokyo made an impact signing in the summer 2021 transfer market, bringing defender Yuto Nagatomo back to his home country. Nagatomo is best known for his time at Inter Milan, though he has also played at Marseille at the highest levels of club football. He’ll be expected to bolster the outside of the back line for Tokyo in his second tour of duty with the club.

Who are Favorites to Win J1 League this Season?

There’s a couple of teams at the top of the list of J1 League betting odds that’re potential champions this season. Last year’s champions in Kawasaki Frontale have to be considered the favorites to take the title again this year based on just how dominant they were in 2021. It may be hard to replicate that level of success again this year, but this team at least deserves the recognition stemming from their incredible 2021 campaign.

Also on the short list of J1 League betting favorites is Vissel Kobe, thanks to the attacking team they are putting together to compete with the other top teams in Japan.

The addition of Bojan to go with a Top Three scorer in Kyogo Furuhashi could make for a fearsome strike force in 2022. If Iniesta can get healthy and provide a spark in the midfield despite his advanced age, this team could rocket to the top of the J1 League by the end of the approaching season.

Outside of those two teams, the only other team considered much of a favorite in J1 League betting odds would be the Yokohama F. Marinos. If Kawasaki Frontale regresses to a more normal rate of points dropped over the course of this coming season, this could be one of the teams that takes advantage. After these three teams, though, teams go from being favorites to relative longshots to win the title.

Who is in Danger of Relegation?

The relegation situation in J1 League will go back to normal in the 2022 season. There were four teams relegated from the league in 2021, and that number will go back to two teams for the 2022 campaign. Going into the 2022 season, there are a few teams that would be at the top of J1 League betting markets to be relegated based on their expectations entering the year.

Two teams were promoted from the J2 League last year, and they’d immediately become the J1 League betting favorites to be relegated this season. Jubilo Iwata and Kyoto Sanga managed to get to the top-flight after finishing in the Top Two spots in the Japanese second division a season ago. To avoid heading back to the J2 League, both teams will need to avoid slow starts in a much more competitive division.

Among teams that remained in the J1 League last year, Shonan Bellmare was the closest to falling out of the first division a season ago. Shonan Bellmare beat out the 17th place team in the league by one point, though they did have a goal difference advantage over the teams that were narrowly relegated. This year, they may not have the same fortune, and will need to clean up their play to stay up.

Outright Predictions for J1 League 2021/22

When making outright J1 League betting predictions, it’s difficult to back a side that wasn’t in the Top Three a season ago. Kawasaki Frontale deserves the designation of being the league favorite based on how much they won the league by a year ago. But Yokohama F. Marinos and Vissel Kobe are more than viable options when it comes to the outright markets this season.

The best way to play the outright markets in this league could be to back the teams that start the year at plus money among the top three. From there, you can place bets on the other teams in the league should they drop points and fall to plus money themselves. If this does happen, it could be a more profitable strategy than simply backing one team and hoping for the best.

The Kashima Antlers are another team that could come away with the title for those taking part in outright J1 League betting markets. They’ve been regular title contenders and occasional Club World Cup participants by winning the AFC Champions League. It would be an uphill climb for them to get to the title in 2022, but they’re worth a look at what would be a nice plus money selection.

Players To Keep An Eye On In J1 League This Season

The joint top scorer in J1 League play last season was Leandro Damiao of Kawasaki Frontale, which makes him a player worth watching coming into 2022. Damiao was largely responsible for the attacking success of his team, and made major contributions to them winning the title in 2021. If he can have close to the year he had last season, his team could easily repeat as champions.

Andrés Iniesta is an obvious choice as a player to watch this season, as his performance could determine the fate of J1 League betting markets for the season.

The Spaniard’s got the potential to be an important midfield piece for Vissel Kobe, especially with the team adding another attacker in Bojan. His health will be worth watching this season, as he’s recovering from injury and how much he’ll contribute is anyone’s guess.

Finally, Ayase Ueda is a player to keep an eye on in the upcoming J1 League season. He was a Top Five scorer in the league last season and his Kashima Antlers side will need him to continue those contributions if they’re going to go from being a Top Five side to a championship side this coming season in 2022.

How Do We Provide Our Expert Picks For J1 League?

We provide our J1 League betting picks by meticulously researching each of the teams involved in the league. While the top players in the league are well-known, there are many players in this competition who don’t have the same level of awareness about them on a global scale. Because of that, we dig deep into each of the teams involved in J1 League each season so you can trust that our picks come from more than just speculation on each team.

In addition to researching the players that make up each team, our J1 League betting experts watch matches involving each side. This allows them to develop knowledge on how each team plays and what strengths and weaknesses they possess. This approach is important when paired with looks at the statistical outputs of each side to get a full picture of what each match will look like.

J1 League betting, and soccer betting as a whole, is part art and part science. Without a look at the statistics and the matches themselves, you won’t be able to fully comprehend whether a team is over or undervalued in the betting markets. Fortunately, we’re here to do the work for you in order to make sure you’re getting the best J1 League predictions on the market.

Best Sportsbooks that Cover J1 League Games

When determining which sportsbooks are best for J1 League betting, it’s important to remember your needs as a player may be different than those of other bettors. While these top sportsbooks should meet the needs of most players, you’ll want to make sure they’re able to rise to what you need as well.

Caesars Sportsbook

Caesars Sportsbook is a site that should cover most of the bases you’re looking for in J1 League betting. They’ve got a long history of soccer bookmaking on their side thanks to their affiliation with the William Hill brand. That combined with a strong reputation in the American market should be enough to make them worth a shot for those looking to bet on Japanese soccer.


Fanduel is another sportsbook worth taking a look at when betting on niche soccer leagues like the J1 League. They have a decent selection of betting markets, even if that selection is less than what you might find in leagues like the Premier League. Oftentimes, FanDuel is also better about getting odds up earlier than most sportsbooks, allowing you to get as much value as possible on this competition.

Sportsbook Promo Codes and Best Bonuses for J1 League

The welcome bonuses at multiple sportsbooks are set up to where you can use them on J1 League betting. One such bonus comes from BetRivers, which offers a 100% deposit bonus on your first deposit that’s good for up to $250. If you make your first deposit for $250 at BetRivers, you’ll start your betting experience with $500 in your account, which is a nice boost to the bankroll.

Elsewhere, Caesars Sportsbook is offering a matched bet bonus that’s worth up to $1,001 on your first bet. There, you can place your first bet at Caesars and receive site credit in the amount of your first wager, with a max bonus amount of $1,001. That site credit is awarded whether you win or lose, meaning you could win your bet and keep the profits in addition to receiving the extra funds.

All You Need to Know About J1 League Betting

Before you get started with J1 League betting, you’re going to want to make sure you have all of the details down.

Here, we’ll go over some of the finer details of betting on J1 League soccer. We’ll break down everything from how to use the betting odds provided by sportsbooks to what you need to think about to make as much money as possible when betting on the J1 League.

J1 League Odds and Betting Lines

J1 League betting odds are the numbers that you see next to each betting market. Those numbers, and the plus and minus signs that come before them, determine the amounts you’d need to wager and the amount you can win on each bet you place. The key identifiers here are the pluses and minuses that’re the starting point for each set of odds.

Odds beginning with a plus sign show the amount you’d win if you were to put down $100 on that betting market. Odds that begin with a minus sign show the amount you’d have to bet in order to win $100. For example, -120 odds mean you’d need to bet $120 to win $100 on a wager, while +120 odds mean a $100 bet would yield a profit of $120.

Compare Odds for J1 League

One of the smartest moves in all of sports gambling, including J1 League betting is to compare the odds for each bet you wish to place across multiple sportsbooks. Doing this will help you see which bookmakers are offering the most profitable odds for each bet you wish to make. This’ll help you be the most profitable you can be every time you bet on a J1 League event.

For example, you may see J1 League betting odds of -120 on a team to win a match at one sportsbook, where a $120 bet would win $100. At another, you might see that same team at +105 odds, where a $100 bet would win $105. Given you would risk less and win more at +105 odds, you’d be best served to place that bet at the more favorable price of +105.

Depending on how much you bet on each game, the difference between the odds in the example above may not seem like much. However, you should keep in mind small price differences can really add up over the long run. An extra $10 or $20 here and there, repeated over hundreds of times, could be the difference between turning a profit and failing to do so.

How do we Generate our J1 League Odds?

Our J1 League betting odds are generated by comparing the odds at as many sportsbooks as possible prior to each match during the J1 League season. Doing this allows us to pass onto you the most profitable prices for each match, so you can maximize your earning potential for each contest. As we mentioned above, this strategy can feel insignificant in the short term, but can add up in a big way in the long run.

Moneyline J1 League Odds

Moneyline betting will be one of the more regularly available J1 League betting markets. In this market, your goal is to simply predict what the outcome of a match will be in the Japanese top-flight. In the moneyline market, you typically have three options to choose from: either team to win the match, or for the match to end in a draw at the end of the 90 minutes plus stoppage time.

J1 League Over/Under Odds

The over/under betting market is another one you’ll see for almost every match when doing any J1 League betting. In this market, sportsbooks will post a total number of goals, and it’s up to you to predict whether you think the total combined score of the game will go over or under that amount. This market requires an in-depth understanding of how each team plays tactically, as different paces and approaches can yield different scoring outputs.

How Does J1 League Work?

In J1 League, there are 18 teams in a normal campaign, with those teams playing a round robin at home and away venues. During those matches, teams receive three points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for each match they lose. 

The team with the most points at the end of the season wins the J1 League title, while the two teams with the lowest point totals are relegated to the J2 League.

Teams and Venues

Something worth knowing before doing any J1 League betting is who the teams that make up the league. Here’s a look at the 18 teams that make up this season’s J1 League and the venues they call home.

TeamHome Venue
Hokkaido Consadole SapporoSapporo Dome Sapporo Atsubetsu Stadium
Kashima AntlersKashima Soccer Stadium
Urawa Red DiamondsSaitama Stadium 2002
Kashiwa ReysolHitachi Kashiwa Stadium
FC TokyoAjinomoto Stadium
Kyoto SangaSanga Stadium by Kyocera
Yokohama F. MarinosNissan Stadium
Kawasaki FrontaleTodoroki Stadium
Shonan BellmareLemon Gas Stadium Hiratsuka
Shimizu S-PulseIAI Stadium
Nagoya GrampusToyota Stadium
Gamba OsakaPanasonic Stadium Suita
Cerezo OsakaYanmar Stadium
Vissel KobeNoevir Stadium
Sanfrecce HiroshimaEdion Stadium
Avispa FukuokaBest Denki Stadium
Sagan TosuEkimae Stadium
Jubilo IwataYamaha Stadium

J1 League Trophy

The J1 League trophy is more of a platter than a trophy, as it’s a flat disc that looks more like a tennis trophy than a soccer trophy. It has 14 circles etched on the outside of the disc, along with a large one in the middle. It’s the most sought after piece of silverware in Japanese soccer, as all 18 teams in this year’s J1 League will be looking to claim it.

COVID 19 Status

A component of J1 League betting that didn’t used to be a concern in the past is the presence of COVID-19. The pandemic has impacted sports schedules around the world, and has the potential to do the same in Japan’s top soccer league. For now, there aren’t plans to interrupt the upcoming J1 League season, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for news on this front before doing any J1 League betting.

Interesting Facts About J1 League

The J1 League has been around since 1992, celebrating its 30th season in 2021. In those 30 years, the Kashima Antlers won the most titles in league history, lifting the trophy eight times in those 30 years. 

There was a period of time where the league adopted a multi-stage structure, similar to what the Chinese Super League has, before that structure was abandoned for the more traditional league structure they have today.

J1 League Conclusion

J1 League betting can be a challenge, as it’s hard to get in-depth knowledge on every player and team without all of the media coverage that European leagues get. 

With our J1 League predictions, though, you can get the best picks at the best odds as we do the work of knowing all about this league for you.

Content Operations Manager

She has a background in journalism and a love of sports.
She has deepened her expertise in gaming and focused on online sports betting. Silvia supports Hellas Verona, likes to deal with news and updates about online betting, and manages the website content. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, playing padel, traveling, and meditating by the sea. Editorial Promise