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The Sports That Canadians Bet On The Most

March 2, 2021
Canada and sports betting

Canadians love many things like Tim Horton’s, poutine, and bears. They also love their national sport – ice hockey. And yes, Canadians do bet on ice hockey. In fact, they bet on many sports and you might be surprised at the ones they bet on the most.

Canadians have the ability to bet on sporting events at a number of casinos throughout the country. There are also online casinos and sportsbooks where Canadians can wager on sports from all over the world. What are the top sports that Canadians bet the most?

The NBA

Sports fans and bettors might be surprised, but the most-bet sport in Canada in 2020 was NBA basketball. For those that may be unaware, the game of basketball was invented in the late 1800s by James Naismith. Mr. Naismith was a Canadian.

Naismith isn’t the reason Canadians bet on the NBA. It has more to do with the Toronto Raptors and their recent history of success. In 2019, the Raptors finally got over the hump and won the franchise’s first NBA title. Toronto has been to the postseason seven years in a row and is likely to advance again in 2021. The Raptors were eliminated in the conference semifinals in 2020.

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The NHL

In 1994, the Canadian government passed the National Sports of Canada Act declaring ice hockey to be the country’s national winter sport. It’s basically a given. If you’re Canadian, you either play hockey or you watch hockey. Hockey is a fast-paced sport that lends itself to viewing. Betting on the NHL makes it even more exciting.

In 2020, NHL betting checked in at No. 2 behind the NBA. Part of that had to do with the suspension of the season due to the coronavirus. The league did finish the season, but did so in just two locations and without fans. Six of the seven Canadian teams made the NHL’s postseason last year, but all but Vancouver were eliminated by the second round.

The 2021 season should see even more action as all seven Canadian teams make up the newly realigned North Division. The new format will guarantee at least one Canadian team in the semifinals. So far this season, Toronto leads the race for the President’s Cup with 36 points and a record of 17-4-2 as of March 2.

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The NFL

Canada Betting - Argonauts

Toronto Argonauts of the CFL

There is the Canadian Football League (CFL), but the 2020 season was not played due to the coronavirus. While the CFL gets a fair amount of action, football bettors turned to the NFL in 2020. Canadians wagered somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 to $50 million on the Super Bowl alone in February of last year.

Bettors picked up right where they left off with the 2020 NFL season. Without the CFL, the NFL got a lot of action from Canadian bettors. If you add in betting on college football in the US, the total amount wagered on football in Canada was likely more than that wagered on the NHL.

Tennis

What many realize in their sports betting career is that bettors tend to stick to the more popular spots. The NFL is extremely popular as is the NBA when it comes to betting on sports. Fewer bettors wager on tennis; however, smart bettors realize the potential for value in betting on tennis.

Canadians find tremendous value in tennis betting making it a top five sport among bettors up north. The typical Canadian tennis bettor is more of a high roller. While bettors will wager on the winner of a certain tournament, they routinely will bet five figures on tennis props such as who will win the next set.

There is always value to be found in tennis betting and Canadians seem to know where to find it. Despite Wimbledon 2020 being cancelled, Canadian sportsbooks brought in an impressive revenue total on tennis betting that was reportedly in the area of $70 million.

The Others

Betting on baseball attracts some Canadian bettors, especially those interested in the performance of the Toronto Blue Jays. While MLB does get its share of Canadian bettors, the national summer sport of Canada is lacrosse. Oddly enough, the National Lacrosse League, which has five Canadian teams, plays its games from December to June.

The NLL does attract many Canadian bettors but did not play in 2020 due to the pandemic. Along with MLB betting, wagering on NLL games is one of the top six most-bet on sports by Canadians.