Most Popular Sports Amongst Betting Fans in Canada

As many as 77% of Canadians state that they follow one or more sports. A considerable portion of the nation enjoys engaging in swimming on a regular basis. However, swimming is far from being the most popular sport in Canada.

For sports bettors, ice hockey is the preferred sport in Canada. Football, tennis, basketball and soccer closely follow. In this piece, we will delve into the top sports for bettors, and elaborate on the reasons why these sports are so ardently loved by gamblers.

Let’s immerse ourselves in this topic.   

1. Ice Hockey

Created in Montreal in 1876, ice hockey is one of the most ancient sports in Canada. It also serves as Canada’s official winter sport, with over two million Canadians regularly playing the sport.

For those unfamiliar with it, hockey is played on an ice rink. It’s a team sport, with each team comprising six players. It’s worth noting that teams can make numerous substitutions, so it’s not uncommon for franchises to have 20 players on the bench.

Different from many sports, hockey consists of three periods of 20 minutes each. Furthermore, the equivalent of a ball in hockey is known as a puck. Additionally, the goals in hockey are small, and players use hockey sticks to maneuver and score.

When it comes to betting, hockey is comparable to other sports. It’s available at all leading online sports betting sites in Canada. Moreover, hockey is an organized sport with several major leagues.

The National Hockey League is by far the largest hockey league in the world, featuring 25 teams from the US and seven from Canada. Apart from the NHL, Canadians can also place bets on the Ontario Hockey League, NCAA college hockey, or any of Europe’s top hockey leagues.

2. Canadian Football

This may come as a surprise to some, but Canada has its own version of football, with the second highest number of registered fans after ice hockey. For the most part, Canadian football resembles American football.

However, there are some distinctions. Specifically, Canadian football consists of 12, not 11, players. It utilizes slightly larger football fields and has certain unique rules—no fair catch, three downs and teams are allowed two timeouts per game.

Due to these differences, some experts argue that the Canadian Football League is more exhilarating than the National Football League (NFL). Nonetheless, the CFL has nine teams and operates throughout the summer.

This means that the CFL is comparatively small. Nevertheless, you can place bets on the sport by predicting match winners, parlays, spreads, and props. Of course, Canadians can also bet on the NFL.

3. Lacrosse

Prior to the emergence of ice hockey as a sport, Lacrosse was Canada’s official sport. In fact, Lacrosse held the title of the country’s official sport from 1859 to 1994. The origins of the game can be traced back to the 17th century and was created by the First Nations’ people in Canada.

In modern times, Lacrosse involves two teams of 10 players on each side, striving to score a small rubber ball into their opponent’s goal. To be precise, the players pursue the ball and score using lacrosse sticks with net baskets at the end.

Lacrosse may not be the most popular sport globally, but it has millions of followers in both Canada and the US. Hence, there are numerous organized Lacrosse leagues in North America, leading to the availability of numerous betting sites offering Lacrosse betting markets.

4. Basketball

Similar to all the sports mentioned thus far, basketball was conceived in Canada. Surprisingly, Canada only hosts one team in the National Basketball League—the Toronto Raptors.

That being said, Canadians have a strong affection for basketball. According to a recent study, basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. It’s an extremely thrilling sport, and therefore, open for betting.

The National Basketball Association League runs from September to April, coinciding with other popular leagues. However, learning how to place bets on the sport is uncomplicated.

The simplest type of bet is predicting the match winner. For more experienced bettors, there’s the option to predict the winning margin, known as spreads. Additionally, bets can be placed on the total number of points scored or random occurrences, also known as prop bets.

5. Baseball

Once again, Canada is home to a prominent sport in North America. The first baseball game in the world was played in Ontario in 1838. As time passed, baseball spread to the US and turned into one of the top two sports in the country.

Presently, the US is host to the biggest baseball league globally, featuring 30 teams, including the Toronto Blue Jays. The objective is to outscore the opposing team in runs. Even though a baseball game consists of nine innings, there’s no time restriction, resulting in games that could last over three hours.

6. Soccer

Soccer undeniably holds the top spot as the most popular sport in the world. Practically every country boasts a soccer league. In Europe and South America, soccer reigns so supreme that it’s the preferred sport for up to 80% of citizens.

If you intend to bet on soccer, it’s not just because of its global popularity, but due to the sheer abundance of soccer games. In Canada, bets can be placed on the Major League Soccer.

Outside of North America, a multitude of soccer leagues in Europe offer betting opportunities: England, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain are home to the top five soccer leagues.

On the flip side, wagers can be placed on international club and country tournaments such as the Champions League, CONCAFA, and the World Cup. The best part is that there’s always a soccer game happening somewhere in the world.

7. Other Sports

In Canada, nearly every major sport globally has its own fanbase, including tennis, boxing, MMA, eSports, cricket, and motorsport. Moreover, these sports have organized leagues for betting purposes. All it takes is specializing in one or two sports, allowing you to invest in mastering everything about that specific sport. Through this approach, you can enhance your chances of regularly winning sports bets.

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