When Canada’s men’s national soccer team qualified for this November’s World Cup in Qatar, it was without doubt an epochal moment in Canadian sports history.
It was also a very telling moment on the Ontario sports betting front, still very much in its infancy. The Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp.’s PROLINE was the only place in late March where you could lay down a legal money bet.
But Ontario launched its regulated and competitive sports betting and iGaming markets on April 4, giving sports bettors in the province more options for World Cup wagering. Several sportsbooks live in the province have weighed in on early World Cup odds and what they expect going into the tournament.
Betting stats for PROLINE from the CONCACAF game between Canada and Jamaica, where Canada qualified for the World Cup with a 4-0 win, reflected the interest in the team. That match was the third-highest bet soccer match on digital since PROLINE+ launched in August.
With that win, Canada finished first in CONCACAF’s third-round standings and sports fans in Canada were buzzing again April 1 when the World Cup draw was announced.
Key Points for Canada
With World Cup wagering sure to pick up as November nears, here are some observations on Canada:
- Canada qualifies for first World Cup since 1986. That year Canada finished 0-3 in Group C, losing to France (1-0), Hungary (2-0) and the Soviet Union (2-0). It surely expects better results this year after its strong qualifying efforts.
- Canada drew Group F for the 2022 World Cup in Quatar. It will face No. 2 Belgium, but also has winnable matches against Morocco and Croatia.
- Despite long odds (+12500 to +25000), Canadians are putting their money on their team, according to BetRivers, FanDuel and PROLINE.
- Betting on Canada to get out of its group should continue to be popular. Odds for Canada to get out of Group F will likely improve as the World Cup nears.
Canada Faces No. 2 Belgium in Opener
Canada’s first World Cup tournament since 1986 opens up with a tough match against No. 2-ranked Belgium on Nov. 23. But Canada also plays Morocco and Croatia in the Group F round robin. Group standings are based on points from those first three matches — teams get three points for a win, one for a draw, and zero for a loss.
Brazil (+500 at PointsBet Canada) is currently the No. 1-ranked team in the world according to FIFA, followed by Belgium (+1200), Spain (+800) and France (+550). The FIFA rankings and odds to win differ.
Although few people are putting money down yet through Ontario sports betting apps, it’s interesting to take a look at the odds this early in the game across Ontario’s new legal sports betting landscape.
Team manager John Herdman has just under seven months to prepare his team, led by Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David and Tajon Buchanan, and goalkeeper Milan Borjan. It’s also something we will follow closely here as we get closer to the tournament.
PointsBet Canada World Cup Odds
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According to Michael Korn, trading content analyst at PointsBet Canada, relevant odds as it relates to Canada’s World Cup push: Outright winner +12500, Group F winner +1600, to qualify from Group F +275 and runner-up +6600.
Talk to many people around soccer and they’ll tell you the Canadian team is so well coached, with players buying into the program so absolutely, it is going to be a tough matchup in that tournament, for anyone.
Korn also reports a big fan base around Bayern Munich early in the legal Ontario betting scene, which is no big surprise — Davies plays for the team.
Popular at BetRivers Canada
Over at BetRivers Canada, the odds for Canada to win the World Cup are +20000. But BetRivers trade content analyst Mike Tierney points out that in January 2021 Canada was as high as +200000 to win, and in September that number was as high as +100000.
Canada has received the second-most handle out of any team to win the World Cup behind the U.S. The U.S. has received 17.4% of all handle and Canada has received 15.5%.
According to Tierney, Canada is +900 to win Group F. (The other teams: Belgium is -335, Croatia +300, Morocco +700.)
Current three-way split for the Belgium opener: Belgium -335, Draw +425, Canada +1000. The total is 2.5 at -155 to the over.
At PROLINE, a spokesperson said while it’s still early, so far World Cup betting has been skewed toward Canada, as it has taken 38% of the overall action to win it all.
The team with the second-most action is Portugal with 8.2% of the money at +1100 odds, then Argentina with 7.4% at +900. PROLINE opened up the odds for Canada winning the World Cup at +15000, now at +10000.In that first match for Canada, Belgium is -350 to win, it's +400 for a draw, and +800 for a Canada win. Patriotism is a big factor: So far 60% of the money has come in on Canada to win that game outright.
FanDuel Sees Canada Action
A spokesperson from FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario says Canada is the most bet on team to win the World Cup, drawing double the number of bets compared to all other teams combined.
“Despite the action we’ve kept the price for Canada to win at +25000,” a FanDuel spokesperson told us. The next most bet on team is Portugal, followed by Denmark and England.
FanDuel’s Canadian World Cup specials have also been popular, led by Canada to finish at the top of Group F, Davies to score a goal in the tournament, and Canada to score three-plus goals in the tournament.
A lot of its customers have bet on Canada to qualify from Group F as part of its Super Boost special to celebrate Week 1 of the Ontario launch.