One of the biggest Ontario sports betting events of the year is coming this weekend. According to Johnny Avello, DraftKings’ director of race and sportsbook operations, betting on Sunday’s Grey Cup between the Montreal Alouettes and Winnipeg Blue Bombers is going to generate a lot of action.
“The Grey Cup is Canada’s largest annual sport and TV event,” Avello told OntarioBets.com. “We anticipate a fair amount of action on the game, especially coming from our customers in Ontario. The game itself offers an intriguing matchup with Montreal, one of the most storied franchises in the CFL, and Winnipeg, one of the most dominant teams over the past few years, in a timeslot that won’t have too much competition with the NFL. Additionally, (DraftKings Ontario Sportsbook will) have a robust prop market available which always draws interest and generates engagement around big games.”
According to Tony Bitonti, a spokesperson for Proline, last year’s Grey Cup was among the most popular games of that week, across all sports, exceeded by only a handful of top-tier NFL matchups.
Betting Strong Even Without Toronto
That game involved the Toronto Argonauts – who beat the Blue Bombers 24-23, in Mosaic Stadium, Regina, Saskatchewan – so that explained some of the interest among bettors.
This year, after upsetting the Argos in last weekend’s Eastern Final, early money is on the Alouettes, Bitonti says. Montreal enters the game as underdogs by anywhere from 7.5 to 9.5 points at various Ontario sportsbook apps. As of Thursday, 70% of customers had Montreal +9.5 points at Proline and 75% had Montreal to win the game.
Temperatures in Hamilton for the game are expected to be around the freezing mark at kickoff (6 p.m. Eastern), and bettors are predicting a lower-scoring affair, with 80% predicting the Total Under 47.5 points.
Also interesting to note: With the Grey Cup futures market, Winnipeg entered the season as favourites to win the Grey Cup but took just 8% of all wagers. Montreal entered the season with the sixth-best odds to win and took just 3% of all wagers (Toronto was far and away the most popular bet to repeat as Grey Cup champions, taking 67% of all wagers).
The fact the Als are betting favourites against that spread is no surprise – Montreal shocked the world last weekend, dismantling the heavily favoured Argos 38-17 thanks to nine turnovers (including four interceptions).
FanDuel Sees ‘Significant Increase’ In CFL Betting
According to FanDuel Ontario Sportsbook – in its first year as an official sports betting partner of the CFL – the operators is seeing a “significant increase” in CFL betting in Ontario year over year. FanDuel is offering several Grey Cup special markets because of that, such as Coin Toss Result, Grey Cup MVP and Grey Cup Most Valuable Canadian Player.
Winnipeg took more than 80% of the money on moneyline bets as of Thursday. The number of bets on the Spread has been split almost equally, 51% on Winnipeg and 49% on Montreal, according to a FanDuel spokesperson. Winnipeg has taken 60% of the bets on the Over leading into Sunday’s game.
“Player props are picking up and we expect it to really increase leading into the game when elements like the weather become clearer,” the spokesperson said.
More Grey Cup Trends And Betting Lines
FanDuel has the Moneyline Bombers 1.24, Alouettes 4.30 as of Friday morning. The O/U is 47.5 at that operator and the spread is Winnipeg by 8.5 points.
At BetRivers Ontario Sportsbook, they’re reporting 58% of the Moneyline is on Montreal, while 55% of the Moneyline tickets are on Winnipeg. About 89% of the spread money and 90% of spread tickets are on Winnipeg.
“We've taken more money and tickets on the CFL this year than NCAA FCS football, the XFL and the USFL combined,” a spokesperson there said. “But the NFL preseason did four times the money and tickets of the CFL season. Since the start of the CFL season, we've taken similar money and handle on EuroLeague basketball, the ATP Washington DC event, the KBO League, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.”
At DraftKings, on the moneyline (Bombers 1.26, Als 4.30 as of Friday morning), the Bombers were getting 95% of the handle, 44% of the bets. On the spread, though, Montreal (+7.5) drew 78% of the handle and 37% of bets.