NBA Leading the Ontario Sports Betting Fray According to Sportsbooks

NBA Leading the Ontario Sports Betting Fray According to Sportsbooks
By Mark Keast

It’s early in the game for sportsbooks like FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario in the province, but they’re already seeing some interesting trends on the betting side.

According to a source there, don’t assume hockey will lead Ontario sports betting.

For example, on Thursday night, with the NHL deep into its season, FanDuel reported the most bet events were the Raptors vs. Philadelphia, Brooklyn vs. Boston and New Orleans vs. Phoenix on the NBA side, and the Blue Jays vs. Boston on the MLB side. NHL betting didn’t even make the top four.

Can Raptors Overcome 3-0 Deficit?

At FanDuel, the Raptors are 35-1 to become the first NBA team to overcome a 3-0 deficit and win the series. Also, for DeMar DeRozan fans, the Chicago Bulls are way down to +220 to win their series over the Milwaukee Bucks after their Game 2 victory and Khris Middleton’s knee injury.

It’s the same on the PROLINE front. NBA playoffs have been leading PROLINE sales for the past seven days, with 38% of all bets on the digital site.

“No surprise, as the first round still has a decent quantity of games compared with the regular season, however with the added importance/interest of the playoffs,” an OLG source there said. Hockey was No. 2 over the past week with PROLINE though, at almost 30% of all sales, with lots of important games still as the season winds down.

But this is newsworthy — MLB was at 19%. Baseball has started off “very strongly” on their front, rivalling hockey in sales so far (however eyeballs were down a little this week with people watching NBA).

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More Diverse Offerings

And building off comments we’ve been hearing about the need for sportsbooks to offer diversity in their offerings — OLG expanded markets into darts, rugby, snooker, Rugby League, Rugby Union and tennis doubles at PROLINE+ this week, as well as more soccer and boxing.

A sports analyst at PointsBet Canada says the Raptors are 3.5-point underdogs going into tomorrow night’s Game 4 against the 76ers, a make-it-or-break-it game for the Dinos (Raptors are +130 on the moneyline, the 76ers are -150).

The Jays are +150 on the moneyline ($10 bet would win $15) for Friday night’s game against Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros (‘Stros -180).

But also interesting — that parlay bet (Jays to win tonight and the Raptors to win tomorrow) would be odds of +475. Add in the Maple Leafs tomorrow as well and the parlay odds would go all the way up to +1222.

OK, maybe we’re not getting into the neighborhood of that BetMGM Casino payout announced earlier this week — $643,412.32. That was the first major BetMGM jackpot in the province. But the sports scene is really heating up, and the betting scene is responding to that.

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Mark Keast

Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.