NFL Bets at Ontario Sportsbooks Tilt Heavily Toward Nearby Bills

NFL Bets at Ontario Sportsbooks Tilt Heavily Toward Nearby Bills
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The interest in sports betting in Ontario peaks with the NFL, especially the Buffalo Bills. The volume of bets on the NFL is greater than everything else in the province, even more than Toronto’s Maple Leafs and Raptors.

And the Bills were the story again during Wild Card weekend, when they beat the Miami Dolphins 34-31, a game that was much closer than many predicted. Many sportsbooks had Buffalo favored by 14.5 points going in.

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Big Money on Bills at Ontario Sportsbooks

According to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s Proline sportsbook, 87% of their customers had the Bills to win and 63% had the Bills to cover that -14.5 spread, which of course they did not do. Still, 75% of customers correctly predicted the total would go over 44.5 points.

At FanDuel Ontario Sportsbook, Bills-Dolphins was the second most bet on game over the weekend, behind the Ravens-Bengals Sunday Night Football matchup. Bettors were surprised to see such a close game, as the Bills received 5.8 times more stake than the Dolphins – at that site, the spread was 13.5. The majority of Moneyline bets were on Bills, and the highest price for the Bills Moneyline was -213 when they were trailing in the third quarter.

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At DraftKings Ontario Sportsbook, Bills tight end Dawson Knox was atop NFL Top Money Makers TD scorers – with odds of +1100 as First TD Scorer. No. 3 was Cole Beasley Anytime TD Scorer at +1200.

BetRivers reported that it took a $400 parlay on Beasley and Knox to both score TDs (+5000) to win $20,000. The Spread crushed a lot of bettors there as well – 85% of the money and 83% of the tickets were on the Bills to cover.

The top Wild Card events by handle over the weekend bounced between the Bills-Dolphins and Ravens-Bengals. PointsBet Ontario Sportsbook said that its top game by handle was Miami-Buffalo, with Ravens-Bengals No. 2, followed by the Saturday night Jaguars-Chargers game.

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Dallas Cowboys Backers Rewarded on Monday Night

Monday’s game, when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-14, was interesting. OLG spokesperson Tony Bitonti said 54% of their clients backed the Cowboys at -2.5, 62% backed Dallas on the Moneyline and 78% backed the Over. The Over, which was 45.5 at Caesars Sportsbook Ontario, failed to cash by half a point; it was the only one of six Wild Card games in which the Under was the better bet.

Bucs QB Tom Brady put up some numbers and that paid off for his backers – 93% of their clients backed the Over 273.5 Passing Yards for Brady (he finished with 351). And 86% had Cowboys QB Dak Prescott passing more than 253.5 yards (he finished with 305).

Looking ahead to Sunday’s AFC Division Round game, the Bills are early favorites against the Bengals with Ontario sportsbook apps. At DraftKings, the spread as of Wednesday morning had Buffalo as a 5-point favorite, with a point total of 48.5. On the Moneyline, the Bills are -230 and Cincinnati is +195.

For the other Sunday game, in the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers are a 3.5-point favorite against the visiting Dallas Cowboys. The top seeds in each conference, both coming off of first-round byes, play their Division Round games on Saturday. The Kansas City Chiefs are favored by 8.5 points against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFC’s No. 1 seed, the Philadelphia Eagles, are laying 7.5 points against the New York Giants.

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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.

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