A new curling championship sponsored by PointsBet Canada aims to further ratchet up interest in a sport already immensely popular in Canada.
It’s sure to be popular in Ontario sports betting.
The PointsBet Invitational, to be held Sept. 21-25 at Willie O’Ree Place in Fredericton, New Brunswick, will bring together Canada’s best men’s and women’s curling teams for the first major event of the 2022-23 season. It will feature new teams in a new format that should work well on Ontario betting apps.
Sixteen men’s and 16 women’s teams will compete in a single knockout tournament offering a purse in excess of $350,000. PointsBet Canada is the Official Sports Betting Partner of Curling Canada.
Said Nic Sulsky, chief commercial officer for PointsBet Canada, in a statement: “Since Day 1 of our partnership with Curling Canada, we have made it a priority to offer new and exciting ways for fans to connect with the sport we all love. Whether it is the Trailer Park Boys throwing rocks with national champions Kevin Koe and Kerri Einarson, or events like the PointsBet Invitational, we are committed to working with Curling Canada to excite the existing supporters but to also attract the next generation of fans.”
More Details on the Tournament
The full fields will be announced at a later date, but tentatively the 16 men’s and women’s teams will be made up of the following, according to a news release:
- The top 12 ranked teams on the revamped World Curling Team Ranking System;
- The reigning women’s and men’s champions at the New Holland Canadian Juniors (Nova Scotia’s Team Emily Deschenes and Ontario’s Team Landan Rooney, respectively);
- The reigning women’s and men’s champions at the Everest Canadian Curling Club Championship (Ontario’s Team Tracy Larocque and Nova Scotia’s Team Nick Deagle, respectively);
- The host committee-selected men’s and women’s teams (Team Jack Smeltzer and Team Andrea Kelly) from Fredericton;
- And a men’s and women’s sponsor’s exemption entry will also participate.
Major Championship in Fredericton
“The drama and emotion of a single-knockout bracket tournament is well-chronicled in sports such as tennis and the NCAA basketball championships, and we expect our new event to bring that kind of passion and excitement to curling,” Katherine Henderson, chief executive officer of Curling Canada, said in the release. “It’s also a chance for us to showcase our partnership with PointsBet, and, happily, finally bring a major championship to Fredericton after a couple of disappointing years of cancellations due to the pandemic.”
All 32 competing teams will receive $5,000 to cover travel and accommodation costs, and teams will earn more money for each successive win in the single-knockout tournament — $3,000 for a first-round win, $6,000 for a quarterfinal win, $12,000 for a semifinal win and $24,000 to the victorious women’s and men’s teams, meaning the two winning teams will each collect a total of $50,000.
Curling is Truly Canadian
Curling is a sport deeply embedded in Canada’s identity. The sport is played in every province and territory, in 1,000 clubs, and is played by almost two million per year in Canada (pre-pandemic).
There are more than 300 hours of Curling Canada events on television each year, and the national championships for both men’s and women’s always score big ratings.
Action on Monday Night’s Stanley Cup Final
According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Game 3 Monday night is a pure pick ‘em (-108 on both teams), 52% of the bets on the Lightning and 53% of the stakes on the Avalanche. There’s a much bigger opinion on the total — about 75% of bets and stakes on the over.
Over at PROLINE, 64% of their customers like Tampa to win, and 63% of customers are expecting the Total to stay Under 6 goals in NHL betting.
And according to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Most Bet Player Prop is Tampa’s Steven Stamkos Over 3.5 Shots on Goal (+135). Bettors over there like the Over 6 Total (78% of the handle, 71% of the bets).