Despite the colder temperatures across Canada, interest in the Canadian men’s national soccer team is only heating up, and bettors are taking notice.
The big sports story across the nation last week was the team’s 2-1 win over Mexico in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match, in the bitter wind, frozen tundra and snow at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium — now called “Iceteca.”
That pushed Canada to first place in the World Cup qualifying standings. It was Canada’s first win over Mexico in World Cup qualifying in 45 years.
PROLINE+, currently the only way to bet on sports legally in Ontario (they went live on Aug. 27), reports that soccer so far has been the fourth most-wagered sport, behind American football, baseball and basketball, according to a source there.
Hockey is very close behind soccer in Ontario Sports Betting Sites. (But that changes all the time — hockey just surpassed soccer for fourth spot over the past few days, but that will likely change closer to the next World Cup qualifier.)
EPL Tops in Soccer Betting
League-wise, the English Premier League is leading the way. Major League Soccer is a close No. 2, and the UEFA Champions League round out the top three.
However, the two most recent qualification games for the national team (Canada vs. Mexico and Canada vs. Costa Rica, also in Edmonton), were the highest wagered soccer events in November.
In terms of overall ranking for all soccer games offered this year, those two games come in fourth and 21st, respectively.
Is Canada now a “soccer nation”? Yes. Sports Betting Canada can book it.
The Canadian team’s next match is Jan. 27 against Honduras.
Traditional Sports Betting on the Way
Bill C-218 — approved by the Canadian Parliament over the summer —brought traditional sports betting to Canada. It allows for single-event wagering. Canada had been limited to parlay betting.
The full Ontario online casino and online sports betting (with private operators) markets will likely launch in early 2022, possibly as late as the second quarter.The go-live date was projected for December on the iGaming Ontario website (a subsidiary of the regulatory Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario), but that was recently pushed into 2022, according to the Canadian Gaming Association.
PROLINE+ Betting Notes
Also on the PROLINE+ front, as far as live betting is concerned, basketball has now proven to be more popular than hockey, with roughly 52% of bets being placed live in-play compared to 35% for hockey.
This is most likely facilitated by the more frequent stoppages in play and the high-scoring nature of the sport, leading to plenty of fluctuation of the live betting odds.
And according to an OLG spokesperson, the ratio of single bets to parlay/system bets for both sports is about two to one in favor of singles.