Up to 77% of Canadians say they follow one or more sports. A large percentage of the country loves to participate in swimming regularly. However, swimming is far from being Canada’s biggest sport.
Amongst sports gamblers, ice hockey is the ideal sport in Canada. Football, tennis, basketball and soccer trail closely. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at popular sports for bettors. And we’ll explain why gamblers love these sports so much.
Let’s dive right in.
1. Ice Hockey
Invented in Montreal in 1876, ice hockey is one of the oldest sports in Canada. It’s also Canada’s official winter sport. Due to this, more than two million Canadians play the sport regularly.
For the uninitiated, hockey is played in an ice rink. It’s a team sport, with each side fielding six players. To expound more, hockey teams can make countless substitutions, so it’s not unusual for franchises to have 20 players on the bench.
Unlike many sports, hockey features three periods of 20 minutes each. Also, the equivalent of a ball in hockey is known as a puck. Additionally, the goals in hockey are small while players use hockey sticks to dribble and score.
When it comes to betting, hockey is no different from other sports. It’s available at all leading online sports betting sites in Canada. What’s more, hockey is an organized sport with several major leagues.
The National Hockey League is by far the biggest hockey league in the world. It features 25 teams from the US and seven from Canada. The NHL aside, Canadians can also wager on the Ontario Hockey League, NCAA college hockey, or any of Europe’s top hockey leagues.
2. Canadian Football
This might come as a surprise to some. But Canada has its own version of football. And it has the second highest number of registered fans after ice hockey. For the biggest part, Canadian football works like American football.
However, there are some differences. Precisely, Canadian football features 12 and not 11 players. It uses slightly larger football fields and have some unique rules—no fair catch, three downs and teams have two timeouts per game.
Due to these differences, some experts believe the Canadian Football League is more entertaining than the National Football League (NFL). All the same, the CFL has nine teams and runs through the summer.
This means the CFL is relatively small. Still, you can bet on the sport by predicting match winners, parlays, spreads and props. Of course, Canadians can also bet on the NFL.
Before ice hockey became a sport, Lacrosse was Canada’s official sport. In fact, Lacrosse was the country’s official sport between 1859 and 1994. The game traces its origins to the 17th century and was invented by First Nations’ people in Canada.
In the modern-day, Lacrosse features two teams of 10 players on each side. They compete to score a small rubber ball into their competitor’s goal. To be clear, the players chase the ball and score using lock sticks with net baskets at the edge.
Now, lacrosse isn’t the most popular sport in the world. But it has millions of followers in both Canada and the US. Due to this, there are several organized Lacrosse leagues in North America. In turn, there are tons of betting sites that provide Lacrosse betting markets.
Like all the sports we’ve mentioned so far, basketball was invented in Canada. Surprisingly, Canada features just one team in the National Basketball League—Toronto Raptors.
That said, Canadians love basketball. According to a recent study, basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. It’s an exciting sport, anyway. And being a major sport, you can bet on it.
The National Basketball Association League runs from September to April. As such, it coincides with other popular leagues. However, it’s easy to learn how to bet on the sport.
The simplest bet type is to predict which side will win in a match. If you’re more experienced, you could predict the winning margin: spreads. You could also gamble on the total number of points scored or random occurrences—prop bets.
Once again, Canada is home to a major sport in North America. The world’s first baseball game was played in Ontario in 1838. Over the years, baseball spread to the US and became one of the top two sports in the country.
Today, the US hosts the biggest baseball league in the world. It features 30 teams, including Toronto’s Blue Jays. The goal is to outscore the opposing side in runs. Although there are nine innings in a baseball game, there’s no time limit, which means a game can last over three hours.
Soccer is without a doubt the most popular sport in the world. Almost every country has a soccer league. In Europe and South America, soccer is so dominant that it’s the preferred sport for up to 80% of citizens.
Now, you don’t want to bet on soccer just because it’s popular globally. Rather, you should bet on soccer due to the sheer volume of soccer games. In Canada, you can wager on the Major League Soccer.
Outside of North America, you can bet on a ton of soccer leagues in Europe: England, Germany, France, Italy and Spain boast of the top five biggest soccer leagues.
On the other end, you could bet on international club and country competitions like the Champions League, CONCAFA, and the World Cup. The best part: there’s always a soccer game somewhere in the world.
7. Additional Sports
In Canada, almost every major sport in the world has a fanbase. Think of tennis, boxing, MMA, eSports, cricket and motorsport. All these sports have supporters in the country.
Better yet, these sports have leagues through which you can bet. All you need is to specialize in one or two sports. This way, you can invest in learning everything there’s about a sport. And in doing so, you can better your chances of winning sports bets regularly.