Sports betting is hugely popular in Canada, with punters wagering on a plethora of top-class action throughout the year.

This in-depth guide will tell you about some of the sports you can bet on, the different types of odds, betting strategies and the most important events held around the world.

  • Football: The NFL and CFL are amongst the most popular American Football competitions with Canadian punters. Bet on the moneyline, spreads, totals, futures, parlays and more.
  • Ice Hockey: The NHL is the pinnacle of the sport, offering punters in Canada the opportunity to bet on outright markets, match result, handicaps, totals and more.
  • Basketball: The NBA takes center stage in basketball, with fans able to bet on numerous markets including moneyline, quarter, half, handicap, spreads and totals.
  • Soccer: From the Premier League to the Champions League and more, soccer features thousands of betting markets including match result, first goalscorer, under/over and outright.
  • MMA: The UFC is undoubtedly the most popular MMA promotion, offering punters regular opportunities to wager on the fight result, round betting, mode of victory and more.
  • Tennis: The four Grand Slams – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open – are the top events in tennis, giving punters the chance to be on individual matches, sets, correct score, over-under and outright.
  • Horse Racing: The Breeders’ Cup, Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot, Melbourne Cup and Grand National are amongst the most famous horse racing events you can bet on.
  • Boxing: World championship boxing provides punters with great opportunities to boost their bankroll by betting on the moneyline, over/under, winning round and more.
  • Golf: Bookmakers offer hundreds of markets on top tournaments staged on the PGA and European Tours throughout the year including outright, head-to-head and 3-ball betting.

HOW TO CHOOSE SPORTS TO BET ON

With so many different sports to choose from it can be difficult to decide exactly what you should and shouldn’t be betting on.

Most people tend to stick to sports they understand and that is undoubtedly a worthwhile tactic to employ, particularly if you are aiming to make a profit from betting.

Having an insight into your chosen sport gives you an edge against the bookmaker and will help you make successful picks on a more regular basis.

For instance, if you have a deep understanding of the NHL but find that wagers on horse racing are eating into your bankroll, it makes sense to stick with the on-ice action.

With most top sports taking place throughout the year you are never far too far away from placing a bet on your favourite sport.

While it may be tempting to place a late-night wager on Australian greyhound racing, it may pay to keep your powder dry if this is a sport you don’t follow.

You may watch numerous sports, but it is highly likely that you are only fully au fait with one or two, so stick to these to give yourself the best chance of securing winning returns.

BETTING ODDS TYPES EXPLAINED

Odds are the numbers bookmakers use to determine how much you may win from placing your wagers on their sportsbooks.

Most of the top betting sites offer punters the chance to display odds as either a decimal or fraction, but the mathematics behind them is the same.

  • Decimal odds are perhaps the easiest to understand. For instance, if you place a $2 bet on a team to win at odds of 3.00 you would receive $6 ($2 x 3.00 = $6.00) if they are successful.
  • Fractional odds are also widely used by bookmakers and are easy to work out if you can follow simple mathematics. For example, if you bet $4 on a horse to win a race at odds of 11/4 you would receive $15 if it finishes first. The ‘11’ figure denotes your potential winnings, while the ‘4’ is your stake, so adding the two together gives you your returns.
  • US odds, also known as moneyline odds, are also popular in North America and are represented by the amount a punter has to wager in order to win $100. For instance, if you bet on a -125 favourite in the NFL, you must bet $125 in order to secure a net profit of $100.

BETTING STRATEGIES

  • Martingale: A strategy that requires you to double your stake after every loss. If you bet at odds of Evens or higher each time, you will secure a profit when you eventually back a winner (Martingale Betting).
  • Matched betting: Take advantage of sign-up offers to boost your bankroll using matched betting.
  • Bankroll management: All professional gamblers use bankroll management to handle the fluctuations experienced in sports betting successfully.
  • Value: Placing bets that have a higher chance of winning than implied by the bookmakers’ odds.
  • Backing big favourites: Betting only on short-priced favourites requires discipline, but can yield healthy profits over time.
  • Sports Arbitrage: Punters can ensure a profit by betting on the same outcome at two different prices by betting arbitrage.

TOP SPORT EVENTS AND TOURNAMENTS

  • Super Bowl: Held in early February, the Super Bowl is the NFL’s most prestigious event that determines the champion team for the season.
  • Stanley Cup: The oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America, the Stanley Cup is awarded to the play-off champion club of the NHL.
  • NBA Finals: This is an annual series staged over a maximum of seven games between the winners of the Eastern and Western Conferences to determine the champions of the NBA.
  • Golf Majors: The Masters, US Open, British Open and PGA Championship are the four major tournaments staged annually in golf.
  • Tennis Grand Slams: The Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open are the four most important tennis tournaments and are known as the Grand Slams.
  • Champions League: Running from July through to June, the Champions League is UEFA’s top competition for clubs across Europe.
  • Premier League: Widely recognized as the most competitive soccer league in Europe, the Premier League offers punters thousands of betting opportunities throughout the season.
  • World Cup: Staged every four years, the World Cup is the most prestigious tournament for international teams.
  • Breeders’ Cup: The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is an annual series of top-class thoroughbred horse racing held over two days during late October or early November.
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