Sports have always been an important value in Canadian culture. Canadian sports are one of the biggest and longstanding traditions within the country, so sports betting on these major events go hand-in-hand to elevate the excitement you feel while watching the outcome play out.
While of course there are the major sports leagues within North America such as the NHL, NBA, MLB, and MLS that include Canadian-based teams, you can find several sports betting guides centred around these teams on their respective league pages. In this guide, we will take a deep dive into all of the Canadian sports that you can bet on, from the mainstream to the obscure.
There’s never a shortage of sports to bet on within the Great White North, so find a sport/league below and you can add a sense of Canadiana to your patriotic bet slip.
Canadian Hockey League
Easily the most popular sport in Canada, there’s no shortage of ways to wager on hockey. From the pros, to the juniors, all the way to the Olympics, Canadian hockey is a lucrative betting market.
Betting hockey allows you to wager on the outcome of games including the winning team, OVER/UNDER on goals scored, or betting the point-differential of the final score.
Some Canadian hockey betting markets will allow you to bet with even more specifics including player and game props to wager on including betting on goal-scorers, total shots, and more.
While the NHL may be king, there is plenty of great hockey outside of the big leagues to wager on. One of the several great betting options comes from the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and the three leagues that combined make up the CHL.
Each amateur league has their own teams that compete at the Junior A level and produce the stars of tomorrow as they build their legacies through the early stages of their careers.
At the end of the regular season, the CHL hosts the Memorial Cup, a longstanding tradition in junior hockey where the champions of the three CHL leagues face off (along with the selected host city) to determine who is the number-one junior team in the country. The Memorial Cup structure has changed over time since it was first competed for in 1919.
Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is one of the three major junior leagues that make up the CHL. Founded in 1980, junior hockey within Ontario has a rich history that dates back almost a century before the OHL’s official formation.
The OHL consists of 20 teams, 17 of which are located in the province of Ontario, the remaining three all located in the United States, two in Michigan, and one in Pennsylvania.
Players within the OHL come from all over the world to play in one of the top junior leagues in existence. The OHL produces the highest amount of NHL & Canadian National Team talent of any other junior hockey league in the world, and the level of talent on each team is impressive, to say the least.
Western Hockey League
The CHL’s representative from the West of Canada, the Western Hockey league (WHL) is another top Canadian hockey league for fans of the sport to wager on.
Similar in structure to the OHL, the WHL is made up of 22 teams, 17 located in the Western provinces of Canada (Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia), and five within the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
The WHL is the oldest of the three major junior hockey leagues, founded in 1966, the WHL has been a landing spot for some of the game’s best players as they carve out a name for themselves en route to the pros.
The WHL has produced arguably the highest level of talent overall as they currently sit with the most total Memorial Cup victories with 19 (OHL has 17 and the QMJHL sits last with 14 total wins).
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
The last of the three junior hockey leagues that make up the CHL, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) plays host to the junior teams from Quebec & the East coast of Canada.
The QMJHL consists of 18 teams all based within Canada, this is the only league of the three CHL members that does not feature the inclusion of teams based in the United States.
The QMJHL was founded in 1969 and has produced numerous all-time great talents since its inception. While some of the teams that are a part of the QMJHL are small in size, they are immensely popular in their local areas.
With wild fans and high-level hockey, the QMJHL is home to some of the best Canadian hockey action available.
A staple in Canadian Sports culture, the Canadian National Hockey team is the most storied National team in the country.
With numerous championships, gold medals, and other various prizes won over the past century, International Hockey in Canada is a must-see spectacle and can be one of the most exciting sports markets to bet on.
From current-day staples of the sport such as the Olympics and World Juniors, to tournaments that no longer exist like the World Cup of Hockey or the Summit Series, Canadian Hockey is synonymous with success.
International hockey competitions are the top spot for Canadian-focused betting based on the number of markets readily available, and hey, what beats watching Canada win it all and seeing your bankroll grow all at the same time?
It may not be the first sport you think of when you picture Canadian sports, but Canadian football is one of the oldest professional sports to take place within the country.
While our neighbours to the south may be more popular with the National Football League, Canadian football actually predates the NFL and still is played at a high level with its own set of unique rules and regulations when compared to their American counterparts.
For those unfamiliar with the major differences between Canadian and American football, while the premise of the game is still the same, there are a few key differences in how the games are played.
The first difference between the two sports comes in the form of downs in a series, in American football, the offence is given four downs to reach the first-down marker, in Canadian football you are only given three.
The American game is also played with a smaller ball with smaller fields & endzones, with the goalposts located out of the field of play, whereas Canadian football has the goalposts located dead centre on the goal line.
In the CFL there are 12 players on each team on the field at one time, but in the NFL that would be cause for a “too many men” penalty as they only allow 11 on each side at one time.
Other major differences exist between the two sports ranging from kick/punt return rules, timekeeping, fumble rules, and more, all culminating in two truly exciting and unique sports.
In regards to Canadian football, due to these differences (bigger fields, bigger balls, less downs,) games are often much more passing-based and result in higher scores on average.
Canadian football is a great way to bet on Canadian sports and is easily accessible at all of the best sportsbooks in the country.
Canadian Football League
The highest level of Canadian football is played in the Canadian Football League (CFL). With all of the top talent drafted from the Canadian Collegiate level, as well as players from the United States, the CFL is a fantastic betting option for Canadian sports.
While Canadian football can be traced back to the 1860s, the CFL was founded in 1958 and has been a constant within the Canadian sports landscape ever since.
The CFL has seen major changes within its storied history, including the inclusion of American teams, but currently, the CFL remains with 9 teams, all based within Canada, with a 10th team possible soon to enter the league’s ranks.
The CFL season is played over the course of the summer, all culminating in the hopes of winning the prestigious Grey Cup.
The Grey Cup was first competed for in 1909, and while the teams competing for it have changed over the past century, its value has never diminished.
There is no shortage of bets to be placed on the CFL all year round. Whether you want to take it game by game or bust out your crystal ball and make a futures wager, the CFL always has action to be taken up on.
CFL games can be wagered on by betting the moneyline, point spread, point total, and of course player/game props.
Often people assume Canadas national sport to be hockey but in reality the national sport of the country is Lacrosse.
With historical ties to the nations aboriginal roots, lacrosse is one of the most popular sports played in the country from coast to coast.
Whether it is box or field lacrosse, the sport combines strength, agility, and strategy into a high-octane, skill sport. While the sport is not commonplace worldwide, there are still some terrific leagues for Canadian fans to bet on within North America.
National Lacrosse League
Bursting onto the scene in 1986, the National Lacrosse League (NLL) has been the leader in professional lacrosse since its inception.
With loads of talented players squaring off in the confines of jam-packed arenas full of diehard fans, the NLL provides an electric atmosphere to match the energy and excitement generated by the sport itself.
The NLL is comprised of 14 teams (with a 15th soon to enter the leagues ranks) within two conferences, five of which are based in Canada.
Box Lacrosse is a fantastic sport to bet on due to its high scoring nature, opportunity for player props, and hard-hitting action. Head to your favourite sportsbook today and place your first NLL wager.
Premier Lacrosse League
A hot new league in the Lacrosse world, the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) was the brainchild of former-NLL player Paul Rabil and has instantly become a direct competitor to his former league both in level of play and popularity.
Thanks to a strong media presence and fantastic marketing strategy, within their first season the PLL exploded onto the pro-lacrosse scene and has continued to show steady growth each season. Founded in 2018 the PLL may rival the NLL but it is a completely different league.
The first major difference comes from the sport played, the NLL is a box lacrosse league, whereas the PLL is field lacrosse.
The major differences coming from the field of play, equipment used/worn, and contact rules. The PLL also does not have home teams, they instead work as a traveling league with games being played in various cities across North America.
Betting on the PLL is the same as most traditional sports, allowing players to wager on moneyline, point spread, point total, and in some markets player props.
The beautiful game is a terrific betting option for Canadian sport lovers. With the rising popularity of the sport within the country as well as continued National Team success, soccer continues to grow as a viable betting option for fans looking to get some skin in on the game.
Canadian Premier League
Launched in 2017, the Canadian Premier League (CPL) has rapidly increased both in popularity as well as in talent level found on the pitch.
The CPL is the best place to catch homegrown talent from across the country, with eight highly competitive teams all vying for their chance to compete for the Canadian Championship.
The Canadian Championship also features top Canadian teams from outside of the CPL including the Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC.
Soccer betting can be extremely lucrative with attractive odds and betting lines positioned for each game, fans can certainly get their moneys worth when betting on the CPL.
FIFA World Cup
With the Canadian Mens National Team beginning to rise up the ranks of the world standings, and the Women’s National Team still a proven powerhouse, we are slowly moving into a golden age of Canadian soccer.
Cheering on Canada at the World Cup will only get sweeter as Canada will be a co-host of the FIFA World Cup alongside the United States and Mexico in 2026.
This will bring all Canadian soccer betting excitement to a fever pitch with the chance to claim victories on home soil both on the pitch as well as in your bankroll.
There are no shortage of betting markets available for the FIFA World Cup, with sportsbooks making everything and anything available to wager on for the biggest sporting event on the planet.
Invented in 1891 by Canadian Dr. James Naismith, basketball has exploded in popularity within the country (largely in thanks to the Toronto Raptors)in the past few decades, producing homegrown world-class talent and becoming a household favourite in Canada.
With hoops as commonplace in driveways as hockey nets, basketball continues its growth in the country and has even seen expansion in the form of its own Canadian leagues.
Canadian Elite Basketball League
A new venture that began play in 2019, the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) has burst onto the scene and found immense popularity. With terrific Canadian basketball talent found on each roster, the CEBL is a fantastic way for avid basketball bettors to wager outside the norm and stay close to home with their bets.
The CEBL has grown quickly in popularity not only for its excellent on-court product, but for several topical moments in the sports world including the signing of hip-hop artist J Cole to the Scarborough Shooting Stars in 2022.
The CEBL has also had several players from within its ranks play within the NBA in recent years, proving their talent is on an incredibly high level.
The CEBL provides plenty of betting options at most sportsbooks, giving players the option to wager on traditional markets such as moneylines, point spreads, and point totals, to more specific bets like player/game props, and of course futures.
Both at the USports (University) and CCAA (College) levels, collegiate sports are alive and well in Canada. Canadian collegiate sports produce amazing talent, some of which go on to play their respective sport at the next level all around the globe.
From the mainstays such as hockey and basketball, to the less observed sports such as wrestling and badminton, there is no shortage of collegiate action taking place in the Great White North.