17 min read

How To Bet On Sports

Sports betting is a popular pastime in Canada, with many people enjoying the thrill of placing a wager on their favourite team or player.

However, it is important to remember that sports betting can be a risky activity, and it is important to gamble responsibly in order to avoid getting into financial difficulty.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Canada?

Yes, sports betting is legal in Canada. However, the laws and regulations surrounding online sports betting can be a bit confusing. That's why we've put together this helpful guide to ensure that you understand everything before placing your first bet.

In Canada, online sports betting is regulated by the Canadian Criminal Code. Section 201 of the code states that "no person shall operate a common gaming house or be found in one." This section is aimed at preventing people from running illegal gambling operations, but it doesn't specifically mention online sports betting.

This means that as long as you're placing bets with a licensed and reputable online sportsbook, you're not breaking any laws. There are no federal laws that make online sports betting explicitly illegal in Canada.

Favorites vs Underdogs

One aspect of sports betting that can be especially confusing for beginners is understanding the difference between favorites and underdogs.

Underdogs are simply teams or players who are expected to lose a particular game, race or tournament. A favorite is the opposite – they're the team or player who's favored to win. The odds will reflect who (the favorite or the underdog) is expected to come out on top so you'll know who you should be placing your money on.

This is important because most people tend to root for underdogs in sports, and this can affect their decision when it comes to placing a bet. But don't let your emotions get in the way of making sound bets! If you do, you might find yourself on the losing end, even if you're betting on the team or player that you actually want to win.

Types of Sports Bets

Now that you understand the basics of sports betting, it's time to learn about the different types of bets that you can place. Here are some of the most common types of bets that Canadian bettors can make:

Straight Bets

A straight bet is simply a bet on who you think will win a particular game, race or tournament. You're essentially picking one side to come out on top, and if they do, you'll win your bet.

Point Spread

Point spread betting is a bit more complex than straight betting. With this type of bet, the odds will be adjusted in order to level the playing field between the favorite and the underdog. This means that the favorite will have to win by more than the point spread for you to win your bet, and the underdog will have to lose by less than the point spread.


A moneyline bet is another type of bet that allows you to essentially pick a straight winner. You're betting on which team or player will be victorious, with no point spreads involved.

Over/Under (Totals)

Totals bets are also known as over/under bets because they involve wagering on whether the total number of points scored in a game will fall above or below a certain number. This makes them similar to point spread betting, except there's no favoritism towards either side – all that matters is how many points are actually scored during a game.

Parlay Bets

A parlay bet is a type of multiple bet, where you'll have to correctly predict the outcome of more than one game in order to win your bet. This can be a great way to maximize your potential profits if you're feeling lucky!


These are bets that you can make on events that won't be happening for a while yet. Typically, they involve placing money on the eventual winner of a tournament or league before the season has even begun. For example, you could bet on who you think will win the Stanley Cup before the NHL season.

Puck Line

Puck Line bets are most commonly used in hockey, but they can also be used for other sports like baseball. With this type of bet, the point spread is based on 1.5 goals instead of the usual 1 goal. So if the Maple Leafs are playing the Canadiens and the puck line is set at 1.5 goals, then the Leafs would have to win by 2 goals or more for you to win your bet. If they won by exactly 1 goal, it would be considered a push and your original stake would be returned to you.

What Does -110 Mean in Betting?

One common aspect of all forms of sports betting is that you'll often see odds in the form of moneylines. These can be written as follows:

Team A -110 Team B +120

These odds indicate how much you would stand to win if you bet $100 on Team A or Team B and they ended up winning. So with the example above, if you bet $100 on Team A, then the odds would say that you'd win $90.91. If you bet $100 on team B, however, you would stand to win a much larger sum of $120 (based on the +120 odds).

Do I Have to Pay Taxes on Winnings From Sports Betting in Canada?

Since sports betting is legal in Canada, you actually have to pay taxes on any winnings that you get from your bets. The amount will vary depending on how much you've won and which province or territory you're located in, but generally speaking the tax rate will be around 25% of your total winnings.

While this might seem like an excessive amount, it's important to remember that professional gamblers are able to deduct all of their gambling losses as business expenses, so the effect of these taxes is negligible overall. In fact, if you consistently make smart wagers and minimize your risks, then it's entirely possible that after factoring in your deductions for losses you could end up paying no tax at all when filing year-end returns.

Best Sports to Bet in Canada

There are a few different factors to consider when trying to determine which sport is the best to bet on. One is how much money you can potentially win, and another is how easy or difficult it is to make accurate predictions.

Based on these criteria, some of the best sports to bet on Canada are hockey, basketball, baseball, football, and soccer.


Hockey is one of the most popular sports in Canada, so it's no surprise that it's also one of the most popular sports to bet on. The average NHL game has around 6 goals scored, so there's a good chance that you'll be able to profit if you know what you're doing.


Basketball is another sport with a relatively high scoring average, which makes it a good option for betting. In addition, basketball is a relatively simple sport to understand, so it's easy to make predictions about who will win or lose each game.


Baseball is another popular sport in Canada, and it offers a lot of potential for profit if you're willing to do your research. The key to successful baseball betting is understanding how pitchers and batters match up against each other, as this can give you a significant edge over the bookmakers.


Football is a sport with a high scoring average, which makes it a good option for bettors. Football games are often decided by close margins, so even if you don't have perfect knowledge of the sport you can still make good predictions.


Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and it also has high scoring averages and a fairly simple ruleset for making predictions. If you're looking for an exciting sport to bet on that has a lot of potential for profit, then soccer is definitely worth considering.


UFC is a relatively new sport, but it's already become very popular in Canada. As with any other sport, the key to successful UFC betting is understanding the fighter's styles and how they match up against each other.

Horse Racing

Horse racing is a classic sport that has been around for centuries, and it offers a unique betting experience. If you're looking for a sport steeped in history and tradition, then horse racing is definitely worth considering.


The Canadian Football League is very similar to American football, so if you're familiar with betting on the NFL then it should be fairly easy to translate those skills over to CFL betting. In addition, since the CFL has a very small player pool and teams from coast-to-coast, there's a lot of opportunity for games that could be affected by things like weather conditions or travel.


Cricket is a sport that is popular in many countries around the world, but it's not as widely followed in Canada. However, that's not to say you can't place a bet on it in Canada.


Curling is one of the most popular sports in Canada, and it's also enjoyed a lot of success on the international stage. In addition to being an Olympic sport, curling is also part of the Winter Universiade, which includes both student athletes as well as professional athletes from around the world.

How to Bet on Sports Online?

To bet on sports online, you will need to create an account with a reputable online sports betting site. This typically involves providing some basic personal and contact information as well as choosing a username and password.

Once your account is created, you can fund it by linking it to your bank account or credit card, at which point you will be able to place bets in real-time using the website's user interface.

In order to make accurate predictions when betting on sports online, it helps to do as much research as possible about the teams or athletes involved. This could include reading news articles, watching past games or matches, and analyzing statistics such as player performance or weather conditions that may impact gameplay.

Another key element of successful sports betting is having a solid strategy in place. This could include using specific betting strategies, such as spread betting or parlays, or creating your own unique strategies for anticipating outcomes and making predictions.

Whatever approach you choose, the most important thing is to always stay disciplined and stick to your plan. This will help ensure that you are able to maximize your profits while minimizing your risk of losing money.

Best Sportsbooks in Canada

There are a number of different online sportsbooks that serve the Canadian market, and each one offers its own unique set of features and benefits.

Some of the most popular sportsbooks in Canada include:

  • Sports Interaction: Sports Interaction is one of the most user-friendly sportsbooks available, and it also offers a wide range of betting options, from traditional point spreads to more exotic props.
  • Bodog: Bodog is another sportsbook that is very popular among Canadian bettors, and it offers a sleek and easy-to-use interface as well as a wide variety of bets.
  • Bet365: Bet365 is a UK-based sportsbook that has a strong presence in Canada, offering a large selection of betting markets and competitive odds.
  • 888sport: 888sport is a relative newcomer to the online sports betting scene, but it has quickly become a favorite among Canadian bettors due to its wide range of bets and attractive sign-up bonus.

Tips for Sports Betting

When betting on sports in Canada, there are a few key things to keep in mind in order to maximize your chances of success.

First and foremost, it's important to make sure that you're only betting with money that you can afford to lose. It's also crucial to do as much research as possible before placing any bets, as this will give you the best chance of making accurate predictions.

Another important thing to remember is to always stay disciplined with your betting. This means setting a budget and sticking to it, as well as avoiding impulsive bets that could lead to financial losses. Finally, it's also helpful to take advantage of any bonuses or promotions offered by online sportsbooks, as this can give you an extra edge when placing bets.

Bet on Sports Responsibly

When it comes to sports betting, it is important to remember to bet responsibly. This means keeping it fun and not letting it become an addiction. Sports betting can be a great way to add excitement to your favorite sport, but it should never take over your life. If you find that you are spending more time thinking about betting than you are about the actual sport, then it is time to step back and take a break.

Oliver Campbell
Oliver Campbell
1 December 2022 15:21