sports betting terms

Sports Betting Guides & Tips 2021

While sports betting had a troubled past in Canada, it never stopped millions of punters from betting on sports nonetheless. Well – the troubling part is about to change!

In light of the latest changes in Canadian law regarding online sports betting, we’ve decided to prepare a comprehensive guide and take you through all major aspects to help you understand how sports betting works.

We will take a look into all types of bets at online betting sites, types of bettors, the latest Canadian sports betting laws, and a sports betting strategy to help you make better decisions.

Let’s kick it off with a few interesting facts and trivia about sports betting in general and where it all began!

Introduction to Sports Betting

According to historians, betting on sports dates back to the mists of time – Ancient Rome. The first serious expansion of sports betting occurred in the UK, where punters would bet on horse races in the early 18th century.

By the late 19th century, Canada was among the first countries to adopt this sports betting industry and formally introduce laws to govern real money sports betting.

Fast forward two centuries – we now have brick-and-mortar bookmakers at millions of locations, followed by even more online sportsbooks. Betting is now as easy as firing up your mobile device, accessing a sportsbook, and placing a bet.

However, it’s all fine and dandy until you start losing your hard-earned dollar because you’ve no idea what you’re doing!

To avoid that – let’s begin the class – Sports Betting 101.

The Different Types of Sport Bets

By accessing a sportsbook, you will come across sports betting terms you’ve never heard of before. Therefore, in the following section – we will break down all bet types and familiarize you with what they stand for.

Moneyline Bet

Moneyline bets are the most straightforward ones – you simply wager on the team you presume will win the match. You only have two choices – either to bet on the underdog or the favourite to win the game.

Point Spreads

The point spread, also known as a handicap bet, is a type of wager you place on the margin of victory. Think of an NBA game between the LA Lakers and the Chicago Bulls. Suppose the LA Lakers are the favourites, and they’re listed at a -7 point spread. If you bet on this point spread, the Lakers will have to win the game with at least 8 point difference for you to win your bet.

If, on the other hand, the Lakers win precisely with a 7 point advantage – you will get your initial stake back, and this scenario is known as ‘push.’

The point spread applies to all sports, and they’re typically a go-to choice when betting on higher-scoring sports such as basketball, baseball, etc.


With over/under, you simply bet on whether the total amount of points will go above or below the bookmaker’s predetermined value.

For example, a football game between the GB Packers and the ARZ Cardinals can have a total of 39 points. Your job is to guess whether the total number of points will go over or under this value.

Prop Bets

A prop bet is a wager you place on events that will or will not happen during a game. These events don’t directly affect the outcome, and they all differ based on the type of sport.

For example, you can bet on the first team to take a corner kick in a soccer match. Or, you can bet on the team to score the longest touchdown in football. The list is never-ending, and prop bets are typically a pure gamble based on luck.

Standard Parlays

Parlays or Acca sports bets are types of wagers where you combine two or more individual matches in a single sports betting slip where they depend on one another. It’s the type of wager you go for when you want to win the big bucks while risking only a little. However, if only one outcome goes against you – your entire parlay loses.

The betting odds in parlay tickets are multiplied with one another, thus providing higher payouts.

Progressive Parlays

Progressive Parlays are bets on different sports that you combine into one betting ticket. A progressive parlay typically includes betting on 4+ completely separate events. The likelihood of you winning all of your selected sports bets is small; hence the high payouts for placing these types of wagers.


Simply put, teasers are modified parlay bets with an additional point spread. With teaser wagers, you can bet on a minimum of two teams. Most bookies offering sports betting online on the NFL will provide you with a six-point spread that you can distribute any way you like.

Let’s say you’re about to combine a teaser of two matches – SF 49ers vs. CHI Bears (+4) and ATL Falcons vs. CAR Panthers (+3). By placing a teaser bet, you can adjust the six-point spread to your advantage. Therefore, you can bet on the CHI Bears (+7 ) this time because of the additional point spread) and the CAR Panthers (+6) to not lose the game by more than 7 and 6 points, respectively.

It’s a bet you are more likely to win compared to standard parlays, but it issues smaller payouts for the cost of it.


With teasers, you are moving the betting lines to your advantage, whereas with pleasers – you’re moving them towards the sportsbook. This means that you’re giving the sportsbook an advantage over you in exchange for better betting odds.

Ifs and Reverses

If and Reverse bets are a bit more complicated than the others. By placing an ‘if’ wager, and the initial match you wagered money on wins, the following bet will be automatically placed. If not, you will lose your stake.

Therefore, each subsequent match depends on the outcome of the previous one. By winning your first bet in an ‘if’ wager, you will get paid an amount equal to your original stake. The amount you win is then wagered on the following selection. If you win your bet again, you will get paid out minus your initial stake, which continues as long as you win bets.

Reverse bets, on the other hand, are wagers that go in all directions. By placing a reverse stake, you eliminate the possibility of losing on profits if your initial bet doesn’t come through, which is the case in a normal ‘if’ bet.

Full Covers

Full covers are parlay bets but with a bigger winning chance. To bet on the full cover, you must choose between 3 to 8 selections of different bets. Popular full cover bets include:

  • Trixie (3 Selections)
  • Yankee (4 Selections)
  • Canadian (5 Selections)
  • Heinz (6 Selections)
  • Super Heinz (7 Selections)
  • Goliath (8 Selections)

Let’s look at the Trixie, as it’s the easiest one to understand. Suppose you want to bet on the NHL, and you select the Capitals, the Panthers, and the Bruins to win their respective games. If only two of them win the game – you will still get paid, which is not the case with standard parlay bets. Therefore, when placing a full cover bet, you will need a minimum of two positive outcomes. However, the payouts will be smaller.

Futures | Outrights

Futures bets or outrights are stakes you place on an event or a tournament that will conclude in the future. This includes betting on the NHL’s champion, the Super Bowl winner, etc.

Other Types of Wagers

The above-mentioned types are what you’ll most likely come across at most sports betting sites. However, there are a couple of additional types of wagers, and we will explain them below.

Grand Salami

The Grand Salami is basically an over/under bet on steroids. It’s usually offered by sportsbooks featuring professional sports leagues such as the NHL, and you’re supposed to guess whether the total amount of points scored in a whole day’s worth of games or an entire contest is going to be over or under.

Run Line

Just another name for the point spread – baseball’s run line. That’s because calling it a point spread in a game with no points would be just… weird. Just like the regular spread, the run line requires you to place a bet on the margin of runs one baseball team will achieve over the other.

Puck Line

Puck line is a synonym for the point spread, and it’s used in hockey. The difference is that the puck line always features a +1.5 and -1.5 point spread. That’s because ice hockey is a game without high scores, which doesn’t leave too much room for the puck line to vary.

Correct Score

Predicting the correct score requires some serious betting skills. Or luck.

It’s one of those betting options that, if you manage to guess right – you’ll get a solid payout. All you have to do is literally predict the exact outcome of a game.

7 Different Ways to Bet on Sports

Other than various sports betting types to get familiar with, you should know all the ways to bet online on sports. These include fixed-odds betting, live betting, fantasy sports, etc. We will break them down below in great detail.

Fixed Odds Sports Betting

Betting on fixed-odds means placing bets on a specific outcome of the match with no further odds fluctuations. You’re basically securing a given payout at the time of placing your bet.

Pari-Mutuel Betting

Pari-Mutuel betting is also known as pool betting. Rather than betting against the sportsbook – you’re wagering against other punters in a pool of bets on the same event. All of the stakes go into one place, and the total value of the pool is shared by those who picked the winner.

Exchange Betting

Exchange-betting platforms allow users to bet against each other rather than a sportsbook. It’s a scenario where one bettor will always win. Users can both offer and request odds from other punters. Exchange betting is currently taking its toll on the sports betting market and is considered an honest betting platform as opposed to sportsbooks.

Live Betting

Live betting is precisely what the name suggests – placing a wager while the game is in motion. You should keep in mind, though – as the game’s score changes, the odds will too. Live betting is an excellent option if you were late to place a bet, or you can sense a sensational comeback about to happen.

Spread Betting

Spread betting is a system that evens out the odds between the underdog and the favourite. Most sportsbooks feature spread odds of -110 for both sides, with the point spread favouring the underdogs. So, by staking CA$110 on any of these teams – you will win $100 if your prediction is correct. The spread can vary based on the skill and form difference between the teams.

Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) are games played on the internet. They work by participants assembling a team of famous athletes and engaging in head-to-head battles where the winner is picked based on statistics. Players can now bet on the outcome of their matches, which is just another form of creative online sports gambling.

Round Robin Betting

Robin Round bets are a special type of parlay bets with 3 or more teams involved. These bets take the form of a tournament where every team has to play against the other. To explain it better, let’s take a look at an example:

  • Calgary Flames + Seattle Kraken
  • Calgary Flames + Vancouver Canucks
  • Seattle Kraken + Vancouver Canucks

Let’s say you picked these three teams to create a Round Robin wager, and all of them share the same odds of +250. If you wager CA$100 on each of them, and they all hit – you will get CA$750 in winnings.

However, if one team doesn’t hit- you will lose two of the wagers. It’s a solid sports bet that covers your initial wager, as only by hitting one of them, you stand to nearly make up for your losses.

The Different Kinds of Sports Bettors

Millions of punters compose the sports betting ocean. Below, we will examine them one-by-one, and advise you on which type you should never become.

Recreational Bettors

These punters are typically new customers or gamblers betting for entertainment purposes on popular events such as the Super Bowl. They make up a solid part of the online gambling industry, and they’re not trying to win any money but place wagers from time to time because it’s fun.

Sports Fans

Sports fans are another popular category, and they wager almost exclusively on the type of sport they follow. Sports fans are usually familiar with the game they’re betting on, and they mostly do it to spice up their experience while watching a certain game.

Blind Followers

Blind followers are one category you should try to avoid. These types of bettors follow only one team, and they always back it up by betting real money. They’re unable to conclude an unbiased opinion; therefore – they stand to lose more than win.

Stat-Obsessed Bettors

You’ll also come across stat-obsessed bettors that follow weather conditions, injuries, team performance, individual team form, previous results – you name it. You can also call them pro sports bettors, as these are the ones that actually make profits.

Parlay Bettors

Parlay bettors are the ones hunting for big winnings but risking small amounts. They will typically combine 5+ matches in a single betting slip and wager CA$10. If the outcome is good, they stand to win a solid return.

Bonus Hunters

Most sportsbooks provide free bets for new customers. Consequently, you have numerous bettors hunting for these bonuses – willing to register with as many sportsbooks as they can.


In simple words, sports trading is placing two bets against each other. Sports traders do this to ensure they profit, and they do it at betting exchanges like Betfair. It’s similar to trading the stock market, but instead of trading stocks – you’re trading sports events. Sports traders don’t care who wins or loses the game because they will win money as long as they are on the right side of the price movement.

Experienced Pros/Handicappers

Professional bettors, commonly known as handicappers, are a small group of punters that focus on the wagers of sporting events. They are constantly striving to achieve an edge over sportsbooks by finding a loophole in the bets they offer. Pro handicappers don’t care about the sport – all they care about is crunching the numbers and developing an edge to profit.

Gambling Degenerates

Itch to gamble. Just one more bet. This time, I’ll win! Doesn’t this sound awfully familiar?

Gambling degenerates are the worst group of gamblers who can’t control their urges and will typically lose more than they can afford. Don’t be one of them! And if you need help, please contact the National Gambling Helpline.

Betting Strategy | Sport Betting Guides

If sports betting is all about making profits for you, you have to follow specific criteria. You can also trust your gut feel, but it will only take you so far. Therefore, let’s see what should you consider before betting on sports online:

  • Emotion and chasing losses can only lead to bad decisions
  • Track each players’ performance
  • Track the team’s form
  • Read the latest news
  • Track injuries
  • Check the weather and who performs better on sunny/rainy days
  • Examine history games

If you execute each sports betting tip successfully, we can’t guarantee you will always win – but your chances of becoming profitable will definitely increase!

Provinces and Territories That Legalized Sports Betting in Canada

Real money betting on sports was always a shady subject in Canada. Now, with the C-218 stepping into force on August 27th, 2021, provincial governments are allowed to regulate and introduce single-event sports for punters to bet on legally. The current territories fully regulated by lotteries on a provincial level include:

  • Quebec
  • British Columbia
  • Ontario
  • Eastern Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island)
  • Western Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut)

However, online betting was more unregulated than illegal across the state. Even before the C-218, countless Canadians placed bets at offshore European sportsbooks, which isn’t considered a crime.

Most Popular Sports and Events to Bet On in Canada

Hockey – all the way! The passion, anger, and joy Canadians share for ice hockey is unmatched by any other sport! It all culminates with the NHL’s Stanley Cup – the most anticipated sporting event in Canada.

However, not every Canadian is a fan of hockey, and other popular sports include:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • American Football
  • Tennis
  • UFC
  • College Football
  • Soccer

You will come across most of these sports in nearly all online sportsbooks.

Best Online Sports Betting Sites in Canada

Considering that not all sportsbooks are legit, we’ve prepared a list for you showcasing the best sports betting sites you’ll come across.

  • Sports Interaction
  • Betway
  • HPIbet
  • Bet365
  • LeoVegas

These are 5 of the best online sportsbooks we picked, and they are all licensed and feature a safe gambling environment with a few incentives for all new punters who join them.

Fastest Withdrawal Options for Sports Betting in Canada

Canadians won’t face a lack of options when it comes to withdrawing money from a bookie. Below, you can check out the most popular options and their average withdrawal time:

  • Interac – 30 minutes
  • MasterCard and VISA – 3-5 days
  • Neosurf – 1 hour
  • ecoPayz – Within 3 days
  • PayPal – Within 72 hours
  • Paysafecard – Within 3 days
  • Cryptocurrencies – Instant once processed.

Other than these, you will also uncover other options, including ApplePay, Check, InstaDebit, MuchBetter, MiFinity, AstroPay, Jeton, etc.

Online Sports Betting FAQ Section

Is online sports betting legal?

As of 27th August 2021, sports betting in Canada is legal in Quebec, British Columbia, Ontario, and certain provinces in Eastern and Western Canada.

How can I get started with online sports betting?

To start betting, find a licensed and reputable gambling site, register a sports betting account, verify it, deposit money, and place a bet. That’s it!

How do I place a bet and where?

You can sign up with Betway, Sports Interaction, or any other bookmaker you prefer. Once you do, open the game you want, select your bet type, and place a bet.

What are betting pools and sweepstakes?

Betting pools are a unique form of gambling where a group of punters bet on a single event. Those who guess the outcome of the event will all share the money from the betting pool.

Can you explain what sports betting odds are?

Sports betting odds are numbers featured by bookmakers to showcase the likelihood of the outcome of a particular game. The higher the odds, the bigger the payout, but the less likely for you to win your bet.

What are probability and implied probability in betting odds?

Calculating the implied probability is vital in determining the potential value in the betting markets. It’s basically converting the odds into a percentage.

What are decimal and fractional odds?

Decimal odds feature the amount you win for every CA$ you wager. For example, a 2.0 odds will double your stake. Fractional odds allow you to easily calculate your winning amount compared to your stake. Fractional odds are typically displayed as 9/1, 8/2, etc.

What are American odds?

American odds represent how much you stand to win if you wager CA$100. If you wager CA$100 on a +140 odds, you will make a profit of CA$140.

What is vigorish and how does it work?

The vig, also known as house-edge or margin, is the fee charged by a bookmaker for accepting your bet. If the vig didn’t exist, sportsbooks wouldn’t make money.

What does it mean to wager in-game?

Wagering in-game means betting while the game is in motion.

Where can I find more sports betting guides online?

Canadian Gambler is a great and trustworthy source to start learning about sports betting.

What are the gambling laws in Canada regarding sports betting?

Bettors residing in Quebec, British Columbia, Ontario, and certain Eastern and Western Canada provinces can now legally bet on single-event sports. Furthermore, gambling at offshore online sportsbooks isn’t considered breaking the law.

Do I need to pay taxes on my sports betting winnings?

The Canadian rule regarding legal gambling winnings in Canada is straightforward. You don’t have to pay any taxes on your winnings unless you are a professional gambler.

Last Updated on November 21, 2021

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