Folly Or Fandom? Ontario Bettors Sure Love Those Maple Leafs

Written By Dave Briggs on May 13, 2022 - Last Updated on May 16, 2022
ontario sportsbook toronto maple leafs odds

It’s no surprise the Toronto Maple Leafs are taking heavy action in the Ontario sports betting market. But the amount of action the Leafs are taking may surprise you.

Outside the province, the Buds have attracted around 6% of the futures bets on the Stanley Cup winner. Inside Ontario, that number is as high as a whopping 57%.

Thursday, the Tampa Bay Lightning scored in overtime to win 4-3 and push the first-round NHL series with the Leafs to Game 7. The rubber match is tonight (Saturday) at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The puck drops at 7 p.m.

With Toronto’s Stanley Cup hopes on the brink of either advancing or evaporating, wagering seems to mirror many Ontarians’ hopes that the Toronto Leafs can win it all for the first time in 55 years.

PointsBet reports massive discrepancy on Leafs’ chances

PointsBet sports analysts Michael Korn reports betting on the Leafs to win the Cup is weak outside of Ontario but strong within the province. He said:

“For our Stanley Cup market in Ontario, they are our most bet/highest handle team to win. They are accounting for 24% of the overall bet count and 22% of the overall handle.

“Outside of Ontario, in our Stanley Cup futures market, the Leafs represent less than 5% of the bet count and less than 3% of the handle (No. 7 in bet count and No. 13 in handle).”

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Chasm even wider at other Ontario sportsbooks

BetRivers Ontario reports similar bet-percentage totals in Ontario on the Leafs but a much higher handle percentage. BetRivers media rep Mike Tierney said:

“The Leafs dominate the Ontario market, with 51.5% of handle and 24.5% of bets. Outside Ontario, it’s 6.1% handle and 5.2% bets.”

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Meanwhile, BetMGM Ontario sports analyst John Ewing said 36% of all Ontario Stanley Cup futures bets are on Toronto. Outside of the province, just 6% of the Ontario bets are on the Leafs.

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57% of the action on the Leafs in Ontario via FanDuel

FanDuel’s media rep Jaime Eisen checked with the FanDuel traders:

“Ontario bettors have very much favoured the Leafs in the Stanley Cup winner market with 57% of the action being Leafs bets.  However, outside of Ontario, only 6% of the action in the Stanley Cup market has been Leafs bets.”

As for the first-round series itself, 62% of FanDuel Ontario bettors in Ontario bet the series would require seven games to be decided. Eisen said:

“In Ontario, The Leafs-Lightning series market has had more handle than all the other series combined with good two-way action. Outside of Ontario, it has been the second most bet on series with a much larger percentage of the bets on the Lightning.

Proline seeing strong Buds backing, too

Tony Bitonti, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp’s director of external communications, checked with the Proline sports team on the Leafs’ backing. Proline does not operate in the US, so he was only giving Ontario betting numbers.

Bitonti reported:

“The Leafs are leading the way with 28% of the action followed by Colorado (18%) and Tampa (8%). The other two Canadian teams, Edmonton and Calgary, are getting 6% and 5% respectively. We are also seeing plenty of action on game nights especially for the in-game bets and the player props.

“One interesting bet during the Tuesday night game, after the Leafs had fallen behind early, one customer bet $1,000 on the Leafs @ 3.25 odds to win for a total payout of $3,250.”

Also, Bitonti said the Leafs are taking 38% of the Proline action to win the Eastern Conference and advance to the Stanley Cup finals.

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Dave Briggs

Before joining PlayOntario, Dave spent more than 25 years as a writer and editor, mainly covering horse racing in Canada. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Western University and was a 2018 inductee into the Communicators' Corner of the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Beyond a deep passion for family and music, Dave has a mostly-tragic, life-long love of Detroit sports teams. He lives in Port Stanley, Ontario with his wife and their beloved Vizsla named California.

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