Ontario Sports Bettors Lose Big As Canada Bounced From Women’s World Cup

Written By Matthew Lomon on August 1, 2023
Vanessa Gilles at 2023 Women's World Cup

Canada’s run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup came to an abrupt end after a 4-0 shellacking from host Australia. And Ontario sports bettors lost big, as well.

Coming into Monday morning’s match, the job was clear for the Canadians: win, or at the very least, draw, and guarantee a spot in the round of 16. After all, Canada, the defending Olympic gold medalists, had the second-best odds of winning Group B entering the tournament.

However, it didn’t take long for those dreams to turn grim, in what was an Aussie onslaught from very beginning. Hayley Raso netted two goals before halftime, the first coming at the nine-minute mark, to give the 10th-ranked Matildas an early advantage. Canada, reeling on both sides of the pitch, failed to put a shot on target in the first half.

Despite their backs pressed against the wall, the story of the second half remained largely the same. Two more goals in extra time, one via a penalty kick, sealed Canada’s fate. This marked the first time that Canada failed to advance to the knockout round since 2011.

The surprising result surely disrupted the Women’s World Cup odds, as most Canadian sports betting sites had the Canucks among the top 10 teams to win it all.

Ontarians lost big on Canadian squad in regulated market

The end result left much to be desired, but it wasn’t for a lack of support from those that placed bets with an Ontario sportsbook.

Early numbers from the FanDuel Trading Team show Canada represented almost half of all outright bets in the Ontario market to win the tournament. Further, it generated the second-highest amount of stakes, trailing only tournament favourites, the United States. By comparison, Canada was the 10th most bet on team via FanDuel’s US operations.

Comparatively, a spokesperson from theScore Bet told PlayCanada that more than 50% of bettors chose Canada to win the tournament.

Keeping the theme of disappointed bettors alive, the betting numbers for Monday’s elimination game against Australia aren’t pretty. The FanDuel Ontario market saw a head-turning 70% of bets and 50% of stakes on Canada in the win-draw-win market.

Suffice it to say, more than a few accounts are looking a little lighter after the events of this past week.

Government-run platform wasn’t any kinder to Ontario bettors

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation also released the numbers from its Proline site, and as expected, Canada backers didn’t fare much better than their third-party counterparts.

The results show Proline bettors firmly sided with Team Canada in Monday’s game.

  • 52% of wagers were placed on Canada to win, 29% on a draw, and just 19% on Australia.
  • The over/under 2.5 goals line had more parity, with 45% of bets on the over and 55% on the under.
  • The most popular ‘Correct Score’ market was the exhilarating nil-nil finish, which generated a 17% share
  • Subsequently, only 0.23% of bettors accurately predicted the correct final score, 4-0 in favour of Australia

Notably, the potential elimination game produced the least amount of wagering activity amongst Canada’s three round robin matches. All three did crack the top 10 in terms of most wagered upon games, but the activity level dropped contest to contest.

This undesirable pattern proved more to be a reflection of unfavourable start times for Canadian viewers than anything else.

Strong track record and interesting group made Canada an intriguing World Cup bet

Apart from the Olympic win in Tokyo, the Canadian women’s national team has been a force on the international stage for quite some time now.

This year’s roster featured holdovers from Canadian soccer’s greatest triumph, in legendary attacker Christine Sinclair and three-time Canadian Player of the Year Kadeisha Buchanan. However, the team’s overall outlook leading into the tournament wasn’t as promising as years past.

That said, they landed in an interesting group alongside Australia, Ireland, and Nigeria. Many pundits saw this group as one of the toughest in the tournament, with all four teams landing inside the top 40 in FIFA’s Women’s rankings.

Canada’s international ranking (seventh) made them an appealing choice to win a relatively evenly matched group at plus-odds.

Support now turns to other most bet on nations

So, with Canada now out of the tournament, who might Ontarians be cheering for moving forward? According to FanDuel’s numbers, there are four teams that stand out based on the total number of bets and stake.

Three most popular teams by number of bets:

  1. United States
  2. England
  3. Germany

Three most popular by total amount staked:

  1. United States
  2. Germany
  3. Spain

Unsurprisingly, these are the four teams remaining with the lowest odds to hoist the trophy. But if Canada’s flop was any indication of what’s to come, bettors could be in for a long tournament.

Photo by Victoria Adkins / AP Photo
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Matthew Lomon

Matthew Lomon has been a contributor at Catena Media’s network of regional sites since July 2022. He first broke into covering the legal North American gambling industry with PlayCanada. Since then, Matthew's reporting has extended to PlayMichigan, PlayPennsylvania, and PlayIllinois. Based out of Toronto, Ontario, Matthew is an avid (bordering on fanatic) sports fan.

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