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Hockey vs. Basketball: Comparing Canadian and American Betting Favorites

Sailun Tires

Betting in America and Canada at licensed iGaming sites is now more popular than ever, and some of the most popular sports to bet on in these two countries are football (as in soccer) – the NFL (National Football League) and the CFL (Canadian Football League), ice hockey – the NHL (National Hockey League), and basketball – the NBA (National Basketball Association). 

Other popular sports to bet on in America and Canada are soccer, especially the MLS (Major League Soccer), and most top-flight European Leagues, such as Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga, and England’s Premier League

Let’s dive straight in for a quick comparison between hockey and basketball – two of America and Canada’s betting favourites. 

A comparison between hockey and basketball betting in America and Canada

Ice hockey and basketball are completely different team sports, so as you would imagine, the types of bet types in ice hockey are somewhat different to basketball betting types. However, you also have some bet types that are the same in both sports, such as match result/outright winner. 

For example, the ‘1’ usually represents the home team to win. The ‘X’ usually represents the match ending in a draw, and the ‘2’ usually represents the away team winning. 

Some other betting types that are also similar in both sports are player points, total score (over/under), handicap betting, and player of the match. Generally, more betting types are available in your average ice hockey game than in your average basketball game. 

However, there are far more conferences and divisions in the NBA compared to the NFL, meaning there are more betting markets available in basketball than there are in ice hockey. 

In the NHL, for example, you can bet on the NHL Championship, the Eastern Conference, and the Western Conference. In the NBA, you can bet on the following:

  • NBA Championship
  • Western Conference
  • Eastern Conference
  • Southwest Division
  • Pacific Division
  • Northwest Division
  • Atlantic Division
  • Central Division
  • Southeast Division
  • NBA Rookie of the Year

Other popular bet types in the NBA are Most Improved Player, 6th Man of the Year, Play-Offs, Clutch Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and hundreds of markets for individual teams. 

What else is different between American and Canadian sports betting?

The odds format is the other most noticeable difference between betting in America and Canada. The three standard betting odds formats are fractional, decimal, and American/moneyline. 

If you haven’t already guessed, the American/moneyline format is commonly used in America more than anywhere else. In Canada, the decimal odds format is more common.  

In fact, the decimal odds betting format is used in most places, such as Continental Europe, Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and many other countries. In the United Kingdom, the fractional odds format is more widely used. 

American and Canadian betting odds format examples

Let’s take a quick look at how an American bet might appear using the American/moneyline odds format. We will also include the other odds formats and the implied probability rate associated with the odds. 

  • Milwaukee Bucks to win the 2023/24 NBA Championship outright – For this particular bet type right now, you might be looking at average American/moneyline odds of around +350. In other words, the IPR (implied probability rate) of the Milwaukee Bucks going on to win the NBA Championship this year is 22.20%. In the fractional odds format, +350 would look like 7/2, and in the decimal odds format, it would look like 4.50 
  • Nikola Jokic to win the 2023 NBA MVP – For this particular bet type right now, you might be looking at average American/moneyline odds of around +400 (20.00% IPR). In fractional odds, +400 would look like 4/1, and in the decimal odds format, it would look like 5.00

At some online sports betting sites, you can even change how the odds format appears on the website. Look for the ‘odds’ format’ button and then click or tap on this button to toggle the odds format. 

Although Canadians use the decimal odds format, you may find it much easier to understand the odds when they appear in the fractional odds format. Similarly, although Americans use the American/moneyline odds format, you may find it easier to use the decimal or fractional odds format, and so on. 

Final note

If you decide to place a real money wager on the NBA or NFL at a licensed iGaming site like the official 10bet website, make sure you are of legal age in your jurisdiction because it varies worldwide. 

For example, in many countries and regions, like Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, South Africa, India, Australia, and New Zealand, to name a few, you only need to be 18 to place sports bets or play online casino games for real money at licensed gambling sites. 

However, you may find that if you want to sign up to sites like these and you live in Canada, it’s 19, and in certain states in America, it might be 21. 


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