How Do Ontario Betting Odds Work At New Ontario Sportsbooks?

Ontario sports betting odds are about to get a major upgrade. On April 4, private companies that have secured Ontario igaming licenses will launch in Ontario. They will break the monopoly previously held by Ontario’s online lottery-run sportsbook, Proline+. With new competition, Ontario sports bettors will have access to better odds than they did with only one legal sportsbook on the market.

Here’s how betting odds work in Ontario, how to find the best Ontario sports betting apps, and why Ontarians can expect better odds. 

Reading Ontario Sportsbook Odds

There are three ways to read odds: American, fractional, and decimal. These formats are different ways of telling bettors how much they could win based on how much they bet. Online sportsbooks offer settings for bettors to choose their preferred odds format.

American odds are displayed as negative and positive odds. This odds format tells bettors how much money they could win on a $100 bet or how much they need to wager to win $100. For example, a +200 line means that bettors could win $200 if they wagered $100. Negative odds are different. Negative odds tell bettors how much they have to wager to win $100. So, a line with -200 odds would require bettors to wager $200 to win $100.

Fractional odds show a ratio for how much bettors can win based on how much they stake. For example, 10/1 odds means that bettors who wager $1 will win $10 in profit. Upon payout, bettors would get their $1 stake back plus $10 in profit. If bettors wagered $100 on 10/1 odds, they would stand to win $1,000 in profit. It’s an easy way to gauge potential profit at a glance.

Finally, decimal odds show bettors how much they would win for every dollar they wagered. For example, decimal odds of 2.1 mean that bettors would win $2.10 for every $1 they wagered. A $10 wager would win $21. A $20 wager would win $42, and so on.

Each of these odds tells bettors how much they stand to win and offers a rough estimate of public opinion about the chances of each outcome. One format isn’t better than the other, though. It all comes down to each bettor’s preference.

Comparing Ontario Sportsbooks’ Odds

Every oddsmaker walks a tightrope. They can lean to one side and offer better odds at the expense of expected profit. Or, they can offer lower odds in exchange for higher expected profit. 

Here’s an example of moneyline odds at PointsBet Ontario and BetMGM Ontario on the NHL game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins: 

 PointsBet Moneyline OddsBetMGM Moneyline Odds
Toronto Maple Leafs-221-200
Boston Bruins+180+170
Expected Profit4.36%3.57%

A few things are happening in this set of odds. First, BetMGM’s odds on the Maple Leafs are better than PointsBet’s. If you want to win $100 on the Maple Leafs with BetMGM, you’ll have to wager $200. Whereas, if you want to win $100 on the Maple Leafs with PointsBet, you’ll have to wager $221. However, PointsBet’s Bruins odds are better than BetMGM’s. If you bet $100 on the Bruins at PointsBet, you could win $180. If you bet $100 on the Bruins at BetMGM, you could win $170.

So, judging a book completely by expected profit on a line doesn’t give bettors the full picture. Even though PointsBet offers less competitive odds on the Maple Leafs, it offers a better deal for bettors who want to put money on the Bruins.

Sportsbooks commonly offer better odds on one side of the line at the expense of the other side. It’s a way they can offer better odds to at least some bettors without sacrificing all of their profitability. In this pairing, BetMGM has better odds on the favorite, and PointsBet has better odds on the underdog. They can both attract bettors and expect to profit from that line. 

Because sportsbooks can have different odds on the same events, bettors who are serious about finding the best odds will never get out of line shopping.

Odds Boosts And Other Ontario Sportsbook Bonuses

Some sportsbooks offer deals like odds boosts, which add value to select odds. It could make a +100 line into a +150 line. However, many of these odds boosts are parlays in disguise. Odds boosts may boost a set of odds, but require bettors to also put money on an additional game. 

For example, FanDuel offered an NHL odds boost from +270 to +350. That looks good on the surface. But to make that bet, bettors had to wager on the Bruins, Islanders, and Panthers to win. Odds boosts are eye-catching, but Ontario bettors must be sure they know what they’re really betting on. Genuine odds boosts can become available. But most of them are poorly disguised parlays.    

About the Author

Christopher Gerlacher

Christopher Gerlacher is a senior author and contributor for many different sports betting websites, sharing his expertise on the subject for readers across the continent. He's a devout Broncos fan, for better or for worse, living in the foothills of Arvada, Colorado.