The widespread legalization of sports betting isn't just confined to America. If all goes well, our neighbors to the North could be joining the party very shortly.
Late last week, Bill C-218, known as The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, passed through Canada's Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce. The bill would legalize single-game sports wagering, including mobile, across all of Canada. It now heads back to the Senate where lawmakers will debate the bill and call witnesses to speak on its behalf. Once deliberations conclude, a final vote will be taken. The Canadian Parliament has until the end of June to pass the bill and get it signed into law. If it passes, sports betting could launch in Canada by the end of the year.
Currently, sports betting is legal in much of Canada but only for parlays. By passing Bill C-218, the ban on single game wagering will be lifted. One of the biggest advocates for legalization has been the CFL (Canadian Football League). Canada represents a massive and largely untapped market, with a population of 37.6 million people, which is just slightly less than California (39.5 million). Canada is also home to seven NHL teams, plus the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors.
Now we turn our attention to Tuesday's loaded betting menu, including 15 MLB games, 2 NBA playoff games and 2 NHL playoff games. For an updated breakdown of Monday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 1 p.m. ET. I'll also be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3-5 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the action is going for tonight's two NBA playoff games.
7:30 p.m. ET: Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers
This is Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Hawks lead the series 2-1 after taking the opener 128-124, winning outright as 4.5-point road dogs. In tonight's rematch, the 76ers opened as 5.5-point home favorites. The public expects a bounce back effort from Philadelphia and is rushing to the window to lay the points with the 76ers. However, despite this lopsided support, we've seen the 76ers fall from -5.5 to -5. This signals some sharp reverse line movement on the Hawks, with pros jumping on Atlanta plus the hook (%plussign% 5.5 to %plussign% 5). The Hawks also have contrarian value as an unpopular road dog in a heavily bet primetime game. The total opened at 223 and hasn't budged. When the total is 220 or more, the over is 21-10 (68%) this postseason. 76ers star big man Joel Embiid is questionable for this game but is expected to play. Despite trailing in the series 1-0, Philadelphia is still a short -130 favorite to advance to the next round (odds via BetMGM). The Hawks are %plussign% 110 dogs to win the series.
10 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz
This is Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals. The Clippers are coming off a Game 7 win over the Mavericks while the Jazz brushed aside the Grizzlies in five games. This line opened with the Jazz listed as a short 4-point home favorite. The public is all over Utah laying a short spread on their home court, especially with a significant rest advantage (last game June 2nd compared to Clippers' last game June 6th). However, despite Utah being the popular play we've seen the line fall from 4 to 3.5. This indicates some wiseguy action buying low on the Clippers plus the points. Sharps have also targeted the under. The total opened at 221.5 and has fallen to 220.5 despite the public pounding the over. This is a classic wiseguy reverse line under move. One big injury to monitor here is Utah point guard Mike Conley. He is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury. The Jazz are slight -140 favorites to win the series. The Clippers are %plussign% 115 dogs.