Another important domino in the widespread legalization of sports betting fell on Tuesday. But this time it wasn't a particular US state. It was the entire country of Canada.
Yesterday, the Senate of Canada voted 57-20 in favor of Bill C-218, known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, which officially legalized single-game sports wagering. Sports betting has been legal in Canada for many years, but until now bettors could only place wagers on multiple events. In other words, bettors were forced to bet strictly on parlays. Historically, parlays have provided a massive hold percentage for the house, not the individual bettor. With the approval of Bill C-218, now Canadian bettors will be able to wager on single-game events.
Canada has a population of 38 million, roughly the size of the biggest US state, California. It represents a big win for bettors and also sportsbooks, who will look to enter this massive untapped new market.
If Canada legalizing wasn't enough, we also saw Gov. John Bel Edwards sign legal sports betting into law in Louisiana. We are now up to 30 legal states in America, including Washington D.C. This means 60% of US states have legalized sports betting.
30 down. 20 to go.
Now bettors turn their attention to Wednesday, where we have 13 MLB games, 1 NBA playoff game and 1 NHL playoff game to choose from. For an updated breakdown of Wednesday'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 p.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET. We'll be joined by Adam Burke, Shaun King and Duane Colucci.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for tonight's big NBA playoff game...
8:30 p.m. ET: Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks
This is Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Hawks are 8-4 overall this postseason, beating the Knicks 4-1 in the first round and then taking down the 76ers 4-3, including a 103-96 victory in Game 7, winning outright as 6.5-point dogs. Now they face the Bucks, who are 8-3 overall this postseason. Milwaukee swept the Heat 4-0 in round one and then edged the Nets 4-3, winning 115-111 in Game 7 as 2-point road dogs. Tonight's Game 1 showdown opened with Milwaukee listed as a 7.5-point home favorite. Some books opened at Bucks -8. Early on, we saw respected money pounce on the Hawks at + 8 and + 7.5, which dropped this line down to 7. Over the past 24, though, we've seen some buyback on the Bucks -7, driving the line back up to -7.5. Essentially, all liability has been on the side of Atlanta plus the points. Shorter favorites -6.5 or less have gone 37-23 ATS (62%) this postseason. However, favorites -7 or more are just 7-8 ATS (47%). The Bucks are 4-4 ATS as a favorite this postseason. The Hawks are 6-4 ATS as a dog, including 5-2 ATS as a road dog. The total opened at 227.5 and has fallen to 226, signaling some sharp action on the under. When the total is 220 or more, the under is 10-2 (83%) in the conference finals over the past decade. One injury to monitor is Hawks shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, who remains questionable with a sore knee. The Bucks are -500 favorites (83.3% implied probability) to win the series at BetMGM. The Hawks are + 375 dogs.
Updated NBA Title Odds
Bucks + 110
Suns + 125
Hawks + 1200
Clippers + 1400
Remember to check the VSiN Betting Splits every day for money and ticket counts so you can tell who the public is betting on.