Ontario punters place digital wallets behind the Blue Jays
When it comes to the Toronto Blue Jays, it’s not just their loyal fans who support, support, support the home team.
Since online sports betting was legalized in Ontario in early April, bettors have quickly put their digital wallets behind the Blue Jays. And, as the Jays limped off to Tampa on Friday for the start of a weekend streak in a four-game losing skid, the books expect their patrons to continue to be bullish on the lone Canadian entrant in the MLB.
“We know how passionate the Blue Jays and MLB fans are and looking forward to the summer, we expect continued interest and excitement,” NorthStar Bets CEO Michael Moskowitz said. in a press release.
NorthStar Bets, the online sports betting and casino business of NorthStar Gaming, owned by Torstar Corporation, opened its virtual doors this week and immediately felt an affinity for the home team.
“It’s a great time of year to be a sports fan in Toronto, and since NorthStar Bets went live, we’ve seen a lot of interest and activity around the Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, playoffs NHL and MLB,” Moskowitz added.
Blue Jays games have attracted more than 20% of all MLB bets placed on PointsBet Canada since opening day, trader Sam Garriock told The Star on Wednesday.
“Compare that to the Colorado Rockies which is only involved in 11% of our total management,” Garriock said. “Part of that could be because the Rockies aren’t a good team, but there’s a lot of Blue Jays fever. There is a higher percentage of our handle currently being placed on the Blue Jays than on the Maple Leafs.
Despite the recent difficult period, the Jays remain a favorite with bettors. On Friday, NorthStar Bets had Toronto as their +170 pick (so a $100 bet would result in a $170 payout) to win the American League East behind the Yankees at -139. The Jays are tied with the Yankees and Mets at +800, and behind the LA Dodgers (+475) to win the World Series.
Also at NorthStar Bets, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+425) is the third favorite for AL MVP, behind LA Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (+200) and Mike Trout (+400).
Garriock said Guerrero Jr. is also a main attraction when it comes to increasingly popular player prop bets.
“We see a ton of action on Guerrero every game,” Garriock explained. “He is by far one of the most popular players in (Ontario) and one of the most popular players in other markets.
“Young stars are very important to our betting management, and when we’re talking about an older population of bettors, it’s easy for people to associate Guerrero, (Bo) Bichette and (Cavan) Biggio with their fathers ( ex-major league).”
Despite competition with the start of the NHL and NBA playoffs, MLB has been popular with ProLine+ players. In an email to NorthStar Bets, OLG said nearly 24% of bets since April 7 have been placed on baseball, “slightly” behind hockey and basketball.
PointsBet is expected to expand its menu of in-play betting options next month in a bid to further exploit the sluggishness of MLB games. Despite efforts to speed up play, the average length of a nine-inning game so far in 2022 is three hours and four minutes, according to Baseball-Reference.
“The MLB accessory market is growing every day,” Garriock said. “They give consumers and fans reason to keep watching a game in depth, even if, say, the Jays have a big lead. It certainly helped increase the popularity of the NBA and NFL. »
MLB Network, through its new streaming deal with Apple TV+, provides live odds probabilities during games as teams line up in sports betting as legal betting gains a foothold in North America. The Blue Jays and theScore Bet caused a stir in the first week of Ontario’s new regulated gaming industry when they announced a 10-year partnership that includes the construction of a sports bar and restaurant open year-round at the Rogers Centre.
“The Jays are unique in that they are Team Canada,” said Aubrey Levy, senior vice president of marketing and content at theScore. “They are reaching a huge, passionate following in a season that spans seven months and 81 home games at a very high capacity venue. The Jays are also a young and exciting team that generates a ton of buzz, of course in Ontario, but also across North America.
Anuk Karunaratne, the Jays’ executive vice president of business operations, says the team is focused on catering to fans and bettors.
“Our partnership with theScore Bet includes a variety of integrated elements – in-game entertainment, 50/50, signage, seating, etc. – which means the experience of a match for a fan who is not interested by sports betting is as balanced and enjoyable as it is for fans interested in sports betting,” Karunaratne said.
Warning This content has been produced in partnership and therefore may not meet the standards of unbiased or independent journalism.