Canada Vaccine Mandate – Impact for Sports Bettors in 2022
Things could get a little complicated in the NBA in 2022. I’m not just talking about the race for the league MVP or pondering who will win the title. If you want information on the latter, just check out our latest 2021-22 NBA Finals betting update.
No, I’m talking about news breaking that Canada will be implementing an official vaccine mandate, effective January 15, 2022.
Why is this important? Because the Toronto Raptors play in Canada. Which means they have players that – if unvaccinated – suddenly won’t be allowed to play there. They also will have opponents who have players that aren’t allowed to play there.
This could be nothing, or it could be massive. And depending on what the magnitude of this move is, it could impact how you bet on the NBA. Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on to see if you should alter how you bet in 2022.
What Is the New Canada Vaccine Mandate?
Canada has been making waves with their push to have vaccine mandates, and it’s officially applying to the NBA come 2022.
Per NBA reporter Shams Charania, Toronto Raptors opponents will have to be vaccinated simply to enter Canada.
Sources: Beginning Jan. 15, any NBA player who is not fully vaccinated will be unable to enter Canada to play games in Toronto. Canadian government will require all individuals entering Canada to be fully vaccinated.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 7, 2021
Anyone wanting to partake in games in Toronto will need to be vaccinated, which may end up benefiting the Raptors over the course of the season.
The question is, how should sports bettors look at this news when placing bets online, and how much can Toronto benefit from it?
Are Any Raptors Unvaccinated?
First thing’s first, if you bet on Raptors games, you’ll want to find out if they have any players that aren’t vaccinated.
Everyone knows all about the ordeal Andrew Wiggins went through earlier in the year, while Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving has been the loudest anti-vaccine spokesperson in the league.
None of that matters, though. The first thing you care about when hearing about Canada’s new vaccine mandate is whether or not the team could be hurt by some of their players no longer being able to play.
When betting on Toronto, this news means nothing for the team itself. Toronto could end up having a massive edge if teams come to Canada without one of their key players.
NBA Teams That Could Be Impacted
It is unknown at this time which NBA players aren’t vaccinated – at least at a high level. Wiggins wasn’t vaccinated, but he ultimately got the jab so he could play for the Warriors.
Irving is the only high-profile star that has been open about his vaccination status, mostly because he had to be. The Barclays Center imposed their own vaccine mandate, and Irving opted to sit out all of Brooklyn’s home games.
The Nets, as you know by now, scoffed at their star player being a part-time partaker in the team’s plight for a title. Irving has sat out the entire season due to the ordeal, with no end in sight.
Understandably, Irving was subject to harsh criticism from NBA talking heads.
That leads us to the big question; what other NBA players aren’t vaccinated, and which teams could be impacted the most?
One thing we know for sure, is they won’t be able to play in Canada, and the NBA could be handing down some stiff consequences.
As I said, we don’t know for sure just yet, but teams that would be impacted the most are obviously Eastern Conference foes that would have to travel to Canada for the NBA playoffs.
How Bettors Should React to the News
None of this really matters if the NBA’s 3% unvaccinated rate climbs closer to 0%. It also wouldn’t matter that much if a large chunk of that 3% comes from bad teams that won’t be making the playoffs.
For bettors to care about this, the unvaccinated players would probably need to meet some of the following requirements.
- Be key players on their respective teams
- Play in the Eastern Conference
- Have a chance at making the playoffs
If the Raptors only end up facing unvaccinated players against Western Conference teams, that’s maybe one home game per opponent. That won’t move the needle too much.
Toronto could also host the Orlando Magic or another bottom feeder, but these would be isolated regular season situations. Bettors could still absolutely exploit that, but it wouldn’t come across a string of games as it would in a playoff series.
More Vaccine Mandates Could Come
First it was The Barclays Center having an impact on the Nets. Now it’s Canada potentially creating problems for unvaccinated Raptors opponents.
Bradley Beal is probably the biggest name that stands out. The Wizards star is reportedly not vaccinated, and as things stand, Washington could find their way into the NBA playoffs.
Should Toronto get there, too, it’s possible they could meet up.
It’s unknown which other NBA players aren’t vaccinated, but 3% comes out to 13 or 14 players, roughly. If they aren’t impacted by the Canada vaccine mandate, further mandates across the United States could expose them and create an advantage for other franchises, as well.
There’s also the issue of supposed vaccinated players not really being vaccinated. The NFL has shown two examples of deceit, with Aaron Rodgers misleading the media about his vaccination status, and Antonio Brown flat out lying about his.
If there are situations like this within the NBA, more vaccine mandates could drum up problems for a lot of teams, depending on which players haven’t gotten the vaccine, or even refuse to.
When that happens, you may want to start thinking about which teams you bet on at the top NBA betting sites.
Betting on the NBA in 2021-22
I don’t think this is a massive development as 2022 approaches. For one, the Raptors might not even make the playoffs.
They’re just 11-13 as I write this, and by the time this vaccine mandate is in play, they may fall even further in the standings.
Toronto is four spots out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, so the odds are decent that bettors just need to worry about isolated games when placing their bets.
You’ll just need to find out which teams have unvaccinated players, and keep an eye on when they’ll be traveling to Canada to battle the Raptors. In those spots, depending on the odds, backing Toronto more than you usually would make sense.
The real thing to monitor is the potential for more vaccine mandates that could impact how you bet on the NBA. Until we see them come to fruition, however, there isn’t much to be done.
Vaccine mandates are just one thing to think about when betting on the NBA in 2021-22. The league has also switched up how they call fouls this year. For a little guidance on how to bet with the new defensive rules, check out the post below.