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NBA betting in Illinois

If you wish to bet on the NBA in Illinois, this complete guide has got you covered. We'll go through the different types of wagers you can place and the best sportsbooks to use.

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Besides being a star-driven sport, NBA basketball is full of action and promises thrills from the start to the end.

Furthermore, a regular NBA season has 1,230 games and runs for seven months, promising many betting markets for every avid basketball bettor. Keep reading us as we dive deeper into NBA betting in Illinois.

Illinois sports betting is legal, so wagering on the NBA also is. The Illinois Sports Wagering Act was passed into law on June 28, 2019, and the first legal bet was placed on March 9, 2020.

Common bet types you can place on the NBA

As a high-scoring sport, basketball offers a myriad of betting options. Players can wager on bet types tied to team scores or those related to an individual player or team performance. Here's a breakdown of common NBA bet types you can place on Illinois sportsbooks:

Moneyline

This is a wager where you decide who wins the NBA game. The oddsmakers attach a price to the bet–a minus sign (-) before the number means how much a bettor would need to risk to win $100.

  • Chicago Bulls -125
  • Charlotte Hornets +145

For example, suppose the Bulls are -125 vs. the Charlotte Hornets. An Illinois bettor would need to bet $125 to win $100. Conversely, a $100 bet on the Hornets would net the Prairie State bettor $245.

Over/Under

Also known as “totals,” an Over/Under bet is one where the oddsmaker predetermines the total amount of points scored in a game, and the bettor must decide if the outcome will end Over or Under the number.

  • Chicago Bulls O218.5 -110
  • Charlotte Hornets U218.5 -110

For example, an Over bet would require the game to end in a total of 219+ for a winning Over bet, and the Under would mean the final score would be 218 or fewer points. The Illinois bettor must risk $110 to win $100 on an Over or Under bet.

Spread Bet

This is a bet where the bookie sets a number based on a winning margin for an NBA contest. The oddsmaker sets the number, and the bettor then decides whether or not a team wins or loses by that number.

  • Chicago Bulls -3.5 -110
  • Charlotte Hornets +3.5 -110

For example, the Bulls would need to beat the Hornets by 4+ points for a Bulls -3.5 bet to cash. A winning Charlotte +3.5 bet would mean the Hornets failed to lose by four or more points. Same risk to win $100 as the spread–$110 would win $100.

Prop Bets

These are wagers on events that don’t determine the outcome of a contest. Most Illinois sportsbooks offer a wide range of prop bets, and those markets can be based on individual or team performances.

  • Zach LaVine O28.5 points +115
  • Zach LaVine U28.5 points -105

For example, LaVine would have to score 29+ for a bettor to win the Over–a $100 bet would earn the Illinois bettor $215. A LaVine Under bettor would need LaVine to score 28 points or less-a $105 is required to win $100 on the Under 28.5.

Futures

Futures are bets made based on how an NBA team will perform in the future. This could be how many wins a team may or may not have, division or conference championships, including who will win the NBA Championship. Individual future props for postseason awards are also available at most Illinois sportsbooks.

The odds are usually very good, but winning tickets for the team and future individual awards can’t be collected until the conclusion of the regular season.

Which NBA teams in or around Illinois can you bet on?

The NBA league has 30 teams, each playing 82 games, meaning that Illinois sports bettors have a variety of teams and contests to choose from.

Besides, they have a home team (Chicago Bulls), and many neighboring teams that promise good betting markets. Below are descriptions of popular NBA teams in and around Illinois you can place your wagers on:

  • Chicago Bulls - the Chicago Bulls are a professional men's basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois. They represent the National Basketball Association (NBA) and compete in the Central Division in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls were founded in 1966 and have won six NBA championships, most recently in 1998.
  • Indiana Pacers - the Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Central Division in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers were founded in 1967 and have never won an NBA championship.
  • Milwaukee Bucks - The Milwaukee Bucks are a men's professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They play their games in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Central Division in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks were founded in 1968 and have won one NBA championship, in 1971.
  • Detroit Pistons - The Detroit Pistons are a men's professional basketball team based in Detroit, Michigan. They participate in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and compete in the Central Division in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons were founded in 1946 and have won three NBA championships, in 1954, 1989, and 1990.

Best Illinois sportsbooks for NBA betting

As a sports hotbed and home to over 12 million people, there are plenty of online Illinois sportsbooks to choose from. Below is a rundown of the best sportsbooks in Prairie State if you want to be on the NBA:

  • Barstool - This is one of the most reputable bookies offering a generous welcome bonus, user-friendly interface, and exclusive daily odds boosts. Its site and app interface is clean and well-organized, and the NBA catalog is vast.
  • FanDuel - FanDuel is the top sportsbook destination in the US with attractive Illinois betting bonuses, and competitive odds on basketball. The NBA catalog is vast and all major betting markets are available.
  • Caesars - Famous for great qualities like huge odds, an easy-to-use interface, and stellar market coverage, Caesars promises an exciting NBA betting experience. Here, Illinois players can also enjoy convenient payment options, a modern and cutting-edge mobile betting app, and top-notch customer support.
  • BetRivers - BetRivers is one of the Illinois bookies offering quick payouts, a great desktop site, and generous bonuses. Signing up for an account with them means you can grab the ongoing welcome offer to sweeten your NBA betting experience.
  • DraftKings - Draftkings sportsbook has everything a sports bettor could want and more. From a good welcome bonus to competitive odds, DraftKings does NBA betting the right way.

Tips when betting on the NBA in Illinois

Below is a walkthrough of our best tips when betting on the NBA in Illinois:

Current form matters

NBA teams can be streaky, and some perform better at home than on the road. Illinois sports bettors should always consider the current form of an NBA team before making a wager.

Home teams win roughly 60% of their games, and this is where an Illinois sports bettor can find value in an away team playing well against a home team with a losing home record.

Additionally, an Illinois sports bettor should consider a home underdog playing well against a team either playing the second game of a back-to-back or in a situation or when the away team is playing the final game of a three or more-game road trip.

Injuries and Players Resting

Over the past few seasons, the NBA has seen a rise in teams choosing to “rest” players, and “late scratches” are also occurring far more frequently than they used to. The Illinois sports bettor must pay attention to the NBA injury report and follow social media for any late-breaking injury news.

Novice Illinois sports bettors should consider waiting until the NBA lineups are released before making any wagers.

Pay attention to the schedule

Some NBA teams can play up to three games in five nights, and it would be wise for the Illinois sports bettor to pay attention to the NBA schedule.

Most NBA teams use the second night of consecutive games to rest their stars, and a situation like that is an excellent spot to search for an underdog or an undervalued team getting too many points at home.

Pace matters

Pace is a stat Illinois sports bettors should know as it measures the number of possessions per 48 minutes.

Teams with a high pace rate have more possessions, which indicates the contests have plenty of back and forth that could result in the game ending Over the oddsmakers' total. Conversely, teams with lower pace rates don’t score as much, and their contests end Under the total.

Novice Illinois sports bettors would be wise to consider the Over when two solid shooting teams with high pace rate meet and the Under when a mediocre shooting team or teams with slower pace rates square off.

Line shopping

Betting on NBA games is about finding the best sports betting odds at the best price. To get the best betting odds, sports bettors should have betting accounts at each of the seven online Illinois sportsbooks.

Bankroll management

There isn’t a successful professional sports bettor that doesn’t practice money or bankroll management, which is the key to an Illinois gambler's success. A solid bankroll management system would be to stake 1% of the bankroll on every wager at the same 1% until the bankroll increases by 25%.

Illinois Bettor A has a bankroll of $1000 and is interested in making a wager. 1% of $1000 is $10, which would be the unit price, and would stake $10 per bet. Bettor A would continue this pattern and should only increase or decrease the unit price after a 25% profit or loss.


FAQ

Which NBA team is most popular to bet on in Illinois?

Chicago Bulls is the most popular NBA team to bet on in Illinois. It is popular, maintains good performance, and is rich in success history.

How long have people been betting on the NBA in IL?

People have been betting on NBA in Illinois since 2020, when sports betting became legal for the first time.

What taxes are mandatory to pay on NBA betting winnings in IL?

The Federal Tax and Illinois Gambling Tax are mandatory to pay on betting winnings in Illinois, including ones from NBA. The Illinois state taxes are flat taxes calculated at 4.95% of your winnings. Meanwhile, the federal taxes run from 10% to 37% for winnings of $600 and above or at least 300 times the amount of your wager.