HomeNHL betting in Illinois

NHL betting in Illinois

If you want to bet on the NHL in Illinois, there are plenty of sportsbooks to choose from. Each of these offers different features and betting options. In this guide, we will dive into all you need to know about wagering on ice hockey.

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Yes, betting on the NHL is legal in Illinois. Governor Pritzker signed the bill into law in June of 2019 and the first sports bet was taken in March 2020.

Since then, sports betting in the state of Illinois has only grown and is now available online as well as at a more traditional brick-and-mortar sportsbook.

Illinois sportsbooks where you can bet on the NFL

There are a number of different sportsbooks in Illinois offering NHL betting. Each one has something different to offer, which makes it very important to take a look at their specific features on offer. Have a look at the top betting sites here.

  • Barstool - Barstool offers an excellent betting platform where you can place a variety of bets on the NHL as well as claim a number of excellent bonuses and promotions as a new player. It's also got a great betting interface where you can bet on both the desktop site and its Illinois mobile betting app.
  • FanDuel - FanDuel is the top earning sportsbook in the nation and their NHL catalog is as good as there is. They offer all the major markets as well as college hockey and the Olympics. FanDuel also offers a good welcome bonus for new users as well as odds boosts and second-chance bets.
  • BetMGM - BetMGM is a nationally known gambling and resort brand with a strong presence in Illinois. The site is very easy to use, offering an intuitive user platform that's available on both mobile and desktop devices. Additionally, you can find a wealth of NHL betting markets as well as college hockey and the Olympics.
  • DraftKings - DraftKings is one the top sports betting destinations and offers a solid brand with safe payment options. The DraftKings hockey catalogs are vast and the odds are competitive. DraftKings offers a good welcome bonus and even better rewards program.

Different types of bets in ice hockey

If you want to get started with betting on the NHL, then you need to know what the different bet types are. Below are the most common bets placed on ice hockey:


This is a wager on which NHL team wins the contest. The moneyline is the most common NHL wager and would look like this on the oddsmakers board. The odds are presented in such a way as to represent how much you win based on a $100 wager.

  • Chicago Blackhawks +145
  • Detroit Red Wings -125

For example, a $100 wager on the Blackhawks would earn $245 if the Blackhawks beat the Red Wings. Detroit bettors would need to wager $125 to win $100 if the Red Wings were victorious.


This is a wager on the total amount of goals scored in an NHL contest. The bookie hangs a number on the board and the bettor determines if the final outcome will end Over or Under the number.

  • Chicago Blackhawks O5.5 -110
  • Detroit Red Wings U5.5 -110

For example, the game would need to end with 6+ goals for a Illinois Over bettor to cash their ticket and if the game ends Under five goals, Under bettors win their wager. The bookies usually charge vig on both sides of the line so you must wager $110 to win $100.

Puck Line

The puck line in hockey betting markets is similar to a spread bet in football–the bookie offers a number on the board that an NHL team must either win or lose by.

  • Chicago Blackhawks +1.5 -170
  • Detroit Red Wings -1.5 +150

For example, if the Blackhawks lose by less than two goals, a $170 wager would net the Prairie State bettor $100. Conversely, if the Red Wings win the game by at least two goals, a $100 wager would result in a winning payout of $250.

Prop Bets

NHL prop bets are wagers based on an individual player performance or team event. Individual props could be the amount of shots on goal by a player to the 1P total.

  • Taylor Raddysh Shots on Goal O3.5 -105
  • Taylor Raddysh Shots on Goal U3.5 -125

For example, if Raddysh attempts 4+ shots on goal, a $105 wager would result in a $100 payout. If Raddysh falls below three shots towards the net, the Illinois better would win $100 for a $125 wager.


Future NHL betting markets involve team milestones such as how many victories in a season to who wins a division, conference or the Stanley Cup Championship. Player props usually are limited to Awards such as the Vezina Trophy, Norris Trophy, Hart Award and Point Total Award.

Please remember NHL Future wagers can’t be cashed until at least the conclusion of the NHL regular season.

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

While there is only one NHL team in Illinois, there are a number of other ice hockey teams in the surrounding states that can also be bet on. Here are some of the top NHL teams in the area for you to bet on:

  • Chicago Blackhawks (in Illinois) - The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Central Division in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks were founded in 1926 and have won six Stanley Cup championships, most recently in 2015.
  • Minnesota Wild - The Minnesota Wild are a professional hockey team based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They represent the National Hockey League (NHL) and compete in the Central Division in the Western Conference. The Wild were founded in 1997 and have never won the Stanley Cup.
  • St. Louis Blues - The St. Louis Blues are a professional hockey team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the National Hockey League (NHL) and compete in the Central Division in the Western Conference. The Blues were founded in 1967 and have won one Stanley Cup championship, in 2019.
  • Detroit Red Wings - Another founding team from 1926, the Red Wings are based in Detroit, Michigan and have had impressive success over the years winning 11 Stanley Cups and numerous Conference and Division titles.

Tips when betting on the NHL in Illinois

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

Moneyline Sport

The National Hockey League is a moneyline sport, and the moneyline is the most common wager Illinois bettors make when betting on hockey. Oddsmakers set a number, and the Illinois sports bettor decides which team will win and bets on that team.

The most important thing to remember when betting the moneyline is to find value.

  • Chicago Blackhawks -150
  • Detroit Red Wings +130

A bet on Chicago -150 will cost the Illinois sports bettor $150 to win $100. That is 1.5 units in standard 100-unit bankroll management. While winning a few of these bets are terrific, the inevitable losing streak could significantly reduce the bankroll, and that is why we advise not to play favorites of -250 or higher.

Illinois bettors are encouraged to wager on the underdog whenever possible, as a $100 wager on Detroit to win this game pays $130. Prairie State NHL bettors should also remember that favorites generally win and refrain from betting on underdogs over +250.

Goaltending matters

Goaltending is the most important thing when considering which NHL team to back. Solid goaltending knowledge can make or break an Illinois sports bettor, and we have some tips to help Prairie State punters choose the correct goaltender.

  • Expected Save Percentage is much better than goals against average as it paints a clearer picture of how a goaltender performs against shots faced and not based on the strength of the blue line.
  • Blue Lines matter in hockey, and the better the blue line usually means fewer shots on goal. Illinois sports bettors should consider any injuries to the defense and the +/- stats of each defenseman and look for defenses with the most positives.
  • Recent form should also be a consideration when choosing a goaltender. Some goaltenders are streaky, and a bad night could lead to more bad nights. Illinois sports bettors shouldn’t rely on past reputation but on how the goaltender is currently playing.

Favorites generally win

The NHL favorite wins roughly 60% of their contests, which means the favorite loses 40% of the time. Look for favorites on short winning streaks of 1-2 games with their top goaltender in action and try to attack teams with injuries to their blue line.

Illinois sports bettors should remember the higher the favorite, the more risk is involved, and NHL bettors should avoid favorites of -250 or better.

NHL away underdog

Unlike most sports, NHL home teams have a 54.5% win rate, which means the away team has a realistic chance of winning 45.5% of the time.

This is sometimes an excellent spot to find a profitable away underdog. The Illinois sports bettor should look for an away underdog playing well against a home team with either a backup goaltender or injuries to its defense.

Rested road favorites

Sports bettors love the home team, but as we’ve seen, home teams don’t win as often in the NHL as in other sports, and sometimes an Illinois sports bettor can get a reasonable price on an away favorite.

Prairie State sports bettors should always consider a rested road team with a winning away record against NHL teams with either mediocre or sub-.500 home records.

Line shopping

Betting on NHL contests is about finding the best price. To get the best moneyline odds, sports bettors should have betting accounts at each of the legal Illinois sportsbooks.


Which NHL team is most popular to wager on in Illinois?

As is to be expected, the most popular NHL team to wager on in Illinois is the state's own Chicago Blackhawks. They have been one of the staples of Illinois sports for years and is one of the sporting prides of the state.

How old do you have to be to bet on the NHL in IL?

You have to be 21 or older in order to bet on the NHL in IL. If you are younger than this, signing up for an online sportsbook won't work as they require ID to prove you are who you say you are when verifying your account.

What taxes do you have to pay on NHL wagering winnings in IL?

You have to pay a flat rate of 4.95% on any NHL wagering winnings in IL. Currently, gambling winnings are seen as personal income in the state. Make sure that you work out your calculations correctly, as any infringements can lead to penalties.