Illinois Online Gambling Set for Boost as Professional Sports Return


When major leagues began to cancel games in March, betting took a back seat. People forgot about gambling for a moment and worried about their safety and wellbeing. A few weeks later, online casinos started to steal the spotlight.  

Five months later, sports leagues are reopening, and sports betting is getting the attention it deserves. With gambling legal in Illinois, the industry is all set to grow economically. Here’s an overview of the sports betting space in Illinois and how it will benefit from the return of sports.

20 Sports Books to be Opened

The gambling bill passed June last year and signed into law early this year authorizes investors to set up twenty betting locations in the state. Additionally, it permits these businesses to apply for online gaming licenses 18 months after the start sportsbook is launched.

What games can you predict in Illinois? All sports: football, soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey, horse racing, everything. Of course, it will take time for investors to launch betting shops throughout the state.

But in the meantime, you can bet on sports online. has a detailed guide to online gambling in Illinois. Read it, learn how to bet, and find a list of the best bookmakers in the Prairie State. 

With that in mind, here’s a list of how to bet on major sports leagues in Illinois.

Major League Baseball

Baseball offers over a dozen betting opportunities. But there’s one secret you need to win. You must know a lot about the sport. First, you must know how the league works, all the teams involved, and how a baseball game is played out. 

After that, the next step is to figure out what you can predict. Money line is the simplest bet to understand: you choose which team will win. Statistically, the home team tends to have an advantage.

But as you also know, squad quality and the experience of superstar players also influence how a team performs. If you choose parlay bets, you’ll need to predict two or more teams correctly.

On the flip side, you can opt for run line bets to predict the total number of innings. Alternatively, you can choose proposition bets to predict random occurrences in baseball: coach to be fired, who wins CY award, or who wins the series. 

National Basketball League

Unlike baseball, the NBA is taking place inside a bubble in Florida. The move seems effective now that all players have stayed safe since the league returned. But we are digressing. The NBA’s return means you can wager on all your favorite teams and players.

What’s the best thing to predict in basketball? Like baseball, the simplest bet is the money line. You pick any match and predict who wins. It’s a tad challenging to wager on match winners since home advantage no longer exists. 

But after watching a few NBA games, it’s easy to spot a pattern of the most in-form teams. Alternatively, you can choose to wager on totals: an approximate of the number of points in every game.

Total bets in the NBA involve predicting whether the winning side will score below or above 100, 110, or 140 times. That means the critical challenge is to tell whether a match involves defense or offense-oriented games.

Like baseball, there are more betting opportunities in the NBA. You can predict which team will win this year’s title or when Lebron James will retire. You can also wager on coaches like when New York Knicks will fire their coach.

National Hockey League

Like the NBA, NHL is operating inside two bubbles: Edmonton and Toronto. However, you can watch games from wherever you are and bet on just about anything related to hockey: match winners, totals, props, and parlays.

Some bets might have a unique name on betting sites. But they are not challenging to comprehend. Puck line bets, for example, are point spreads or handicaps as they are called in soccer.

NHL puck line bets are a bit specific, though. Favorites get a handicap of -1.5 while underdogs receive an advantage of +1.5 points. Of course, half scores don’t exist. So, +/-1.5 means at least two goals.

The biggest benefit of spreads is that they help you make money in a match with undesirable odds. Let’s say first-place Bruins are to play last-place Canadiens in the Eastern Conference. But the game has poor odds because everyone expects Boston to win.

With puck line odds, bookies can offer better odds for the Bruins if you predict they will win by two or more goals. Alternatively, you can back the Canadiens not to lose by more than two goals.

Horse Racing

Like all other sports, horse racing was thrown into a hiatus once the pandemic hit the US. It has since returned to action, which means you can bet on thoroughbreds at all the best bookie sites in Illinois.

The main events are yet to come. The Kentucky Derby, for example, will take place on September 5. The Preakness Stakes and the Belmont racing dates will be announced at a later date.

Fortunately, there are numerous horse racing events in the US, Canada, the UK, and Europe. All you need is to research a tad about each event and identify the favorites. Once you have enough information, decide which of these bet types you will use:

  • Single
  • Trixie
  • Patent
  • Accumulate
  • Exacta
  • Trifecta
  • Superfecta

As we mentioned above, the names might sound strange. But more often than not, the idea behind these bets is simple. An exacta, for example, challenges you to predict the first two horses in the correct order. A trifecta involves three while a superfecta includes four thoroughbreds.


With sports leagues back in action, online gambling in Illinois is bound to get a boost. What will you be predicting? In most leagues, the simplest wager is the match-winner. But don’t let this fool you. Sometimes it’s easier to predict other outcomes besides which team wins.

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