NBA betting is finally coming to Illinois after the state approved a huge gambling expansion that will allow in-person and online sports betting.
Illinois passed a bill in June 2019 that will allow existing gambling venues to offer sports betting at physical locations and online and bring betting operations to sports stadiums like Wrigley Field and Soldier Field. Only existing gambling operators will be allowed to take bets at first but the legislation allows for online-only operators like DraftKings and FanDuel to launch 18 months later once they have partnered with an Illinois company.
The law also requires players to register in-person first before being able to place a bet online but once you are all set up, you can start betting on Chicago Bulls games.
Once you have registered with a sportsbook, you can use your computer or mobile device to start placing bets online. If you are unfamiliar with NBA odds, here is a quick rundown on what you will see.
Most bets are placed on the point spread, which is the margin of victory the favorite (denoted with a minus sign) must win by in order for the bet to win. For example:
Chicago Bulls -3.5
New York Knicks +4
In this scenario, the Bulls must win by at least 4 points for your bet to win while the Knicks can lose by up to 3 points and a bet on New York would still win. If the Knicks lose by 4, that would be a push and you would get your money back.
Other bets are placed on the moneyline, which simply denotes the ratio between your wager and the payout. There are no margins of victory to worry about but underdogs do pay out higher than favorites. For example:
In this case, you would have to bet $140 on the Bulls to win $100 while a $100 bet on the Lakers would net you $145 in winnings if they pull it out.
The Chicago Bulls and the NBA have embraced the sports betting push after Illinois lawmakers required sportsbooks to pay the league for their official data. This data will allow you to bet extensively on Bulls games even when they are struggling.
The data will be used to offer in-game and prop bets, which allow you to bet on any single-game event like what the score will be at halftime or whether Zach LaVine will have over 30 points.
If you don’t want to bet against the Bulls, you can still bet on the game without picking a winner. Over/under betting allows you to wager on whether the final combined score will be higher or lower than the score projected by odds makers.
You can even place longterm futures bets, which allow you to bet on season-long events like who will win the NBA Eastern Conference or who will be the NBA MVP, even after the NBA season ends.