MLB betting is finally coming to Illinois after the state approved a massive gambling expansion that will see a full-fledged sportsbook set up directly in Wrigley Field.
Any Illinois adult over 21 will be able to bet on MLB games in person and online under the new law passed in June 2019. The bill requires you to register in person before you can place bets online. The legislation will greatly expand the number of sports betting operators in the state and will allow sportsbooks to be set up in Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, and Soldier Field. The only sports off limits are games that involve Illinois schools.
Once you have registered, you can start betting on a wide variety of MLB odds. Here is a quick primer on what you may see.
MLB odds differ from NFL and NBA odds because the scores are lower and margins of victory are rarely massive. While the NFL uses a point spread, which shows how many points a favorite must win by in order for your bet to win, the MLB uses a “run line,” which sets the spread for each game at 1.5 runs. For example:
Chicago Cubs -1.5 (-150)
St. Louis Cardinals +1.5 (+130)
Since the run lines never change, each line comes with its own moneyline, which simply shows the ratio between your bet and the potential payout. In this case, you would have to bet $150 on the Cubs and they will have to win by 2 or more runs for your bet to win. On the other hand, a $100 bet on the Cardinals would win you $130, even if they lose, as long as it is not by more than one run.
You can also bet just on the moneyline without worrying about the margin of victory. For example:
Chicago White Sox -125
Detroit Tigers +130
In this case, you would need to bet $125 on a White Sox victory to win $100 while a $100 bet on Detroit would pay out $130.
How to Bet on MLB Games Online
Before you can place a bet on the Cubs or White Sox online, you will need to register with a sportsbook in person. Once you have done so, you can start placing bets right from your desktop or mobile device.
This allows you to add a major dose of excitement to each game and a chance to use your baseball IQ to win cold, hard cash. If you don’t want to bet on on the Cubs or White Sox or their opponents, you can still bet on a variety of other events.
Over/under betting allows you to wager on whether the final combined score will be lower or higher than the score projected by odds makers. Prop betting and in-game bets allow you to bet on nearly any single-game event with odds that change in realtime. Futures betting allows you to bet on a variety of season-long events like who will win the NL Central division or whether Anthony Rizzo will hit over or under 40 home runs.